Bridges Not Walls

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I leave for Mexico on Thursday afternoon.  I am heading south to play Festival de Musicoterapia, or Festival of Music Therapy.

I was in Peru this past October when the organizers reached out to invite me to participate again this year, as I did last year.  I agreed, and began preparing a concert presentation called “Medicina de la Selva,” Medicine of the Jungle, inspired by the sounds, rhythms, and energies of the Amazon rainforest from which I was in the process of receiving a deep and profound healing.

I flew home from Peru on November 8th just in time to watch Donald Trump be elected president.

It felt like a piece of my heart broke in watching that, although I have been told that our hearts never break, but instead it is the encrustations around our hearts that crack allow space for new growth and expansion.

In the grieving, fear, and rage that followed, a new mission arose clearly inside of me.  I reached out to the festival and informed them that I would be changing my presentation.  In light of my country having just elected a man to power that had spoken with such hatred and fear towards so many peoples around the planet, and towards the planet herself, and who began it all with a venomous attack towards the beautiful people of Mexico, it was no longer appropriate for me to arrive as a guest in their land and make the offering I had been preparing. A new responsibility had arisen.

And so was born “Puentes y No Muros,” or “Bridges Not Walls.”

I am embarking on this trip as an ambassador of my people.  As a White, American man, I am going forth as an ambassador of peace and kinship, with a prayer of apology.  I go to say that I am so sorry for the unwellness of my people, and for the ways that our unwellness has hurt them and continues to seek to do harm.  I go to ask for forgiveness, and to recommit myself to being a bridge in this world between peoples and cultures and ideas, a passageway through man-made divisions and boundaries and separations, into a space of unification and oneness.

When I told my father of my intentions, he told me, “Make sure they know that there are many, many of us whose values and hearts and minds are not represented by our government.”

As I prepare for this trip, I am tending the garden of my own mind, heart, and body.  I am pulling away from the constant bombardment of more fear and tension provided through all forms of media.  There is a difference between being informed and aware, and being toxified and incapacitated by a perpetual feeding of the us vs. them war mindset, be it between our country and others or between the different ideologies at play in our own political arena.  What we engage in and consume in terms of information and media is voluntary, and I cannot do what I came here to Earth to do, and I cannot fulfill my mission with this trip, if I allow myself to be put and kept in a state of tension and unrest.  An angry person, an angry people, an angry generation, can never create an era of peace.  We must find a calmness in the center of the storm, not to hide or pretend or ignore, but to be fully in the apex of our own power.  And from that calm space, we can allow our actions of revolution and resistance to flow more efficiently and potently than they can when we are in the constriction of grief and rage.

So southward I will fly, a songbird of the Northeastern Woodlands of North America.  I will carry my drum and guitar, and sounds and vibrations of forgiveness and accountability.  I will carry water and allow myself to be a vessel for her healing and renewal.  I will carry sacred tobacco with which to offer a prayer for my people, for the people of Mexico, and all beings with whom we share this Earth.  And I will carry love and humility, the only tools capable of dismantling the weapons of Empire and sowing new seeds for the future.

Send your prayers with me so that they may carry me safely and swiftly through the skies, and I will offer my voice for all who wish to create a new world of fierce compassion and awareness of the radical interconnectedness of all Life.

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At last year’s festival in Tepotzlan

The Grandmothers Are Gathering

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For 13 years now, the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers has been holding, carrying, and walking behind a prophetic prayer for humanity and for the next seven generations that will walk upon the Earth.

At the end of this month, they are gathering to complete their work where they first came together to create it in 2004: the Menla Retreat Center in the Catskill mountains, the original land of the Iroquois Confederacy.

On the surface, this gathering is a healing retreat; below the surface, it is the fulfillment of a prophecy.

These women are midwives of a new time for Earth and her people.

They have answered a call to unify our species, across continents and cultures and colors and creeds,

to heal our people and planet so that peace may reign.

 

We have been so very ill.

For the countless generations now

we have been plundering the Earth

the animal kingdom

plant kingdom

insect kingdom

and our own kingdom.

We have been plundering our elders and our children.

We have been desecrating our bodies

these original temples of the sacred

our minds

these magnificent tools of creation

and the world around us

our home

our refuge

our Mother.

We have been asleep to compassion

and to peace

and our grandmothers have been watching.

 

Our grandmothers have been praying

working

protecting

loving.

 

They have been enraged

grieving

weeping

mourning.

 

And they have been remembering.

They have held the power of their wisdom and wombs, and they have remained standing in the face of it all.

The prayer of their hearts has been kept alive.

 

The International Council of 13 Indignenous Grandmothers has acknowledged that we are now approaching a precipice, and that this is the time to unleash that prayer and power.

At the pinnacle of our ignorance and division and greed and sickness,

we can see our unwellness reflected in our minds, bodies, partnerships, families, communities, nations, and civilization as a whole.

Women of this planet, it is you who are the ones that carry life within the waters of your wombs.

It is you who are the walking, talking, breathing avatars of the planet herself

and it is you who are the ultimate healers of our people.

As this council comes together for their last time in this official capacity,

we are invited to witness these women manifesting myth within the physical plane.

This work is a beacon of Light

a revelation beyond hope

that shows us the abundance of transformational healing energies that are available to human beings at this time.

We are now sick and suffering enough to be humble

and being humble is the fundamental requirement to receive.

 

These grandmothers, and all the women they represent, have carried this prayer and this work as an incredibly powerful offering of service.

They do not carry it only for their own lives

as they do not have many years left here

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Grandmother Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance

and in fact, one of them, Grandmother Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance of the Oglala Lakota Nation,

passed through death into the realms beyond earlier this year.

They are carrying this for us,

those of us that will remain here beyond their bodies.

And they are carrying it for those that have yet to come

those that are coming in through the watery gate between heaven and earth.

 

As our grandmothers gather to lay down their prayer upon the Earth

we are called to receive it.

We are called to hold it within our own hearts and minds

to carry it forth with our own bodies

with our own actions

with our own words

with our own work.

 

They have done their part in the fulfillment of the prophecy of peace on Earth;

it is now our turn to do ours.

 

All are invited, welcome, and encouraged to join us for this gathering, and you will find details of how to do that below.

But for those that cannot join in person

you, too, are needed.

You are needed to receive the prayer

the medicine

the blessings of these women.

The prayer, medicine, and blessings of their mothers and grandmothers,

of every one of our mothers and grandmothers

all the way up our bloodlines

our lineages

right to the origin place

the one well from which we have all come forth.

 

I invite and encourage all to build an altar within your homes that can serve as a portal of reception.

 

Build this altar

and then listen

and hear.

Hear the prayers for our healing

the medicine songs

and the very voice and breathe of the Earth herself.

Sit before this altar and pray prayers of thanksgiving for these women

for all womankind

these creatures that no matter what we have done to them over the course of the patriarchy

have continually welcomed us back home

cleaned us off

and nourished us

in the greatest human example of unconditional love and forgiveness.

These beings that God has sent forth to our people to carry a higher vision of humanity

a vision that speaks and lives the truths of balance

harmony

justice

beauty

and love.

 

Yes, our grandmothers and their grandmothers and their grandmothers before them have done their part.

Let us come together to say YES to doing ours

not only with words

but with the very essence of our daily lives.

May we do this for our own lives

for the life of our ancestors that dreamt us into existence

for the life of our brothers and sisters of all species and kinds that walk the Earth with us

and for those that will inherit the world we leave behind.

We say YES by making our homes an altar

and our lives a prayer

that will heal our bodies and minds

and strengthen our families and communities

and unify our nations

in order to heal our waters

heal our soils

heal our air

and heal the very beating heart at the center of Life that has continued to carry us through.

 

Here, now,we say YES.

And thank you.

 

Aho.

 

-Natavi Orion

Tribe of Dreams

www.tribeofdreams.com

Grandson of Agnes Brzezniak Kozicz and Margaret Elin O’Donnell DeSantis

Great Grandson of Phoebe Peggy Cole DeSantis and Margaret Rouleau O’Donnell

And all those whose names I do not know but are written in the codes of my DNA

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Alliance Statement of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers:

October 13, 2004

We are thirteen indigenous grandmothers who came together for the first time from October 11 through October 17, 2004, in Phoenicia, New York. We gathered from the four directions in the land of the people of the Iroquois Confederacy. We come here from the Amazon rainforest, the Alaskan Tundra of North America, the great forest of the American northwest, the vast plains of North America, the highlands of central America, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the mountains of Oaxaca, the desert of the American southwest, the mountains of Tibet and Nepal and from the rainforest of Central Africa.

Affirming our relations with traditional medicine peoples and communities throughout the world, we have been brought together by a common vision to form a new global alliance.

We are the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. We have united as one. Ours is an alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children and for the next seven generations to come.

We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth, the contamination of our air, waters and soil, the atrocities of war, the global scourge of poverty, the threat of nuclear weapons and waste, the prevailing culture of materialism, the epidemics which threaten the health of the Earth’s peoples, the exploitation of indigenous medicines, and with the destruction of indigenous ways of life.

We, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, believe that our ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today. We come together to nurture, educate and train our children. We come together to uphold the practice of our ceremonies and affirm the right to use our plant medicines free of legal restriction. We come together to protect the lands where our peoples live and upon which our cultures depend, to safeguard the collective heritage of traditional medicines, and to defend the earth Herself. We believe that the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future.

We join with all those who honor the Creator, and to all who work and pray for our children, for world peace, and for the healing of our Mother Earth.

For all our relations.

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Aama Bombo – Tamang, Nepal
Agnes Pilgrim – Takelma Siletz
Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance – Oglala Lakota
Bernadette Rebienot – Omyene
Clara Shinobu Iura – Brazil
Julieta Casimiro – Mazatec
Margaret Behan – Cheyenne-Arapaho
Flordemayo – Mayan
Maria Alice Campos Freire – Brazil
Mona Polacca – Hopi/ Havasupai/Tewa
Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance – Oglala Lakota
Rita Pitka Blumenstein – Yup’ik
Tsering Dolma Gyaltong – Tibetan

http://www.grandmotherscouncil.org

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CLICK HERE for Event Info for Creation to Completion: A Healing Retreat

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There  are only 2 days left to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign that is making this gathering possible, and we need to raise $5000 more!  Can you help?

Click HERE to contribute!

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