We spent this week terrified that Trump was going to launch nuclear weapons at North Korea and go to war against Venezuela. And then, yesterday, a huge gathering of Nazis — emboldened by the Nazis in the White House — killed, injured, and terrorized people in Charlottesville, Virginia. What’s going on is so wrong, so dangerous, so frightening, and so heartbreaking. As a result, trite as this has become, I want to ask each of you to do at least one thing this week to take care of yourself. Go for a walk. Take a long bath. Re-read your favorite book. Eat a peach. Light some incense and pour a libation. As Mrs. Whatsit points out, we’re in this for the long haul..
I want to say that, after yesterday, I felt as if today’s working should be somehow more dramatic than it is. But the more I meditated on what to write, the more forcefully Columbia assured me that the working below is what’s needed. I hope that it’s helpful.
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 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. When you are ready, turn and look at the Salmon banner in the Northwest. As you watch, it grows larger and larger until it seems to fill the entire sky. You can see the river water streaming past and the large, shiny salmon swimming underneath. Feel yourself shapshift into a salmon and dive into the lovely, cold water. Your powerful body moves with beauty and purpose as you swim upstream. You are swimming back to the place of your birth, coming back where you belong after a long year spent growing and playing in the salty Pacific ocean. You are drawn by a need as old as time, propelled by what the poet called “life’s longing after itself.”
As you follow your unerring instinct home, bears and foxes try to grab you out of the water and eat you. Eagles and hawks that you can’t even see come diving out of the heights of the sky to snatch you into the suffocating air and tear you to bits for their babies. Forest fires rage above you, making the water sooty and hot. Humans block the rivers with nets and sell you for sushi. You have to leap over rocks and waterfalls, tearing your flesh and using up your limited stores of energy. The constant battle to swim against the flow of the river exhausts you. You worry that you may be too late.
Feel all of that exhaustion and fear and then, let it flow off of you, just as the water flows off of your beautiful body. Your job is just to swim, to leap, and to swim some more. As you reach a shadowy pool where you can rest in safety for a minute, you become aware that a group of Indigenous Grandmothers are standing on the riverbank, just above your pool. They are chanting for you, sending strength to you, helping you to get home, spawn, and keep your clan alive. They burn sage and they call to the Great Salmon, the Salmon of Wisdom, to Why-kan-ush to aid you. They tell the tale of how Salmon first came to the river and they remind you that you come from a strong and proud race. They chant some more, and you silently thank them as you swim proudly out into the rushing river.
America, too, is trying to return to her true home, to the ideals, perhaps often more aspirational than realized, that gave Her birth: that all people should be equal under the law and are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And America, too, is faced now, as she has been time and time again, with dangers, obstacles, hostile forces, and threats to Her very existence. America, too, could use some help on the journey.
As you finally reach your home and spawn, shapeshift back into the human magic worker sitting on a hillock in the middle of the country. Can you remember any of the Grandmothers’ chant? Can you sing it back to America? Is there a chant of your own that you want to offer? Or a dance, a prayer, a rhythm for the drum? Is there a flower arrangement you want to place on America’s altar or a spell you need to say? Is there a message for you about how you can do the work of the Indigenous Grandmothers in the world?
Take a few final minutes and thank the Salmon and the Grandmothers for all that they have done and all that they have taught you.
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 barley water or iced coffee. If you like, have something to eat, maybe a lovely, light salad or a piece of swiss cheese.
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 Salmon or the Grandmothers. 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 (and information about the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers) found here.