*The Seven Valleys: A mystic work revealed by Baha’u’llah, prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith, in the late 1850s or early 1860s.
Medium: Raw Caribou Hide, copper coins, copper wire, tanned caribou hide, small caribou antler pieces, and tea lights (to be placed in the caribou bowls).
Description of Installation (to be placed in a circle)
“Seven Caribou-Spirit Bowls” represent the Seven Valleys* and a spiritual journey toward reconciliation. Each bowl has been given the name of one of these valleys.
The Valley of Search represents the constant search for meaning and purpose in our lives. Our search for truth requires patience with ourselves and others. This valley is a place where we let go; sacrifice all things we have seen, heard, and understood, so we can be clear and focused on what is required for our journey. This is the valley where many friends will be sought out, in hopes of finding a trace of the traceless Friend! From this place we venture into the next valley . . .
The Valley of Love. Fire is the symbol of this valley, which represents pain. In this valley we discover our love for all created things, the love for the Creator, ourselves, our families, our nations, and for everyone else on earth. In this state we fear nothing, as if insane, allowing us to be filled with spirit and powerful enough to escape the claws of the eagle of love. Once the heat of this valley dissipates, it opens up to . . .
The Valley of Knowledge. It represents ancestral and newly acquired knowledge. In this valley we begin to see war as peace, see the end in the beginning, friendliness in anger, and find in death the secrets of the spirit world. In this valley, we look with our inward and outward eyes and begin to see things unimaginable and are blessed with things of the sacred allowing us to begin our trek into the importance of the fourth valley. . .
The Valley of Unity. This is the valley which has allowed us to survive since the beginning of time, without prejudice, anger, hatred or envy. True unity has always allowed us to honour our differences and to see them as strengths. In this valley, we become reacquainted with oneness. Our world takes on a new meaning, and we envision the far reaching implications of this ancient teaching of unity. This is a very powerful valley in which we realize our travels are being guided by the Creator who gifts us with the vision we need. Everything in existence takes on a new glow, a new light and we take it all into our hearts. After acknowledging the necessity of unity and letting go of everything else we easily move into fifth valley. . .
The Valley of Contentment. This valley brings us to the arena of our own personal, spiritual, emotional, and even physical freedom. No longer is there a question of our oneness and this confidence fills us with joy and happiness no matter what the situation. It gives us the confidence to understand even the tragedies of our lives and how they provide us with greater understanding and contentment, a condition necessary to continue into the sixth valley. . .
The Valley of Wonderment. This valley reminds us of the beauty in the world and at every moment we envision a wondrous place, a new creation, and become filled with astonishment realizing how this holds wisdom and spiritual truths. We experience the wonderment of how our ancestors stayed connected to this sacred circle of life; rich in spirit and living constantly in a state of acceptance and gratefulness for what they were provided. Thankfulness is the nature of this valley. In this valley, we are challenged to destroy our animal behaviour and become the best human beings we can. After traversing the high summits of wonderment we as travelers come the last and seventh valley. . .
The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness. In this valley, nothing can deter us from the journey of knowing who were really are and our purpose in life. This is where nothing else, material or otherwise, matters because we have found our spiritual path, which ultimately leads us to true reconciliation. In this valley, we have to continue to listen with heart and soul to the songs of the spirit and treasure them with our own eyes. This is the most powerful valley and brings us closer and closer to our truth and reality. Travelling through these seven valleys in not a linear journey and sometimes we can return to any of the valleys to regain our perspective. Ultimately, this journey influences our approach to the momentous task of seeking true reconciliation and is a constant choice throughout our lives.