About a month ago, shortly after Trump became president elect, I kept hearing a prophecy in my head and it began with, “And the Red Nation shall rise…” I kept wondering what I was tuning into or recalling, and then recently as I was leaving my basement office in Cambridge, I walked up the steps into the gorgeous garden that surrounds the Victorian house and was unexpectedly met by the call of a great horned owl. Interestingly, the week before I had heard the distinct call of this owl in the woods behind my house in Gloucester. I was shocked to hear one again in an urban neighborhood.
The call of the owl reverberated with round warm tones from the grand old spruce above me and filled the night air as if it was amplified on a sound system. I could scarcely believe my ears, until another owl began hooting from across the street. It was like being in a Harry Potter movie. My reasoning mind reminded me that there are an abundance of rabbits in this verdant neighborhood. I imagined that the couple was drawn from the woods that surround Fresh Pond or Mount Auburn Cemetery to hunt for dinner. But, on a deeper level, I knew that I was being contacted. This was a shamanic visit.
I, like many of you, have been deeply disturbed and profoundly unsettled by the result of the presidential election juxtaposed, with the brutal assaults on the Standing Rock Sioux – the water protectors – and their supporters who have been maced, caged, water hosed in frigid weather, shot with rubber bullets while carrying on peaceful and lawful protests. It has felt like the forefront of the battle between old world ideologies based on profit, selfishness, exploitation and blindness, and a more sacred world paradigm based on inclusivity, generosity, co-creation and reverence for the earth.
I am still reeling, however naive that may seem, from the shock that a state government would deploy troopers and the national guard to defend corporate interests and ultimately a pipeline that is not only dangerous to local aquifers but to our planet, over peaceful protesters trying to protect their water supply. After enduring genocide and centuries of persecution, Native Americans would now have to endure this?
Both of these events are bound together, symptomatic of the growing movement away from the founding principles of Democracy into a new form of government that many are calling, corporatocracy. Under the governance of corporatocracy we live in financial pyramids of power where money “trumps” truth, rights, laws, human decency, wisdom and the deeper values of the heart.
Of course corporate greed and governmental corruption is nothing new, but the American shadow – white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, fascism, colonialism, genocide, fundamentalism, terrorism – has just shown up in living color. Alongside it is the threat of climate deniers rising to power who could potentially rub out essential environmental laws, creating more ecocide, destroying fragile ecosystems, wiping out countless species, and in their madness, endangering our own species by perpetuating the grave illusion that we can continue with fossil fuel.
But, when these owls showed up in Cambridge, I knew that it was time to release the despair, and reconnect to the guidance and illuminating insights that can be found when we become still. Streams of universal intelligence and the wisdom of the unspeakably beautiful living earth speak to us through intuition, knowing and synchronistic events. I began by researching the beginning of the prophecy that had been replaying in my mind.
I did a Google search and found that the words I had been hearing were the beginning of a prophecy by Crazy Horse or Tashunca Uitco, a powerful, visionary and beloved Chief of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, who was profoundly committed to preserving the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. He spoke the following words to the great Chief Sitting Bull in 1877, shortly before his death:
The Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again.
I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.
In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.
I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one.
– Crazy Horse, (Tashunca Uitco) Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1842-1877)
When I found this quote chills rolled through my whole body. I knew despite the current backlash or “whitelash,” that we are now crossing over into this period of healing that he so eloquently prophesied one hundred and forty years ago. The Sioux can teach us wahwala, the art of perceiving everything gently, with reverence. The collective contraction we are currently experiencing is a reaction to collective expansion. It will act like a sling shot that will propel us into new levels of love, causing unimagined leaps in human compassion, far reaching social reform and environmental healing.
An important ingredient in the current contraction into shadow, is the remarkable re-emergence of the sacred feminine and the feminine dimension of soul that allows more of us to tap great currents of wisdom and vast reservoirs of unconditional love, that are helping us heal inner split, reconnect to the Divine intelligence within everything and return to wholeness. Many of us are beginning to understand that we as souls are multi-dimensional beings, linked to a vast, synchronized and regenerative universe.
Inevitably the collective wound is rising to the surface because so many of us, who are integrating the feminine dimension of soul, are challenging the confines of our own narrow and suffocating egos. We are learning to embrace new levels of self-love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, inclusivity, tolerance, generous culture, peaceful awareness, creative collaboration, shared resources, simplicity, and reverence for all of humanity and all that constitutes the living earth.
We are all healing from colonialism, white supremacy, misogyny, narcissistic social and familial structures that create pyramids of power that break hearts, squash human potential, separate us from ourselves and each other by engendering shame, fear, disconnection, excessive competition and hate – especially self hate. We are on this journey through life together. Our survival depends on supporting the beautiful soul gifts that each of us possesses.
We heal social illness by first flipping the pyramid inside ourselves. This gives us real medicine to help flip pyramids of power in our world. If we want to see the infrastructures of compassion rise we must first grow them inside ourselves. It begins by entering into stillness and reaching toward the frightened and shamed child self. Face your feelings of inadequacy and slowly vanquish them with positive, nurturing self talk that engenders unconditional love, acceptance and patience.
Allow your feelings of vulnerability to surface while you hold yourself tenderly with unconditional acceptance. Find a qualified practitioner, or reach out to sacred community, friends and loved ones who can help you hone tools of awareness and self-love. When you stop the distraction, the noise even for a brief time you can begin to reconnect to your heart’s longing and the wisdom that is their inside you.
This is subtle activism and what I have come to see as the Great Work. Challenge your inner totem pole, resist comparisons that measure your own or another’s worth. Challenge any unconscious sense of entitlement and privilege, root out the vestiges of bigotry, classism or xenophobia by doing something radical – love yourself.
Spend time in communities that you would not typically visit. Stretch beyond your comfort zone and you will get to know your shadow. When we leave our comfort zones, ego defenses, fear and conditioning rise to the surface. For those of you living in a suburb stretch yourself and go into a marginalized section of the city. Visit a pub or restaurant, church or farmers market there.
Seek out a Trump supporter and laugh together. Many people who supported Trump are good and caring people who are simply longing for economic change. In the season of giving, find a way to donate to the Sioux and their supporters at Standing Rock. The recent victory does not mean that the battle is over. They fight this battle against climate denial for all of us. Help them spread their vision of peace, tolerance and reverence for the living earth.
Step outside your comfort zone and you will see your fears and projections rise to the surface. Then lovingly work with them and recognize white privilege, or xenophobia or homophobia or misogyny for what it is – conditioning and ultimately, a lack of self-love. This is not your soul – who you are in essence – this is cultural and familial baggage that you have the power to transform.
When you provoke these stereotypes, prejudices, fears and projections to the surface you will need to call upon the power of the Infinite and your true self – your soul – to open you into a broader spectrum of awareness. Through the lens of this self you will come to understand that there is no us and them, inferior or superior. There are only human beings walking each other home to union from different states of discord.
When you engage in subtle activism and your inner world becomes a laboratory of change, you naturally become a healing force in our country and in our world. You effect collective transformation in very real and lasting ways. Ultimately the most radical thing any of us can do in a period of global contraction is to go inside and lovingly cleanse our own house of projections, reactions, defenses and conditioning. This will allow a new more loving paradigm to live in you.
Examine and transform your own prejudices and fears and then express and share all that you discover. Speak about it, write about it, make a film or video, compose something, choreograph a dance piece, write a play, teach about it or make it your spiritual study. Meditate on it, pray about it, sit down and commune with the natural world around you. Listen to the sacred music in water, experience the poetry of a tree, hear the ancient ones whispering in the wind, or, open to the truth carried to you, steadfastly, on the wings of a great bird.
In the words of Tashunca Uitco:
“I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one.”
May we each find the courage to awaken to love! Greta