Archive for March, 2015

This past weekend I attended a Decolonization dialogue. The presenters were Ana and Chanupa. Chanupa is a Lakota man who is a warrior fighting for his people against the forces of genocide. I don’t use the term genocide casually. It is accurate. It has happened right here in America. It is ongoing.

I challenge all of you to watch the documentary “Red Cry” on YouTube.

I visited Pine Ridge in 1992. I can assure you the poverty and acts of genocide are far worse than is shown in this documentary. The film makers did not rub our noses in it. They just show a small bit of the surface of it. I couldn’t believe this was “America”. It is far worse than anything you have seen in even the decaying urban landscapes across this nation.

I also challenge everyone to read this essay on Capitalism.

I think it vital for anyone who walks a nature-based spiritual path to be confronted with what the forces of Capitalism, Ownership, Right of Rule based on a monotheistic patriarchy are doing in the name of Freedom, with your tax dollars.

When I do ritual here in Maine or anywhere I’ve been across this country, the land cries out with the memory of genocide. Yes, there are places of exquisite beauty where my soul finds peace. But always, there is the memory. When calling to the ancestors of the land, they are not white. They are indigenous. And they don’t come to the circle in joy and peace. They come to stand watch, guarding the land as best they are able. We have felt this over and over again. And we have worked to craft peace. We have shifted our minds and hearts to own our part in the subjugation of the First Nations peoples and the ongoing exploitation of the land, of the Earth who is our mother and our home. Through dedicated effort, we have improved our relationship to the ancestors of this place, the Saco River Valley, natively called Shawakatoc. But that healing is just the very beginning, an opening, an opportunity, not the end of the work.

I keep coming to the same questions. How do we reconcile our heritage of genocide with our supposed love of this land? The First Nations peoples and the land are one in the same. They are still suffering at the hands of our system, the great memes called “Civilization” and “America”. So how can I say I love this land and be blind to the suffering of the First Nations peoples? How do I find a way to stop putting energy into this system of exploitation and destruction? How do I find a path in life that is in right relationship to the Earth? As I type this, a power station is burning fossil fuels or damming a river so that the salmon cannot go home to give birth to their children. Even our best intentions seem to drive destruction. That is the power of the system we have created.

More questions…
What do we do about all the broken treaties our government has consciously circumvented in order to remove the Native way of life as it is in direct opposition to the concepts of ownership and Capitalism? What heritage will we gift our children if we keep going down this road of technology, Capitalism, and Civilization? We all know the road we are on ends in catastrophic devastation, desecration and death. What are we going to do about it?

I point out the Capitalism, Ownership and Civilization. I challenge the very memes we all seem to accept as a part of Nature, as simply part of evolution and as the natural progress of humanity. This is all bunk. They are made up human constructs. Nature doesn’t subscribe to these. The trees, rivers, animals, mountains, sun and moon don’t subscribe to these. We all know these memes lead to death so we can choose to continue them and deal with the consequences, or we can consciously change them and find a better relationship to the land, to each other, to the gods. We cannot escape consequence. What consequences we have to face is our own choice.

In “Red Cry”, and in the presentation I attended, Chanupa uses of the phrase “you people” in reference to “America”, the government, Corporations, and all the destructive forces of Capitalism and all of us participating in it. He isn’t saying, “Your ancestors”. He is pointing a finger directly and saying, “You”. This might be an affront to many. We instinctively wanted to say, “But I am against all that! It isn’t me!” But the truth is we are all supporting these forces everyday with our consumerism, labor, taxes, and our willing participation in a system that is at war with Nature, seeing our Mother Earth as only a resource to drive ownership and profit. We spend our time insulating ourselves from the horrors these forces unleash. We export consequence. But the Earth is limited and the consequences keep getting closer to home. Most people are completely in denial. We can’t even question the memes of Capitalism and Profit, of Progress, Technology and Civilization. The indigenous peoples and other minorities are living the nightmare all the time. As a culture we don’t want to acknowledge that. We are saying, “Well if you become like us, you will do better. Join the system and you can get ahead and have time and money to avoid the harsh reality as well.” It is all completely and thoroughly corrupt. It is the antithesis of freedom.

The biggest single question for me at the moment is, “do I stop paying taxes?” By paying into the system, I am complicit and I can’t deny it. Yes, government does some good things. But those good things are simply to prop up the system that is at war with Nature.

So anyway, I look forward to working with others who are willing to confront their complicity, share constructive dialogue, put our hearts and minds together and begin to dream a new way of being in the world. And then we must act. So please watch the documentary and read the essay. These types of things always lead to defensive reactions. They did in me. But look from where the defensiveness arises. Practice listening. Then see how this sits in your soul.

Blessings of peace,

Snowhawke /|\

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All the Way Out

Greetings. It has been some time since I have made a post. There are times when we run on what we know, and times when we have to go out and seek new learning, find new rivers and streams to explore. This has been such a time for me. While this post really has nothing to do with this journey, the finding of inspiration is the river that runs through it all. And I wanted to share something that deeply inspired me this morning.

A friend forwarded a link to an exquisite piece about Hermann Hesse by Maria Popova. It is about Hermann’s insight into what trees have to teach us. Please check it out: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/21/hermann-hesse-trees/

My post has nothing to do with trees or what Hermann Hesse had to share. It was inspired by this remarkable line written by Maria as she introduces the piece.  I was really stuck by these words, “…life does not await permission to be lived.” That is a powerful statement, something to meditate on.

At times in my life, I awaited permission. I waited and waited and waited. And permission never came. Then one day, I stole the keys to the castle and set out on a great adventure. In time I returned from the adventure a more mature person, a man. Yet, in time, old patterns reemerged. I found myself waiting for permission again. And I waited and waited and waited, only to find I had to set out on the adventure again. Finally I realized the adventure has to be continuous. The adventure is one of relationship, of opening, of learning and sharing, embracing the constant change that is life. And here I stand, in the middle of wonder, in the midst of Nature, watching change, engaging in the dance of life. And I finally realized (not just thought – the emotional component of this is huge), Nature created me for living, not waiting and needing permission to be a part of this world and the ecosystem I dwell in.

There is power in life. There is power in living who we are, fully, openly, wakefully. Doing to this requires great courage. Living powerfully with any sense of grace requires cultivating a generosity of spirit. Living powerfully with a clear sense of ethics requires loyalty, wakefulness to our interdependence, our true nature of zero separation. Courage, Loyalty, and Generosity are the foundation of what our ancestors knew as Honor. We don’t need permission to live a life filled with honor. It is our heritage. It is our birthright. It is what it will take to heal the wounds of history, colonization, and exploitation. It is one of Nature’s great gifts to our human consciousness.

And this is what I wanted to share this morning. We are the creativity of Nature. Nature doesn’t make mistakes. We were made for a reason. Our obligation in life is to be who we truly are.

I will end this with this quote and encourage all of us to meditate on places where we hesitate out of fear; where there are dynamics that cause us to feel we need permission to live; where we are waiting for humanity to accept who we are; where we are selfish in spirit. It is time as a Pagan people to bring ourselves out and learn to walk with grace and honor in this ever changing wonder that is life.

“”Whatever is you happens just once. So bring yourself out, all the way out.” ~ Sean Faircloth

Blessings of mist and mud,
Snowhawke /|\

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