Twenty years have come and gone, and thus I am moved to acknowledge and commemorate a great adventure for our era, and the telling of the true tale of that adventure as Odyssey of the 8th Fire.
The 8th Fire saga tells the real story of a great, long prayer walk in 1995-96 from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The story arises from the deepest roots of our land, but takes place in the present and the future. In it, circles upon circles, spiritual elders make a great and generous giveaway of the teachings they carry.
The actual writing of this epic-length, nonfiction story of the 2,500 mile prayer pilgrimage for the earth took place some 11 years after the final steps of the walk. I wrote Odyssey of the 8th Fire over the course of 225 consecutive days beginning in early summer 2007 and finishing in the deep of winter 2008.
At the time my wife Elizabeth Wolf and I were living on Calle Contento in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over those intensely demanding 225 days, Elizabeth provided intellectual, emotional, creative and spiritual support in a thousand ways, and thereby made possible the writing and online publication of the epic, nonfiction saga Odyssey of the 8th Fire. While holding down a fulltime job at Blessingway Authors Services, she remained close to this project as my Muse, critic, and companion from the first word through the last. Her multitude of contributions made an enormous and enduring difference.
Thank you darling Elizabeth for making it possible to spin out in words this ambitious spiritual saga along the Beauty Way, and to make of it a great giveaway for the people. ~ S.M.
Here’s just a short take from the 8th Fire account of the final day of the long Walk for the Earth:
Day 225 – TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY – February 2, 1996 – Odyssey of the 8th Fire
“We are a part of all that we have met. Yet, experience is an arch wherethro gleams that untravl’d world whose margin fades forever and forever when we move.” ~ Odysseus to Athena, at the end of The Odyssey
…Evelyn Commanda, representing the Algonquin peoples, held one end of the Seven Fires Wampum Belt, and Liz Dominguez, representing Chumash peoples, held the other end. Together, slowly and solemnly, they walked the belt out into the Pacific Ocean, where in a sacred manner they washed it with the waves…
…we were a circle of nearly 80 people representing all the colors of humanity, and many of its spiritual traditions.
We began to express ourselves, to pray. One of the things we gave thanks for on the beach was the tremendous support we enjoyed as we walked. So many wonderful people stopped, or went out of their way somehow to ensure that we succeeded as best we could. So many people responded, and helped us along.
Some people became very interested in the depth and specificity of the prophecies we carried, while others didn’t care very much about that kind of information at all. They just felt we were doing something worthwhile by walking, and that’s all they needed to know. They acted out of basic human goodness. Now in our final ceremony, we sent our gratitude and good feelings to Creator and all the helpers with our song and prayer for all…
Link to the full account of Day 225 of the Odyssey of the 8th Fire.