Women in Native American communities have been producing art intertwined with spirituality, life, and beauty for centuries. In fact, the health and beauty of a community is based on the words and spirit of the strongest women in the circle.
In circles where gossip is proliferated by the women, it is said that they are weaving a black web. This is especially true in communities where medicine wheels, fires and sacred medicine is being shared. There is an opening of hearts that makes the cords between individuals stronger and more powerful. As in, you are family indegenous style. What that means in my family experience is that your heart will hurt literally if your brother father sister mother are hurting. In family my family relation we have to fix things because it is like a vice grip between us when we aren’t ok. It’s like a kink in hose. We know when something has happened to one of us, it’s called only family the lucero grapevine. It happens psychically energetically and emotionally.
If you are coming into a tipi, my first uncle brother in San Antonio said sitting in this fire pit makes you adopted family. We will be forever connected by the fire. If there are any problems between us it will make us ill. Please commit to the fire and each other. If you can’t commit to healthy relationships, please leave.
It is possible to create a great deal of destruction and to proliferate victim mentality as well as diseased conditions where there are heart cords that are not being healed. In communities where ceremonies are being run without elders or without those who come from a strong family lineage, as in a grandma with a chancla who, sick of hearing about abuses, divisions, and accusations, would quite literally with a shoe in one hand and the other on an ear force the two opposing parties into a witnessed circle wherein the community could hear and unravel the web of lies, confusion, anger and sadness that was breaking down love and family relations.
In communities with elders, wherein love is the dominating force, disharmony and diseased reactions were seen to be a priority and would not be allowed to continue. Stories and heresay, would require that both parties stand before the fire, cedar bag in hand, and voice the very words it is easy to say through the grapevine but not face to face. I have sat in two day ceremonies because wrongs were not being addressed and the meeting wasn’t over until the cause of disease were brought from the web of darkness, the cancers of community, into the light where they could be thrown in the fire and healed. That’s called throwing cedar.
i have sat in healthy tipis with brother who stood across from the fire and each other and cried expressing how the had hurt each other and watched it end in embraces and reconciliation. This is called healing relations. It’s the whole pint of the circle not popularity, not money, not praise. Healing and community as in all together all one all equal.
Sometimes wrongs are perceived and easily corrected within us in which case no words are needed. However, where others have been involved and black energy is magnified by tarish entities feeding on pain and suffering and sticky web like substance which can sometimes connect inside tissues and create disease spiritual emotional and physical manifestations through the community will become apparent in time. Hidden agendas prayers of condemnation and black magic are the reasons many tribes stopped sitting together and inviting outsiders because in an open state it can be extremely dangerous. Playing with medicine is not a child’s game.
From an outsider perspective, and as a healer in a community of 30 something's that have taken the lead as teachers, I would recommend that all come together, not only for the inner circle to heal, address, and correct wrongs, as is a major platform for the Hawaiians in ho'opono'opono and also Native cultures.
The giving of power to the darkness is the hiding away of words, stories and intentions. The words whispered in secret have an extremely harmful effect on those of whom the words are spoken and in time on the ones speaking especially if the facts are twisted and one sided.
This is not a small matter. In one small Mexican community where I have poured sweat lodge, I have had feelings expressed to me in private that were addressed in the sanctity of lodge. As in I outed all the women to each other and gave them an opportunity to express their feelings and to remind them that their energy is better spent coming together than breaking apart. The result is a more unified healthy happy community with less addiction and depression.
Also, as a high school teacher, whenever there were "warring" factions, it was our responsibility as teachers to gather together the very people at the core of the disharmony and all their latchkeys, in order to break down barriors and address wounds that existed inside of each person so we could then heal the individuals and the communities.
This is no small task. It requires great courage to speak face to face, to relinquish our victim mentality and actually allow healing to take place in perception or in actual.
For this, I would say, it requires actual leaders, elders, and teachers who are more interested in the long run than the immediate. It requires people to take their place as healers not as instigators, and it requires that all parties have witnesses that is witnesses to testify to the character and story being presented with the desired outcome being health, happiness and true peace.
In ceremony, I have observed what the Bible refers to as "tickling of the ears" of leaders. In imbalanced communities, the elders, teachers, and leaders will be so taken by their egos that words of praise, flattery and expensive gifts will not allow them to address concerns, issues or problems. In fact those things will be repressed for the sole purpose of niceties and the appearance of joy to proliferate and the "good feeling" becomes just as big an addiction as the drugs, alchohol, sex issues that are not being discussed.
In fact, in communities wherein money and popularity are themselves addictions many of the underlying knowings, pains, and wounds of the community members will be pushed aside, ignored, and those people be made to feel that they are lacking in spirituality, not evolved enough, or just not giving themselves over to love.
In reality, all the most important, intimate relationships of my life have been the most difficult, required the most amount of heart to heart, and have infected/healed the circles around me.
For this, I am willing to say that in relation to current events, that is the widespread victim mentality of women and the villanization of men, I would like to offer a few stories of my own. That is to say, I too have allowed myself to be objectified, utilized and been a willing participant of the sexualization of both the yogic and medicine communities.
When I was in my early 30's, I remember having women friends in their 40's who were vehemiantly opposed to pornography, stripping, and objectification of women. I, having just come out of a repressed religion and being friends with mostly males, never really understood the impact of these things on male female relationships until now.
What I have observed about festival culture has been from the periphery, as I was always too busy caring for aging and dying relatives to attend. What I saw happening, though, quickly infiltrated my spiritual communities as the younger women who had come into the knowing of sexual power began to flaunt their sexual prowess at sweat lodges, flirting and making advances on my sweat lodge firekeeper. That proliferation continued.
As the years passed I began to see the way yogic mastery shifted not from egolessness but to full on external focus from yoga pants, to photography, and the mastery of being young and beautiful. Any discussion of the loss of spirituality in the community made by those who craved to be desired, famous, or powerful flock to their teachers who took the attention and prosperity with open arms and wolvish smiles, that I now see as a sign of one about to devour its prey.
I aging, by that time, long into my practices tried for a moment to keep up until I realized that I would rather find a new line of work than lose my spiritual practice for a photo shoot or adoration. I became unbalanced in the opposite direction, taking almost nothing for myself, losing a sense of myself, and relinquishing relationships, communities and connection.
This even happened inside the sweat lodge where I had once held cedar and prayed for healthy relationships for everyone in attendance, I saw that my humility and the hurt in my heart over addictions and money grabbing was not only not heard or accepted but almost made me an object of hatred. I watched as the teachers who had taught me either fell into deep depressions, became very ill, or worse were consumed by anger at trying to preserve native teachings and ways that had more to do with the heart than with creating connections for black market gains.
I watched as the "medicine men" flocked to the 20 somethings who came baring their bellies and chests, who then began the climate of older women baring their chests and bellies who then claimed to have found their power and who allowed sexuality to then become a door to attraction and in the process objectification and willing participation in the liasons that I now believe in retrospect to be causing alot of pain.
Both sexes are to blame.
I remember after leaving one medicine community where I was holding space and running lodge and where topless trimmer girls led to my partner at the time expecting and almost demanding it of me, and the internal struggle I had to want to hold him close and the fear of losing him that made me run around in undies topless in order to be free and the way I realized I would lose him to hoola hooping girls no matter what I did because that had become the sign of the times.
I did give myself over then to hoola, usually as my friend and ally who I would roll for children, but I lost my softness after that experience. I closed my heart to marriage, children, love for a couple of years delving into my sexuality, tantra, open relationships, multiple partners, and then finally giving way to abstinence and observation.
Had these things made me more evolved?
I remember my first open relationship was with a man who had circled my ex-partner and I always with a gleam in his eye and the sexual tension between us creating a rise in my energy that in my aging years and, feeling rejected by my new partner's desire for an open relationship, led to me reaching out to him not just for sex but for friendship which I thought years had cultivated.
My first experience with open relationship was that the opening of my legs and the acceptance of his advances led to the closing of his heart. In an effort to make sure I KNEW he didn't love me, he showed me pictures of his girlfriend's ass and ignored me for the rest of the evening. He being someone I had sat in ceremony, it took years to address the dilemna and tell him that he loved me more before than after and I challenged him to look me in my face and feel my heart.
Is this man still my friend? What is friendship? What is relationship?
To my credit I have amazing relationships with heartcentered committed monogomous men, that is to say my father, uncles, nephews and brothers have taught me attraction without sex and I know love and healthy relationship.
Is that man now my brother. He is. I speak truth to him. Sometimes he hears me.
Coming out of a two year relationship and entering into a community who claims to sit with the fire, my dating process has been eye opening. I have had sisters tell me before that they felt their sexual partners, usually hook ups, were just "looking for a hole to put it in." I never understood what that meant until recently.
It has caused me to pause again. What has been the effect of self-objectification, sexualization, dominatrix, untamed desire and lust?
One of my first experiences was with a man who ties drum for tipi claiming to carry the heart of the ceremony and also saying he is a tantric yoga teacher. To say the least my communication to him afterwards was that if he wanted to learn the basics of tantra that is to say, eye contact, breath synchronization and perhaps a kiss I would be happy to assist him back to union with divine love and an understanding of what living with heart really is..that is to say a medicine man or woman heals hearts.
Who we portray ourselves to be is all important. Not wanting intimacy is a choice, claiming, however, to carry the medicine and spirit of practices that are meant to connect us and not being connected or connecting is spinning a black web around practices meant to heal hearts.
None of us are angels. Anyone who knows me knows I have had demons and spun black webs that created heart pain but the medicine and strength of my heart my ancestors my guides have forced me to sit with literally sit with until it’s fixed and return to those places of pain until the actual occurrences and story of my relationships were addressed and corrected.
It has taken me decades in some cases and if I can lend my wisdom to others, man or woman, it is to deal with your pain as soon as it arises otherwise the cancerous tumor solidifies and becomes a sort of truth with its own life and then you aren’t in control anymore. The web spreads itself. Containment is in dislodging the original seed of untruth and retelling it courageously. Its taking the very connections that make us all one and emptying lies and deception so that truth and clarity can rise again.
I learned from this. Had a deep self inquiry with this. And after my experience with this man I had choices.
Did I black ball him? Did I spread gossip?
At the very least I laughed for two days about a moment I called He-man, at the most for two days after that I cried deeply into my contracted heart and connected with my own self-worth. It was the first experience I ever had that did not have love or friendship. In that experience I felt that what is magnetic with love and a tango of push and pull, without love is a form of violence. But I looked into myself as a participant and I was willing. At certain points I was unsure and in a final moment I have the freedom at any moment to stand up and stop.
There was no coercing, there was no actual violence, no struggle...just the unvoiced one inside of myself. Did I have need when I arrived? I did. Was it satiated by that empty experience? It was extremely unfulfilling and led to my second sexual encounter without love which was less body contact than I had ever experienced which led to me finally understanding, yup...that is what it means to just need a hole. And for women who have endured that more than twice, lo siento, I feel for you. I really do. It was absolutely heart breaking but I will survive and you will too. And for those of you who have only known this, may you know more than an empty possession.
No body contact. No eye contact. No breath. No hands. No kissing. No thank you.
I bought a paddleboard. Found bliss on the lakes examining the shores and falling in love and refilling myself white tantra style with god moments and tunes into my soft animal the purr of my inner kitty in nature. The practice has been soft. Softer has been my prayer. Feminine. Love. Patience. And days during ovulation when I could bite myself from the desire building inside of me I run I do yoga until I pass out masterbate but now know without love there’s no fulfillment. I don’t compromise that inside myself which isn’t easy but the alternative has proven worse than longing and lonely.
Which is to address now women in their mid thirties midlife hormonal crisis. I am so glad to be in my 40’s I remember that time. It was like a mini death and I even remember giving my lovers ultimatums and deadlines on lifetime decisions before the dating process was even underway. I address this because I see unhealthy women’s circles with extreme power in crisis and feeling victimized by men who care for them but don’t want to get married or have children especially two months in. I’ve seen them get black balled, villanized and left groups gossiping about them declaring how could he and getting angry at me for suggesting everyone including men have the right to decide a person is not for them. Which is easy to decide when a woman desperate for relationship choosing a man who she then decides she will micromanage demasculinate and control and then be baffled that love isn’t flourishing. A black web of emotionally abusive women can result and in the retelling of the story from a victimized stand point that might seem justified but truly, no one belongs to us.
So addressing what I discuss in tantric groups which is say sexual liberation. I want you each to realize, sexual liberation has nothing to do with how many partners you have had overall or at one time, your willingness to try anything, your performance, your porno body but rather it comes from being liberated from others concepts repressed or unbound and no longer allowing them to make the very personal connection only you can make with your heart your body your soul with another who is in agreement with whatever it is you are asking for at that moment and walking away if they don’t want what you want or their actions and energy don’t match words.
Sexual liberation is found in safe containers and to partners ive had who claimed to be sexual healers, I have explained only your very own sacred space is healing. That is to say what happens between a man and a woman is between them and it takes a lot of emotional maturity wisdom and courage to speak nakedly between you and if you can’t then that person is not the right partner for you to be in relation with in life let alone bed. This is what it means to own your body own your experiences own your agreements be kind to each other. It is possible to recognize our own attachments and be aware that the other person is not reaponsible for things not going according to your expectations but they are responsible for their contracts and agreements at soul level.
It is possible to evaluate a situation and realize it is damaging you without ascribing the worst possible vocabulary to express and gain support for your pain. Rather it may be in time you will have an experience similar to my own, that is to say that after my first sexual experiences without love I was brought into my deepest heart wherein I was able to finally receive how much I have been loved In Partnership that didn’t result in babies and marriage. Now that I am beyond that age of being controlled by my hormones I am able to steadily and quietly understand many things in private in reflection that I was too emotional to comprehend. In fact from a more removed stand point I am better able to receive their feedback and improve relations. A dear friend of mines who’s husband passed away after more than 30 years of marriage told me once, “Zonia, it wasn’t all roses romance and love. We went through all the faces of male female relationships I felt used by him disrespected emotionally isolated and so did he but we knew love we held love we committed to love so we worked back to it and sometimes it took longer than others.”
Love and intimacy is no fairytale. I have had the best relationships and seen the worse sides of male and female had them duel had power shifts blame and reconciled with them all.
In many instances they were right to call me on my obstinacy controlling and victim mentality and my willingness to address this continues to heal me in ways beyond my belief and comprehension. I learned not to just tell but to hear and I am still learning. That is true love and I truly love and appreciate them as my most intimate teachers. Thank you beloveds for shaping me into the woman I am today.
To be sure love is the driving force that makes connection magic. The web that exists between us are the heart cords that make up the flower of life planet. If we want the spirit of God of meaning to proliferate our communitites, the energy we send out along those cords is all important. If we are going to try to be people of heart, if we are going to try to let love rise again, we are going to have to talk to each other, listen to our hearts, and be clear, not only with ourselves but with others. At a soul level for the planet itself we need to remember union yoga medicine Heart is really about true joy not one that masks and ignores the most difficult experiences in life but actually brings them to he surface not just to cry about them but to try to make amends.
How do we heal hearts? How do we bring women back to love? How do men humble themselves to women again not as servants and villans but as the romantic who comes baring flowers and how do the women of the communities learn how to let their healing waters flow and forgive?
One heart at at time. One silk thread at a time. One story at a time. One moment at a time. One conversation at a time and with courage may we begin to collect the black web that is creating sickness of heart mind and spirit so we can throw it into the fire as an act of love for the collective so that all our beauty may shine and so that our communities can live in health and thrive once again.