Our community comes together to honor Mother Earth and to reawaken the shrine to the Tonanzin/Virgin of Guadalupe. December 13, 2019.
On this last day of 2019, we hope you will read on and consider a year-end gift towards our reopening.
After two years of cleanup and recovery from the Thomas Fire, our reopening is finally within sight. This would not have been possible without the support of friends like you. Thank you!
We plan to open the gates this spring with the launch of the Foundations in Resilience Education (FIRE) Fellowship for young leaders and the offering of other legacy programming.
Much is needed to make this possible, including:
• retaining our small but mighty staff and “keeping the lights on”
• continuing to tend to the structures, trails and gardens for safety and beauty
• creating a new “camp kitchen” and dining area with tables, shade and hearth
Will you please help us in this final push to reopen by contributing a year-end gift to our annual operating fund?
All gifts, large or small, make a difference.
We thank you for staying with us throughout this journey of recovery and we send well wishes for 2020!
Stories of Renewal and Reawakening
As we can now see our opening date on the horizon, we have begun the process of ceremonially reawakening the shrines and other spaces on the land.
Ceremony in Honor of Tonantzin, Our Mother Earth
On December 13, members of the Ojai community Elena Rios, Julie Tumamait-Stenslie and Hiroji Segikuchi held an intimate ceremony at the Mother Shrine in honor of Tonantzin (Mother Earth) and the Virgin of Guadalupe. The ceremony was opened with prayers, song and a water blessing by Chumash elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie. Hiroji Segikuchi offered a Japanese Shinto ritual honoring the mountain, the mist and the people stewarding the land. In honor of Tonantzin, Elena Rios and others offered song and traditional Aztec dances. Participants were bathed in smoke from copal, and invited to offer roses to the shrine and set intentions for the coming year. The ceremony refreshed the Mother Shrine, built by Iranian architect and earth-building pioneer Nadir Khalili, and helped build the momentum for our year to come. We offer deep gratitude to the ceremonial guides who offered their traditions, stories and ceremonies so beautifully.
We offer our deep gratitude to all of you for your offerings and your participation as well. Thank you for helping us close the year with strength, with love, and with generosity guiding us into 2020.
Day of Service reward – pizza from our Cob Oven.
At our last volunteer day, TOF Land Stewards Mike Wyatt and Ben Reader, fired up the cob oven for the first time since the Thomas Fire. A festive party and welcome reward for the day’s volunteers, it seems pizza-making will be seen again at future volunteer days. Stay tuned to our newsletter and website for Days of Service opportunities in 2020.