I noticed in playing Project Sanctuary very early on that if one is faced with a strange entity of some kind, or a potentially dangerous or threatening entity, may this be an angry wolf or a ferocious demon, an alien being or a resistant spirit guide, the way to opening up first lines of communication was to offer them a gift.
Now Sanctuary being what it is, it is simply a question of wondering what might be the perfect gift for that entity, one that will convince it that we mean no harm, and will bring it forward so it co-operates in our endeavours, or at least, cease to pose a threat.
As you can probably imagine, the gifts that were thus created and duly given to the entity were wide and varied; Project Sanctuary is made from energy and there are no limits on what kind of gift in shape or form, in size, existence, or complexity can be given.
One may give a grain of sand or an entire galaxy with all the civilisations, beings and existences that may contain, and everything in between, of course.
The point is that The Gift is specific FROM the person who gives it FOR that entity which is to receive it.
This makes every The Gift absolutely unique, 100% relevant, and indeed, into "that which only you would have to give, in all times spent, in all the Universe, in all the planes ..."
Or in other words, it makes The Gift extremely rare, and precious.
The Gift is a gift of attention, of your will to give "that which only you would have to give" - it is always a gift of love, in fact.
As wonderful as this was for Sanctuary exploration, and it is a powerful sensation to give a The Gift, and a powerful affirmation of the uniqueness of self, and our very real power to do something that changes the world, we then found out that The Gift can also be given in the Hard, and that it has measurable effects there, as well.
One of the first persons to try The Gift read about it on an Internet forum, and later that day, a friend came to visit who was distressed and distraught. They thought of The Gift and a bird's egg sprang into their mind. They "gave the Gift" without saying anything about it and the friend stopped in mid-sentence, seemed to soften all over, and became calm and clear, right before that person's eyes.
Another person tried The Gift on an upset horse, and the Gift that came to them was a foal. When they sent the gift, the horse too immediately relaxed and became much more manageable from that moment forth.
A person who got themselves embroiled in a lengthy battle with a large company sent the company a The Gift - a well of endless prosperity and delight for each person who would drink from it. Entirely inexplicably, the very next day they received a phone call from the chairman himself, apologizing and offering to fix the situation which had dragged out for over two years. In the phone call the chairman stated that he had had "a change of heart" when looking at their file, all of a sudden.
A Project Sanctuary player was sitting in a cafe, watching the world go by, and noticed an elderly gentleman who had one whole side of his body rigid and hardly moving at all, most likely as the effect of a stroke. The player sent the gentleman a The Gift - in this case it was an array of tropical plants with fern leaves, and large glossy leaves, shiny and sparkling in a tropical downpour - and he reports that the elderly gentleman stopped dead, looked around, and started to rub his stiff arm with the other arm, and made some movements with the stiff arm.
These are just a few of the hundreds upon hundreds examples we have received over the years about how The Gift has an effect on people, on animals, some Project Sanctuary players reported using The Gift for landscapes, countries, groups of people, and all manner of environments, machines and occurrences across the board with quite amazing effects.
The Gift does not "just" affect those who are given the Gift.
There is also a profound effect on those who give it.
The Gift is the perfect pattern for overwhelm, and for moments when one feels helpless, frustrated, or desperate.
Often, we can't physically do anything in the Hard to alleviate suffering of a loved one, or of a whole landscape, a nation, a species of animal under threat, a habitat that is being destroyed, and of course, that makes us sad and stressed, depressed.
When we give a The Gift, we are doing something powerful and positive; and this has an immediate effect on the systems of the giver of The Gift. It makes one feel calm and powerful at the same time, and reminds us that we have more to offer than our physical circumstances allow.
A very old lady, who had spent her entire lifetime helping people in a healing profession, said that being able to now give The Gift had brought the joy of helping others back into her life, and she now knew that she wasn't useless, even though she couldn't see, hear or walk properly any longer.
And likewise, a young child said the same thing - that they were always small and useless and couldn't help their mother, but they could send her a The Gift when she was ill, and did so many times, and it made them feel much better.
The Gift is a wonderful opportunity in so many different ways.
It allows us a way in which our "gifts" can finally be given, our uniqueness makes a difference.
It also allows us to communicate with the energy mind, and learn about the reality of energy forms in real life.
Finally, The Gift is always a lesson in "applied love" - simple, practical, and profoundly effective on all these different levels, in all these different ways.
If you remember only one thing from Project Sanctuary, make it The Gift.
It really is a gift to us all.
Dr Silvia Hartmann
Creator, Project Sanctuary
The Gift in In Serein
In Serein 2-8-2
8/2 - Gifts
The room was large, even with all the children, the big table in the middle, there was enough room for a hundred people more. Carran stayed by my side and assumed a position of attention. I nodded to the scribe who cleared his throat and began with the ritual.
When it came to the part where he called for the child’s father, I stepped forward and said I stood in his place. When it came to the part where called for the child’s mother, I stepped forward again and said I stood in her place. When it came to the part where he called for the child’s champion, I stepped forward once more and said it was me, and gave my name for the third time. The scribe was just about to start with something else when Carran stepped forward and said he was the child’s second champion and gave his full name.
We placed the child on the table and the scribe asked for the name to be spoken.
I said it and looked down in embarrassment when Carran shot me a swift glance of surprise.
The scribe cleared his throat again before pronouncing the child’s name, too. I guess not too many babies these days get to be named Sondra.
He then called for the witnesses and Guenta and Shern came forward, scared and excited both at this honour that would have their names inscribed on a scroll.
The scribe declared the name to have been given and he would write it down so it would be official. Customarily, now everyone would pass by the child and give a gift, money or something valuable, only we didn’t have anything to give, so it had been decided that each one of us would give him an imaginary gift, something special that each one would give if they had it within their power to do so.
As planned, Vona went first, being the youngest. She stepped up to the baby who was getting tired of lying on the hard table all by himself and told him she was giving him a golden horse that would be so fast it would seem that it had wings.
We nodded and she gave the baby a quick kiss on the forehead, then ran back to the safety of the group, smiling excitedly as she did.
Taray gave him a magical sword to slay monsters with, Jilean gave him light so he would never be in the dark, Ricco blushed furiously and in the end said that he would give the child a brother who would stand by him, always.
Reyna looked at the child for a long time before finally saying that she wished him a field of stars, Shern who was nothing if not practical gave him an unbreachable castle set in fertile lands, and then Guenta blew everyone away by saying that she would give him the gift of being as strong and wonderful as his father.
That created a silence that lasted for an uncomfortable time and during which I noticed that Cyno hadn’t taken his turn yet. I called him up gently and he came forward, out of sequence as he always was, and he wished the child in a very quiet voice that he should be as magical as his mother.
I was about to step forward for my gift when Carran beat me to it and surprised me yet again. He had declared himself a champion and that was already an enormous honour for us, but I had not expected him to actually get involved in what I thought he must have found to be a very silly game played by a bunch of people so poor, they didn’t even have a copper coin to place at the child’s head as was the proper custom.
Yet there he was, in full dress, immaculate in blue and silver, regal and very seriously, he looked down on the child and he wished him that he should know his father’s love and admiration.
It silenced us all most profoundly for too many reasons all at once that he could have no conception of, but he made the blessing sign over the child and came back with measured steps to stand next to me again.
It was my turn and whatever I’d thought about saying yesterday evening in the kitchen was no longer anywhere in my head. Damn. I was going to be the only one who wouldn’t know what to say or say something idiotic and stupid. I wished I wasn’t the last one to speak here tonight as I made my way over to the table.
The child was near crying now, moving around hard and fast, kicking his fat little legs and fists flailing. I stared at him and didn’t know what to say. Sisters, help me out. I need to say something, something good, something important, something that’s just right. And there is nothing in my mind. I’m completely blank and I can feel that I’m starting to sweat. The longer I stand here and say nothing the more profound they will expect what I will say to be, in the end.
As I look at him, look at his eyes that are so much more of his mother than they are ever of his father, I can hear her speaking about failure, and about having lost everything and somehow finding the courage to go on nonetheless. I don’t remember the exact words but I understand it more now than I ever did then, and so finally, I say, “I give you the courage to never be broken by your failures.”
There is deathly silence as I return, eyes down hard, to my place.
The baby starts to cry at last at the same time as the scribe declares that the naming is complete save for the making of the marks and Carran, I, Shern and Guenta go over to his desk where the parchment roll lies, filled with his neat and tidy writing and scrolly first letters to each sentence.
I am so pleased that I can write my name with a flourish and don’t have to make that scratchy twist anymore. I pass the quill to Carran who signs his name and then Shern and Guenta do their scratches, carefully and white knuckled lest they should blot the parchment, whilst young Sondra of Tremain is screaming in all seriousness now in the background.
The scribe nods to us and we turn to each other, all four of us, and exchange a smile before Shern rushes off to collect the baby and appease him with her nipple. Guenta goes to start serving out the food and I and Carran go to get some more wine.
At first, the children huddle together away from the strange knight but as we eat and talk and laugh they relax around him and so do I.
I like him. At one point, I say to him, “You must think this is a very sorry affair for the son of a lord,” and he looked at me and replied in all seriousness, “I have been at a number of namings but this has been the most impressive by far.
"If any child can be blessed, this one has been this night.”
Excerpt from In Serein, 3-8-2