Reconnecting DC

April 1999

Washington DC is my hometown. I grew up in Southeast, in an area called Anacostia. I grew up around beautiful untamed forests, natural springs and with incredible views of what I consider one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I, like many native Washingtonians, literally grew up in shadow of the temples and in the midst of the mandalas purportedly dedicated to the ideals of democracy and justice. My community saw very little democracy or justice, and the people who came every four to six years were invisible to us -- but the magical symbols are practically imprinted within all our cells. And many of us are still here, still very much in love with our hometown.

As a witch and earlier as a political activist my work had always been focused on the greater DC area. Even as I raised hell in Annapolis for two years as the Action Vice President and later President of Maryland NOW, I sat on advisory boards and worked in coalitions all over DC. So in 92 when I joined the Sojourner Truth Congregation with the plan of turning it into a haven for activists -- my greater plan was to rebuild, reconnect and heal the city.

Through a series of events including illness, deaths in my family and other major life changes, I was unable to act on my vision in any sustained manner -- till now. For over a year I have been talking to people about my vision of magically reconnecting the city. Without exception, everyone I mentioned it to thought it was a great idea. And so finally after pushing aside self-doubt, fear and practical considerations like how this working could be sustained without me -- I sent out the call and over 40 people answered it. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.

Our vision is to reconnect the diamond. As most of you already know, L'Enfant and Banneker planned the city as a diamond split into four quadrants. Maryland and Virginia both donated land, although Virginia reneged after realizing that donation impacted slave holdings in the area. The Virginia area that was part of DC is now called Arlington, and it still has evidence of its history as being part of the planned city. Moreover in the late 1700s, markers were laid at the points of the diamond, and they are still there today.

Magically, if you think about the force that is required to break a diamond, you can get an idea of what is required to reconnect one that has been broken. That is the intent of this working -- to reconnect the diamond. The city is literally uncontained, it is like working in a circle that has a huge gash in its side, all the energy drains out. By giving the city healthy boundaries and reconnecting its original markers, we can create a strong container for the work of all the activists and regular folk that labor against incredible odds. The city is literally the jewel in the center of a much larger working. Every day people come here from all around the world seeking justice and freedom. Let's give them something to work with, a shining jewel sitting on the Potomac. Lets reconnect and heal the city as part and parcel of our work to heal the world.

The plan is to hold public ritual on each point of the diamond. Each ritual will coincide with the respective sabbath appropriate to its direction. We will end where we began, at the eastern marker Spring Equinox 2000.

Spring Equinox - Eastern Marker - March 20
Summer Solstice- Southern Marker - June 20
Fall Equinox - Western Marker - September 25
Winter Solstice - Northern Marker - December 19
Spring Equinox - Eastern Marker - March 2000

About a month and a half before each ritual the call will go out and the planning meetings will begin two to three weeks before the ritual. The folks who show up at the meetings will plan each ritual, and all planners must agree to leave the working for that ritual untouched with expectations for the next ritual. In this way we can model how diverse communities can come together to do magical work without sacrificing our long term commitments to our own spiritual/political paths or traditions.

I will probably send out the call for the Summer Solstice ritual in mid May. I hope all that can will join in this working and send energy if they cannot attend. And much love and blessings to all who made this Spring Equinox beautiful, magical and healing.

Respectfully,

Katrina C. Hopkins

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