A Dreamer in Downtown

I wrote this piece in one of the hardest struggles I have had to face as a mother trying my best to pave a new path. In my absolute lowest, I could not shake my dreams. In fact, as a mother on Welfare (yes I said it!) leaving a ridiculously toxic relationship, I made investments in feminine business coaching programs, healing coaching programs and of course invested in the dreams of those I love. And I will never regret that. Tending to one’s dream is magic, especially so when facing seemingly insurmountable struggles. Call it crazy, I call it unconditional love for creator’s gifts:

I walked past tents on the street in Downtown Los Angeles

Past the makeshift dressing area

The tarp and rope

Discontinued radio on the pavement

Milk crates turned to seats

I remember the loss of being without a home. I didn’t stay without a roof over our head. For that we are blessed. But I remember the loss of being without a home. I stayed in a motel that I paid with a voucher from the county of Los Angeles. I remember the shame I felt to walk into the gates of a motel with my son in a stroller and my daughter hand in mine. I know the loss of being without a home.

I continue walking

I see a man sitting

Studying a text

His mind was lit

He made a desk with four bricks and a beaten up door

And though he lived in the street, he had a desk to work out of.

And I remember that feeling as well. I made a desk out of the table in my motel room. I had my life to work out. I made a desk that I made calls from for work, for housing, for support. I made a desk I painted on at night. I cried on that desk. And I got napkins from off that desk, wiped my tears and began to write. I remember that feeling –the feeling of having purpose.

I walk toward the sound of the drums

Feathers swiftly whisking away

The scent of copal

I breathe deeply

I close my eyes

I remember that moment. When I first saw the father of my children, before our children. When we first glanced at each other. He danced his permiso and as he turned and landed his sight on me. His eyes fixed on mine. We were both stunned. I wore a painted an amoxtli style lechuza on my skirt. And there he was dancing with lechuzas on his headdress. We danced on a slippery wet earth that day, after the rain had fallen the night before. I could have fallen in it so many times but I fell in love with him instead. I remember that moment when I danced my way towards love.

I give thanks

I feel the gratitude

The collective prayer that we are weaving

I look up

I see

A hawk spiraling above.

I remember all his sacred gifts. He gave me two hawk earrings for my birthday the first year. He could have given me just a kiss and I would have felt blessed with that alone. Every gift he offered to me was medicine. Every word he shared with me was wise. And the love we made was gentle. He used to tell me that I would see hawks so much because he had them watch over me.

Ometeotl

Giving thanks for the precious gift of sight

I pray to myself

I give thanks

I give thanks for my children

I give thanks for my family

I give thanks for my senses

I give thanks to the elements

I give thanks to all of the earth dwellers and the sky nations

I give thanks for being free

I remember the day I saw in his eyes and saw two children. I remember I told him without fear or doubt, “You are going to be the father of my children.” I felt his heart stop and I held him. I held him strong and in my being I could not take back what I had said. I didn’t want to take it back or wished I hadn’t seen it. I knew the truth in his eyes. I knew how many times love had hurt him. And I held him strong.

That same night. I saw his eyes change in front of me. He went away somewhere far and cold. He said he didn’t love me and wanted to take me home. But he never took me home and asked me to hug him. So I held him strong. And I loved him anyway. Every single time he hurt me with his words or with his touch, I loved him anyway. I didn’t know I could love like that. I didn’t know it was possible to give true love to someone who had intended harm upon me.

I walk past the shawls

The morales and backpacks

The lined up Zapatista dolls

The Worry Dolls

Baby wearing dolls

Trompitos in a basket

The beaded earrings

the embroidered huipiles

I enter a shop

I bought a gift for him there

The embroidered cloth he uses for his altar

I remember when my daughter was 6 months. I had just put her to sleep. We had painted in the living room the new ombligo we were presenting for our ceremony Nemi in Tlazohtla-Living in Love. And I get up to put it all away. He went downstairs. I went back to bed. He walked in furious. Telling me I needed to find his paint that I put away. I tell him where he could find it. But he’s angry. He wants me to get up and find it. When I have no idea, which color he used. I laugh. And he begins to throw the paints. Squeeze the tubes out. Like a child having a tantrum, he spreads blue paint on the pillows, the sheets, my arms, my shoulders and my face with blue and black. I remember, as ridiculous as I looked, I prayed in front of his altar. The one with the cloth I gifted him. The cloth embroidered with stoic hawks.

I see mirrors and crosses

On the wall

LA Virgen, Tonantzin

Relics and rosaries

Copaleros- Popoxcomitl

Barro

Barro Negro

Barro Quemado

That was the night, something in me died. I didn’t stop my search to recover what had died inside of me. Maybe I would find my fire again. I lit fires as the drums began but they were never again the same fires I knew I could light. I had medicines all around me and my little ones. But the medicine I wanted was his love. He would get angry and say, “Leave, if you don’t like it leave!” He would feel sad and say, “Come back, I want you back.” I remember feeling afraid. Afraid to stay. Afraid to leave. I remember telling myself, in my darkness, that if I stopped living, my daughter would never know that her father didn’t love her mother. As I reflect, now, in my higher self, I give thanks to all the medicines around me. Because I didn’t. And I’m here on earth, giving thanks.

I see the crystal necklaces

Silver rings

Abalone earrings

The stone people

The mineral kingdom

I walked with a small turquoise egg bead in a leather pouch tied to the loop of my pants. I gave thanks then to being a survivor. And as I walk now with a new medicine bundle. Two spirited Mama walking with two little ones committed to being spiritual warriors. Semillitas in spirit world whose eyes I never saw you will always be loved. You are remembered. You are honored. Medicine babies in this earth and on the other side. I cherish you. I walk with strength in my steps for my little ones. Completely torn inside and out and yet I have every power within me to heal and offer true love. I give thanks to have survived the war within. I take with me the precious gems of our story and string new patterns, new paths.

On my way out of darkness

Yayauqui Tezcatlipoca

Black Mirror that smokes

I give you thanks

Shadow

I see you

I know you

I only feed you

when there is a rightful war to fight

Only honorable rage

Entering into the red of my eyes

Tlatlauqui Tezcatlipoca

Red Mirror that smokes

I join you

I embrace the shedding

Shedding intentionally

Shedding with grace

Shedding skins and blood for the wars to come

Blue waters that pour from my heart

Yahuitl Tezcatlipoca

Blue Mirror that smokes

Activating the waters in all my being

with intention to walk

in my own heart’s direction

the sweat on my back

fruit of my labor

my will to live and give life

Iztac Tezcatlipoca

Clear mirror that steams

I create beauty out of the present

I see my errors and my ego

I will not harm what holds life

I will protect the precious seeds I have been gifted to care for

I will only offer beauty, love and forgiveness

as I have been given a chance to breathe life

giving thanks yet again

for all of our errors and ignorance

creator still lifts us to see another sun

Remembering Summer of 2014

 With love to a beautiful spirit Osiris ❤

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Mercury Retrograde: Backwards Medicine

Enter the reigns of backwards medicine. It is here that I remember to learn to laugh off the cosmic joke surely after a good amount of angst and frustration is felt. I give thanks for my life. Thanks Creator for this thing called life, for the breath that enters me like a dosage of tranquility when entered slowly and with intention. To breathe in peace in the midst of confusion, hurt or anger is precious medicine.

I realize that most of my life was backwards. I was raised on reverse psychology –Mexican style. No wait –Rancho Style: Panindicuaro, Michoacan Style. I can still smell the burnt trash on the hill and the yerba Buena at the entrance of my Grandparents turquoise adobe home. I can hear the birds chirp and feel the dog try to lick my hands. This is where my mother grew up and learned that this was not the life she wanted. I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t want to wake up making meals all day, cleaning and hearing refranes all day. She still flashes these memories back to me, “uuh, Si te hablaria como me hablaba mi mama… no aguantarias!” And she’s absolutely right. I wouldn’t hang in a life like that. That wasn’t my life. And that wasn’t her life either. My momma had dreams to be a poet by night and a fashion designer by day. Queria ser una capitalina –except that patriarchy stole that from her. So she adjusted. She became the opposite of her desires. And yet through it all she has masterful sarcasm that helps her get through it all.

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I grew up in South Central LA. A sensitive little girl in a tough neighborhood. Recently my brother reminded me that he had to mute the TV when the “X-Files” theme song would play because it would trigger me. He would have loved to taunt me with it but my Dad would tell him not to. I remember when I was made fun of by brothers who would call me Moe for reasons I have yet to figure out. I remember I would want to laugh it off and yet felt an incredible sense of vulnerability followed by morifying embrassment for having a feeling about being the target of laughter. I wish it was recorded.  Right before I would actually cry in these sorts of scenarios, I would smile then involuntarily frown then smile then frown then smile then frown then smile then cry. No joke! Smile now, cry later was exactly it for me. Only immediately later.

So how is this relevant to Mercury Retrograde? Well, I’m beginning to realize that my whole life was a sort of training for how to ride this wave of backwards medicine. Mercury Retrograde provokes communication breakdowns. Cell phones break, snail mail gets lost, computers crash and brains seem to work on different frequencies not being able to process the misunderstandings happening right before our very eyes. And people get mad or get to reflect. What was that about? Why did I think that? Why did she say that? Etc. My mom revels at that sort of thing. Laughs that you mistook her. Enjoys the reaction of human folly. In some ways, I admire her for that. It’s also because of my mom that I have what I diagnosed myself with as Singing Terrets. In the pains that my mother could not express (because creator forbid she felt her pains) she would sing. As a kid, I would see her in the kitchen singing and she would ask me to sing with her. So there we were like Coyotes howling at the moon. Dancing and laughing and I didn’t know then what she carried to cause the random bouts of energy. So I learned to laugh it off, sing it off and dance it off when I couldn’t hold it all in me anymore. Because well, why dwell in it. Humanity is a thing of entertainment.

Huey Coyotzin is the archetype of Backwards Medicine in Mexicayotl. He is depicted singing and playing drums in the sacred texts. Coyote is the great trickster. The playful creature with a powerful curiosity who just doesn’t seem to get it. It might have seen the armadillo roll into a ball and take off before its eyes many times and yet every time it sees an armadillo, Coyote goes for it. It’s not that he doesn’t have sharp instincts, it’s that it’s entertaining to Coyote. It’s fun. He thinks, “Maybe I’ll get it this time!” I know that folks on the red road get very weary when that Coyote shows up, “Nooooo!” we think “What’s tricking me now?” It seems to come in a veil mistrusting the unknown and the known. Truthfully, Coyote is an omen of innocence and curiosity. It’s an omen of humor and learning through opposites. It’s the stuff great novels and albums are made of. And in this day in age, that makes for great reality TV and meme posts. It’s a testament to our humanity. Sometimes I think Scientist must work with Coyote medicine. I mean, they have a hypothesis and test it over and over in pure quest to find the truth. And they work kind of backwards: First you have your assumption, then you experiment to find the answer as opposed to experiencing something first then reaching a conclusion without an assumption.

All this to say, that humanity is a tricky sort of thing. I can tell you what I mean but sometimes it’s understood better if I sing it to you then the notes, the vibrations and the gestures in my face will tell you what my poker face cannot. Especially because we are taught to hide our emotion, hide our humanity. I am realizing that Coyote medicine can serve humanity as its muse.

Interestingly enough, before Xochiquetzalli -the archetype of blooming beautifully like a flower- became the patron of visionaries and artists she was first Ixnextli -with eyes of ashes- the shadow archetype to the goddess. Ixnextli was punished for cutting the flowers of Tamoanchan -the place where the unborn fed from the trees to return to humanity. Her punishment was to stare into sun until her eyes became ashes. The working symbolism here, as I interpret it, is having chosen not to honor life that was yet to be born, Ixnextli’s punishment was then to see the light -to undo her shadow until she bloomed. Until she became like the flower. It is in Ixnextli’s fall of grace that she was able to become the patron Goddess of those who need to grow into their true selves by believing in their higher self. A beautiful story of how backwards medicine may still lead us to redemption and to serve others in doing so.

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Coyote Asks: How will you take what pains you and make it serve you? Or will you choose to let what pains you be your master? And as it reads your confused face, Coyote would say, “Keep trying. You’ll figure it out!”

Channeling the Creatress

The inspiration to create art, to philosophize and to create music feeds my fire and penetrates my soul.  I am learning that consciousness is on a schedule. Before every major evolutionary change consciousness equips us with the tools to ensure our survival. There is so much power in learning and the ability to imagine another world. Imagination is sacred. Our herstories and our cultures in Mesoamerica were not static; they were ever changing and shifting in tune with the flow of consciousness. We knew the schedule of that consciousness. We knew the birth of our galaxy. We knew when life as was known will no longer be -when that fateful day would come. Everything in our everyday reality is affected by cosmic transitions and alignments and our ancestors understood this and studied these phenomenon well. The flow of cosmic energies was built into every facet of our material and spiritual culture. 

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Raoul De La Sota

What intrigues me about the studies of evolution is the question of what makes us human? What sets us apart from other earth dwellers not so we can boast in how cool humans are but rather to come back to our essence in harmony with other earth dwellers. The fascinating part about the beginning of our existence is our ability to adapt and envision new life paths. Our recent eldest ancestor developed an ability to imagine another world, another way to hunt, to bead, essentially their ability to create and affect change that allowed them to survive in the rapidly and violently evolving world. More importantly the Paleolithic human was equipped with foreseeing change and creating change. In contrast to Neanderthals who were not able to survive because they lacked the ability to imagine other possibilities. Being a warrior was their way of life. Innovation and intuition not their strongest point. 

In my attempt to find sources of Paleolithic human’s existence in the Americas in standard physical anthropology, I came to a disturbing realization.  I found sections on Cro-Magnon and subsections of findings in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia but I found nothing in standard texts about Paleolithic Mesoamerica. Realizing this disparity, I was reminded of similar feelings through my public education. It is apparent to me is that the accessibility of such research and information is limited. So spare me the
Bering Strait theory -I find that usually traditional U.S. public education tends to place cultures against one another and assumes that one culture, Western Culture, is superior. Why else would it be so hard to find evidence of ancient Mesoamerican knowledge and creation such as Paleolithic art?

I refused to believe these ethnocentric notions of cultural superiority and will keep on with my research. What I was able to find were eloquent articulations of my gut feeling and it was healing to me to find some form of academic validation that came to me in the term of multi-genesis.  At last, my ancestors were recognized as humans participating in the same phenomenon that we call creating art fitting with the schedule of Eurocentric history. Luis Aveleyra Arroyo de Anda resonates with the voice of my intuition when he affirms that “this theory [of multi-genesis] claims that art appeared for the first time at the very beginning of the upper Paleolithic, among the Combe-Capelle and Cro-Magnon varieties of the sapiens species of [hu]mankind” and as I continued reading the article a smile drew upon my face when the main evidence of Paleolithic human’s artistic activity was the carved bone in the shape of a coyote found in Northern Mexico –the same carved bone that we saw in class. Aveleyra Arroyo de Anda’s explanation for why this art was created also fit very well with my understanding of this major evolutionary event. He states that “Paleolithic art was created when this simple mental connection, purely imaginative, became insufficient for ritual purposes of propitiatory magic, and [hu]man began to intervene in the appearance of nature.”

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Mayan Scribe Artist

The practice of art is then what distinguishes us as a species. It is significant because of our role on our Earth as creators, as a microcosm of the divine that is the ancient stars of the universe. Our ability to tell stories, to make others share in our feelings, to shape the way we see the world is a powerful tool and I think this ability was not treated lightly in the Americas but seen with a great responsibility.

Perhaps these responsibilities were later outlined by the schools of Quetzalcoatl wherein divine leaders, seers, scientists and artists taught humanity of the sacred power of prayer –another major evolutionary benchmark. I think that those who outlined the role of the artist understood the power of what might now be identified as cultural materialism. The pots, jars, architecture, art, instruments of this ancient time were all used to teach something to the individual. Essentially that material part of our culture is what informs us about our culture in the way that a random magazine at a grocery store can inform us about our culture today. The difference from commercial culture, which we are very familiar with to earth based cultures is the amount of meaning that is placed in these objects.

I personally love that the artist in ancient times was also the teacher because of the didactic value of art. Artists had a close relation to the tlamatinime, which was in essence the scientist, philosopher, spiritual guide, and the elder. The one who would count the days was the tlamatinime and their role in making the culture disseminate was essential but would not have been possible without the aid of the artist. In this way, art was functional objects that had rich meanings. Art had a dual nature, the way most things in Mesoamerican traditions have –form and essence.

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Blooming with Venus

We know plenty about the Greek/ Roman mythology of Venus/ Aphrodite -the tempestuous and sometimes capricious goddess of love. We know, perhaps vaguely, the western astrology concept of Venus and its reigns on our intimacy and love relationships according to our horoscope signs and houses. And if you were paying attention to your social media feed, you might have noticed torturous posts hastagging the ever ominous #VenusRetrograde wreaking havoc in everyone’s love life. If your social media feed was anything like mine, you saw posts of break ups, weddings, anniversaries and reconciliation sprinkled with Single warriors relaying messages of Self-Love.

Well, I’m here to boggle your mind a bit about an Aztec and perhaps Mesoamerican-wide cosmology as it relates to Venus and yes, your love life. Bear with me and I’ll spare you the heavy dosage of mathematics.

In Aztec, Toltec, Mexica and otherwise Mesoamerican cosmology, the Venus archetype is our very own Quetzalcoatl. Yes, you may be aware of him as “the feathered serpent” if you ever took a Chicano Studies class and they may have informed you of a particular story, Ce Acatl Topotzin the great emperor who was non-violent in his military strategies and received only peaceful sacrifices in forms of song, dance, and art only to fall from grace by being tempted by sex and beauty to the point of sleeping with his sister and in his sobriety fled westward into the ocean. And yes, you may have heard that this is why the Mexicas accepted Hernan Cortes domain as he was thought to be the Quetzalcoatl incarnate.

Well, I’m here to say that while Ce Acatl Topitzin’s story may be true, in no way is he the Quetzalcoatl. It is more likely he was on the Quetzalcoatl path. In fact, that whole “Hernan Cortes was thought to be Quetzalcoatl” offers no weight in my book. Come on, Mexicas had an intricate sewage system while the French dumped their waists out their windows.. I’m not buying it. And on an entirely different blog, I may be tempted to go in on how that whole concept is inherently white supremacist and hegemonic. But that’s not the point of this post. So let’s brush that critique aside and pretend this is your first time hearing about Quetzalcoatl for a brief moment.

The nahuatl etemology of the word Quetzalcoatl is two words conjugated: Quetzalli meaning beautiful and coatl meaning serpent. To further elaborate quetzal is thought to be the bird which decorates the beautiful flag of Guatemala. And of course it is in Spanish. In nahuatl however, the Quetzal bird is quetzaltototl meaning beautiful bird. Just as stones such as opal is quetzaliztlipyolitli: quetzalli– the beautiful; iztli-stone; p– derived from ipan-within/embodying; yolohtli– heart. The pattern here is that nahuatl word quetzalli means beautiful and not feathered. You will find some glyphs depict Quetzalcoatl with feathers and others depict Quetzalcoatl masked as ehecatl the wind holding a serpent. The concept here is that the serpent is elevated from the earth into the wind transmuting into its higher self.

So, beautiful serpent is a concept that is not personified by one person or deity but rather a school of discipline in the arts that is inherently non-violent. This is the practice of transmuting vibrations as the serpent does into the higher self. This is the beauty way of mastering base emotions and working through them to create poetry, song, dance, visual art, sculptures and great pyramids.

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Entering the path of the beautiful serpent

What about Venus? The interesting this is that in the collective conscious most cultures understand the planet Venus affects our love relationships. This is still true for the Mexicas. In overcoming unhealthy attachments or detachments is a primer to tapping into our higher self, our path of the beautiful serpent. But wait, there’s more.

Mesoamerica had great scholars in astronomy, specifically the Mayas whose temples scholars mistake as sacrificial centers may have been the most advanced observatories of their time. The Dresden codex, one of seven of the surviving pre-colonial texts is basically a venus alamanac of dates that mark the cycles of Venus, the Moon and the Sun in its calendric systems –and arguably other planets as well. From this text, the surviving calendar systems have been reconstructed. And though I have no proof in arguing that the Mexica consulted with the Maya on these calendric changes being that towers of books that would have proved or refuted my humble speculation were burned and perhaps we may never know how these exchanges happened.

Nonetheless, Mexica counts of the Venus cycle are still found in stone, the commonly known “Aztec Calendar” also known as the Sun Stone or the Eagle Stone. The small abstract flower glyphs at the rim of the sculpture are actually counts of Venus cycles. One flower represents the five cycles of venus which as was observed by the Mexica and perhaps most ancient Mesoamericans, as a four petals with a circle in its center. The time that it takes for this cycle to complete is 8 years. And, I did say I would spare you the mathematics but what is important here is that there is an understanding of the 5 station changes within one cycle of Venus.

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Back to Quetzalcoatl, there is something missing in terms of how we reach a state of transmutation. And the answer to that missing piece is that two major archetypes complete our experience before reaching this state, the first is light and the second is the darkness.

The Venus morning star is called Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli in Mexicayotl. Tlahuiz meaning yellow, cal as in calli or home; pan derived of ipan again within or embodying; tecuhtli refers to divinity or guardian of. This translates to Gaurdian of the house of light. As yellow represents brightness of the sun or the east region in Mexicayotl –the doorway where we enter into our earth walk. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is displayed as having a defleshed face to represent the state of being in between the spirit realm and the human realm. He is also almost always depicted smiling. This archetype represents the innocence in the will to love and be open-hearted. This is a very youthful energy and if ever you let yourself fall in love without fear and in complete faith and trust then you know what Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli energy feels like -when Venus is Direct.

Xolotl is another story. Xolotl is depicted as a dog and sometimes as a salamander (axolotl) and other monstrous representations of things unknown to humans. Xolotl in essence is a shape shifter. This is wherein the Venus retrograde applies. The shadow energy of Venus that forces us to revisit wounds and failures so they may be assessed and transmuted. Xolotl in nahuatl translates to servant, which is arguable. Other sources translate the word as head. What is true about xolotl is that is a trickster of sorts with very honorable intentions. In a very prominent creation story, it is said that Xolotl shape shifted into a dog and assisted Quetzalcoatl as a guide into the underworld to steal bones in order to create humanity. So yes, Xolotl is shady. It does after all exist in the underworld and did steal but for a great cause and in partnership with Quetzalcoatl.

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Quetzalcoatl then is a synthesis of these two human realities the light and the dark. To be able to access both capacities of divine innocence and survival instincts for the higher good. The path of the beautiful serpent is to understand the whole without judgment and without attachment. To understand the totality of humanity and rejoice in it through song, dance, and art is the ultimate expression of Quetzalcoatl energy.

If, Venus retrograde was tough on you. Please take this awareness with you. Know honoring what exists in the shadows is also part of the path of enlightenment and truest expression of love –that which is human in all its folly as well as perfect in its divinity. Accept all of yourself and that of the other. We are all learning on this path and yet it is our choice what we do with our stories –whether we choose be unaware of them and rejoice in innocence, suppress the stories in the shadows or be inspired by our story enough to create beauty out if it all.

Loving yourself in all your humanity is the ultimate expression of love. And in believing you are worthy of love as is, you just wont settle for anything less than your total worth -the good, the bad and the resilient. It is in this journey of self love where we can truly learn how to be of service to others and our earth mother.

The Cosmic Dance

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There are basic scientific principles of the sun, moon and earth, which all early ancestors of humanity were able to discern. The movements of these bodies create the dance that inform our relation to time and emotional cycles or biorhythms that all of earth’s creatures experience. The sun is in constant movement flowing outward magnetic solar flares from within its core that return to its origin in its center. The earth dances in spirals around the sun because it is drawn to its magnetism and light. The moon flows within the earth’s orbit, flowing gracefully pulled by the earth’s gravity within its atmosphere. Each of these bodies along with all our neighboring planetary systems and constellations impact our biorhythms. However the Sun, Moon and Earth have a special relation to our immediate physical, spiritual and emotional conditions. The sun is the star of light that gives us the day and feeds our plants and our skins. The sun reflects its light onto the moon as the earth, our mother buries the sun’s direct light during the night.

My ancestors passed down a creation story of that outlines the relationship between sun, moon and earth that tied them as Son (Sun), daughter (moon) and the Earth Mother. Coatlicue (skirt of Seprents) was Coyolxauqui’s (bells on her cheeks) mother meaning that the earth was the moon’s mother. The story describes Coyolxauqui as having a negative relation to her mother because she is jealous that her mother had become pregnant by picking a feather that she placed in her bosom. She felt her mother had disgraced her and their family and wanted to kill the mother and her unborn brother. While Coyolxauqui was attempting an attack on the earth, her mother, Huitzilopochtli (Left sided Hummingbird) is born from Coatlicue’s womb and subsequently attacks Coyolxauiqui shooting her into the sky and dismembering her into pieces that will later become the moon.
This creation story was puzzling to me at first because I couldn’t find a meaning that was appealing to me. Why was the story so violent and full of conflict? In doing further research I found a scientific explanation for the origin of the moon otherwise known as the Giant Impact Theory. According to the theory, “a huge rocky mass the size of planet Mars collided with Earth about 20 million years after the Earth had formed.” The debris from the impact formed around the Earth in a ring shape and developed into what is now known as the moon today. I watched a program on the discovery channel about this same event and it seems that moon rocks had been tested and found alarming amounts of minerals of the Earth. The story of Coyolxauqui clicked at that moment. The impact made the connection of what my ancestors were communication in their creation story.

The Moon’s Duality
The moon’s central power is to harness the duality of the sun and the earth because the moon is formed by earth minerals and yet it reflects the sun’s light, when the earth permits it. Within harnessing the duality of light and darkness, the moon maintains its own cycle of duality of light and darkness by offering to us its new moon darkness as it transitions into its full moon light and transitions into an ongoing cycle. The moon cycle has a profound relation to all of humanity, bodies of water and all of earth’s creatures that contain water. It has been observed throughout time that the Full moon causes water to rise because of the gravitational pull of the moon is strongest when it is full and energized by the sun. Because humans are 80% water, we are just as affected the moon’s cycle. Consequently, at new moon there is less of a gravitational pull making for water to sink or remain low.

Understanding the duality of the moon can be an empowering tool to manage our energies by the moon cycles since we are being affected by it anyway.

The New Moon
The dark energy of the moon in new moon makes it a great time to plant seeds in the earth and plant intentions in the subconscious. It is a great time to clear yourself energetically as the dark part of one’s own energy can take over. The new moon energy is about pulling downward so the the unconscious part of your brain, the lower self is stronger. That means that we need to work more attending to what is in our lower self or in our shadow as my ancestors called it. It’s like cultivating the soil and irrigating the earth so that the seeds that you intend to harvest will grow. At this time we can become impulsive, dynamic and have the will to begin new endeavors or relationships. Being mindless about this time can create a lot of chaos in the world because it means we are acting on energies that we are not consciously aware we want. What we are putting out there in new moon will manifest by full moon. I have no doubt about that since I have been tracking my healing progress with each moon cycle. I have learned to practice being mindful and intentional in the new moon time. I have made it a discipline to tap into my subconscious and clear out what is inside. I do a lot of smudging, journaling and visual art at this time.

New moon time is also an excellent time to menstruate because it allows for shedding of old emotional wounds that need to be let go of before those issues resurface in the next cycle of moon. There is a practice called Lunaception that was developed by physicist Edmund Dewan and Louise Lacey to regulate your menstruation cycle with the moon using lights. The idea is to sleep in total darkness except during full moon time. The woman’s body will naturally begin to respond by ovulating on the 14th or 15th day of your menstruation cycle (counting the first day of your cycle as the first day you bleed). This is a powerful birth control method that activates hormones that produce ovulation during the dark days or what would be perceived as the new moon.

The ancients probably did not have to struggle to regulate their menstruation cycles because there was less artificial light at night. The moon’s light would be the only true source of light at night. In the nahuatl tribes and nations including the Aztec (ancient Mexicans) the moon is referred to as Metzli. Metzli is depicted in codices as being dark within with water rising from it. Around it is the white of the moon depicted as a bowl that is open at the top. The codex image of the moon has also been connected with womb energy and fertility. The rabbit represent fertility and sexuality. What is written about Metzli by mexicayotl philosophers is that this is a dark energy inside of us. This is the part of our consciousness that is deep. So in order to practice any sort of manifestation we begin with working with our shadow self to clear out the obstacles that we will create for ourselves later.

As we transition into the first quarter moon, we may face a challenge of some kind, that usually is the new moon’s intentions that begin to present itself. It is important that we not internalize the challenge emotionally but rather use the intellectual tools of analysis and evaluation to make sense of how we were open to these challenges and how the challenge may serve us in manifesting our true desire in the full moon time.

The Full Moon
The light energy of the moon is bright and beautiful. This reflects the conscious part of our energy. We are willing to project our higher self at this time. The light of the moon is causing the water energies, our emotions to rise. We may be feeling the need to connect with a larger crowd or share with others. We may want to go dancing and fall in love. If we have mental health issues such as depression or anxiety those emotions may be heightened as well. During the full moon time, I am aware that I want to project my energy and I am more open to receiving. And though I may feel the urge to go out and share of my sexual energy I don’t. I have found that is a time that opens my heart and my sacral/sexual energy and I channel that energy to work at tending my intentions that were set in the new moon. If I made an intention to heal a certain aspect of my life a situation like that may come up so I make use of that time and channel my creative energy to create a viable opportunity to heal something, to create something, to solve something or answer a mystery I had about myself. During full moon I like to celebrate since my energy tends to be happy I made it another moon cycle. I like to do tarot readings and use divination in general because I am more apt at getting the answers I need. I also like to sing and pray. I have found that going to full moon sweat is better on me that in new moon.

When our menstruation cycles are regular with the moon we may also find that we have a stronger sexual energy from ovulation. An unconscious womb that is disconnected from the higher self in the mind and the heart may want to take a mate because it wants there may be an unconscious desire to create a baby and this can manifest as an unwanted pregnancy. A conscious womb may also want the same as well but is consciously co-creating with their mate. If pregnancy is not a true desire at this time, it is still important to honor the womb’s desire to create and be rhythmic. I think this would be a great time to chanel sexual energy and dance or use yoni eggs. I have not yet worked with a yoni egg because I am breastfeeding but I am very excited to work with my womb and develop a relationship to my womb in this way.

The energy of the full moon is also a time when Coyolxauhqui is strongest, like a tempestuous and rebellious daughter she is more visible in the full moon. She is a dismembered woman wearing her head dress and armor. She is the energy of decisive action and power. I feel she is memorialized as the full moon energy as a cautionary tale to check with our emotions and be aware of how we externalize them.

As we transition back into new moon time, we might become enlightened to find solutions to our challenges and be able to move some of our blocks so we may implement our true intentions planted in the previous new moon time. The last quarter moon allows for a flow and release that ready us to make conscious decisions. This energy prepares us to sow new intentions and release a part of ourself that no longer serves us.

Honoring the moon cycles and riding the wave of our emotional intelligence unveils much of our personal power. We dance with the moon and court our higher self in practicing self-awareness, self-love and self-healing.

Call For Submissions: Gender, Sexuality & Decolonization

Call for submissions

Unsettling America

Image via 2spirits.comDecolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society invites submissions from scholars, artists, and activists for a new special issue of the journal exploring gender, sexuality and decolonization, guest edited by Karyn Recollet (University of Toronto), in conjunction with Eric Ritskes, Editor of Decolonization. This issue invites us to consider both the centrality of gender and sexual violence to colonization, but also, relatedly, the centrality of gender and sexual justice to decolonization. Too often these issues have been seen as peripheral to the larger struggles against colonialism, too often cis-heteropatriarchal normativity has been justified in the name of decolonization. This has to stop. To us, it seems impossible to discuss Indigenous sovereignty without a discussion of body sovereignty. It seems impossible to discuss environmental justice without connecting the violence against the earth to the violences against our bodies, particularly the bodies of women, Two Spirit, queer, transgender and others who fall beyond…

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a yearning for spirit rooted activism

I belong to a change-making community. I co-exist with co-creators and visionaries with the audacity of imagining other world of possibilities. Alternately, I have co-habited with people who treat dreamers like me with contempt.

I am often hurt by the frequented injustice that we experience both intimately and publicly. I am horrified by the ugliness and the pain that oppression breeds within us. I am confronted with poverty, violence and addiction in the place I call my community just as it has crept into my relationships and my own body.

Still. I hold on to the inspiration of change-making in the way art-making provides a medium to channel a thought/idea/feeling. I struggle with identifying my previous work as a community organizer. I could not live up to my title or meet my numbers in those instances when my oppression had not been reconciled and yet my position was to hold space for those I sought to be of service to. It isn’t a cheesy cliche to say change starts within.

My ego resisted that growth. I believed I was ready because my desire and analysis were on fire. But the unhealed parts of myself surfaced and inundated my being with tides and currents that swept me back into deep parts of my unconscious where I knew injustice in a different way -where a tight analysis could no longer protect me from feeling the pain of it.

The kind of organizing I idealized was methodical and structured. Not a space where healing and change making can unravel simultaneously in the way art making had served me. So I stepped away and dove in.. immersed into my whole self -including the parts of me that hurt and are flawed. In doing so, I churned out massive visions of change-making, art-making and healing in community spaces. My process naturally gravatated toward making lists, proposals and flow charts but this time had spirit in its center.

It’s clear to me that I had tapped into a collection of synergetic visions and the frameworks for actualizing these spaces, projects and campaigns have yet to be constructed.

Movement and change as we know it is not sustainable. The greatest power we have offered our oppressors is to institutuionalize the radical idea that we are human and we have power in our unity. Post civil rights movement and the attempted economic and racial integration in the states ushered in the era of modern globalization, addiction, and the loss of identity as a community. The birth of fractionalized corporate sponsored change. I don’t want make change in a paradigm of hierchy, where deliverables matter more over peoples stories and desires.

Let me be straight up: i want to occupy a space the idea of balance and respect between and among all genders is the norm. I want to live in a way that is not toxic -not emotionally or physically.. Not toxic to our bodies, the earth or its creatures and elements. I want organize in a way that honors spirit -where protocol isn’t prioritized over prayer -where spirit is the trustful knowing within and not what a book says -where all participants are equal in their position in the space -Where prayer can be a political action and spirituality is about creativity and where nature and our intuition converge.
It is possible. We had such spaces before. We can still. We have a morsel of knowledge about how our ancestors organized themselves. we can reclaim that knowledge and allow for the evolution and creativity to recreate such spaces.

Counsils of concentric circles of children, elders, women, men and artists, philosophers, scientists, leaders, engeneers, mathmeticians, representatives, healers, educators, divinators and astronomers and laborers workered together and were dependent on one another. Cooperation being the stronghold of a nations power and not competion.

Another world is still possible…