We wander through woods, on a path well trod. Single file sometimes but best in groups that chat and laugh and look forward. In the clearing there, up ahead—an old rock table with an uneven surface. On it sits a bowl of sand from a river not far. We come to stand in a circle around this table, in this place. Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, looking forward still—in messy, prickly, joyous community, we lean in together—and light the flame. Light in the forest. Light in the world. Light in our wounded and wondering hearts.
“Earthwork” is a word used to describe a constructed bank of dirt, often raised in ancient cultures as a means of defense. Earth Works is a book of essays and rituals for a time of deep cultural change, a shift that author Byron Ballard calls “Tower Time.” The first part of the book explores scenarios in these chaotic times and suggests possible reframing to understand the historic underpinnings and the long-term effects on both the planet and its inhabitants. The second part of the book—called Berms—consists of tried-and-true rituals and ceremonies for communities, small groups and individuals to improve resilience and face inevitable change with courage, consideration and humor. Ballard has decades of ritual experience and brings that understanding to the practical and esoteric considerations of making ceremony both personal and powerful. You will find ideas here and inspiration—and something like hope.
Publisher’s price: $18.00, includes s/h