dear toronto,

If this open letter to tdot is to stay true to its mission, it has to start with (re)acknowledging where we’re at, on turtle island & where we coming from, mama afrika. It’s also only natural that in speaking truth to power, we share that we are in our final stage/week of developing & organising for

  1. The Spaces Between [produced by the Peace camp],
  2. Peace is Possible Parade &
  3. summer workshops at Crescent Town Public School  with Full Circle, Regent Park Camp, Balmy Beach, Learning for Life, Seeds of Hope…..

The ‘official’ werd on the ground is

The Children’s Peace Theatre of Toronto will be holding its 10th annual Summer Peace Camp from July 5-24, 2010. Under the direction of Liz Pounsett and musical direction by award-winning jazz artist Brownman with the artistic direction of Karen Emerson.

A group of 60 children and youth will work alongside professional artists to create a theatrical collaboration called ‘The Space Between’.

This is bound to be the most provocative of Peace Camp productions as the children explore faith and reason and how these concepts affect our lives personally and globally. It confronts head on the issues associate with the interplay of faith and reason with the level of honesty, humor and energy only children and youth can impart. The Space Between is sure to be visually stunning, thought provoking and full of surprises].

http://www.peacetheatre.org/

We’re inviting Tdot, all our friends and visitors, to come with their pikney and friends, join us on Friday July 23rd and Saturday July July 24th in the PIP Parade and the gala performance of the Space Between.

So ofcourse we should first tell you the story about the source of this peace theatre.

Hapo (si) zamani (sana) ya kale

In 2000, the Hannon-Shields Centre for Leadership and Peace reclaimed parts of the Massey Goulding Estate and under the ‘official’ leadership of Robert Morgan, launched the Children’s Peace Theatre (PT)

As Robert has said: “We place children and youth centre stage, not because they are cute or candid, but because they display humanity’s capacity to evolve, even in the harsh conditions of the current times. Young people are demonstrating an instinctive desire to move away from the dominant culture of self-interestedness and aggression, and are moving instead towards building relationships and community due to an innate desire to seek stability, safety, and peace.

It is also evident that young people have the imagination and the energy that will be necessary to establish a new culture of peace. Watching young people from very different backgrounds cross paths, encounter conflict, and find creative ways of making the conflict evolve in positive directions, gives me the audacity to believe that peace is possible.”

http://books.google.ca/books?id=hfBaL4-ei2AC&lpg=PP1&ots=wjbLnY-b6-&dq=once%20upon%20a%20time%20there%20was%20a%20little%20girl%20healing%20power%20of%20fairy%20tales&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false

[10 years later, the ‘un-official’ werd on the ground on the opening ceremony  is: join us in a prayer circle on Friday July 23rd @ at 7:00am , in the heart of the peace forest.

The ‘official’ plan of the day is the Peace is Possible parade @ 11:00am, and the 2nd matinee of the spaces between which will begin @ 1.00pm, in the outdoor amphitheatre of the Peace Theatre @ 305 Dawes Road.]

[this subjective perspective on the process of manifesting justice, truth, reconciliation en peacemaking; is after many moons of ‘unofficially’ re/claiming the grounds of the peace forest,  since I came back from ‘home’ [aka. in another place, not here…], en in the years before, with osain as my colleague, en his home as my office. Close to eshu, obatala, ogun, oshun, oya en all the orishas.

I am deeply grateful for now ‘officially’ being part of that divine, growing team that is blessed, honoured and privileged to work here, [job soon dun, but it’s a contract with possible extensions of renewal nonetheless, and all the fertile spaces between metarmophoses, healing rituals & building solidarity with people of all faiths, all nations, with one prayer.

I give thanks for the artists, caregivers, comrades, elders en youth, peer educators, healers and peace makers, friends of PT, who contribute their energy, talent & time to rebuilding our communities, with our children, using arts for revolushunary social & spiritual change, sharing our healing stories with the 3c’s of PT]

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others. I pray for humbleness, for myself and others. Please forgive my sins, those that I know about, and those that I don’t know about, those I am yet to commit, and those of others. Inspire those without hope, and strengthen those without faith. I give thanks for the cool wotas, the sun, moon, and stars, for the birds, and our trees. Bless all our living relatives.Onikpite]

I give thanks for our continued re/learning of faith in the true (true) ways of the ‘natives’ of port credit Mississauga, for our deepening connecuns with egun,

Bless taylor creek park en all our neighbours en visitors. Bless the ancestors betwixt en between, all around  crescent town, goodwood, thorncliffe, dentonia park, jane&finch, parkdale, regent park, in all our enclaves, trees, en living relatives, in these diverse hoods.

PIP song

I give thanks for the burning, metamorphoses en (for) the spaces between spreading big love en positivity in our communities.  I give thanks that the fiya this time feels like ‘the revolushun’ is with our breaking bread, making arts en crafts, playing, praying, reasoning and replenishing not only ourselves, but with our families and friends, en ‘others’.

Bless the motherless and fatherless, those sick in hospital. Bless the homeless, and those who ignore them. Ifa,  I pray that you continue to guide us in coming to our right/full destinites. I pray that the circle may be unbroken. Bless our wotas en granmama earth. Ase. Ase….

[blogger’s notes: It’s, only officially, been less than a moon that I’ve been working on programs at the peace theatre, there’s still many pieces of the past that I’m not familiar with, but I give thanks that this place, in another space, not home, is exactly where I need to be,….naushukuru that the blessings of yesterday, manifested today en I pray for them to carry forward to tomorrow…..

85 days 16[+72]hours 25 minutes – the caps finally contained the oil spill, and we are bound to pray for our continued healing en self recovery, to learn from our mis-steps, and continue changing the destructive path we’ve been on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor-Massey_Creek

Taylor-Massey Creek is 16 kilometres long. Its headwaters are near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues. It flowed diagonally through Wishing Well Park and under Highway 401 at Pharmacy Avenue. The original headwaters were diverted to Highland Creek when the highway was widened to 12 lanes, so the creek now starts at a stormwater outfall just south of the highway.

The creek starts in Terraview Willowfield Park, a restoration project, named after a nearby public school. It flows through two medium sized ponds with naturalized channels. From there it flows southeast through a series of concrete lined channels and drains. This section runs along an abandoned hydro right-of-way before entering a residential and industrial section that is closed to public access.

South of Eglinton Avenue East it enters a shallow ravine and flows south passing through Pine Hills Cemetery. It exits the cemetery travelling west and enters a small park on St. Clair Avenue East. At Warden Avenue it turns southwest, moving through a park called Warden Woods. West of Pharmacy Avenue it enters a city run golf course. At Victoria Park Avenue it enters Taylor Creek Park and continues uninterrupted to where it empties into the Don River East Branch, just north of the forks of the Don.

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On Truth

 Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the Lord of Heaven who guides the world rightly.

Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the Unseen One guiding the world in the right way.

The wisdom that Olodumare uses, great wisdom, abundant wisdom.

Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the nature of Olodumare.

Truth is the word that cannot fall.

–Ese Ifa, Osa Otura

 

 

[blogger’s notes: Leo, hadithi ya kale ni ya egun en, the spaces between reclaiming, our knowledge of orishas]

 

Egun – our ancestors

Egun is the collective representation of the Ancestors.We often call our Ancestors by the name, Egun, which in Yoruba language means bones.

As we walk upon the Earth our feet press against the bones of the Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand. Like most indigenous cultures of the world, Afrikans believe that those who go before us make us what we are. When we walk on the Earth, we literally stand on the shoulders of those who bodies have been committed to the soil, the water, and the wind.

Our Ancestors influence our lives through heredity and human culture. However, there is an even deeper connection to the Ancestors as active spirits who continue to influence our lives. We humans honor them with altars, music and prayer. They in turn offer us guidance, protection and prosperity.

Read More

 

Eshu – divine messenger

Esu is the Divine Spirit of Communication, the well-spoken orator who speaks all languages. Esu translates messages between humans and Orisha. Without Esu our prayers would not be understood in heaven and we would be unable to understand the language of Orisha or our ancestors (Egun). Esu is the guardian of the crossroads, as such he opens and closes all doors and ceremonies.

Esu is the owner of ase, the dynamic power that pulses throughout the universe. He is one of the most tactile Orishas constantly stimulated by all he encounters. As such, Esu hates to be bored.As a force in nature Esu is absolutely masculine; however, Esu also has a nurturing side. Esu statues are sometimes sculpted with him having a large, erect penis and well-developed breasts. Esu’s primary colors are red and black.

  

Ochosi – the tracker/warrior

Ochosi is the Orisa associated with hunting and tracking. Ochosi is a nimble, strong, fast Orisha, a supreme marksman.  A “cool” Orisha, Ochoosi is called the “Left-handed Magician”, owing in part, to his ashe of stealth. Yoruba scholar, John Mason writes, that “Ochosi attacks like Ogun, sudden and deadly, yet the victim never sees the assailant or hears the report of the weapon, and that, “Ochosi only has to find a suitable perch and wait for his victims.”

Ochosi helps us to find the most efficacious path to what we aim to achieve. While Esu opens the door and Ogun clears the path, it is Ochoosi who, with bow and arrow aims and creates for us the path of least resistance.

 

Ogun – …of iron

Ogun is the Spirit of iron in Yoruba culture. Both a hunter and a warrior, Ogun uses an iron machete to cut through dense forest to procure food and medicinal herbs and to protect the lives of the community. Ogun helps us clear physical, psychological, or spiritual obstacles that block our ability to achieve our goals. Similarly, Ogun protects us from physical, psychological, or spiritual dangers.

 

Obatala…of the white cloth

Obatala, is the chief of the White Cloth, the Orisha who in Yoruba cosmology, first descended from heaven to earth with the tools for making the earth livable for humans. Obatala is considered the father of all orisa and is said to make the inner and outer heads of all humans.

Obatala is associated with purity, ethics and humility. Obatala is the Orisa of the elderly as well as the Orisa of those with physical disabilities. 

Aganju – the volcano

Aganju is the Orisa of the Uncultivated Earth, Lord of the Volcano, Lord of Caves, The Divine Ferryman.

Aganjú  is most often referred to as the Volcano. He is also the Orisa of untamed lands, from desert to mountains, the brother/husband of Yemoja. Like Olokun, is fabulously wealthy.  As Lord of Caves he owns all the mineral wealth of the earth. Aganju is also the navigator, knowing the safe passages and fjords across the river.  Followers of Santeria equate him with St. Christopher, for like St. Christopher, he will dance at a bembe with little children on his shoulders. Aganju is the bearer of burdens, (the shoulders and back belong to Aganju) the defender of the helpless, down trodden and enslaved. Aganju is a force of life that overcomes obstacles and does the impossible.

Aganyú is the symbol of all earth forces, particularly the core of the earth, the desert, and the volcano. He represents a brute and regenerative force that is responsible for all cataclysmic upheavals that change the face of earth. Volcanic lava is seen as his fiery breath and his power makes the earth gyrate upon its axis. Aganyú is depicted as the father of Shangó in some patakin, and a younger brother of Shangó in others.

 

Shango – “King of” King(s)

“Lightning reaches from the Realm of the Ancestors to Earth as a reminder of the humbling power that exists within Nature itself.”

In Ifa, Divine Justice is symbolized by lightning, one of the primal fires of the Earth in existence since the beginning of time.  Shango is the Orisha associated with the power of lightning and thunder, as well as the name of the Fourth Alafin (Chief) of Oyo. Oyo was a major Yoruba city and the name of a federation of city-states that existed during the 14th and 15th centuries in West Africa.

Oshun – the river

Oshun is the Orisa associated with fresh water. The name Oshun translates to mean “spring” or “source.” As the Orisa of fresh water, Oshun is the source of all life. She is the owner of the Osun river in Oshogbo, Nigeria. She is a powerful healer, especially as it concerns to issues of conception, women’s health and love relationships.

 

Oya – Mother of Nine

Oya is the complex Orisha who guides transformation and change in life.  As the Goddess of the Winds, she can come as a fierce tornado or hurricane or as a cool breeze on a hot summer day.  In her transformative mode she is always moving toward ideal justice for all. 

She wants the best for each of us, and sometimes that means taking away our illusions about the world regarding things and people.  Oya is also known as the keeper of the Ancestors.  In this capacity she serves as the guardian of Egun (Ancestors) at the outskirts of the cemetery, serving as mediator between the living and the sacred dead.  There is a Yoruba prayer for Oya that says, “ Ajalaiye, Ajalorun, fun mi ire,” translated as “the winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good fortune.”  She moves heaven (ancestors) and earth (living) to create communication between the realms.  Finally, as Patron of the Marketplace, Oya is a shrewd businesswoman who reigns over commerce and exchange.  Invoke her before you go shopping.  Take an offering to her and leave it at the opening to a flea market, and she will smile upon your bargaining.  She is also called Iyansan (The Mother of Nine), particularly in Brazil.  Her number is nine, and she loves eggplants and red wine.  Oya- Iyansan is a complex warrior deity who will go to battle for her children out of love and justice.

 

Yemoja – mother of fish

Yemoja is the “Mother of the Children of Fishes.” As such, she is the penultimate symbol of motherhood. Yemoja is the all encompassing mother; like the sea, her ability to nurture is vast. Though associated with the ocean in the African Diaspora, in Yorubaland, Yemoja is the Orisa of the Ogun river. Yemoja is associated with the top layers of the ocean-Olokun is considered the deep, deep realm of the Ocean. The Ocean is the largest environment for life on the earth, therefore Yemoja is viewed as the mother who gave birth to civilization and who continues to sustain us. 

Olokun – owner of the deep

Olokun is the Orisha of the ocean. In Yorubaland Olokun refers to the entire ocean, but in some areas of the New World, this Orisha refers only to the bottom of the sea, with Yemoja governing the top. In those references the ocean is seen as governed by Yemoja/Olokun.

Read more from the source @ http://www.ileorunmilaoshun.org/

Peace is possible (prayers)

I pray for health en prosperity not only for myself, but for others. Bless our healers en peace-makers. Bless the homeless, motherless and fatherless. Bless those sick in hospital. Bless all our relatives. Bless those who pray for us, and their families. Bless our wotas en grandmama earth.

[BLOGGER’S NOTES: I give thanks that the blessings of yesterday are still here today, and I pray that they may be carried to tomorrow. I am reminded every day I go to work that “peace is possible”….. that we have to work, organise, play, reason & sing [for] it, every minute of our lives.  

I give thanks that I have such good, loving folks en pikney surrounding me, every day that I go into work, and I give thanks that I’m actually getting paid for this shit, to work for peace, and work divine/love-ly tings with government money…

I give thanks that I get to work with en teach youth right close to home, give back to my hood, and I give thanks that I was guided (to) here, where I technically/really should know more of my neighbours (forgive my sins those that I do, and don’t know about. Forgive my foolishness) ]

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember July 23rd, Peace is Possible Parade and Prayer Day/Honoring Egungun/Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Hapo mwezi ya kale……kulikuwa na notice from Chief Arvol Looking Horse

(of) A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affected from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I ask, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.

As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc¹I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

To learn more about Chief Arvol Looking Horse, go to http://www.wolakota.org

Yoruba Creation Myth


In the beginning was only the sky above, water and marshland below. The chief god Olorun ruled the sky, and the god/dess Olokun ruled what was below.

Obatala, another god, reflected upon this situation, then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit. He was given permission, so he sought advice from Orunmila, oldest son of Olorun and the god of prophecy.

He was told he would need a gold chain long enough to reach below, a snail’s shell filled with sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut, all of which he was to carry in a bag. All the gods contributed what gold they had, and Orunmila supplied the articles for the bag. When all was ready, Obatala hung the chain from a corner of the sky, placed the bag over his shoulder, and started the downward climb.

When he reached the end of the chain he saw he still had some distance to go. From above he heard Orunmila instruct him to pour the sand from the snail’s shell, and to immediately release the white hen. He did as he was told, whereupon the hen landing on the sand began scratching and scattering it about. Wherever the sand landed it formed dry land, the bigger piles becoming hills and the smaller piles valleys. Obatala jumped to a hill and named the place Ife. The dry land now extended as far as he could see.

He dug a hole, planted the palm nut, and saw it grow to maturity in a flash. The mature palm tree dropped more palm nuts on the ground, each of which grew immediately to maturity and repeated the process. Obatala settled down with the cat for company. Many months passed, and he grew bored with his routine. He decided to create beings like himself to keep him company. He dug into the sand and soon found clay with which to mold figures like himself and started on his task, but he soon grew tired and decided to take a break.

He made wine from a nearby palm tree, and drank bowl after bowl. Not realizing he was drunk, Obatala returned to his task of fashioning the new beings; because of his condition he fashioned many imperfect figures. Without realizing this, he called out to Olorun to breathe life into his creatures. The next day he realized what he had done and swore never to drink again, and to take care of those who were deformed, thus becoming Protector of the Deformed. The new people built huts as Obatala had done and soon Ife prospered and became a city. All the other gods were happy with what Obatala had done, and visited the land often, except for Olokun, the ruler of all below the sky. She had not been consulted by Obatala and grew angry that he had usurped so much of her kingdom.

When Obatala returned to his home in the sky for a visit, Olokun summoned the great waves of her vast oceans and sent them surging across the land. Wave after wave she unleashed, until much of the land was underwater and many of the people were drowned. Those that had fled to the highest land beseeched the god Eshu who had been visiting, to return to the sky and report what was happening to them. Eshu demanded sacrifice be made to Obatala and himself before he would deliver the message. The people sacrificed some goats, and Eshu returned to the sky.

When Orunmila heard the news he climbed down the golden chain to the earth, and cast many spells which caused the flood waters to retreat and the dry land reappear.

So ended the great flood. Ase. Ase……..


And other ‘native’ creashun story goes like…..

In the beginning the new world consisted only of vast oceans.  There was no land. Father Sky and his wife were admiring a beautiful tree – lush leaves and fruit, rich, dark bark.  Father Sky’s wife told him that she had a great vision which called for him to pull the tree up by its roots, leaving a large hole in the sky.

Father Sky was sad, for he thought the tree quite beautiful, but he also realized the power of his wife’s vision. He wrapped his arms around the tree, gave a might heave, and uprooted the tree.  Grasping hold of part of the tree, the woman looked through the hole, as she stretched a little further, she lost her footing and fell through.

The animals that were able to live in the water, turtle, beaver, whale and many others, looked up and saw the woman plummeting towards them.  “What will we do,” they cried. “If she lands, she will drown!” Two swans unfurled their beautiful white wings, flew up and caught the woman; they brought her down where they floated on the waves.  Everyone knew this could not go on for long, for the the swans would tire, and at some point the woman would need to sit down.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGI7sQjCMuY&feature=PlayList&p=C976375EFB94FCD0&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=1]

One by one the animals swam to the bottom of the ocean to see if they could bring up a little earth.  The big whales tried, the otter tried, animals large and small, all tried.  Finally, everyone was floating on top of the water very tired from all their efforts.  Little Muskrat swam over and shyly said, “I think I can do it.”  The other animals were too exhausted to even laugh at the thought.  She took a deep breath and dove as far as she could.  It took several tries, but finally, totally exhausted she floated to the surface with a little earth in her paw. “What will I do with it now?” she gasped. Turtle swam over, “Put it on my back, I have a broad back,” he said.  Immediately the land began to grow until it was big enough for the swans to step on shore and let the woman down.  She let go from her hands some seeds that came from the sacred tree she had been holding onto when she fell through the hole.  The land grew and grew and along with it, forests, grasses, plants and vegetables.  it was a wondrous sight, and that is how North America came to be created, and subsequently to be called Turtle Island.

[so this q(ues)t of the (divine) werd on the ground goes, (something) like a Prayer to the Seven Directions]

Grandfathers and Grandmothers of the East, each day you bring us new light so that we may grow in wisdom.  We have been waiting for the time when your light would shine in the hearts of all people.  Then they would remember the Original Instructions that were written in our hearts since the beginning of all things. Now is the time.

Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the South, your warm winds have sent us your love and the abundance from Mother Earth.  We have always known that as we follow the Original Instructions we will walk in balance and harmony and all our needs will be met.  The power and wisdom of this path is not easily understood when the mind is taught inside boundaries and the heart is closed to sissagwaad, the soft wind of spirit.  Open the heart of those who follow the way of the mind.

Grandfathers and Grandmothers of the West, in the darkness of night you have sent us dreams to see deep inside our hearts, to learn how to walk the path of the spirit.  We see the beauty that hides behind each moment and discover the Great Mystery that is in us and all things.  Help the people of the mind see the power of their dreams.  Help them learn from their dreams so that they can remember the Original Instructions.

Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the North, you have brought the cold winds and snows each year to cleanse our Mother Earth.  Now the cleansing of the mind has begun.  The energies of the stars have shifted into a new focus to end domination and hierarchy.  No longer is it possible to live by the mind unless it is guided by the heart. Blow the fresh, clean wind of spirit to sweep away the belief systems that limit our brothers and sisters who are trapped in the way of the mind.

Kee-shay Giidzhii Manidou, you have sent visions and dreams to help us remember Who we are.  We have not forgotten the Original Instructions.  The stories have now been rediscovered and returned to the people.   You have shown that the path of reconciliation and peace is through the heart.  Send the light of inspiration to the Ogichidaag‘ who will show others a new way of being.

Gee-mama-nama-kee, you are our Mother, our Source of Life.  You have given us our food, our water, air, shelter, and so many beautiful beings who are our Brothers and Sisters.  We know we are connected to you and to all other beings in the Web of Life.  Many are those who do not know of their connection.  They see only with their eyes and their mind.  With a narrow focus they see parts of things instead of the energy of love and wholeness.  They have forgotten the Original Instructions.  As their Mother, you have been patient with them.  Extend that patience a little longer so the Ogichidaag‘ can show them a new way.

Great Mystery, we feel your presence in us and in all things.  You are the spiral energy of love that connects all, is all.  You are the circle of life, the circle way, the Original Instructions.  When we are living in our heart, we can soar with the White Eagle to see beyond horizons.

When the drum has been smudged you can beat on it and say this prayer, either in English or Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinabeg:

Midewewewigun, nindo-wiyauh.
I seek the drum.

And then:

N’midewewewigun, manitouwiyauwiwih.
Upon my drum bestow the mystery.

And to Ishpiming, All That Is:

M’gwech, Giidji manidou
Thanks, Great Spirit

Finally, an acknowledgement of the gift:

Kikinowautchi-beegaudae
It is so.

Your drum has been opened as a carrier of your prayers and petitions to the Great Mystery.

Other songs can be found in Ojibway Ceremonies by Basil Johnston from Bison Books (1990).

How the drum was brought to the Anishinabeg is told by Edward Benton-Banai in the Mishomis Book: the Voice of the Ojibway (1988) by Indian Country Communications, Inc.  The original drum was the water drum, mi-tig-wa-tik’ day-way-gun, and contained water to represent the First Order of Being.

In our drum this is replaced by the stone set in the handgrip to avoid the humidity that would otherwise soften the drumhead.  Later, the Anishinabeg added stones to the exterior ties of their drum.  The hide of the deer, wawashkesh’shee, gave peace and gentleness to the drum, as well as speed and agility to the drumbeat.

One of the ceremonial uses of the Mother Earth Drum is healing.  The first time I used the drum in healing, I heard the sissagwad, the soft wind of spirit, whisper to me to hold the drum over each chakra and beat softly.  It worked.  The next time that I did a healing, I did some energy work to break up blockages as I had been instructed to do.  Then I noticed my drum sitting nearby and realized that I was supposed to use it…but not beating it.  I was to caress the drum to make the sound of the wind whipping up a storm.  The with my fingernails scraping across the drum, make the sound of thunder, and, drawing the fingers close together the thunder disappears into the distance.  With more wind and more thunder comes the rain, the tapping of fingers making the multitude of raindrops striking the ground.  More wind, more thunder, more rain…and then quieter, more distant thunder, a gentling wind, diminishing raindrops.  Silence…  The hurts and pains were washed away and all was fresh and clean. Another time, a friend in Denver asked me to help me with one of her horses who had a wound that wouldn’t heal.  I thought: OK, some sage ceremony, some drumming.

I heard the sissagwad whisper. “No drumming.  Use the rattle.”

“What?!” I questioned.

The sissagwad repeated, “No drumming.  Use the rattle.”

“Impossible!” I thought.  I remembered the cowboy movies I had seen as a boy.  The horse hears the rattlesnake and panics, rearing high in the air.   And I was going to be right there under the flailing front feet of the horse.  How about drumming instead! I begged.

“No drumming.  Use the rattle.”

I did the sage ceremony, smudging the entire paddock and the horse.  The horse just stood perfectly still as I swept the smoke over the leg and then its whole body.

Then it was time for the rattle.  I began to shake the rattle, watchful of any hint of a dangerous response.  None.  It worked.  Then the horse “whispered” to me that ‘it had tickled.’  “What?” I asked.  “It tickled,” the horse repeated.  When the bandage was taken off too soon, it still tickled so I scratched it.”  I told Diana to keep the wrap on longer and the problem was solved.  A few months later I heard about the movie, The Horse Whisperer, but I knew that it worked BOTH ways—the horse can whisper to the human, too.

[This is an excerpt from Stories Dream-Catchers Weave.]

So listen to the sissagwad in your heart. Don’t get locked into any rigid ritual.  That’s a head thing, a mind thing.  Don’t misunderstand: the mind is good, but the intuition, listening to the soft wind of spirit in the heart, is an awesome source of wisdom beyond anything of which the mind is capable.

Another way to use the drum is to create a buzzing sound with each beat.  Medicine men would often place inside the drum a stick with lots of smaller sticks pressing lightly against the back of the drumhead. The multiple tones and harmonics are supposed to elicit healing.  With the Mother Earth Drum you can place the fingernail of your forefinger against the backside of the drumhead so that as you drum you will create a buzz.  Unlike the medicine drum, you can withdraw your fingernail from the backside of the drumhead and use a normal beat.  You can also use the tip of your finger to create a stop to a beat.  Or you can use the fingernail of your forefinger to scratch on the backside of the drumhead. In using and combining all of these drumming techniques, you have a diverse “vocabulary” of sounds that can be used as needed.  If your fingers are long enough you might even be able to use both your thumb and forefinger giving you two variations on the backside of the drumhead as well as the multitude of variations with the beater on the front of the drumhead. Your virtuosity is not limited to a change of volume and rhythms.

You will also find it very dramatic and powerful to strike the drumhead hard with the beater and hold the beater firmly against the drumhead.  It’s almost like an explosion and reverberates with a rising, ringing overtone.  Used with a crescendo of volume and rhythm, you can punctuate the finale of a sequence or, followed with quieter drumming and nuanced rhythms, you can create a symphony in percussion.  The thin design of the Mother Earth Drum makes this all possible.

The drum can also be used for meditation and shamanic traveling.  A constant, steady beat of the drum can alter consciousness.

Recovered from copyright theft of an unprincipled white squaw.

White Eagle Soaring: Dream Dancer of the 7th Fire

http://www.real-dream-catchers.com/Art_of_the_Seventh_Fire/mother_earth_drum.htm

kesho [in the q/t werd]…..the truth about (our) stories….behind the masks

CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS PRESS STATEMENT:  IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE:       THURSDAY 1ST JULY 2010 

PLACE:           Nairobi, Kenya

 Dear Partners,

UHAI is very excited to announce the third Changing Faces Changing Spaces Conference to be held next year from 30th March – 1st April 2011. This conference offers a unique opportunity for activists, allies, partners, and donors working to build both the LGBTI and Sex Worker movements in East Africa to meet with each other and share ideas on strengthening these essential movements.

We are pleased to have the honour of convening and hosting this conference. Please mark your calendars as you prepare to participate in this valuable opportunity to share ideas, learn from partners, mourn our losses and celebrate the marvellous gains made since the last Changing Faces Changing Spaces Conference.

Block out 30th March – 1st April 2011 for Changing Faces Changing Spaces Reloaded!

Warm Regards,

UHAI Team

[Blogger`s note: en in other werd on the ground……]

KENYANS MUST PASS THE NEW CONSTITUTION TO STOP THIS DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

 Yesterday, the Kenyan nation watched in consternation as MPs dipped their fingers in the public till and stole with impunity.

It will be remembered that two years ago, 17 public spirited individuals drawn from the civil society filed Petition No. 769 of 2008 asking the Nairobi High Court to scrap the Parliamentary Service Commission and recover public resources it has squandered on MPs. This petition was certified as urgent by Justice Nyamu. Justice Nyamu also disqualified himself from the case and referred it to the Chief Justice for him to constitute a bench to hear it. This is the last that was heard of the matter.

In response to this, the PSC constituted the Akiwumi tribunal whose report they adopted yesterday. The adoption of the report seems to us as “gold rush” by the MPs who feel threatened by the wave of a new constitution and therefore want to benefit more before an anti-theft legislation is enacted by the people of Kenya on 4th August 2010.

It is tragic that our Parliament is not able to agree on important development issues, but it took merely 30 minutes of debate yesterday evening for them to award themselves this unethical pay rise.

Our MP’s are presently paid  Ksh 851,000 and they seek to increase this amount  to 1.1million which is  400 times more than the minimum wage for the lowest paid worker   On top of this increase they seek to increase the present sitting allowances from the present  10,000 to 30,000 shillings.

Members of Parliament take home a severance package of Ksh 1.5million every 5 years, this will now be increased to 3.6million. Parliament has issued instructions to the Minister of Finance Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta to allocate money for this increase backdated to 2008. Where will this money come from? The budget is presently running a deficit of Sh223 billion.  Parliament has threatened refuse to pass budget appropriations and effectively stall government operations.

The adoption of a report promoting theft of public resources is the greatest betrayal the Kenyan citizens can get from their representatives. Being an MP is about service, not about self enrichment. We condemn them in the strongest terms possible.

We would like to note that the Proposed Constitution of Kenya sets up  the Salaries and Remuneration Commission  and its role as captured in Article 230 (4) (a) will be to “set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of State officers” and this includes MPs. Whereas MPs in Naivasha had wanted to still retain powers of the Parliamentary Service Commission ( PSC) to appoint tribunal to make recommendations on their salaries the COE disagreed and though the PSC was retained, this function which enables MPs to increase their salaries at will, was removed.  

Further Article 116 (3) of the proposed constitution says that any law or policy that “confers a direct pecuniary interest on members of parliament shall not come into force until the next general election of members of Parliament”

In respect of this, we state as follows

  • We caution that if the PCK is opened up for amendment, as some members of Parliament and some other anti-reform individuals and sectors are saying, MPs will remove this safeguard against theft of public funds. 
  • We demand that the Chief Justice expediently sets up a bench to hear that petition as it is overdue considering what Kenyans are going through
  • We announce operation rudi nyumbani for these MPs in 2012. When there was violence in 20007/8, parliament never saw to it that all IDPs were resettled. The many paper shelters dotted across the country is a testimony to this. Now they have, once again, stolen from Kenyans. MPs waende nyumbani.

Finally, we urge all Kenyans, regardless of religion or creed, regardless of ethnic background, regardless of their views on the Proposed constitution so far, to understand that the PCK is the only weapon we have to protect ourselves from this greed, and therefore to vote Yes for the constitution.

SIGNED THIS 1ST Day of JULY 2010, BY:

NAME ORGANISATION SIGNATURE
 molisa nyakale  peace theatre  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

[blogger’s note: and because sharing is caring, spread the werd, we’re re-building loving and peaceful communities]

For folks who participated in any of the public marches and rallies leading up to and during the G20 meetings, who have experienced or witnessed police brutality and who would like to share stories about what really happened in the streets of Toronto here is a compilation of links, sites and spaces that you can share your stories, testimonials and incident reports.

It is so important that our stories be documented, compiled and shared because main stream media will not do this for us, because we need to hold Toronto’s police force and City Hall accountable for their actions, because we need to leverage this information to help innocent people get released free of charges from prison, because we can’t let the violence against peaceful demonstrators and community organizers of this past weekend be silenced, because we can’t let property damage and the actions of few mask the real violent terrorism of G20 and IMF on a global scale.

Please continue to stand and be counted. Peace.

 

1. To file an official police complaint:
– Against the RCMP (commission for public complaints against the RCMP): www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca
– Against the O.P.P or Toronto Police (office of the independent police review director): www.oiprd.on.ca

 2. If you would like to share experiences and seek peer support please email peertopeersupportforactivists@gmail.com.

 3. If you would like to share your story and support the call for a public inquiry go to this site. They are doing a large scale compilation of incident reports. The more reports they collect the more power they have to make class action suits against Toronto Police, to request a city sanctioned inquiry (which has been refused already by mayor miller) and to demand Police Chief Bill Blair:
www.g20inquiry.org

 4. Demand answers. Get the truth. “Canadians Demand a Public Inquiry” facebook group.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=135629036463012

 5. Canadian Civil Liberties Association is collecting information & testimonials. They also had many objective observers at several marches, rallies and police clashes (folks in white caps).
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Civil-Liberties-Association/80851911931?ref=ts
www.ccla.org

 
6. Write to your MP, your MPP, your local councillor, the mayor, etc.  Find them at:
pm@pm.gc.ca
http://canada.gc.ca/directories-repertoires/direct-eng.html#mp
http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_current.do?locale=en
mayor_miller@toronto.ca
http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp

 7. Rabble Blog, to post videos, responses, articles & photos:
http://rabble.ca/issues/g8-g20

 8. G20 Alternative Media Centre: Post stories & articles, tweets, youtube videos, photos:
http://2010.mediacoop.ca/

 9. Toronto Star is conducting a poll: “Do you think the police response to weekend
G20 protests was heavy-handed, or was it appropriate given the threats?” Vote! http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/829601–g20-editorial-brutal-spectacle-failed-a-city-and-its-people

 10. CBC Radio is developing a series to share the stories of several individuals (activists, community organizers, folks who were arrested etc.) who participated in the G20 demonstrations. You can contact the senior producer, social media, Kim Fox if you would like to participate and share your stories publicly:
– 416-205-2130
kim.fox@cbc.ca
list(ing)s compiled by

Natalyn Tremblay
Co-Director and Program Coordinator
www.thepeopleproject.org
info@thepeopleproject.org
(647)-231-5844

A Global Citizen has:
The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life.
The courage to embrace difference, to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures and to grow from these encounters.
The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends across the world over.
                                        – Buddhist Philosopher Daisaku Ikeda

 

(next on the Q[‘t] werd: peace camp & the Peace is Possible (PiP summer) workshops for pikney en youth)

ase. ase……

The bigger point of sharing these videos is to highlight the police brutality and targeting of peaceful protesters, in the thousands, and who continue to wo/man the frontlines of working for justice and peace.

Pictures of the burning cop car & ‘violent’ protesters vandalising property circulated the world yesterday while Tdot’s Robocops have arrested six hundred and counting & continue to maintain a lockdown in many parts of the cities

Bredrin en sistren gathered to fight for different causes, all united by our common resistance to the G20  summit, reminding our (in) glorious leaders that most people would not have had our government waste a billion dollars in a summit that has not only failed (read: refused) to re/dress our most critical challenges yet, but that legislated the transformation of downtown Toronto into an armed fortress, where the police state that we live in was most visible with the excessive violence used by mostly  robocops

[ youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KAQKmKjRwU&feature=related]

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/27/12572/

To make it plain, this is illegal fuckery that we cannot ignore and the government seriously needs to be taken to task now by more of us people, for sanctioning the measures used by the police to violate our human rights…..

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal

The MDC’s Summit Legal Support Project is appealing to the movements it supports to mobilize a show of political strength and solidarity for the nearly 500 [or 600] people arrested in the last four days. The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.

Despite assurances to the contrary, only a handful of people have been released, including those held for many hours without charge. Arrestees are given incorrect information about the bail process they will be subjected to, and friends and family members gather hours early at the courthouse, located far from the city center and inaccessible via transit. Our lawyers call in and are told that there is no one available to make decisions or wait for hours at the detention centre, only to be denied access to their clients. Almost 500 people are in custody and we know from experience that the vast majority of those charges will disappear and yet the cell doors remain shut.

We need to step it up and build a political response. We need many more voices – especially prominent ones – to say that the abuse and incompetence at 629 Eastern Avenue must stop. We must demand that all levels of government take control of the police forces under their command. We need to ensure that courts and crown attorneys act to enforce constitutional rights rather than collude in their violation.

Free the Toronto 600!

The Movement Defence Committee

This solidarity with those illegally jailed has been growing and going on despite vicious repression….and for native people, for poor & working class people, for so many “minorities”, like another sista said…”this is what we know, this is Canada”

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/outside-makeshift-prisonfor-us-native-people-what-we-know-canada/3895