Much like the work that Dion Fortune described in The Magical Battle of Britain , the work that we’re doing continues to grow and evolve. One of the most important ways that it evolves is through the feedback that I get from many of you. All of the feedback is helpful to me.
Based on some feedback that I’ve gotten, we’re going to do something a bit different this week. You may have noticed that, while we’ve invoked and worked with a number of American archetypes, symbols, and personalities, from cowboys, to tricksters, to Thoreau, one very important presence has been missing. We have never done work related to Native Americans (First Peoples). When I committed to this work, I asked for and got guidance concerning which archetypes to center on the five banners. A number of them were not what I would have expected and some that I did expect were not included. Native Americans were among those.
But several of you have gotten guidance during your workings that indicates that the ancestors of Native Americans do want to be included in this work. I want to be very careful about appropriation (what Byron Ballard calls “cultural strip-mining”) and to be honest about the genocide and continuing harm that America has inflicted on Native Americans. And I realize that some people may choose not to do this work for various reasons. If so, you may want to go back and do one of our prior workings this week; I’d be interested to hear if you get different results from the first time you did the working.
America has, to my mind, two original sins (the genocide of Native Americans and slavery) and, until we make reparations for and address those original sins, I’m afraid they are going to continue to haunt and divide us. One of the first steps towards healing is learning. So whether you choose to do today’s working or not, I ask you to educate yourself. Some people will already have more education on this topic than others. A very good place to start is by reading the book 1491, which describes the Americas before Columbus arrived. It certainly opened my eyes and made me wonder why, in all my years of history classes, I’d never been taught the history of my own continent. Another simple way to begin to learn is to focus on your own landbase. Which nation or nations of Native Americans lived there before Europeans arrived? Do their descendants still live there? How did they govern themselves? What foods did they grow, hunt, and eat? Do you grow or eat any of them today? Are there place names that come from their language?
So let’s approach this work humbly, willingly, gently, bravely.
Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work. Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position.
Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase. Notice a small detail that will call you back when this working is finished.
Ground and center. Cast a circle.
As you move astrally to our American plain on the astral plane, you can see again the safe hillock where you do your work. You can see the five giant banners, shining in the sky: Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, the Salmon, and Lady Liberty. Do they seem more defined since we began our work? Do they have anything special to tell you this week?
For a few moments, just sit on your hillock and allow yourself to become comfortable. This place should be feeling very real to you by now; we’ve been working together to create it for months and months. Continuing to sit, turn yourself around to face your own landbase. See your own state, county, town come into view. Were you born there or have you come to it on your own? Do you feel a connection to it? It it where you plan to stay or are you only there for a short time?
As you look, you may begin to see the ancestors of Native Americans who inhabited that place before Europeans arrived. They may notice you or they may be busy with their own affairs. If they notice you, can you introduce yourself and ask them what they want? If they don’t notice you, what can you observe and learn from what you see? Either of these options is OK; after all, there were many different nations among Native Americans and they varied in their willingness to deal with strangers, their ancestor practices, and their cultures
If they’re willing to engage with you, you may want to ask them what, if any, offering they would accept from you. Is it something you are willing to give? Can you give it now, on the astral plane, or it it something that you must do when you return from this working?
Do you sense that it would be acceptable for you to return in the future, perhaps to develop a deeper relationship and to work together?
Thank these American ancestors and return to the plain.
As you sit and rest, know that you are not working alone. The Resistance — both magical and in all of its mundane (phone banking, check writing, representative calling, letter writing, canvassing, voting, volunteering, tutoring, restoring wetlands, growing plants for bees) manifestations — is huge. Know that you are a powerful worker of magic, rooted in your very own landbase, working with the strong archetypes of this land, assisted by countless unseen others who labor in league with you. You are brave and growing braver. Your magic and your practical workings can make the difference.
Return to your own body, your own landbase. Open your eyes. Rub your face, move your arms and legs. Notice the detail you selected to call you back from the astral. Open your circle. Drink something, maybe cool water. If you like, have something to eat, maybe some squash and beans.
During the course of this week, you may want to visit the bannered prairie several times in order to strengthen its presence on the astral. You may want to repeat this working several times. You may want to place something on your altar to remind you of the Native Americans who lived in your area before Europeans arrived. You may want to journal about it. Are you inspired to make any art? Can you sit beside a warm fire, or light incense, or stare into a candle? What actions are you inspired to take for the Resistance? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.
Picture found here.