Reflections from Prayer Rising: the Whole Pie 

Our spiritual identities are not just a wedge of the sacred hoop, we are integral parts of the beautiful blend.
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A dozen CPT people gather around a banner that reads "Oak Flat Prayer Rising" holding their left arms at a 90 degree angle across their chests.
© Molly Peters / Courtesy of the Apache Stronghold

All my life as a Christian I have felt like I have all the information necessary to actualize my faith if I just study, pray, and check off the boxes of spiritual expectations for growth. Since coming to Chi’chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) with CPT Turtle Island Solidarity Network, I’ve begun to realize that I have been missing a lot of essential background.

In preparing for the 4 November 2023 Prayer Rising event, Wendsler Nosie, leader of Apache Stronghold, explained that our Christian prayers are necessary to complete the sacred hoop. He spoke about how the Christians and other non-Indigenous people and their spiritual practices are the key to the missing wedge of the sacred hoop. 

If I hold the missing wedge, say a 1/16th or so piece of the metaphorical pie, then 15/16ths of my pie is missing. Perhaps that means that my time at Chi’chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) and other sacred places helps me fill in the other 15/16ths of the pie of my personal spirituality.

I shared this thought with a Dine’ man at breakfast in Flagstaff on 27 November.  He helped me to expand the vision. He advised that when I bring my spiritual 1/16th wedge back to the spiritual hoop, it doesn’t remain a clean wedge at all, but rather pours like a fluid into the spiritual mix. I have brought my personal ancestral land-based Druid/Pagan roots, morphed through early Christian practices of my 16th century ancestors, on to my Episcopalian denomination of now, to the hoop. If I think about pouring that faith into the hoop in a good way, then the spiritual hoop becomes a beautiful blend; a beautiful blend of all ancient wisdom that I can draw on today as I continue to walk in prayer, including on the sacred land of Chi’chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat).

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