Equinox, for me, is always about catching a moment of balance before things change yet again. I pause and take a deep breath, notice that which feels quiet inside me, and then breathe out again in gratitude.
This equinox, I would like to ask for your help in restoring some balance to a beleaguered piece of land that was once the rightful home of the Western Shoshone and is now the place for testing tools of mass destruction. I entreat your help to raise up the fires of love in a desert that is filled with the fires of war.
The week between Pesach and Christian Easter, there is a Sacred Peace Walk from Las Vegas to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Yes, Virginia, despite a Nuclear Weapons Test Ban Treaty, the US still tests nuclear arms. Our aim, besides praying on the land, bearing witness, and lending support to the Western Shoshone, is to bring awareness to this simple fact. I’m starting now.
The week begins with Pesach services. After a decade away from this sacred place, I will join the march on Thursday, and that evening – after ritual foot washing – Abbi Spinner, Jim Haber, Candace Ross, and I will lead ritual for all at the Sekhmet Goddess Temple, calling upon Sekhmet to help us kindle the fires of inspiration and justice inside each of us, with which to meet the fires of war that in this case, come in the form of detonations of sub-critical plutonium beneath this living desert. Friday night, devotional chants will be sung, led by myself and Joshua Levin, to praise the land and the vast expanse of sky, and to bring the people together after a day of walking in the sun. When we reach the Test Site itself, there will be arrests made for trespass and communion shared, with my compatriot and fellow rabble-rouser Fr. Steve Kelly presiding.
This event is truly a weaving together of many religious traditions. We are all bound to each other by our love of the land, our honoring of the Shoshone, and the wish to stop testing nuclear weapons in the US.
What am I asking of you? Two things: please meditate with us, and pray in whatever fashion calls to you. Also, please donate money if you can. The funds will pay for the event and to support the good work of the Nevada Desert Experience, an interfaith peace group that has been hard at work for twenty years. Will you commit to one hour’s meditation or prayer during the week of March 29- April 4 in solidarity with the peacewalkers? Or can you sponsor me financially? Here is the link to donate any amount, noting “Sponsoring T. Thorn Coyle” to send funds directly to Nevada Desert Experience. Or if you wish to help me defray my costs, which I am currently donating, you can send money to Solar Cross saying, “For Peace Walk” and anything above my costs will go to NDE.
May we restore balance, if even for one moment. Together. I will walk for you, and with you, beneath the desert sky, with a fire kindled in my heart.