The Spirit is Action – A Call for Justice

The Spirit is Action – A Call for Justice

The Spirit is Action

A Call for Justice

The Indigenous Peoples of the world are the ones who care for life and the Earth, our Mother, since time immemorial. It is time to recognize our work and that others recognize it fully. We are the main guardians of Diversity and Biocultural Heritage in the world. The greatest biocultural diversity is found in our territories, and this is thanks to our material and spiritual practices, which are based on the ancient wisdom of caring for life and relating with the sacred.
Our territories and the collective life of our peoples, both material and spiritual, are seriously threatened by the increasing deterioration of ecosystems and territories resulting from neoliberal economic development. It is urgent to halt ecocide and ethnocide not only to protect nature but to protect its guardians. If we want to protect the biological diversity of the world, it is necessary that national and international entities give absolute guarantees of protection to indigenous peoples, and especially to their spiritual and material leaders.
The historical and recent events of assassinations of indigenous leaders throughout the world have being taking place since the invasion of our territories. The Doctrine of Discovery has been in effect for at least 520 years and the colonial process of domination has been, and still is, devastating. Among other acts against life that we witness and suffer daily, we see with horror that those exercising ancestral spirituality in their own right are being victims of practices from the times of the Inquisition.
On June 6, Domingo Choc, Maya-Q’echi, a Spiritual Leader and Traditional Maya Healer, was burned alive in the Chimay Village, San Luis, Petén, Guatemala. A number of Pentecostal evangelicals set him on fire accusing him of being ‘a witch’. They killed him for practicing Mayan spirituality and, as inquisitors, they did it in proclamation of their Christian faith.
This aberrant and horrendous event is not an isolated case, for it happens often in many countries of the world. In Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and in other countries and continents such as Africa, indigenous spiritual and material leaders are assassinated or arrested for who they are and what they do—which is only in benefit of a good life for the community.
Taking into consideration the circumstances that led to this act, we demand Justice in the following terms:
1. Criminal and spiritual punishment to the material authors of the murder of Domingo Choc, basing the criminal punishment on articles 36 and 66 of the Political Constitution of Guatemala which refer to freedom of religion and that recognize the ethnic origin of the nation.
2. Granting of protection to the spiritual and material guardians and traditional authorities of Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala, Central and South America and the World.
3. Establishment of an inter-religious and spiritual dialogue to raise awareness and application of spiritual justice based on religious norms.
4. Investigation of cases related to bioprospection and access to traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the territories of Indigenous Peoples.
It is time to promote the unification process with dignity, recognizing diversity. We all have rights, and we all have the responsibility, individually and collectively, to promote intercultural and inter-spiritual dialogue.
With respect and self-determination, on day 10 Reed, Zanbatha, Valley of the Moon, México. Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz
Member of the Alliance of Guardians of Mother Earth
With the support of: Center for Earth Ethics and
The Fountain
Grandmother, Teach Me Patience | Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook & Jyoti Ma

Grandmother, Teach Me Patience | Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook & Jyoti Ma

Podcast host by Eamon Armstrong Life is a Festival

>> CLICK HERE to Listen to the Podcast  << 

In times of chaos and trouble, look to the grandmothers for wisdom, compassion, and above all, patience.

On June 4th, a few days after protests against police brutality roiled across the country, I sat with Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook of the Oglala Sioux Nation and her sister Jyoti Ma, convener of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. We came together in a virtual circle of the sacred fire to better understand how to respond to these times of anger and confusion as we seek justice.

On the podcast, Loretta and Jyoti speak of patience and the right relationship with the Earth and all her creatures and peoples. We discuss our current cultural moment and what is being asked of us. Loretta shares deep wisdom about Oglala Sioux traditions, including the famous Sundance, a four-day ceremony of purification, and self-sacrifice. I ask how the children of colonizers can make amends, and also how to cultivate patience in the process of seeking justice without falling into passivity.

Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook is the faith keeper and holder of the Afraid of Bear/American Horse Sundance Pipe and has led Sundance with her husband Tom for the past 20 years. She is a cultural specialist on the board of The Paha Sapa Unity Alliance and The Black Hills Initiative, whose mission is to return the sacred Black Hills to the Great Sioux Nation.

Jyoti is the Grandmother Vision Keeper of the Center for Sacred Studies, through which she co-founded Kayumari, a spiritual community in both America and Europe. She helped to convene the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and is the founder of The Fountain, whose mission is to restore an economic model that is based on reciprocity and collaboration.

Jyoti and Loretta both serve as delegates on the Mother Earth Delegation of United Indigenous Nations.

As you listen to this podcast, I invite you to make time for the wisdom of these grandmothers and utilize your own patience and humility for the complexity of their storytelling.




  • :11 – Open with a prayer

  • :19 – Jyoti Ma speaks of racial healing, from the white nation and black nation to the great-granddaughter of Custer begging for forgiveness from the Cheyenne

  • :35 – Loretta Afraid of Bear Cool speaks of patience and how her Oglala people carry a bundle in mourning until her throat stops hurting.

  • :46 – Loretta speaks of community: Community is the first tool of survival, Loretta speaks of all the important Oglala ceremonies from Tossing the Ball to the Sundance

  • :56 – The reason for the Sundance and the colors of the medicine wheel

  • 1:04 – How can the children of colonizers make it right or at least walk with grace if we cannot make it right?

  • 1:19 – Jyoti speaks of bringing Elders to festivals like Lightning in a Bottle

  • 1:26 –  How do we cultivate patience without passivity?

Message from Mamo Manuel, Kogi People, Colombia

Message from Mamo Manuel, Kogi People, Colombia

Message from Mamo Manuel, Kogi People, Colombia

We are a key moment in time, these are the times where Mother Earth is speaking through her beings, and also through the invisible beings that manifest themselves through diseases at these times.

And this is a lesson that we are learning as human beings.
The time has come for us to learn and remember the original law, the original ways, of behaving ourselves in a good way, and to do the work for Mother Earth.

– That we behave well with our Mother that feeds us.

– That we behave well with our animal relatives, with our plant kingdom relatives.

– That we behave well with the water that runs through the rivers, with the water that is in the ocean.

– That we behave well with our relatives that fly high in the sky and that we behave well with everything that surrounds us.

And most of all that we behave well with our thoughts, because we are in a moment in time where Mother Earth is teaching us her goodness and beauty, and her way of teaching us now is reminding us that we should change the wrong ways we have been relating with nature and all other beings. These are times not only for the beautiful thought but also for the times where we relearn to do things in a beautiful way.

Great Thanks.

Mamo Manuel.

“Peace Nana” by Luisah Teish

“Peace Nana” by Luisah Teish

Alafia good people:

This greeting asks that we have good health and be at peace with our neighbors.
We are blessed to be on this beautiful planet, together at this most important time. It is our blended energies that keep the rhythm of Life playing as we dance to the music of the spheres.

Imagine now the Joy of the Creatrix, Our Mother, as she shaped us, colored us, named us, and provided the inspiration in us to create a variety of cultures.
At this time, when our Existence is threatened, let each examine the gift of our respective cultures, the wisdom of our minds, and the power of our spirits, and join hands around the globe.
Please accept this poem as a prayer.

Peace Nana

Iba’che NaNa Womb of Creation
She Who Gave Birth to All Things.
From your dark depths the first spark came into Being.
Your luminous Egg exploded in the midst of Eternal Night.
Its joyous dance formed the great lights.

You Who Gave Us Sun and Moon, Earth and Sky, Body and Spirit.
Awaken from your sleep Deep Night.
Lift your eyelids and see our plight.
The children of Earth are in need of your guidance.
They await the feel of your hand.
They roll their eyes in great suspicion,
in anger and fear they strike out.
Their hearts are hard, their hands are trembling.
Amidst the rubble of war, they cry out.

Hear me Great Mother, hear your daughter.
Open your starlight thighs. Draw us back into your vulva.
mold our heads,
pat our behinds.
Change us, every cell and spirit ’til Peace possess our minds.
Blow your perfumed breath upon us,
wash us in the deep blue sea.
Suckle us on milk and honey,
oil us with the balm of love.

Return us then to this green garden,
Oh Beautiful, Generous Mother,
but this time
give us also the wisdom to see your reflection in each other.

Luisah Teish
Peace Prayers: Meditations, Affirmations, Invocations, Poems, and Prayers for Peace.
edited by the staff of HarperSan Francisco: Carrie Leadingham, Joann E. Moschella, and Hilary M. Vartanian
ISBN 0-06-250464-9

Pgs 50-51

In order to manifest Alafia (good health and peace) I am asking every person to say a prayer in their own tradition asking for the end of human cruelty. Let the tendency to be cruel grow weaker in us, pray it dissipates, melts, rolls down and out of our Consciousness. Let us clean ourselves of the great diseases-Fear and Hatred. Then call upon the power to change ourselves on a cellular level and let us evolve into Beings who are naturally Compassionate.

My presentations, performances, and classes can be found here:

Luisah Teish is a storyteller-writer, an artist-activist, and spiritual guidance counselor. She is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora.
She is the author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, and she co-authored “On Holy Ground: Commitment and Devotion to Sacred Land” with Kahuna Leilani Birely. Her most recent work is “Spirit Revealing, Color Healing”, a book of Zen Doodles.

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