Monday, December 19, 2016

A new creation story to shed light in this season of darkness

I don't mind the darkness of the season. I love the slow tilting of the sunlight through the year, this way and that, the changes it brings to our daily lives, one of the few reminders of what we can't control no matter how hard we try - that we are OF the Earth and cannot escape that magnificent, humbling, wonderfully limiting reality. The more we try to separate from it, the more pathological our economic culture becomes.

And so, this time of year has always given way to great stories that humans make up about the "light in the darkness," about the solstice, about how the promise of light's return also holds the promise of warmth, renewal of life, the next harvest. Sky gods and moon gods and myths of return, or the metaphor that this seasonal moment heralds a special coming into the world of light in the harsher darkness and cold of the winter months.
Photo: Josh Morgan for The Huffington Post

We humans need a lot of renewal, a lot of healing. We westerners in particular went off on a long path of separation over thousands of years - conquest and empires, one tribe crushing another, warrior gods who fight on our side, but certainly not on the other. We stole people from one continent and sold them into slavery to become laborers on this continent, and we are still living out of the damage and trauma of that story, often a tension between denial, resistance to truth, and the claim of those descendants of African heritage to insist on their humanity, their dignity, and their freedom.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Prophecy of "the seventh generation"

This is a beautiful story and I wanted to share it here. From the linked article:

"There is a prophecy among Native tribes called 'the seventh generation,' which speaks of a time thought to be seven generations after first contact with Europeans, when indigenous youth and allies from all races come together to enact a new age of healing and rebirth for Native people and Turtle Island.

"Lakota leader Crazy Horse spoke of his vision of that prophecy with the following words:
'Upon suffering beyond suffering, 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.'"
What's going on in North Dakota is more significant than we even know, perhaps more significant than those who started this movement even knew. Now it's becoming clear that this is the beginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Our task as European Americans, descendants of the conquerors or beneficiaries of the conquest, is a humble one: to step back from our role as cultural leaders or "determiners," as architects of this western economic/consumer paradigm, and to come to those of Crazy Horse's people, the descendants from and inheritors of the legacy of genocide, the legacy of those who severed the connections between the human and Turtle Island - and ask for this wisdom.

They are repairing the breach. They are showing us again how to live here.

Read the whole story at this link:  

'We opened eyes': at Standing Rock, my fellow Native Americans make history

Photo: LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard

Posted by Margaret Swedish