Happy winter solstice, beloveds. I greeted the birth of the sun this morning with some others, even though it was a cloudy and rainy dawn in San Francisco. As we prepare to welcome the changing, growing light amidst ourselves here in the Northern Hemisphere, the time of the year is also asking from us inner wakefulness, inner reflection, and inner preparedness. I'm beginning my own work of taking stock!
Utterly grateful for the ancestors, for Spirit, for community.
It is amazing what can happen when they come together in ritual.
Thank you for making yesterday's Community Healing Divination Ritual possible, CIIS Office of Diversity and Inclusion! May we ring in a more beautiful world together.
"The event will bring together people of color at CIIS within the container of a healing divination ritual. Divination is an ancient mode of communing with the ancestors and the elemental natural world, and bringing ourselves in harmony with them. Our ancestors steered their lives in partnership with the wisdom of these other worlds, but such non-rational calls to partnership are devalued in colonial modernity. As we continue to decolonize ourselves and our maps of the sacred, we take back our power to walk hand in hand with living ancestral ways and practices.
During the divination ritual, we will come together in community so we might talk to Spirit and the ancestors about individual and collective resilience and empowerment, healing and transformation."
It is my honor to be bringing divinations in the Dagara way at Serpent's Kiss Magick Shop & Botanica in Santa Cruz. When I think of magickal teachers, elders, peers of faith, wisdom, power, and integrity on the path, so many of them converge in the community Serpent's Kiss creates. Beginning this Saturday, September 15, I will be there every third Saturday of the month.
Please schedule your appointment by calling (831) 423 5477!
When those belonging to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups have an experience of shame (or suppression of voice), expanding the lens of analysis to include power and privilege might reveal that the shame individuals carry as their own is the shame of the powerful and/or the privileged within the system.
Small actions, sacred actions.
During this week of Global Climate Action, we head to Yemaya's altar.
We who are born of the waters make our annual pilgrimage into the sea.
Our activism is to remember who we are, to remember the sacred swirl of energy the circle creates, our very bodies create - are created by. So we may take that swirl outward to our kin, those we see and do not see.
Women are walking, ancient rhythms open bodies, leading the way into a new world, making all that is change possible.
We are relearning our stubbornness. We are flexing our capacity to nurture ourselves.
Kahuna Leilani reminds us that there is no away, nothing we throw away really leaves the planet.
What can we do to change the patterns of unconscious consumption, the ease with which we waste and throw "away"?
Every drop matters. Save the waters, living waters.
She who is the beginning to which everything returns, she who commences and completes every change.
My body is still recovering from a cold. My elemental body is waking up again, filled with cries the unformed star matter earthsky and grief.
This sacred life fills me with awe. That I get to invoke three elements in community, in circle, this past week! Ancestors, Fire, Earth, Water. We are magic, we come alive in nature.
This sacred life has a meaning beyond known meaning. Soul humbles me again, I am rivers of grief, liquid substance that shimmers in a time that is coming as joy.
We are bringing the joy.
To live with an other who is a crystalline part of you.
I am beginning to realize what it means to be initiated to kontomble. (Oh, tricky Spirit!)
You experience the deepest wounds of humanity. You are torn apart, until you find the spark of Spirit within. The wilds of human nature make contact with, and bring form to, all that is holy. You begin to transform reality grids.
And this is how the river flows through you.
I've long said that attachment wounds are the invisible earth wounds of our times. Many of us have come to understand that empathy, nurturance, attunement, caring, responsiveness will show us the way into a culture and future of mutuality.
Trump is now ripping away children from their parents—from their felt-sense of security, safety, and trust in the world. Can we imagine what this is doing to the nervous system of the collective earth body? The shock. The terror. Severance from connection to the Mother—connection to the living web of relationships—in turn affecting the capacity for cooperation with and to be there for others.
These actions based on domination/dominator values are perpetuating trauma that is yet further perpetuating the domination/dominator paradigm.
This is beyond sorrowful—beyond the blackest rage possible.
We have known that this U.S. administration will drag us to the very ends of hell.
So we must redraw our capacity to create heavens.
How can we be relationally present to this that is hanging loose, this flapping skinless raggedy wound—this hole in the soul of humanity?
One answer in the face of utter heinousness is to soothe, more than ever before, our nervous system. Become sovereign over it. Our sensitivity becomes our strength, as we learn how to de-alarm ourselves, each other. Take responsibility.
We will not let this terrorize or terrify us. We will defy and rise above, defy and rise above.
I want to offer a gesture—collective psychomagic or ritual—by which we may join our wills and offer up protection to the children. Just one candle. Light a speck of light and leave it out on your window sill, as long as it stays lit. Light one after that. Imagine the flame joining with other flames into a great big ring of fire and protecting the children that need protection.
Let us ask for help, even as we take other steps.
A few years ago, elder Alwyn Thomas demonstrated an extraordinary feat of speed divinations.
After full days of teaching divination, late into the night he divined for us. He read for more than a dozen of us in succession - each reading surpassing the earlier - incisive, accurate, wise, steeped in intuition intricately connected to the ancestors and to the divine feminine.
Today, in that spirit, I will be taking my divination cloth to La Promenade Café on 38th and Balboa, and offer speed divinations. 10 min, 15 min, or longer combined slots from 7-9pm! Come by and get a reading, come get a cup of tea, come say hello.
Brigid claimed me three or four years ago. This Celtic goddess of inspiration, healing, justice, and the waters feels so familiar in essence. This year, I found myself astir with a strange energy before Her ritual. Feeling my heart, feeling the world. As I sat down for a breath, the poem I share below arrived, almost as if it had been waiting for me to pause. And listen. Here, for you, an early version.
I'm almost too hot to come to you tonight, Brigid.
Or is it cold I feel—your fire burning in a village whose
center has retreated?
My own center is turning around & around
& I, dervish, uncombed, undone
in the whirling center of my world
let birds fly out of my mouth
whose messages may be read by our darkest skies--
surely there is light out there to read them by—
surely the light that burns in the center of our universe is bright
enough to bring us home.
Bright like your name, Brigid.
Bright like your songs & spells & forge.
Bright enough to forge darkness into home.
It is dark tonight.
This night, night after night
repeats & we wonder
after light, lament, fire.
I stumble around for resolution, a neat way
to part this hot & cold night.
For surely—it cannot but be—
there is a place where all that draws closer
draws the color of its own heart into light.
Surely, Brigid, you want me there tonight
& together we will turn
hot into cold
then hot again.
Day after day the wheel turns
& there is a day that will come
when day will follow night.
Surely, your name will draw in the bright
stars, bright waters
where dragons still tend to the central fire
of our village, its linked heart.
My neighbor found a dead bird on his porch a few days ago. He texted another neighbor and me to ask how he could get the bird removed. I just knew this was something I wanted to handle. To give the bird a good burial. To honor her life, her flight. To speak a prayer, a blessing.
This felt like one of those unspoken duties towards the nonhuman realms one does not even know one has until one is in conscious synchronization and cooperation with them.
As I scooped the earth out with my bare hands to prepare a bird-sized hole, I found myself thinking of death rites across cultures. Who amongst my ancestors had prepared earth graves just in this way, before or after lighting fire to pyres became the practice. How long does it take for all the constituents of life to return to earth - to First Mother - so they may be rebirthed, participating in a new form in the cycle of life and nourishment.
All life is living the great purpose of life. When one strand breaks, the web feels it.
I wondered what my neighbors would think if they saw me burying the bird in this way. They did not ask me for details, and I did not offer them. But right there I had stepped into the moment that asked me to claim my difference.
Spirit bird asking me to lay to rest the appearance of convention, of regularity, of normalcy.
How often I've struggled with the part of me that wants to be no more than conventional, regular, normal... contrary to how I experience the world!
But 2018 is Nature Year. A year to claim our magic and authenticity. The deepest reaches of our own possibilities. As we become more of ourselves, the world blazes into its wildest dream becoming.
Recently, my dreams have been populated with the wedeme (wild beings of nature) - me as wedeme - asking me to claim that wild becoming. What is safe is not me being like everyone else, but me knowing all my reaches, all that is deep and wild, within me.
Can I remember who I am even when the mirrors around me are dark, blurry, partial, indifferent? Can I remember compassion? Can I remember that this wild story I am co-creating flows into me from Source?
Its uniqueness is unassailable. When the light in our story is further away, the key is to remember that adversity has a purpose too. It is here to shape us into our truest connection to ourselves.
Authenticity is extraordinary.
Here is a meditation I invite you to join me in. Name each of your shadow or wild aspects. Say, this here is an aspect of me. Say, this is not all of me. Do this until you have acknowledged all that wants to flow into your awareness as part of your greater story.
Then let yourself connect to the greatness and joy of your story. This human/divine story that you are co-creating with Source! With Life.
Monica is a poet, writer, diviner, medium, and theorist. She was born in Ranchi, India, and blends earth-ecstatic ancestral medicine and teachings. She is a bearer of the medicine of kontomble, the elementals, the little people as they are called by the Dagara from Burkina Faso.
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