Original photo by Kyle Brown – Dawn on the Mississippi River
Although Gaol Naofa as an organisation is generally neutral when it comes to politics, as a council we have decided this is too important and vital an issue to stay silent. In addition to our avowed stance on Indigenous Solidarity, we believe that as Gaelic Polytheists we have a duty to honour and respect the land spirits of wherever we reside, and advocate for the protection of the environment and sacred sites that will be affected by things like this proposed pipeline.
In that spirit, a number of our members, along with those in our related organisation, CAORANN, have been joining in prayer with our friends and relatives who are at the demonstrations and prayer vigils in Washington DC, at sacred sites all along the proposed route of the Dakota Access/Bakken Pipeline, and at the sacred waters all over the world. Some of the people on the front lines of this struggle have been instrumental as advisors to our organisation, and without them, we probably would not exist.
The young people from Standing Rock reservation have run all the way from the Dakotas to Washington, DC to bring awareness to the danger facing our water supply. We are so proud of them.
We have been praying at the water, making offerings, singing and praying for protection. We are sending love, strength and gratitude to the runners and the land/water defenders who are carrying this forward for all of us. Slàinte Mhath.
From the Center of the Land
The spirits are guarding the water
The spirits are guarding the land
Who speaks for the waters?
Who speaks for the land?
Sacred waters of Turtle Island
Watershed of Oceti Sakowin
Ogalala Aquifer, sacred
Rivers Mnišoše, Mníšošethaka, Iowa, Illinois
and every tributary and well and stream
feeding spreading flowing
into us all.
The water is in us all.
Every time you feel the thirst
Every time you reach for water
you hear us. The spirits of the land and waters
The ancestors upon whose bones you stand.
Sacred waters from which we are born
flowing from the lands of our ancestors,
Abhainn Chluaidh, Uisge Dhè, An Life, An Bhóinn,
Flowing to the ocean, dancing across
to the shores of Turtle Island
merging and twining as one.
Who speaks for the water?
Who speaks for the land?
From sacred Standing Rock, reaching out worldwide,
to the all the sacred rivers, flowing, and circling back
to the center again. As one.
Land defenders crying, praying, “Come, Protect the water!”
Land defenders rising, singing, “We Protect the Water!”
The waters flow free. Clear. Strong. As one.
Pure. Sacred. Forever. As one.
With love and gratitude to the youth, Elders and allies of Standing Rock and all the water runners, in Solidarity. – An Chomairle Ghaol Naofa
- A Shail-Spioradain – Gaelic for “Oh Guardian Spirits”
- Turtle Island – name used by many Indigenous North American Peoples for the North American continent
- Oceti Sakowin – The Seven Fires Council aka The Great Sioux Nation or the Lakota and Dakota people
- Mnišoše – Lakota (Lak?ótiyapi) name for the Missouri River
- Mníšošethaka – Dakota (Dakhótiyapi) name for the Mississipi River [please note, the second-last “a” is supposed to be a
- Abhainn Chluaidh, Uisge Dhè, An Life, An Bhóinn, – In both Gaelic and Irish, “River Clyde, River Dee, Liffy and Boyne”
- Standing Rock – The Lakota reservation where they are blocking the proposed pipeline, and where the runners began their journey on foot to Washington D.C.
- Slàinte Mhath – Gaelic for “Good Health/Strength/Wholeness”
August 9, 2016