At last year’s Glastonbury Festival The Common had the honour of hosting The Wisdom Keeper’s Water Ceremony. It was a truly beautiful and magical occasion that ignited inspiration and hope, armed us with knowledge and empowered us as co-creators, giving space to all our unique voices to come together to make a difference. It gave us a deeper understanding of our connection to our Mother Earth and her Waters and allowed the deep healing work that the Wisdom Keepers are doing in “restoring the lines to our roots”, as Jyoti explained.
Glastonbury was one of the summer’s festivals where the Wisdom Keepers, a group of 12 tribal leaders from indigenous groups around the world, came to share “their message of ecological welfare… igniting the fire for festival-goers to expand into a more earth-based consciousness to power great shifts in how they live their lives”. It is clear their work and words are to be respected, honoured and listened to. Emily Eavis invited them to officially open the 2019 festival, which they did by performing a ritual standing in a circle around a fire, holding hands as they took turns to say blessings and prayers.
Their deep wisdom and practical knowledge are providing solutions and alternative ways “to collectively bring about a more conscious, peaceable and sustainable world.” Such a gift to have them. We must take heed!
These elders have taken the “unprecedented step of leaving their lands in order to go out into the world and act as ambassadors on behalf of their communities, their lands and the planet. …Strikingly, the messages these elders carry from their once-pristine lands is entirely consistent with the growing consensus from the scientific community: that the loss of our most biodiverse regions will be catastrophic for us all, that it is time to change the way we live, and that we have until the middle of the next decade to turn the corner.”
Jyoti, one of the Wisdom Keepers that led the Water Ceremony told us they are doing this work to bring in the new prophecy of “unification on this planet”. That we are to “make a commitment to unify in our diversity, to harmonise in the centre of our being, by being the peace we were praying for. It’s time for it to arrive now.”
The Wisdom Keepers, addressing the crowd, at Glastonbury Festival, 2019
Photo by Adrian Fisk
The Wisdom Keepers led the Extinction Rebellion march through the festival, ending up at the Stone Circle where the biggest Extinction Rebellion emblem (symbolising how time is running out for the planet) was made up of hundreds of people.
Some knew they just had to be there at the Water Ceremony on that Saturday afternoon. Many didn’t know it was happening. For others it was as magical and unexpected as David Attenborough’s surprise appearance on the Pyramid stage the next day, as we invited passers-by into the Common’s new venue, The Samula, to participate. People’s hearts were open and they were so willing, and the Samula was full of colour and beautiful intention as we joined together to listen to beautiful song, music and prayer as well as amazing speakers on the topic of Water, the essential ingredient to all life on this blue planet.
Led by three of the Wisdom Keepers carrying ancient traditions from our own lands and those from around the world, we performed sacred ceremony to honour and offer profound gratitude to this land and the Waters of the World. There were three bowls of Water, representing the past, present and future, sat before each of the Wisdom Keepers. Every man, woman and child present received a blessing from each bowl of water. Jyoti told us the Water in the bowls “are from all over the planet - from the Arctic, to Hawaii, to parts of Europe, Japan, the list is so long I cannot give it to you all – but you are going to get it”. The Waters carried their own energy, vibrations and prayers from ceremonies around the world.
Jyoti shared, “It is a significant moment here on this planet… the Waters are the blood of this planet. The Waters are an entity, they are a being, they have knowledge, they have wisdom, all of our Waters - the way they move across her skin and underneath her skin, and through her caves and out in to her oceans, connecting everything with water... our bodies are the same imprint.”
Ben Christie, The UK liaison for the Wisdom Keepers, opening the Water Ceremony in the Samula.
Photo by Edward Bishop
We are Water. The human body is made up of about 70% water, the same as our home planet, a giant container of water. An infant’s body is 90% water. The brain, our thinking organ, is 95% water! Every living thing begins its life in water. As Jyoti said, all is connected by water.
The elders have always understood water. Today, there is a revolution happening in the world of Science and it is all about water. Given it is everywhere, we actually know very little about it. Matt Thornton, our first speaker, tells us this stunning and emerging ‘New Science of Water’ will “rock the world”. Some are calling it “The Discovery of The Millennium”, and a huge revelation in human consciousness. The discoveries reveal, among other mind-boggling facts, that water has self-organising structures, can carry information and has a storage or memory capability opposite to what has been previously thought. It receives imprints from substances, activities, emotions, thoughts, prayers and intentions to which it has been exposed.
Dr Emoto, a world-renowned author and water researcher, demonstrated this using frozen water crystals. By examining drops of water exposed to various stimuli at high magnification, it reveals crystalline structures of water. Matt told and showed us how your words, your thoughts and your prayers are revealed in beautiful patterns and present a unique geometry for you. When exposed to uplifting and loving thoughts, beautiful symmetry appears, like you see in a snowflake. He projected video images on the walls of the Samula showing the actual growth of these crystalline structures using this technique to the vibration of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. The challenge for science has been to understand this ‘phenomena’ and only in the recent years has the ‘New Science of Water’ and ‘New Science of Consciousness’ been able to provide a plausible explanation, the theory of which is yet to come.
Matt then revealed a different technique using a scientific instrument called the ‘Cymascope’ which makes the sound visible through water patterns which he displayed throughout the entire ceremony from his speech, the music of Nikki Slade, the prayers, the ceremony itself, every conversation and even further afield with the cacophony of sound throughout Glastonbury. It shows the incredible sensitivity of water beyond the levels of current science to reveal vibrations of audible and inaudible sounds, even our consciousness.
This mind-blowing revelation tells us that we are intrinsically connected to our environment, our world, via this organisation of water, with our thoughts and feelings and even our words. Matt said, “The Russians are even suggesting that water is the physical matrix of consciousness in humanity and throughout the entire universe”.
When exposed to hurtful words, and of course environmental pollutants, the structure of the water breaks down and is incomplete. Matt, as part of this growing body of water researchers believes, “When we understand water, the road map for ending all pollution will begin”. This profound statement urges us to keep an eye on what the Water Scientists are saying and discovering. Matt told us how as our fundamental understanding of what water is, is changing, it will cause a paradigm shift, across science, life and reality as we know it. Not surprisingly there is a lot of resistance to this new science. “All the textbooks will have to be rewritten”. Matt puts it frankly, “Or we can stay where we are”. He describes the vicious cycle where “when we destroy our environment, we get sick and when we get sick, we destroy our environment. There is no way out.” He quoted Viktor Schauberger, an Austrian forester, who stated nearly 100 years ago “The biggest environmental disaster that we are seeing is our failure to understand the need to protect the quality of our water”. It seems we are now starting to see this is the case.
Evidence shows human emotions are the strongest influence on the structure of water. Matt speaks of the “power of our prayer” and says, “It doesn’t matter how far away you are, when a group comes into heart coherence, this is the biggest change in Water that we will see.” He adds that we need to “understand that your voice and energy behind your words makes all the difference” and he quotes Emoto “Your prayers will be taken to the rest of the world”. We came together that day with our own unique vibrations and voices, as a collective prayer for water, life and for our Mother Earth, and began to understand more of the beautiful, essential reciprocal relationship we have with Water. This collective activity of singing, chanting, praying and raving 😉, using our own unique voices and contributions, as part of a whole, to uplift and heal, has been used since ancient times and echoes examples of the unification that Jyoti speaks of and that we are moving into. Nikki Slade, as we sang, told us that the late Barbara Marx Hubbard said sound is the next frontier. Barbara posited that humanity was on the threshold of a quantum leap if newly emergent scientific, social, and spiritual capacities were integrated to address global crises.
Dr Gail Bradbrook from Extinction Rebellion at Glastonbury Festival told the Guardian newspaper that people were waking up to the climate emergency. “This is not a slow movement of change. It’s a shift in the consciousness of each of us….It is a collective shift. It involves facing grief and trauma and undoing our numbness and our narcissism and our indulgence that we have in this privileged western society.”
Speaking to the crowd at the festival, she said: “[Extinction Rebellion] is not a protest. It is not a campaign. It is a rebellion. We are in active rebellion against our government. The social contract is broken, the governments aren’t protecting us and it’s down to us now.”
One of the speakers at The Water Ceremony, Charlotte Pulver, spoke of the monarchs of the past who swore allegiance to the land, “In the old stories of this isle, it was the land who chose who would be King or Queen – not the people - because it was the earth who would knew who would protect and nourish the them. As we know the current sovereigns are not in allegiance to this land.” She urges us, as sovereign beings, to “hear the call of the land… visit our springs...go on pilgrimages, seek them, drink from them.. find the true treasure, go bless it, find it. We are drinking the minerals from this land and the waters are being remembered by us visiting them.. Bless your water when you drink it”. She reminds us we have an incredible heritage here in the UK and we need to rediscover it. The springs are even in the deepest parts of our cities like London, under our power places. Charlotte is currently doing the incredible work of mapping the springs in London and invites, “The more people that turn up and say I want to see the spring then access will be granted”.
We also heard from Paul Powlesland about the growing movement worldwide to grant waterways, mountains, forests and land their own rights as living, sovereign beings. The emerging international rights-of-nature movement aims to address the way western legal systems treat nature as property and a commodity, making the living world invisible to the law. Recognizing nature as legal entities, they have the ability to sue for their own protection.
For example, in 2008 Ecuador became the first country to enshrine the rights of nature in its constitution. New Zealand granted legal personhood to the Te Uruwera forest in 2014, and to the Whanganui river and Mount Taranaki in 2017. An Indian court granted legal personhood to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in 2017, along with two Himalayan glaciers and their meadows, waterfalls and forests. Soon after, Colombia awarded rights to the Atrato River basin. This summer, Bangladesh recognised the rights of all its rivers. In the UK, the first example is in our very own Frome in Somerset. Frome is currently petitioning the British government to grant the River Frome “legal personhood” – in effect, giving it human rights.The process is also underway for the River Thames in London.
‘The dream of our ancestors’: Victorian bill gives Indigenous owners custodianship of Yarra in Australia. The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017 affirms the river’s intrinsic and human values, and recognises the river and lands as a living and integrated system.
Dr Michelle Maloney, who co-founded the Australian Earth Laws Alliance in 2012 to promote rights-of-nature law in Australia spoke to the Guardian newspaper, “Any system that puts no value on the life around us is wrong, it’s as simple as that,”. She says rights of nature is inspired and led by Indigenous traditions of Earth-centred law and culture, but it’s also “whitefellas talking back to the white system”.
“It’s looking back to the western legal governance system and going, ‘What kind of culture develops the systems we have now that created such devastation? Can rights of nature be a bridge into a different, Earth-centred way of being?’”
There is so much being done to try and undo the past and present mistakes of destroying our planet. Millions are taking steps and being proactive. Many are listening to the wisdom of Mother Earth, hearing her cries and taking action. We see our children and young people in the streets with signs “There is no Planet B” and the stark and heart-breaking truth hits us. 15 year old climate activist, Greta Thunberg tells us everyone is waiting for the children to sort out the climate crisis, to which she responds, “We won’t”. Whilst there are so many truly amazing people, movements, organisations and even triumphs at government level, we must all keep going with it, keep rising up, keep standing up for our shared future and that of the children. We must keep doing all we can. The revolution starts with our selves. We cannot wait for our governments, nor look to the children and activists and carry on as we have been or are. There is much we can do, when maybe we’ve been feeling there isn’t. There is hope. But we must act quickly. As Greta Thunberg says in her incredible Tedx Talk, “The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then and only then hope will come.”
We can listen and take heed of the wisdom and practices of the tribal elders and those close to the earth. We can delve into and take on the knowledge, experience and insights of our own older generations. We can harness and support the passion, energy and bright ideas of the youth. We can embrace the new important discoveries and bring light to those of long ago that have been forgotten or hidden.
That Water is a living being and that we have a reciprocal relationship with it was an important message to us that day in the Common. We can, as Matt urges, “change our relationship with Water”. Our love and gratitude can transform Water – our bodies, our minds, our planet. Each time we see Water we can say thank you.
We can be kind to ourselves, to each other and to every living being. We can be courageous in facing our grief and trauma and letting go of the past. There is no blame, only responsibility. We can move forward and “Be the peace we were praying for”. We can be who we are, knowing what makes our hearts sing and sing our songs. As we unify in our diversity, we can know our voice does make a difference. We can, as Matt said, “Drink good water, think beautiful thoughts, and listen to good music, because water loves love and it loves music.”
In Jyoti’s words that day, we can, “Take the teachings from the past, free (our)selves of those things that no longer serve (us) and let go and move fully into the blessings of this present day…and into the empowerment that the earth is asking every one of us - to stand up and give a voice for life, to protect life, to honour it, to see it all as sacred, to see all the amazing forms of this creation.. to stand in front of (our) future... and into the future time of possibility … that we might become unified as we flow into that possibility and stand up to the dream you have already dreamed for us, and may we wake up inside of you, and be complete in our whole systems and allow your creation to flourish once again. This is my prayer, please hear my prayer… Let it be so, let it be so, let it be so...”.
Jyoti giving a water blessing to a young participant at the Water Ceremony.
Photo by Edward bishop
 This year’s festival was the ‘greenest ever’. More than 99% of tents were taken home and one million plastic bottles ‘spared’ from one festival alone https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/glastonbury-festival-2019-tents-rubbish-3047306
 https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/areas/the-common/wisdom-keepers/ for biographies of the Wisdom Keepers and speakers at the Common, 2019. https://www.wisdomkeepers.earth/post/wisdom-keepers-at-glastonbury-festival-2019 for the full programme of the Wisdom Keepers at Glastonbury Festival, 2019
 Jyoti is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher. As the Spiritual Director of the Center for Sacred Studies, she co-founded Kayumari, an international spiritual healing community with centres in Europe and America. She helped to convene the International Council of the 13 Indigenous grandmothers and Unity Concert, and is the founder of The Fountain. https://www.centerforsacredstudies.org/ ; www.thefountain.earth ; http://www.grandmotherscouncil.org/
 The Samula’s design is based on A ‘Cenote’ which is a sacred underground water cave, found in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.
 Remi Olajoyegbe sang an African Water Song to us from the Yoruba Tradition, Nigeria. It was a Song to the Water Goddess Oshun.
 1.Kazumi Ohishi, Kaminchu / Okinawan Shaman and Female Oracle, Japan 2.Jyoti, Caretaker of N and S American Traditions 3.Julia Julia, Water Seer, Caretaker of these lands, based in West Sussex, UK.
 There are 500 pioneering water scientists world-wide. They meet every year in a conference in Frankfurt. The new Science of Water encompasses quantum physics, quantum chemistry, quantum biology, mysticism and spirituality.
 Matt Thornton is the founding director of the non-profit organisation Emoto Peace Project of UK and Ireland, and water researcher trained by Dr Emoto Masaru. www.matt-thornton.com ; www.emotopeaceproject.eu http://www.awomanswords.com/life/matt-thornton-water-and-energy A Woman's Words
 Dr Masaru Emoto (1943-2014) was a pioneer Japanese author, water and Hado researcher, best known for his water crystal photography. Listed as number 18 on the World’s most Spiritually Influential People, he is also featured in several documentary films ‘’What the Bleep do we know!?” and also “Water the Mystery’’. https://www.masaru-emoto.net/en/masaru/
 Nikki Slade is the UK’s #1 western style Kirtan leader and a pioneering natural voice facilitator with over 25 years experience throughout the Americas, Australia, Europe and UK. https://nikkislade.com/
 Author, speaker, and co-founder and president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Marx_Hubbard
 Charlotte Pulver, founder of ‘The Fellowship of The Spring’, an organisation calling for water guardianship in the British Isles.