A Prayer of Thanks

A Prayer of Thanks

Thanksgiving Address by Jake Swamp

I have loved this for a long, long time, and I wanted to share this beautiful Thanksgiving Address with you. Let’s go back to honoring prayers, to gratitude prayers for all beings, plant, tree, stone, animal and earth. May we treat them more gently. May we begin to consider many generations forward in all that we do. Sending you all big love as you give thanks in your own way.

~Love Dana

OHEN:TON KARIHWATEHKWEN; 

THE “WORDS BEFORE ALL ELSE”

—from the Thanksgiving Address, Haudenosaunee tradition

Today we have gathered and have come from many different places. We have all arrived safely at this place to share with each other our gifts from the Creator. So we bring our minds together as one in Thanksgiving and Greetings to one another.

 

We send greetings and thanksgiving to our Mother the Earth who, like our own mother, continues to give for our well-being. She continues to care for us and has not forgotten her instructions from the beginning of time. We now bring our minds together in Thanksgiving for the Earth.

 

Now, as one mind, we turn our thoughts to the Waters of the Earth, that continue to flow beneath the ground, in little streams and in rivers, in lakes and wetlands, and in the great seas. They quench our thirst and help us to keep clean. We now bring our minds together in Thanksgiving to all the Waters of the Earth.

 

With one mind, we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to all the Beings that dwell in the Water which provide for us in many ways.

 

Now we direct our thoughts to the many kinds of plants that live low upon the Earth—the mosses, the grasses, the herbs, the food plants and the flowers, for they too have not forgotten their Original Instructions. There are many members of this Nation who sustain those who walk upon this Earth and take away the sicknesses of the human family. With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to the Plant Nations.

 

We now gather our minds together and send Greetings and Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world, for they continue to instruct and teach us even today. We are happy that many still walk with us although their natural world has been changed and life has become very difficult for them at times. Sometimes we may see a fox or a deer eye to eye and we are reminded of that feeling of kinship we get when we see the animals. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world.

 

With one mind we now think of the Trees. According to their Original Instructions the Trees still give us shelter, warmth and food, and keep the air clean. When we see the trees we are reminded of the beauty and power of the natural world. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to all the members of the Tree Nation.

 

We now bring our minds together to send our Greetings of Thanksgiving to the Birds. At the beginning of time the Birds were given a very special duty to perform. They were instructed to help lift the minds of the Human Family. Many times during the day our minds are lifted by their songs. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to all the Birds of the world.

 

We are thankful to the Four Winds who continue to blow and cleanse the air in accordance with their Original Instructions. When we listen to the Winds it is as if we are hearing the Creator’s breath, clearing our minds as it blows through the Trees.  With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Four Winds.

 

Now we turn our attention to the Thunderbeings. They welcome the springtime with their loud voices. Along with the lightning, they carry the waters of Spring on their backs. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Thunderbeings. 

 

Our minds are one as we send our thoughts to our oldest brother the Sun. Each day the Sun continues according to his original instructions, bringing the light of the day, the energy source of all life on Earth. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to our oldest brother the Sun.

 

We now gather our minds together and give Thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon who holds hands with all of the women of the world, binding all of the cycles and rhythms of the Waters. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to our Grandmother the Moon.

 

With one mind we send our thoughts to the Star Nations who continue to light our way during times of darkness to guide us home, and who hold the secrets of many forgotten stories. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Star Nations.

 

With our minds as one mind we think of the Four Spirit Beings who live in the Four Directions. We know that they are helping us when we are moving through life and a feeling tells us not to go a certain way, or that we are on the right path. And now we gather our minds together as one and send our special Thanksgiving Greetings to the Four Spirit Beings.

 

Now we have arrived in a very special place where dwells the Great Spirit that moves through all things. As one mind we turn our thoughts to the Creator with Thanksgiving and Greetings.

 

We have now become like one being, with one body, one heart, one mind. We send our Prayers and special Thanksgiving Greetings to all the unborn Children of all the Future Generations. We send our thoughts to the many different Beings we may have missed during our Thanksgiving. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to all of the Nations of the World.

Now our minds are one.

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A Message From the Ancestors

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I spent time with my Ancestors today, and I called on my allies, Rabbit Tobacco, Cedar, Yarrow, and Mugwort, to help me in ceremony.

I got called out, y’all. I’m not going to gloss it over. I will be spending quite some time with the messages I received from my Ancestors, processing it, looking at myself without my protective defenses engaged, and surrendering to a big dose of humility.

I asked for a message for my community and this is what they gave me. I love you all very deeply, and I hope this offering can be a balm for your hearts.

~Dana

Message from the Ancestors:

No matter where you stood to observe the view of the election, we want you to know that what you saw and the fears that you hold have been honored and witnessed. You are never alone, and you will always have our support. However, we also want to make clear to you that elections and “who is in charge” is not important to us; you are important to us. You as a collective are who we birthed into this world, and we constantly love and support you collectively and individually as you work to become your best self and live your soul’s purpose.

We are not attempting to belittle your fears, your feelings of inequality, or your concern for environmental damage; those are very real and we understand your fears and your anger and your frustration. We also see the strength of your spirits and the ability you have to bring about change. You may see yourself as alone, but we see millions of you who have the potential to band together and be the support you need in order to live your best lives.

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Here are some things we want you to have in your awareness:

  1. Take good care of yourself. Your body, your emotions, what you expose yourself to mentally, and your connection to “that which is bigger than you” is vitally important.
  2. In everything you think, say, or do, ask yourself if you are operating from your heart. If you are not, make a conscious adjustment.
  3. If you are angry, we encourage you to harness the energy of that anger and use it in a productive way; in a way that is healing and brings strength to your community. Anger without healthy action is detrimental to you and to those within your influence. You are holding strong energy there; use it wisely and with love.
  4. If you are afraid, we encourage you to take some time to connect with the earth mother and ground into your place. You belong and you are supported.
  5. If you feel ambivalent and operate as if your voice doesn’t matter, we encourage you to shift your perspective and rise up and participate in your world. If you feel resistant to that, we encourage you to reconnect with us and with the earth and explore what is keeping you isolated. We are big enough to hold your concerns.
  6. Love each other. Really. This is so important. We cannot help you if you do not operate from a place of love. You have experienced what it feels like to be divided. This is an opportunity to change. Take responsibility, stand up, and love each other.

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We offer you this wisdom and comfort and a different, wider perspective at this time; we can see the bigger picture, and we can see opportunities for you to step into who you really are, individually, as a community, and as a nation.

You are the powerful ones, children, not the structure you are looking to for support. You are being called to take responsibility for restoring community. Who is your community? Do you have one? What are your strengths? How can you be of service? Do you have the heart of an advocate? Do you have the heart of a healer? A warrior? A Visionary? Whatever you do, you must do it from your Heart. Fear will not take you very far in your act of service, but your heart will hold you and carry your message to the most amazing lengths.

What we have to say may make you angry, and what we say may bring you a sense of hope and empowerment. No matter how you respond, know that your heart has been moved, and you are being called to step forward for yourself and for your community at this time. If this brings up more questions for you than answers, then we invite you to develop right relationship with your ancestral support so that you can receive further guidance and wisdom. We are speaking through Dana’s perception; always remember that you have direct access to spirit support. We encourage you to turn to us and develop relationship with us so that you can hear our messages.

We offer these messages to you with deep love, with full awareness of the magnificent spirits you truly are.

Grandmothers

Rain, Worms and Politics

Each time a hard rain comes, I can count on two things: lots of usnea on the ground and many worms struggling to survive in my carport.

Worm 1

We’ll visit the medicine of usnea another day; today I want to explore Worm Medicine.

Sometimes when I save the worms, they are so exhausted from their struggle to find a safe place (namely, a section of earth that’s not completely saturated), or so covered in pollen and dirt, they are easy to pick up, rinse off and place gently in a bowl of soil.

Worms

Some worms, however, are fresh out of the water and they’re just small enough and strong enough that they struggle to get away from me, and tending to these worms is a challenge. I have a really hard time picking them up. On occasion I accidentally tear one, and I hate when that happens. It’s not my intention to hurt them.

Broken Worm

I see the value of worms. I understand what they represent; they enrich my heavy clay soil, and make tunnels, allowing water and air to nourish the earth. Their castings bring nourishment to plants. Good bacteria and fungi are more present in areas where earthworms are abundant.

I love them.

Sometimes, when conditions outside their control occur, they can no longer stay in their homes, so they are pushed to the surface of the earth and they struggle to survive. (The birds are really grateful for this, but the situation isn’t always happy for the worms).

When I can get to them before the feathered ones, they go into a container of moist soil. After the rains, they are usually placed in one of my herb beds.

Temp Home

While tending to the worms this morning, I was thinking about the decision that the senators of MS made to pass the House Bill 1523, wondering how I could possibly make a difference in my community, in my state, when my state representives most definitely do not represent me.

I can send letters to my senators.

I can announce to all and sundry, “Come to the Holistic Center. I will not judge you or turn you away. You are accepted, loved and supported here, no matter what you believe and no matter your sexual preference or identity.”

I can use my privilege as a white, straight woman to speak up about what equality means to me and I can choose how I walk this earth in integrity.

I can love and accept and welcome those who hold completely opposite views. Because when I hold resentment and defensiveness and hate in my heart, it’s still hate. And in the deepest part of my heart, I know that hate can hurt us; it can freeze us; it can kill us. Even if we feel it’s justified.

And so I look for something to do that can generate compassion in my heart.

I speak up for my loved ones, my friends and myself.

I offer my work and my space to anyone whose heart hurts because of this painful step backwards that our state is preparing to take.

I save worms.