Fern Shaffer and Othello Anderson
9 Year Ritual
"Cycle of Rituals"
Our performances are a collaborative effort. The motivation for the rituals that we perform are to bring spirit back into the community and the world at large. Rituals are an action that speaks to the heart and soul but does not necessarily make sense in a literal way. We realize the interconnectedness of everything. Our rituals consists of energy and thought about the equal balance and harmony between nature, science and spirit. We view the earth as a living entity, which responds to our efforts, and we respond to hers. We document the ancient practice of ritual using technological methods as a way to record our contribution. The photographs become a record, the memory of the ritual.
The number 9 is a symbol for this "Cycle of Rituals" a complete cycle of growth in the grand cycle of time. Something is finishing, to make way for a new set of events, i.e. a transition from one millennium to the next.
· The first ritual took place on January 9, 1995 in a wooden site in Lockport, Illinois, to transmit through the trees our concern for the living conditions of plant life.
· The second ritual took place on February 9, 1996 at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Big Sur, California. The purpose was to reflect our concern for water. The sea is the source of life.
· The third ritual took place on March 9, 1997 in a cornfield, outside of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The focus was on our concern for the gift of nourishment that the earth gives us as food.
· The fourth ritual took place on April 9, 1998 on the summit of Blue Ridge Mountain, in Virginia. The focus was to reflect our concern for the preservation of the minerals of the earth.
· The fifth ritual took place on May 9, 1999 at the lowest elevation of the Northern Hemisphere in Death Valley, California. The focus was to reflect our concern for the premature death of our planet due to global warming.
· The sixth ritual took place on June 9, 2000 0n Temagami Island, Ontario, Canada. The focus was our concern for the preservation of the disappearing old growth forests.
· The seventh ritual took place on July 9, 2001 at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. The focus was our concern for the rivers and waterways. How essential they are for transportation, food, energy and clean water sources.
. The eighth ritual took place on August 9, 2002 at Greenpoint, Newfoundland. The focus was the plight within the oceans.
. The ninth ritual took place on September 9, 2003 at Cashe River Basin, Illinois. The focus was on the preservation of wetlands, an endangered habitat and ecological system.
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