Our intention is to begin the night acknowledging the land of the Lenapehoking. Not only do we know so little about the history of this land, but we recognize that this land acknowledgement is being offered and was conceived by two white women and that in confronting and trying to dismantle systems of white supremacy, when we have been socialized to perpetuate it, that we will make mistakes. Our hope is that we can nurture a safe space together, tonight. The term safe space generally means “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm.” (Oxford Dictionary). Our intention is to set a tone, both ideologically and physically that feels safe for all of us. May our ignorance not be the cause of perpetuating any oppression
The Lenape, who were by all means a peaceful tribe, sustained their communities and families from riches of the Muhheakantuck, the river that runs both ways, a river full of whales, sturgeon, nourishment and boundless imagination.
When I google “What happened to the Lenni Lenape?”, the first result that pops up are lesson plans from Rutgers University for 3rd and 5th graders. The Lennape “left” or “ were driven out”. Circumstances “became” difficult. The second result is from the Historical Marker Data Base, and states that “In the 17th and early 18th centuries, while struggling to maintain their lifestyle of hunting, fishing and gathering, the Lenape released their lands to incoming Europeans through sales and treaties. The Europeans unwittingly brought with them disease to which Native Americans had little resistance. Interaction was mostly peaceable, but gradually the Lenape moved away from their ancestral lands.” Genocide just seems to happen. Wikipedia tells us they were “removed” from their homelands like a stain or a blemish. The violence of displacement and eradication is a passive force, initiated by no one, something that just happens with no one to be held accountable.
From the arrival of Henry Hudson in 1609 until the incorporation of Jersey City in 1820, white supremacist, slave owning colonists violently fought to establish dominance for their mini empires, under the guise of “establishing democracy” meaning other white men could carve up land that belonged to everyone. And here, with the destruction of the matriarchy and the establishment of individual good vs benefit for all, as opposed to the notion that people can be individually safe and self actualizing while also caring for community and others, is where the seeds that were planted in this very soil have bloomed into the violence of neoliberalism and neofascism we see today, 100 years later.
We recognize the land of the Lenapehoking, that this alienation, this deliberate seperation of original peoples from the land is the first rift, maintained by violence and chaos, between the physical world and the consensus world.
Tonight’s new moon is fortuitous for planting seeds, and we want to welcome and embrace and honor this new moon and the potential not only for individual abundance, which we all deserve, but abundance for all people, for all creatures and for our beautiful planet.
I want to reflect on colonialism, the privilege of white supremacy and how it has invaded, like it does, the art of witchcraft and astrology, two traditions rooted in nature, that have been co-opted to reinforce capitalism and imperialism which is the character of the these two systems.
Bourgeois witchcraft and astrology uses the energy of the planet to make capitalism work more in favor of the individual, to “plant seeds” in soil that holds the blood of indigenous people, soil where the relationship between people and nature has been buried in exchange for a one way ticket to a magic palace in the sky.
Bourgeois witchcraft and astrology looks to stars and prayer to generate more currency of the colonizer system and perpetuate white privilege, calling it spirituality. Colonizer spirituality cannot even imagine a heaven without gates and border patrol, the bureaucracy making sure you have the credentials to get in!
When we are able to establish and maintain a relationship with the physical present world while existing in the consensus world, we travel back and forth between the two. (And these are not the only two worlds, there are worlds of consciousness and more!) But the consensus world doesn’t always allow us to bring in our gifts from the physical world. To enter the consensus world from the physical world, we must first pass through customs!
The physical world is the actual soil. The physical world is our actual sky. The physical world are our actual stars. The physical world is in danger, but the consensus world has us waking up and going to work to perpetuate all the institutions of the consensus world. The physical world needs our healing. The consensus world wants us to normalize climate crisis while it gives capitalism everything it needs to flourish. For capitalism to flourish, we have to participate from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. We do not have time to ask a homeless person how we can help, we must see them as necessary and deserving casualties as we rush to get to work.
The consensus world makes us wish for things when even the present moment is a miracle. The consensus world makes us take copper pennies and toss them into the water and wish to be more excellent in the consensus world. The physical world is the water and water is the miracle. The miracle is here, the Muhheakantuck, the river that runs both ways, a river full of whales, sturgeon, nourishment and boundless imagination.
Tonight, along with the seeds we plant for individual abundance, let that seed also acknowledge the abundance we have in the physical world, the privilege we have benefitting from white supremacy and colonialism, imperialism and gentrification. Let us also plant seeds to build more community so that all people can experience abundance, so that all people can become who they are to the best of their ability and desires, unfettered by the demands of systems that have us mistake individual seeds of joy and abundance, what makes us personally happy and thriving, for competition and dominance. Let all of our seeds also include abundance for the water and the trees, for the fishes and the birds, for all people who are in pain and suffering. Let all of our seeds include the ability to reimagine and participate in creating a world for all, outside of the confines of colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy. To reimagine systems and societies constructed on justice and equality, fairness and beauty, pleasure and kindness.