Spring & Beltane salutations relations,
Praying you and loved ones are enjoying the energies of emergence in this new season.
I commence these reflections with an acknowledgement of a victory for Indigenous rights and sovereignty worldwide – namely, the rescinding of the doctrine of discovery by Pope Francis of the Catholic church. Though further action is certainly required, the rejection of this doctrine is a step in the proper direction – a gesture toward healing and reparations in relation to Native Nations.
Though the powerful rains and intense storms that inundated the Bay Area, California (and the entire Western seaboard for that matter) were a Blessing, it was a long, cold, dark and wet winter which yielded profound insights, revelations and inspired deep movement. Turning 60 years of age this year, I am training to summit Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in California, in the summer. In addition to our monthly radio interview for the past several years, other favorable developments are the commencement of a podcast and youtube channel, we have active Facebook, instagram and Linkedin pages and our new websites are nearing completion! Next year will be the 30th year anniversary of Ancestral Voice in the North Bay so we are cleansing and preparing the Institute for that celebration and creating space for me to compose a book (or two). We invite you to join our various social media platforms to remain connected and updated on approaching Ceremonies, intensives and gatherings.
It is fascinating how the term cancel culture is being bantered about and viciously employed these days. Ancestral Voice neither supports, endorses nor condones cancel culture. A legacy of Western “civilization”, the original attempt at the cancellation of culture was by colonizers whose agenda was to literally silence and exterminate indigenous peoples who embody and espouse an ancient and profound way of perceiving, living and relating to the world – quite antithetical and threatening to the understanding and experience of the colonized mind. Though countless lives have been extinguished, the effects of intergenerational wounding from this reprehensible genocide affects generations to this day and Indigenous cultures remain under siege in numerous ways, ultimately, the colonizers’ attempts at eradication were unsuccessful – Indigenous Nations remain and their voices and actions are continuing to be heard and felt more than ever. In the modern world, this legacy of colonized fear and cowardice persists not only toward Native peoples but, as a consequence of the penchant for and attachment to impersonal technology, has become an unfortunately ubiquitous phenomenon – cancelling anyone with whom one takes umbrage or who are perceived as a threat to one’s world view and belief system. Certainly holding individuals accountable for their actions is important but the defamation and assassination of a person’s character in a public arena is never the first resort. Rather than dismissing, condemning and vilifying someone with whom there are differences or issues (from the safety and anonimty of an impersonal screen in a public forum), the time has arrived to comprehend that truth is nuanced (there are multiple perspectives and stories which are equally valid) and to cultivate bravery – to engage directly in dialogue, to muster the courage, maturity and skillfulness to invite and embrace difficult and often uncomfortable conversations in person (mediated, if necessary), for understanding, healing and the possibility of peace, reconciliation and resolution (including the agreement to disagree) to be achieved. The failure to seek healing, understanding and direct closure (if warranted) causes the poison to seep into one’s life and affect other relationships as well as the world at large. The courage and resiliency to engage and address conflict when it arises is the awakened warrior’s way and an antidote to the disease of cancel culture in our society today.