Prayers, Rituals, and Spells for the BP Gulf Oil Spill
Enjoying the sugar-white sand of the Grayton Beach – Destin area at Thanksgiving, pre- Oil Spill. Photo copyrighted; all rights reserved.
Since I posted A Pagan Point of View of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico a few weeks ago, I’ve been inundated with requests for rituals, spells, and prayers–both pagan and Christian–for the oil spill. For those of you who know my style of spiritual leadership, you know that I don’t believe in standardizing much of anything, including passing out canned prayers. HOWEVER, I will give you some ideas to incorporate into your own spiritual work in regard to the oil spill.
I do not believe in publishing one or two rituals for everyone to use because I believe the most effective spiritual work is work you do yourself, work you put yourself and your thoughts into. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go write an extensive ritual and perform it at a particular degree of the zodiac or phase of the moon, in my opinion. I believe that it’s far more important for anyone doing spiritual work for the Gulf of Mexico right now to make a personal connection with Deity, however simple or complex, and then focus on your intentions in your spiritual work. If I gave you a specific prayer, then it would be a prayer that resonates deeply for me but it would never have the power of a prayer YOU can offer up.
Here are a few ideas:
Unfortunately, we have a lot to pray for. Your prayers can go several different directions, depending on which facet of this catastrophe is most important to you or which you feel the need to focus on. You may want to focus on all of them.
What’s done is done. Tar balls are already washing up on my beautiful white beaches near Destin, Florida. The air is thick with a stifling petro smell that triggers my asthma and sends me into coughing fits. Oil-covered sea life is already being reported. There is no need to create a ritual to stop this from happening because it’s too late–though perhaps you might want to pray that this will never happen again, especially since it’s so much a repeat of the 1979 oil spill in the Gulf, except exponentially worse. Imagine our entire country being spurred to come up with real solutions to energy that will make us less or non oil dependent and demanding our politicians work together to help us clean up our world.
You may also want to focus on damage control and on stopping the leaking oil. After all, the longer the oil is uncontrolled, the more damage to the coastline, wildlife, human health, and the local economies. Spend some time in your prayers visualizing the best and brightest minds coming up with innovative, fast solutions. (Granted, at this point, they probably won’t be wearing BP shirts, so really use your imagination.) Think of the people, companies, think tanks, and even other countries coming forth to offer solutions that really work.
You could concentrate on the clean-up effort, on creative and bold new ways to counteract any more damage before it can be done. Give thanks for all the volunteers who are helping to protect the coastline and tend to the ailing wildlife.
Create your own ritual for the protection of the environment from further damage and the healing of all its creatures. Consider working with Yemaja, the African Goddess of the Ocean, if that appeals to you.
Pray for prosperity to return to the already hard hit local economies that depend on fishing and tourism. We already recognize the bad economy our country is trudging through right now, but restaurants, hotels, and beaches are empty along the Emerald Coast because tourists are quickly cancelling their vacations and heading to Atlantic beaches or inland instead. Pray, too, for those families who depend on the fishing industry for their livelihood. Pray that perhaps help will come for the local communities with as much enthusiasm as other Americans have had for helping the hapless victims of earthquakes in Haiti and natural disasters throughout the world and that the locals won’t have to wonder why they don’t deserve a little help, too.
Pray for those who deal with dark emotions in the wake of this catastrophic oil spill. What was disbelief and then resignation to the inevitable has become bitterness, anger, and depression for the people who are seeing their shores and their communities tainted with oil. Pray for those cynics who try to lighten their bitterness with jokes about which BP executives should act as personal filler for the leak, because I dont’ know of anyone apologizing for their feelings.
I suppose you could also pray for the companies responsible and for the men who run them, and that we’ll all find whatever it is that we need to forgive them. Honestly, though, I can’t do that myself. I haven’t really witnessed any remorse that felt authentic, and that’s usually what it takes for me to be in a forgiving mood. It would be disingenuous of me to say otherwise.
So you see, I could not possibly give you one standardized prayer, ritual, or spell that would cover so very many things this oil spill has visited upon us here on the beaches of Florida. You’ll have to choose for yourself where to begin.