The Journey of the Earth Treasure Vase Destined for Washington DC

The Journey of the Earth Treasure Vase Destined for Washington DC  Part 1

Back in  July 2021, my dear friend Marge McCarthy wrote to me asking me to co- steward an Earth Treasure Vase with her.  I had not heard of the practice at the time, but knew that Marge was asking me something very important and knowing too that I would agree to whatever she suggested.  She was that sort of friend— sister in the Labyrinth world,  sister pilgrim to Sacred Sites, beloved Elder in my Veriditas community.  I had walked the path with her for 22 years at that time.  Marge told me of a vision she had of burying an Earth Treasure Vase underneath a labyrinth in Washington DC.  This would combine the two practices most important to her— the Buddhist path and the Labyrinth path and gift our nation’s capital with an important node during this time of peril  

I got more interested as I read about the Ghost Ranch gathering that would craft the 3rd generation vases from the clay of the Tewa world.  I signed up and listened to my first full moon meditation.  I found myself in tears of recognition as the litany of vase placements was read.  Like many of us in this practice, the calling was clear and present.

I drove to New Mexico from my home in Woodacre, CA and stayed the night with Marge and her husband, Bob in Santa Fe.  In the morning we drove out to Ghost Ranch.  We walked out to the labyrinth on site, walked to the center and met Cynthia Jurs as she walked the labyrinth path and presented the vase to Marge and me in the center.  Marge took the vase home with her to receive the blessings of her labyrinth community.  I picked her up after the Ghost Ranch retreat.  She has lived on my altar  in California and traveled to Chartres, Avalon, Dream Quest, and other gatherings ever since.  

 During 2022, Marge and I convened a committee to research labyrinths in DC and explored many avenues to build a labyrinth.  Marge dreamed large— perhaps an installation on the National Mall.  She contacted her congress person and Deb Haaland.  Nothing materialized.  I had a lead on a labyrinth being built at an Episcopal church and submitted a proposal that also came to naught.  We put the search on hold.  

By Spring 2022 I was beginning to learn the path of an ETV steward.  I knew that the Vase I had crafted was destined to be buried near the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.  I was already leading a pilgrimage in May 2022 and all went well to accomplish that task.   We buried the vase near a labyrinth on the coast in that amazing landscape. ( see my account on the Mandala pages)

Planting that first beloved Vase right into Mother Gaia’s depths adjacent to a labyrinth, began my thinking about natural surroundings.  Was there such a place in Washington DC?  I spoke of this to a trusted friend in the spring of 2023 and without missing a beat, she directed me to a place in DC on a water way leading to the Potomac River   A labyrinth is perched on the shore of that confluence.

Then Louise Green entered the story.  A Unitarian Universalist minister at All Soul’s church on 16th St in DC ( a street that Louise calls the ley line of the city as it leads through  the White House, the Ellipse and the National Mall.  Louise has been a fount of information about the history and energetics of the city.  She has been a faithful attendee of our Full Moon gatherings and has long hoped for a vase for DC.  She, Mary Ann Wamhoff ( a dear friend of Marge who had recently relocated to Virginia, Dean, Mary Ann’s husband  and Lars Howlett, my beloved Veriditas compatriot (and who had also recently moved to the area! ) all went searching for burial sites.  By this time, I had a persistent dreaming of a site in a sylvan landscape on the left side of a stream.  They narrowed down the possibilities and on February 29, I found the place from my dreaming.  Mother Gaia called and I am so pleased to say, I listened and trusted.  On Earth Day, April 23, the Vase will be offered.

Sadly, Marge passed from this world in October 2023.  I was in England on Pilgrimage where Marge and I had first formed our bond.  The Vase held energy from the middle of the Avebury Stone Circle at the moment that Marge left us.  

In the last couple of months an incredible circle of pilgrims including Cynthia has coalesced about this burial.  We will meet in a sacred circle in a big house on 16th Street and bring our wisdom to the Vase.  I have thought about  how important our reckoning with history and culture is to the energetics of this Vase.  Our circle will make pilgrimage with the Vase to the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  We will also take the Vase to Black Lives Matter Plaza and stand in front of the White House. 

 Louise will be offering the service at All Soul’s on the Sunday of our pilgrimage and Cynthia will be presenting her new book.  We will open the vase to receive the blessings of the congregation.  Lars will install 3 different labyrinth at All Souls, so the weaving of Vase and labyrinth will continue.  

By acknowledging the challenges of the American history of Genocide and Enslavement as well as paying attention to the degradation and despoilment of the natural world, we bring our reckoning and anguish to the Vase.  By asserting our hopes and prayers for the great turning into the Vase, we bring our love to her and Mother Gaia.  

The people indigenous to this place, the Piscataway, called themselves the people of the waters.  We hope to ask the blessing of a local elder.  Just last week that looks increasing possible.  We will certainly be mindful of the watery nature of this place imagining the indigenous landscape of rivers and channels and former wetlands.  Perhaps this flowing blessing will be helpful to all that seems stuck and conflict -filled in our national psyche.  

It has been an honor to hold the weaving of all that is coalescing at this moment in history.  I am in awe of the synchrony of devoted, kind and spirited people who have come together to freely offer their wisdom, depth of practice and love into this endeavor.  I honor the ancestors, waters, the trees and the landscape of this place and the timing of our Vase joining with Mother Gaia. 

I pray that Marge will be pleased with all that we are creating.  May this burial be a memorial to her vast and generous spirit.  

Judith Tripp  March 9. 2024