Calling in the spirits of the directions is an ancient, widespread and honourable practice. I have experienced and asked for this many times, if my attributions for the spirits of the North, South, Father Sky, and so on may differ from the traditional calls of many native peoples. No matter, the spirits of the land, sky, and from all around always respond, and always remind me of their power and gifts.
So it was that when I visited a place called “Four Corners” a few days ago – a point that marks the boundary of four US states (Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico) – I felt it was appropriate to offer this supplication.
I had stopped some way from the actual marker that names the border, which you can pay to see or stand by, by a roadside cairn set upon a small hill.
Here, I could call not just to the cardinal points of the compass, but looking toward the four states in turn – Utah to the north-west, Colorado to the north-east, and so on. So, four points became eight, and my prayer to each state was not a calling in but a giving out – wishing blessing on each place.
I had originally intended to use the smaller labyrinth here to offer the metta prayer in each state, turning the labyrinth in turn to face toward the landmass of each, but I had an earlier sense that this was not meant to be. Rather, prayer “beyond borders” was my call, and I needed nothing more than an open body and a willing spirit to do this. Perhaps, at least on American soil, this was my first little ritual or supplication as part of A Prayer for America (www.aprayerforamerica.net – still at a very early stage of development). If so, it seemed a very appropriate place to begin.