Calling All Grandmothers

June 8, 2020

Elder & Ancestor Wisdom


We have to live

differently

or we
will die
in the same

old ways.

Therefore
I call on all Grand Mothers

everywhere
on the planet
to rise
and take your place
in the leadership
of the world

Come out
of the kitchen
out of the
fields
out of the
beauty parlors
out of the
television

Step forward
& assume
the role
for which
you were
created:
To lead humanity
to health, happiness
& sanity.

I call on
all the
Grand Mothers
of Earth
& every person
who possesses
the Grand Mother
spirit
of respect for
life
&
protection of
the young
to rise
& lead.

The life of
our species
depends
on it.

& I call on all men
of Earth
to gracefully
and
gratefully

stand aside
& let them
(let us)
do so.


Summit of the Rose. A four day gathering with grandmothers from the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Powerful, inspiring messages for this time and all time. This poem was included in the opening of the second day. And yes. It’s time for the sisters, especially the elders, to stand in our power and lead. 

It is indeed time for furious dancing.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

In Solidarity

June 5, 2020


Together with people around the world, the Irish have taken to the streets in Dublin to protest the murder of George Floyd and the atrocities of an institutionalized culture of racism.

As the crowd swelled to five thousand protestors, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Vradkar faced criticism for allowing people to gather in this time of pandemic. He is, after all, a medical doctor and should know better. His response:

Racism is a virus that we have been fighting for millennia. Despite the progress we have made, it is no less virulent today, and no less dangerous. We need to show solidarity as people of all races and backgrounds around the world and come together to stop its spread and defeat it.

The Irish.
In solidarity for social justice.
Yet again.
Always.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

It’s Not Negotiable

June 3, 2020

 

 

Never forget that justice
is what love looks like in public.

Cornel West

 

 

But if you are a person who believes in love, justice, integrity, and equity for all people, then you know that this work is nonnegotiable.

If you are a person who wants to become a good ancestor, then you know that this work is some of the most important work that you will be called to do in your lifetime. Here’s to doing what is right and not what is easy.

Layla F. Saad

 

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Where We Stand

June 2, 2020

 

 

On June 17, 2013, Erdem Gunduz stood in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, facing the Turkish flag and portrait of Turkey’s founder.

He remained there in silence for hours. Alone. Unmoving. His image spread on Twitter. Within hours, several hundred people joined him.

And within one day, similar silent protests sprung up around the country. 

 


There was no need to yell and rage and march. There was no need to hold a sign. Everyone knew exactly why he was standing and what he was standing for. The power of silence and solidarity. And that silence reverberated across the country. 

Right now so many are wondering what to do within the noise and chaos and cacophony of protests. It seems to me that Erdem was saying, I am beyond all that. What is wrong is blatant and clear, and I don’t need to march or speak or hold a sign for you to know why I’m standing here and what I am standing for. You already know. As did the hundreds that joined him. As did the thousands who saw this photo. 

As we see the protests and violence unfolding across our nation, I wonder. What might happen if we change tactics? What might happen if we break the patterns that leads to violent clashes, especially with the police? What might happen if we gathered together and simply stood our ground? What might happen if we all took a knee?

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Beyond Mattering

June 1, 2020


Black Lives Matter.

Right now, I’m not feeling it. Not because it’s so clear that for too many in our country, they don’t matter. But because there’s a sense in this that Black lives matter too. As if in addition to something. As if in addition to white people who of course matter most.

Black Lives Matter is an important narrative from and within the Black Lives Matter movement. I totally honor that.

Yet as a white woman, I say to my white sisters and brothers that these precious lives are not an adjunct, they are vitally implicit to the integrity, the wholeness, of our national culture. Beyond mattering, they are essential. 

They are marginalized to the fringe of our society. But they are not fringe. Our Black sisters and brothers are essential threads in the fabric of our nation and national identity. A national fabric of hope and social justice, of love and compassion, of aspiration and inspiration. This is the fabric of the nation I choose to live in. This is the fabric of the nation I choose to co-create. With my Black sisters and brothers. My Indigenous American sisters and brothers. My Hispanic sisters and brothers. My Asian sisters and brothers. My Arab sisters and brothers. All essential threads in this tapestry. 

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

In Joy

May 31, 2020

 

Elder & Ancestor Wisdom


Don’t stop singing, dancing, lighting a fire and having fun.
Don’t feel guilty about being happy during this difficult time.
You don’t help at all by being sad and without energy.
It helps if good things emanate from the Universe now.
It is through joy that one resists.
White Eagle

It is in joy that we will conspire in creating a new world.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

There Is A Conspiracy

May 30, 2020

 

Elder & Ancestor Wisdom

 

So. Is there a conspiracy by some shadowy cabal aimed at taking over the world? I have no idea. And yes, I’ve been reading more than is probably good for my mental health about those conspiracy theories. But yes. There is a conspiracy. It is the conspiracy of separation from the Earth, from the sacred, and from each other. And there is no shadow organization behind this. We are all complicit. And we have been for hundreds of years. Now we are called to step beyond the conspiracy of separation and into a conspiracy of unity. We must conspire to shift from what has been to what can be.

 

Message To the World From The Ceremonial Elders Of Whapmagoostui  Quebec Canada, March 29, 2020.

The language of Spirit tells us that a Messenger has come, a dark Messenger whose relatives are, to name a few: hatred among humans, all that which clouds the mind such as alcohol, drugs, and substance abuse; violence and human conflict in all forms, and, most importantly, the disregard from Mother Earth as a living being. The messenger is relentless, and no one is immune. It will continue to spread, and it will take many innocents lives. The pandemic cannot be cured by medicine alone; it must be combined with good deeds, prayer, and humanity’s collective commitment to change its ways, most of all, its dedication to minimizing the damage it does to the Earth.

 

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

We Call Her Mother

May 29, 2020

 

There is no word for “nature” in Lakota.
Our word for “humans,” Oyáte, is a universal
term that applies to nonhumans as well.
Nick Estes

Earth Mother. Mother Nature.

We call her Mother. For she is the source of all life, including ours. She is the source of our food and everything in our lives from the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, and the cars we drive, to the computer I’m using to write this post. As the source and sustainer of all life, as the progenitor and ultimate manifestation of the sacred feminine, we name her Divine Mother. Our relationship with her is woven with reverence and gratitude, and we celebrate her with ceremony and song, art and iconography. We honor her with actions and attitudes of appreciation.

This is true for many of us. And it was once true for all of us. For there was a time when the Divine Feminine was known and honored in every culture around the world. But over time this has changed as mothers and motherhood, both human and within the natural world, became discounted and disparaged. It has changed through the domineering aggression of the patriarchy. It has changed through the religious belief that we humans have the right of subjugation and dominion over nature. Over Mother Nature. Over mother nature. And it has changed through the personification of naming her Mother.

Yes. Naming her fosters a deep personal relationship. Yet this personification also carries other consequences. This personification can also foster the perception of other, that she is separate from and outside of us. And this can, and has, lead to a place of enemy consciousness in which the other is something to defeat and control. This personification has also led to the attribution of intention and emotion. With the dramatic shifts of climate change, especially those changes that are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and disruptive to our way of life, she is often described as angry and engaged in some kind of retribution. In this time of the pandemic, many have said that she has sent us to our rooms. Well, she isn’t and she hasn’t.

In this personification, in this separation and othering, we lose the fundamental knowing of her as the force that animates all life. We lose knowing that there is no other, that we are all part of this one life force, this one universal web of life. All life. There is no separation. She isn’t outside of us, she is us and we are her. Oyáte.

This animating life force isn’t about retribution. It’s about restoration of the balance and harmony of the web. From the great Chief Sealth: Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.

And now, because of what we have done to the web, there is the energy of restoration, of reclaiming balance and harmony. Mother is adapting and changing. And as part of the web, we are called to do the same.

The quote by Nick Estes is from his interview in the May issue of Sun Magazine.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Critical Shit

 

May 28, 2020

The trees were dying. Scientists could find no infestation or disease. But something was impacting these stands of fir and cedar in Washington State’s old growth rain forests along the Elwha River. Turns out the problem was, in part, bear shit. 

It was after the Elwha was damed in 1913 that the scientists began to see the tree death. And it was only after the dam was removed in 2012 that scientists realized what had happened in the more than 100 years that the salmon were blocked from their migration. Their conclusion: Over time, the Elwha’s fish populations dropped dramatically. In the Pacific Northwest, salmon are a linchpin in a healthy ecosystem. They carry critical marine-derived nutrients from ocean to forest, fertilizing riverbanks with their bodies as they die and decompose after spawning, and effecting terrestrial ecosystem productivity. Numerous animals rely on them, forming a chain of predation that circulates these critical nutrients throughout the forest. 

Critical shit. The thing is, it’s all critical. Every part of the ecosystem is essential. Indigenous people knew this. Our ancestors knew this. And they knew themselves as part of, not separate from, this web of all life. We have forgotten to our peril. 

Yes. The Earth restores and rebalances the ecological web. Even after 100 years. Even after only a few months, as we are seeing in this pandemic. The photos of cleaner waters and skies are remarkable. And we celebrate. 

But in that celebration will we remember what our ancestors knew? Will we examine our intrusions on the Earth’s ecosystems, intrusions that are solely for human benefit and convenience? Will we shift the narrative and make decisions based on knowing that the natural world and every aspect of it is essential and critical? I join my voice with the many many others who say that we can and we must.

And I wonder. If we don’t, we may discover that essential and critical within the world’s ecosystems might have one exception. And that exception might be us.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com