The Tale of the Earth Treasure Vase planted
on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

by Judith Tripp

In July of 2021, my dear friend, Marge McCarthy told me about a vision she had of burying an Earth Treasure Vase at the center of a labyrinth in Washington DC.  She wanted me to be the steward of such a vase and told me about the practice that Cynthia Jurs had initiated 30 years ago, burying living symbols of hope and peace all over the planet. Like several other practices that have come my way in this life, I knew immediately that this was one of my sacred responsibilities.  I accepted responsibility to steward a vase for Washington DC and signed up for the Ghost Ranch workshop to craft one of the 3rd generation Earth Treasure Vases.

The Ghost Ranch workshop was auspicious in that the vases would be made by participants of clay from the Tewa ancestral lands and that we would be instructed by indigenous potters.  As part of our process, we participated in a ceremony of truth and reconciliation which was deep and raw and profound.  As I made my vase, I knew she wanted to go to one of my spiritual homes: The Outer Hebridean Isle of Lewis, home of the 5,000-year-old Callanish Stones.  I felt the energetic pull of that far western tip of the European continent and could imagine an infusion of energy into the Gaia Mandala from such clear, potent node on the planet.

I decided to make the journey to Scotland in May and was joined by fellow pilgrims, Tisha Stauch, Johanna Manasse and Jan Robinson, a Tara Gaia devotee from the UK. Cynthia also connected us to a young woman from Lewis, Heather Baille, who introduced us to the land and helped us find the place for the vase to be buried. I dreamed of where the vase might land, on the wild lands west of the Callanish Stone Circle and then had a waking dream of a large rock near the cliffs that could be moved to dig a deeper hole for the planting—exactly where the vase found its home.

There were daunting obstacles:  I had broken my knee in December and was still moving with difficulty.  Jan had a car accident on the way to the pilgrimage.  Tisha’s luggage was lost.  The weather was cold and raining.  

There were also blessings:  We found the last minivan on the island available for rent. We were given free lodging for a night and fresh eggs. Jan and I wanted to include some tweed (the island’s main craft export) in the vase’s container and were given a small pink tweed heart from a shopkeeper. And over tea, we found a box just the right size for the vase to be planted in—and replacement boots and clothing for Tisha!

With Heather’s help, Jan and I scouted for the burial location. It seemed fitting that near the Aird Uig labyrinth would be the final place for the vase overlooking the cliffs with the North Atlantic roiling beneath.

Our little circle bonded through meditation, song, dreamwork and writing. We took the vase to the Callanish Stone Circle, baptizing her in the biting rain and letting her absorb the sanctity of the Stone Circle.  Jan offered sacred herbs and bits of earth from other sacred sites in the UK, Johanna brought waters from her North Carolina home, and I poured in an offering of Lourdes water, Chimayo earth and gold leaf from a friend here in California.  We prayed, acknowledging all of the blessings this vessel had received during her life and sealed her with beeswax.

The next day, we traveled to Aird Uig, a tiny village a mile or so from Gallen Head where the labyrinth overlooks the sea.  We walked the labyrinth as a final benediction for the vase.  Though there was omnipresent wind, it was dry and light in the sky. Heather found the rock that I had dreamed of, and because Heather is a weightlifter and Jan is strong and determined, they were able to dislodge the rock and dig further into the wet peat— a tangle of grasses laid down over years that covers much of the island. We dug through a layer of webbing to the dark, moist earth.  Then each of us put our heads into the hole to offer our final prayers.  When it was my turn, I held the vase in her box and with my head deep in the hole, I sobbed.  I found myself asking forgiveness, addressing Mother Gaia in a way that was profoundly new to me.  I told Her that I loved to her and asked her to accept this gift.  With that, I had the most remarkable experience of Her swallowing up the box with the Earth Treasure Vase, gratefully and wholeheartedly.

After filling the hole and replacing the rock, we were jubilant. From the cliff edge Heather showed us a Water Dragon rock formation below—its powerful energy protecting the vase hidden in the land along with the beautiful labyrinth. (The Water Dragon is pictured in first image of this article. And above is our little group in this photo taken by Heather).

Reflecting on this pilgrimage, I see many strands of meaning.  For the first of the third-generation vases crafted out of Native American clay, covered with cloths from Oaxaca, carrying the intention of an ancient Tibetan practice to find its way to the tip of the European continent seems a weaving of its own.  Also, at this moment of great tumult in Europe, with old antagonisms resurfacing, the point of light that the vase brings at the upper western corner of that landmass seems a blessing.  My intuition about this particular spot on the planet is that it is a natural place of benediction.  Our long-ago ancestors set the Stone Circles at auspicious places on the planet to amplify the natural flows of earth energy.  To do ceremony in such a place is to reinvigorate an ancient grid of harmony and blessing.  I am eager to know how this place flows into the ley lines through Europe to Africa and the beautiful web of the Gaia Mandala. And for those of us on this pilgrimage, the meaning of the Work, the sacrifices we each made, our perseverance in the face of obstacles, brings us the sense of being Useful in the most noble way.