Our Dreams for the Future
Our dreams for the future are not small. They involve true restoration of Sacred Balance and the uprooting and laying to rest of systems that perpetuate violence against all of creation. Our collective dreams involve clean water, safety for all of earth's children, a cultural ethic of generosity, and an overall reimagining of how we live our lives. Our dream, our service, is to help the people heal so that they, we, can protect and celebrate the earth.
In 2017, at the national annual gathering of our core membership, a gathering we lovingly call our Grand Council, we came together to offer healing to our ancestors and learn from them about how we can protect the future. It was a deeply powerful inter-generational and multi racial gathering in which we looked honestly at both the real pain and the great power in our collective ancestries. We witnessed and held space for the brutal impacts of misogyny, racism, colonialism, Native genocide, rape culture, police violence, transphobia and ecological destruction that are all integral to the contracts upon which the United States, and for that matter the modern West, is built. We grieved together and invited our ancestors into that grieving because honest grieving has a cleansing effect.
We believe that the contracts upon which the U.S. is built are coming undone. Late stage capitalism and late stage patriarchy are unraveling before our eyes. It is time for a culture of mother love, a culture that values nurturing above conquering, to rise and be remembered. We are working to support that process and to heal, collectively, from the impact of our cultural inheritance.
We are not pretending it is easy work, or that we know the answers, see the path entirely clearly or always get it right. We are however very clear about some things; the restoration of Sacred Balance, the only hope of a future for all earth's children, depends upon a return to reverence for the earth and a commitment to remaking the culture. We are doing our best to find our way, step by step, with earth's children in our gaze and our ancestors at our back. For nearly three decades now, we keep putting one foot in front of the other, learning from our mistakes and reawakening our collective cellular memory of PEACE ON EARTH. We know this collective memory is valid and we are determined to be a part of earth's necessary healing in these times.
As our weekend together came to a close we gathered on Sunday morning, as we always do, to "practice" embodying a sane culture and to generate a powerful blessing on our intentions for the future. We draw a lot of strength from our annual Grand Council Gatherings, and what we learn together in our time both clarifies our work and empowers our focus for the year that lies ahead.
The ritual for the morning was about strengthening a vision of the future we hold in our hearts and then sending that vision forward with vibrancy, passion, and conviction. We all have children in our lives, of all races and species, that we love fiercely and we want to do everything in our power to protect their future. Yes, we work tirelessly in the outer world to confront these unraveling systems and help them on their way, but our activism is, and has always been, also of a spiritual nature. We invite the ancestors and the voice of the earth into our decision making process, our governance.
We intimately experience the wisdom that our ancestors lend to us, the things we were born knowing and the doors that open when we choose to acknowledge our gone-before-ones and truly commune. In turn, we long to be good ancestors for future generations and to protect what is holy so that the generations to come may also experience this one earth.
So, on Sunday morning, we gathered in our circle around our central shrine on which there was a large beautiful nest woven with our prayers for the future of our precious earth and all of the species she sustains. We actively centered, put first, those among us who are most vulnerable and least honored in the over culture: people of color, trans folk, the children and our elders. Then we all gathered in concentric circles close around them, like buffalo do, to say "we value you and we will protect you", and then we opened our hearts in song.
This is something we are used to doing; we are a community that sings together. The song, a wordless melodic prayer at first, seemed to rise from the earth herself as we sank into deep communion, deep longing for strength and guidance, together. We sang with tears streaming down our faces and light shining in our eyes thinking of all of those to come that these prayers were for. These songs of ours are powerful. They rise with a life of their own, far beyond what any individual, or any people separated from their ancestors could do. The power is in our unity, we are cohered around a collective intention to protect what is sacred.
As the song reached its energetic peak, I heard just six words, in the most beautiful, moving melody. So I did my best to sing it out loud:
Grandchildren, you have a beautiful earth.
To this day, I cannot sing, or hear, or even think of this short, simple song without tearing up. It pretty much says it all when it comes to our dreams for the future. And, as a community, we believe in the power of our ancestors to help us on our way, to help us know how to be the best, most vibrant, most useful ancestors of the future. It is a steep learning curve, because things are crazy in the world, but we are not giving up and we have each other to turn for both support and accountability.
Yes, of course, we are very much about helping the living remember the sanctity of this planet we call home in daily and tangible ways. We are also very much about magic. When we forget magic, communion with the unseen forces, we inadvertently center a belief in separation, the impotence of a magical, animating, force to mend what is seemingly broken. This cripples both the human spirit and the world.
Beneath distraction from the world, there is the world. Beneath the world, there is dream. The world is the first remembering that human beings must engage-the tapestry of creation in which all of life has a seat at the table. The dream is the constancy that infuses the world with life, it is the constancy within the changing form. This is why Peoples of the Earth begin ALL earthly endeavors with direct communion with the world of Spirit, or the Dream. May our ancestors continue to help us dream, and make, a better future for all of earth's children.
In a tangible, outer world, detail oriented way, some of our dreams are:
- Help to re-establish the validity of nature-based practice, from all ancestries, as a viable faith path and a necessary voice in the most critical conversations of our times.
- Find ways to protect land in accordance with the guidance of local/regional Indigenous peoples.
- Deepen and expand upon our collective aims, reverence for the earth and social justice, by putting our money where our mouth is, engaging in direct actions and working to dismantle systems of oppression.
- Continue to expand our scope of service by growing both, our core and extended communities.
- To continue to strengthen our feminist spiritual leadership training programs.
Continue to reimagine prosperity and economic systems. Find creative ways to fund our dreams, and support/compensate the people in our organization who work tirelessly to keep it alive.