On the 11th of November I had the privilege of making my second trip up to the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (COSM) in New York. COSM is the home and studio of renowned visionary artists Alex and Allison Grey, a power couple that have gained recognition for their depictions of the sacred through art. The Grey’s are strong believers in cosmic consciousness, advocating the interconnectedness of all things and the value of sacred spaces. Throughout their home is a diverse array of altars and psychedelic artwork, often showing some sort of manifestation of the divine.
Last time I visited COSM, the special event was a full moon gathering, celebrating the phases of our endearing satellite. On the night of this visit, the event being held at the Chapel was “Pure Flow: An Evening of Sacred Water Consciousness.” After settling down in the Grey’s cozy living room, I chatted with the people around me and once again found that the visitors here are some of the nicest, if not the nicest group of people of whom you could possibly come into contact. They spoke of love, nature, and the occasional dosage of psychedelic drugs, but at the home of visionary artists, this comes as no surprise. After a few minutes passed, the event kicked off with a presentation by Rachel Marco-Havens, the Director of Youth Engagement at the NY organization, Earth Guardians. Earth Guardians is a youth-led inter-generational non-profit organization focused on raising young leaders dedicated to youth empowerment and the protection of the Earth. Her slideshow emphasized the importance of the No DAPL movement, relating it back to the expenditure of fossil fuels in the Hudson Valley as well as the entire state of New York. According to Rachel, one of the best ways to combat the assault on Mother Earth is to empower youth, training them to deal with the powers that be. In the case of Standing Rock, Earth Guardians has put together a fundraiser to help train the youth in their stand against militarized violence: water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, intimidation, ect.
To lighten the mood of the room, the presentation was followed by a musical performance by Bethany Yarrow & Rufus Cappadocia, whose ethereal music contained themes of earth activism and social justice. The way the people in the Chapel came together during these songs was really something else, a moment of harmony that could be felt in the air. It was as if the intentions of everyone in the room came off of them like steam, fusing in the air to create a syncopation that seemed tangible. After the musical performance the Grey’s stepped in to close the ceremony before letting their audience wander about the house. Alex gave us a reminder that all space can be sacred, and it is our responsibility to protect what we love, because no one else will. This is why the movement at Standing Rock is so important. It is symbolic of the necessity to wean off of our fossil fuel addiction, as well as our need to acknowledge the sacred quality of wilderness. As John Muir stated, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.“