start of COVID Meditation

I have full moon ceremonies, it’s a woman’s ceremony, but we’re open to spirit as well because they can come into our ceremonial spaces because they are fluid beings. And we had a gathering at the end of February. And of course that’s when we started hearing more globally about Covid. And in that gathering specifically, it was 13 women, so I have those 13 beings in and of course from our Cree calendar we also have our 13 moons. And so kind of going back to my connections as a Nehiyaw iskwew as well as, you know, a cisgen woman is connecting to those, I guess, that woman medicine and energy. And so we talked about changes, like it was an interesting ceremony because we all could feel a shift happening as women and two spirit come together and start praying and being there for our families. And there’s a prophecy around that, in the past few years we have now shifted into this time of the woman. So the last seven generations have been the time of men and now we’re shifting into this time of women. But we all felt something happening and talking about the importance that we need to connect back to our medicines; the plant medicine, the animal’s medicines to help with these changes because we are all feeling it internally. Like we need to get back to the land, to those teachings, to making canoes, to hunting, fishing and growing our foods. All of that.

In the first painting I did put the Small Dipper to reflect that time which represents the woman’s pipe in our prophecies and our belief system. That we shifted into that time of the Small and the Big Dipper. Like we still of course need our men, but we need our men to start rematriation, bringing women back into our place in governance and justice, education, health, you know, that’s been so dominated by patriarchy. But we need matriarchy; those women to come back, love us and nurture us, protect us. Especially as indigenous women. Like I keep hearing, and it’s hard watching on social media to see how our women are still going missing. So we were definitely praying for that and the medicines we need to end that threat against our indigenous women bodies and our two-spirit bodies and our men. So having our men come back into those roles of taking care of us, protecting us so we can do this work of loving our children, loving our families and communities again. So there’s one woman in particular who is different from the others, she is in purple. She represents the grandmother of all grandmothers and that connection to our moon. And Cree iskwew is that instead of calling it menstruation, which is such an ‘men’-struation, it doesn’t signify the sacredness of it, in Cree we call that and the translation of it means our grandmothers are visiting us and we are so powerful, like were not supposed to be around a whole lot of people cause we affect their energy. And so we have to take care, that’s the time we go within and we need to be taken care of by people who can handle that kind of medicine. That power over women’s bodies, we need to reclaim that to ourselves. And again, by reconnecting to our land, but our cosmic, because as Nehiyaw people we come from the sky nation, we are part sky but we are made of the soils of this land, our bodies were created from this land with our spirits from the sky nation. Learning more about that grandmother of all grandmothers and singing and being with those grandmother spirits, to help us guide us through this. Because we lost so much through colonization and through residential schools and so we haven’t forgotten it when you come back into ceremony, it comes to you. It’s in our bodies, as some of our grandmothers say that blood memory. And so that’s the importance of that ceremony. And so you have also the different medicines, you’ll see some of our fish in there, specifically pickerel. And then, you know, looking at the health of our water, not just the waters of our earth, but also the waters of our bodies. And of course, having that health in our bodies is important to prevent diseases and sickness. I have a wheat cast there, I have a little element of sweetgrass, again of just carrying that because it represents so much. There’s a lot of symbolism in sweetgrass, not just as one of our first four sacred medicines, but also it’s a way of living. It represents Mino-pimatisiwin which means living a good life. And then of course our flower medicine. And there’s a little smudge of white, it’s not very literal, it’s figurative, but it’s an aerial view of a skunk. And it’s kinda funny because, you know, it’s a skunk, why is there a skunk in this painting? But I mean skunk medicine is one of our original flu shots. And so like whenever we drive by a roadkill of a skunk, I’d always tell my kids: okay inhale deeply, to smell it deeply, cause this is our flu shot. And I also have the birch, which again, birch is an important part of our ceremonies and teachings, but also of our medicine. So another important medicine that comes from birch, not just the birch water, but also Chaga comes from birch, which is now a new agey “discovery”, I’m air quoting that because we’ve always had known these medicines, I mean, 75% of pharmaceuticals is appropriated stolen indigenous medicinal knowledge.

Anyways, so yea, I wanted to show these kind of different medicines that we women and indigenous people have been reconnecting with because of that internal alarm system saying a change is coming, we gotta gather our medicines.

– Lana Whiskeyjack

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