After the BP oil disaster enters its 44th day without recovery, scientists are only beginning to announce the far reaching impacts of the disastrous spill. And yet the impact is sending shivers through a very spiritual community as well. In New Orleans one mambo has decided the disaster is so bad that spiritual energy must be harnessed in order to make contact with the ocean, help heal it, and receive guidance over what must be done to right this devastating blow to the ecosystem.
With some estimates of the amount of oil actually being released from the spill now exceeding 100,000 barrels per day, the reality is quickly becoming clear that several million gallons of oil have already been released with the possibility for more in the near future. Some estimates are suggesting the total amount of oil released into the ocean may soon top one billion gallons with no slowdown in sight. And the horrific effects are being seen in wildlife all over the Gulf coast. Scientists are even suggesting the devastation will soon escape when it enters the Gulf Stream and could even end up all the way over on European shorelines before the end of the year. The horrific devastation has put several species at risk for extinction, some of which were only just now beginning to return to a sustainable population.
Spiritualists in New Orleans are taking matters into their own hands, planning a ritual to help heal the devastation and provide comfort to wildlife. The ritual calls for the construction of a massive wooden artifact and the gathering of spiritually minded individuals to both apologize and generate positive energy to help heal the rift. The June 27th event will be taking place on the Levee in uptown New Orleans and is expected to gather a considerable number of practitioners of several different mystical practices. In addition to voodoo, there are scheduled Reiki healing ceremonies as well. Those holding the event have also encouraged a strict dress code of all white or white with a blue headscarf.
The reaction to this announcement has not by any means been singular. As with any spiritual practice soon after the floodgates of controversy soon followed. Many say the ritual will at best help and at worst do nothing, but still others are wary of the use of magic even if it is intended to help the Gulf Coast and the world from an unprecedented man-made ecological catastrophe. Of course most of the voodoo the mainstream has been exposed to by the media is far different from the rituals practiced in New Orleans and elsewhere. And several aspects of the ritual that have been released do not seem inherently to follow voodoo at all. Reiki by Buddhist Mikao Usui in 1922 and does not carry with it the social stigma that voodoo has been bestowed by popular culture. One can only hope the oil spill is no longer leaking toxic oil into the ocean by the time the ritual takes place and that the damage is being dealt with not only in a spiritual fashion, but also by hard work and ingenuity.