Our suggested journey topic for this session was the Power of Choice. A lot of what I have been seeing in myself as well as in my friends, family, and clients, is the blindness of how much power is in the ability to choose. Despite all of the pain, discomfort, and general malaise we could be potentially feeling in our down time – we ask the question, “What situation in my life feels like it I have no choice in the matter? And how do I take my power back in that situation?”
Please post your comment if you wish to share what you received in journey space. If you would like to join this discussion on Facebook, join our Journey Group on Facebook.
Some helpful references:
- What is Shamanic Journeying
- You watched the video below, and now you want to journey at home. What’s a suggested protocol on how to do that?
- Why is Energy Body Hygiene important when journeying
- Crafting a good journey question
- Deepening our Relationship with our Helping Spirits
- Journey Group Archives
We live in a time that is challenging. How do we become the people who can create a sustainable change and transformation in this world? Join Eagle Therapies starting in the fall of 2018 on a 9 day program stretched across 9 months.
This program was specifically crafted and co-created with Spirit to help bring people the basic foundational Shamanic Skills necessary to engage with the world around them in a good way. It doesn’t matter if you are new to this path or have been down the road of several spiritual traditions for decades. Using ancient Shamanic techniques and honoring the ancestors of the worlds traditions, we will engage with Spirit in an age old fashion that has been specifically crafted for this time. This cosmology and teachings are based off of the Cycle Teachings and the Last Mask Community, an authentic and contemporary cosmology which honors the way our ancestors have done it without taking their rituals, ceremonies and culturally appropriating them.
Stephanie Seger has graduated from Mary Tyrtle Rookers 2 year Shamanic Training program and is a current student of Christina Pratt, Shaman, Author, creator of the Why Shamanism Now podcast and Director for the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing. Through Stephanie’s vast life experiences and training, she strives to bring her best to giving her all to this program.
The Soul Compass Path is 6 hours once monthly stretching over 9 months. This program delivers a practical set of tools, techniques, and a way to engage with the more intimate aspects of yourself. If you are new to any type of spiritual exploration, this will hand you the basics. For the more seasoned practitioner, it will provide the framework to deepen your connection with your guidance and allow yourself to hear the song of your soul ever more clearly. This program is dedicated to helping one get out of their own way and step into their power with authenticity, integrity and sovereignty. Learn how to find your own life’s purpose and be able to live it in the world.
Payment is based on sliding scale, negotiated between your own heart and Spirit. Eagle Therapies is just the vessel to deliver this program of self transformation. What is the sacrifice you are willing to make? Suggested sliding scale pricing is $75-$200 per class. Payment due at time of class. Orientation and first class considered “one class”.
What might be a comfortable set of finances for one person might be a large sacrifice to another. Is $100 a night on the town, buying movie tickets and a couple of drinks while dancing? If so, then $100 is not a sacrifice, it is a simple commodity. This is an opportunity to put meaning to the monetary exchange and intentionalize it, not blankly pay with a consumerist mind.
The Spirit world understands the language of sacrifice, and it is up to you to decide what is the right price to pay within your own heart. Use your intuition and measure it with your own truth. It is possible that one month you can pay towards the higher end of the fee, while others it is the lower end. It is also possible that money is no issue at all and $200 per class does not cover the value of what is within the course material itself for you.
*reworded, but basic concept of language attributed to Christina Pratt
For those that prepay for the first class as a deposit before July 31st will receive a personalized Shamanic Healing as a gift. Can be redeemed at a distance. Your own healing starts when the commitment to your own personal healing is made.
We, as a culture, have large wounds around the exchange of money. If you would like more guidance in this arena, a lovely book you can download for free is “Sacred Economics” by Charles Eisenstein. Once you read the book and you feel compelled to gift back, then you can choose to pay for it. The Non-Local Shamanic Community that Stephanie participates in is currently doing a community wide transformation around Love and Money, and obviously it has a large impact on what she is offering to the world. If you want to change something in the world, start with yourself first. Change comes from within.
If you feel very drawn to this course but do not think you can commit to the full 9 month program, then you can choose to save up for at least the first two meetings. It is fine to pay month by month. If finances are a challenge, there is always delving deeper into the material learned and then hopping on to the program next year (yes, we are planning for this to be a repeating yearly program). Once you take the class, the materials and resources from that class will be shared with you, and you can still choose to communicate with your fellow classmates.
Is this program right for you? Read more about it on the Soul Compass Path landing page to check out dates, the syllabus, and other tidbits you might find interesting.
Already feel that this resonates within your bones to take this course? Fill out our application form!
A good resource if you are anxious to get started is through the free, listener supported podcast, Why Shamanism Now. There are over 400 archived hours, and a teaser to what is available both within this course and beyond. A great place to start is the Basics of Living Well series and the specific podcasts below:
You also have access to the archived recordings of the Ancestral Healing Circles and Bi-Weekly Shamanic Journey Groups through the forums.
The song of your soul is calling you.
The world is waiting for your gifts.
Wow! I am so blessed by the open community that is forming around this US Tour. There has been an interest generated that I am humbled to witness/be apart of. Here is the first of a 3 part Ceremony series called the Water Blessing Ceremony – Coast to Coast Series.
It’s not too late! This Ceremony was recorded for a reason, and the way it was energetically set up means that people can participate at any time as long as they have heart and meaning when they participate. Feel free to pass this Ceremony along to friends or family that might be interested in putting their prayers energetically into that bottle of water that currently holds water from the Potomac River. It’s short, simple and only 30 minutes. Not a lot of “woo woo”, so even people that are new to Ceremony don’t have to be intimidated. It’s as simple as saying why we are grateful for water, and all of the lovely things that water does. Apologies for the airplanes in the background! Will bring the microphone next time so the wind blowing doesn’t affect the sound quality and it will be easier to hear the speaker.
This blog post is the space for the recording, however if you would like to participate in a discussion, feel free to hop on over to the forums.
Interested in more?
As my son and I prepare for our last week in town, the last weekend in town we hosted 3 events. The Eagle Therapies US Tour – Crucible of Transformation happened on Saturday. It was my heartfelt explanation for why I felt called to go across the United States, exposing a little bit more of my personal story. Towards the end I pose some big questions and as a group we discussed what that means for us as a small community – connecting in with larger communities. Feel free to engage in the discussion on the forums.
Other related posts:
Hey everyone! My website is kind of wonky at the moment and it won’t let me upload videos directly to the forums. Here is the recording for this months Ancestral Healing Circle:
If you would like to post your results, questions or comments, please redirect them over to the topic in the forums.
This Ancestral Healing Ceremony was specifically about inheriting the patterns of shame and guilt from our Ancestral lines. This shame or guilt motivates us to be a certain way, fitting into a box instead of allowing ourselves to be authentic in the world. We dive a little deeper into what Ancestral Healing means as well as how to tap into that first layer around it.
As some people have been following the blogs and newsletters, they might be aware that for the month of June, I had an offer for people to get recycled bracelets from a company called 4Ocean. To look back at the previous blog post click here. These bracelets are made of trash that has been picked up from the ocean. There are several sites all across the world that have “Ocean clean up” days, where volunteers just pick up trash. The glass beads are made from the glass bottles, and the string is made from recycled plastic bottles.
The fun thing is, that over $400 was raised in order to donate to 4Ocean! I am so proud of those that support our community and the love that was raised for the Ocean <3 The bracelets arrived just in time for me to bring to my first shamanic training in the 4 year training program that I’m in. While I was in Arizona for the Masks of Illusion and the Authentic Self (It’s a 4 year program that teaches how to live a shamanic lifestyle), I had put these wonderful bracelets on the community altar – so the proud owners of the bracelets will walk away with some powerful transformative energies as well as some personalized blessings. These bracelets also came along with me as I traveled and camped in the wilderness of the desert.
I happen to be an introvert, and I knew that training was going to be intense. I was right, it was. And I really needed to heavily process. Sometimes in order to process I escape to nature so I can reconnect with myself and the bigger picture of what I came here to do. I camped at Picacho State Park overnight, and in the morning I gave gratitude and blessings to the Land Spirits that helped hold us during our powerful transformational processes. I will tell you a really funny story… because as I was giving offerings to the land, I happened to give gratitude to the desert by pouring some water on the ground. As soon as I said, “I give this to the Land Spirits and the Spirits of Place” and dumped the water on the ground, there was this little ground squirrel that came out of nowhere, scampered up and shyly drank the water that I just poured. I guess the Land Spirits come in all shapes and sizes 🙂
I climbed that big bump you see right there. While I was up at about 2,000 feet above sea level, I had built myself a little offering altar and placed the bracelets up there while it absorbed some really expansive mountain/desert energy. I played a couple of songs on the flute, and sang on the drums. Some of the other hikers appreciated the drumming/singing. It was quite comical because I had found a little shady spot under a cliff, so you couldn’t really see where I was sitting unless you walked past me. I had some hikers comment that they were worried there was a ghost around here, and we had a good laugh as I chatted with some of the good natured folks who also decided to climb Picacho Peak.
I shall start planting the seeds of blessings in them this month. June was a pretty bumpy month for me, and the training took a lot more out of me then I expected. I had to take a break from clients and even cancel a few social/community events I had planned. Thank you to those that are patient in receiving the bracelets 🙂 They shall be delivered soon! With a cute little bag and post cards that say “Thanks for cleaning up the ocean!”
Much love and many blessings to all of you <3 And thank you for caring about the state of our ocean and helping contribute to a cause that is helping clean up the mess humanity is leaving on our planet. We shall do right by the world. Gotta leave it better then we found it so our children and our childrens children can enjoy it.
To all of my beloveds and family members that supported us as my teacher and I went out to Standing Rock, here is a synopsis of our journey. My teacher and I co-wrote this together, but it’s written in his point of view. I’m not going to bother changing it because I’ve had many other projects that I’ve been working on. Feel free to read, comment, share, and everything else. Based off of my Walk With Buffalo post, I find it very funny that a Buffalo Mother decided to walk up to the car to lick it 😛
Posted on his Facebook page at 7:00pm on March 29th
Greeting my Family, Friends and Earth Companions! I am home from my trip to Standing Rock, N.D, and here is our (Stephanie and my) combined synopsis of the trip and what we found and did there. I traveled there this time with a good friend and shamanic student of mine, Stephanie Seger. She is also a shamanic healer in her own right and runs Eagle Therapies to help others. When we arrived, we found out that all the original camps have been completely destroyed by the government with the approval of the Standing Rock Tribes Chief, Dave Archambault, and the council. You can read more about that here . The work on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is complete and the oil either is or will be flowing through it by the time I get this finished and out to everyone.
The journey started on Sunday, March 12, 2017. We drove for a little over 12 hours to Peoria, IL and stopped for the night to avoid driving in the blizzard that was coming east. It was a good decision, because we missed the snowfall pretty much completely and started driving again Monday morning to complete our trip to Bismarck, ND. We saw many vehicles’ in the ditches and medians that validated Lora and Stephanie’s counsel to stop and got into Bismarck, ND about 2am on Tuesday. A little over 1800 miles with no problems, we were blessed. We spent much of the drive both days exchanging stories while Stephanie worked on her many art projects. She tends to be a very creative person. One of her projects included free hand painting a buffalo on a new drum.
Tuesday morning when we woke up, we rolled out and went to Standing Rock to see what was going on. We were met by a Federal Marshall, who told us that we were not allowed to go into or see the area where the Oceti Sakowin Camp or Sacred Stone camps were. As we had approached Standing Rock, we had seen two small camp areas that had teepees and tents. When we went back to the larger camp, we introduced ourselves to the Four Bands Prayer Camp (Cheyenne River Camp). We met with the leaders (Leon Red Dog and Johnnie Aseron) to find out what they were doing and how we could help. Cheyenne River Lakota Chairman Harold Frazier has authorized the Cheyenne River Camp on the Cannon Ball River. Its purpose will be educational and spiritual. They gave us a copy of their rules for the camp (attached) and said that they need labor, supplies and financial support. So we rolled up our sleeves (figuratively, since it was about 6 degrees out) and help put up tents and clear snow. They didn’t have a general sleeping area yet, so we headed back to Bismarck to sleep since our tent was not going to be warm enough to allow us to stay on site.
It was still light when we left, so we stopped at the second, smaller camp on our way out and found out it was the Wolf’s Den (Sacred Buffalo Prayer Camp). It was an interesting and magical introduction. I stayed in the car while Stephanie walked up and introduced both of us. Stephanie has the gift of working with Spirit Guides, and met the crew outside. They almost turned her away, indicating that this was private property, when somehow her charm and way with words won them over. It also helped that at the same time of explaining her gifts, a Silver Hawk (my Native name and totem) flew in through the middle of camp, catching everyone’s attention. This is a rare occurrence and piqued their interest. It helped us as we introduced ourselves and asked about the camp. The Wolf Den is a smaller, independent camp that is trying to maintain the spirit and purpose of the Standing Rock camps that have been dismantled / destroyed. We went in to their primary tent and listened to their story and then Stephanie was asked to drum on her newly painted Buffalo drum. As Stephanie shared her story of being guided there by a buffalo spirit, the Lakota Song Keeper picked up on the holiness and exchanged song for song. It sealed their acceptance of her and they asked us to come back the next day, since they also didn’t have a general sleeping area yet. They only had one request for supplies to make a good beef stew and maybe some pork chops and bacon. Little did we know, but this camp is home to the “Walking Thunder Buffalo Project”, where they have many buffalo hides available for fleshing/tanning purposes as an educational tool. The hides will be used in sacred ceremony, to teach people about the spirituality that once thrived in these areas before colonialism.
Wednesday morning we rolled out and returned to the Wolf’s Den Camp first and delivered a very large top roast, 20 pounds of potatoes, 20 pounds of carrots, 20 pounds of celery, 20 pounds of onions and several packs of organic beef broth for the stew as well as two large packs of pork chops and two large packs of extra thick bacon. To say the least, it was well received. After catching up, Stephanie was asked if she would like to help with the fleshing of a sacred buffalo hide. She was excited about the opportunity and went out to work in the cold with one of the people. I went on to the Four Bands Prayer Camp (Cheyenne River Camp) to continue to help set up tents and organize supplies and materials. While I was working there, the camp had visits / inspections from the BIA, FBI, and state and local police departments. I believe that the visits were staged to interrupt our efforts, because all of them happened about 2 hours apart and took the better part of an hour. They required we show our ID’s and took photos of our vehicles. Overall it was a good productive day and we were both exhausted by the end of it. Since there still was no general sleeping area available yet, we returned to Bismarck and had dinner with a friend of Stephanie’s who happens to be the lead attorney for the Water Protector Legal Collective. Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) provides on-the-ground legal representation and coordination at Standing Rock, North Dakota in partnership with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). Sandra La Huracán went to North Dakota and left her loved ones in Colorado to stand for the people, and is a big reason that many are not still in jail. I truly honor her work and heart. We are all connected.
Thursday was another work day for both of us at the respective camps and I was also asked to go and assist with two PTSD veterans who were having issues with the local authorities and were being moved to the VA Hospital in Fargo. While I did this, Stephanie helped dig out the sweat lodge from a good half foot to a foot of snow. The weather had begun to warm up and it was just a beautiful day to be out doors in nature. It was a beautiful enough day that some of the native plants were peeking up through some of the snow, and the Lakota Song Keeper had decided to share some indigenous knowledge with her. I remember her smile as she shared the splendor of the freshly harvested sage and bison berries. This works agrees with her spirit and energy. But our mission and purpose was about to change. Stephanie had been invited to go to the Rosebud Reservation to talk to a chief and medicine man who runs the Sun Dance there. It was a very exhausting day both mentally and physically for the both of us, and we rested well until we packed up and headed out to the Rosebud reservation about 5 hours south of Cannon Ball, ND. Again, our trip was filled with magic, love, craft projects, and stories exchanged between us.
By the time we arrived, Stephanie was very nervous about meeting a medicine man of such power. She felt him miles out from our destination, and was more reserved then what she normally is. It was a lovely meeting that turned into a deepening kinship between people of a shared purpose. It’s hard to describe, but there’s something special about recognizing who your family members are, and realizing that we are all apart of the same tribe. Once Stephanie got her drum out from the car, the medicine man did an impromptu drum blessing for her newly painted drum. She was moved to tears and couldn’t speak for a little, and we continued conversation – all of us respecting the sacred nature of what had been unfolded before us. There was a lag in conversation when the medicine man turned to look at Stephanie as she held her twice blessed drum, and asked, “So are you going to sing?” Again she was taken aback, but obliged anyway. They asked if they could record her song by video, and she happily responded with a yes. It was another magical moment of a blessing exchange (because the song Stephanie sang was a blessing for the Earth). After her song and in between the discussion, I noticed that Gilly (medicine man) kept moving rather quickly through the background, gathering and collecting certain items and writing things down. Our conversation evolved, and when there was a lull in conversation, Gilly invited us to a ceremony in the Black Hills. We both voiced we were interested in going, and then he hands me a piece of paper with information already written down on it, and informs us that he already told people that we were coming. This adventure seemed to not end as we got another tip in our scavenger hunt of a trip. From this meeting, we drove down to Rapid City, SD where we got a hotel room for the night and got some much needed rest and stretching from being in the car all day.
Saturday was our last day in the Dakotas, and we spent it in prayer, ceremony, and blessing. We made it out to the Black Hills, which is a sacred site for the Lakota Sioux. We were gifted by live visits from buffalo, prairie dogs, antelope, hawks, deer, and many other types of wildlife. The buffalo even walked up to the truck to lick salt off of it! Stephanie felt called at one point to gather rocks from a buffalo wallow (this is where the buffalo roll around in the grass and leave a depression of dirt). We found the perfect wallow in the middle of a field where there were no buffalo (because you know, safety). She took some of the sage seeds that she gathered while she was with the Lakota Medicine Man at Standing Rock, and did a small ceremony to bury the seeds at the four corners of the buffalo wallow. She picked the three most perfect rocks, for her, my wife and I. As she was walking back, she smiled brightly as she found a sprig of sage that was broken off from the root, next to a buffalo hoof print. Funny that she got gifted sage from the earth that was broken off by the very animal she visited the wallow of. It was the perfect ending to our magical journey. From there, we gathered some gifts for our families from a local native gift shop and set our sights on the journey back home.
The journey home was a bit longer than the drive out, since we were over 300 miles farther west than Standing Rock. It was evening and I just put myself in Road Warrior mode and off we went. I drove all night and had the pleasure of meeting an Iowa State Trooper around 5:00am when he pulled me over. I was not speeding, but had a headlight that had burned out. He was polite and helpful and only gave me a repair ticket to keep me legit as I finished the drive home. It shook me to see the flashing blue lights and I was just a little rattled when he let us go. Stephanie suggests that I stop somewhere and get some rest and after consulting with Lora, we stopped and slept for a few hours. We woke and hit the road to finish the journey. I drove for 17 hours straight and we arrived back home at 9:30am for a trip total of 6,200 miles.
We both will be going back.
Thanks for reading this post! And thank you to those that gave donations 🙂
There are three different groups that Eagle Therapies runs/moderates. The Ancestral Healing Circle was founded on Samhain of 2016. The purpose of this group is to come together to honor the lives of the people who have lived and died before us. Our Ancestors helped shape this world by the way they lived, and in a Shamanic way, we can journey to them to ask them their advice on real challenges presented to us at this time. Keep an eye out on our Ancestral Healing Circle Facebook group, Eagle Therapies Facebook page, Meetup group, or sign up for our Newsletter to stay connected with events.
This is for both the beginner and advanced ceremonialist. The beauty of working in a group is to be able to lean on other people’s experiences so we can figure out things together. We are all apart of the same human race, and the best thing that our culture creates is diversity. Let’s work together in ceremony so we can get down to the root of our fears, be in gratitude, and connect with the land in a healthy way. These events are consciously held around the New Moon. New moons are wonderful for seeing in the dark. We can examine what the underlying themes going on are, so that we can fly in the night.
If you are unable to attend in person, you can join us at a distance. The topics of the Ancestral Healing Ceremony will be presented on the Facebook group, as well as in the event listing itself. These events are now associated with the Shamanism Without Borders program, and there will soon be a blog post that explains what exactly that means. We abide by the ethics and code of the Society of Shamanic Practice, and we will only perform healings/prayers/blessings for people/animals/land that we have the consent of. This is one of the reasons why we do the diagnostic journey in the beginning of the ceremony.
Shamanic Journeying is a helpful pre-requisite. There are monthly journeying classes held at the Intuitive Wellness Center as well as several courses offered through Sounds True, the Shift Network and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. The monthly classes are listed in the monthly Newsletters. As well as on the Facebook or Meetup pages. For a link to the old archives of Newsletters, click here.
There is Shamanic Healing that happens, but please do not be alarmed if you have never done it before. Sometimes just singing or holding space is healing in and of itself, so please trust the process and participate with your whole heart, not halfheartedly because you don’t trust yourself (or are scared/nervous). Just trust that you are in the right place at the right time. Please arrive on time, after ceremony begins, no entrance is permitted into the space. Here’s how the structure will go:
6:00 – We gather, set up the ancestral altar together, and mingle. It’s good to know who we are doing ceremony with, so please open up and get to know each other.
6:30 – Ceremony begins and the circle is cast. No late admittance after this point. This is where we honor the spirit of the circle, as well as the ancestors themselves. Let it be known that we drum loud, sing hard, and sometimes dance the dance of bones.
6:45 – Discussion begins. Why are we here? Why are we interested in this? Here is where we discuss some of the major themes that we are seeing, and talk about how they impact us.
7:00 – Diagnostic journey: This is a quick journey which gives us insight from Spirit about what is really “going on” with the topic at hand, and how we are personally affected by this. The beautiful thing about working with a group is that when we all journey on the same topic, we bring our own unique perspectives to the table. Sometimes it works like puzzle pieces and each one will have a vision that completes what the other had. This is where we discuss and put everything together
7:15 – Plan. Well, not as much planning as coordinating. Some people will feel really called to help hold the space, while others will feel called to do healing work. Some will focus on personal connection with ancestors and healing aspects within themselves, others will feel called to help with working with archetypes and larger modules. Whatever is meant to happen will happen, all that is required is to be open to what is in the moment and be present.
7:30 – Then we sing, dance, call up our power and get to working!! It will last however long it lasts (usually 30 mins) and then we will talk about it after.
When all is said and done, and everyone feels the work is complete, we open circle. Sometimes we don’t always “end” at 7:00pm, so please keep that in mind when planning. Sometimes it’s not up to us what time this ends, but we will definitely be done by 7:30pm.
This work will seem very uncanny, like a lot of things will happen in a flow. This is how true healing works 🙂 if there are any questions, feel free to post them here, on the Facebook group, or message me privately. We will have the right amount of people come, and everyone who can make it will be exactly the people meant to show up. If interested, there is a Facebook Group that you can join so we can discuss these things and future topics.
THINGS TO BRING:
-Journal and something to write with
-(optional) rattle, drum, or musical instruments for when we drum up our power
-Something to put on the communal altar (helps to add personal energy to the circle)
-A lite snack or some food to help with grounding after the ceremony. There are people with dietary restrictions in the group, please bring an ingredient list.
-Your true self and sense of fun/adventure 🙂
-Suggested donation of $20-$40. This flows with the concept of Ayni, and sacred reciprocity. This work will be intense, and to hold the space takes a lot of time/energy. Give back to the circle and the community where you can.
Move forward in a good way, and hopefully will see you at an event!
There has been a great deal of turbulence in the air, and many people have been affected in some way by the issues that are being brought to light. It’s not the fact that more “bad stuff” is happening in the world, it’s just the fact that we are able to see more it than ever. It means that we have to stick together as we peel the rest of this facade off and we get down to really being who we came here to be.
For as many opinions as there are out there, there is a plethora of causes to stand for. With fear running rampant in our main culture, there’s rising amounts of racism, sexism, acts against people of other religions, acts against transgendered or LGBTQ communities/individuals, and more issues of violence and discrimination than we can count. I urge people to pause, breathe, and get out of a reactive state before proceeding forward. We can’t do good in the world if we don’t take care of ourselves first. I know there are many heated emotions flying around, and people are quicker to get reactive because there is so much going on that’s triggering people to be defensive and protect what they “know”. I don’t blame them. But if you’re going to stand up for something, really evaluate your values and morals and see which movements align with them.
The first step after self-care, is to think about things that really make a change in this world. No, putting posts all over social media about how upset you are doesn’t change anything. It might trigger other’s anger and outrage, but engaging constantly in what makes you upset makes more of us upset, and is a trend that has been perpetuated by the masses. Instead, focus on the little things to help make a change or a difference. Here’s a great article from CNN on just this, if you are ready and in a state of mind to take more action that makes a bigger difference in the great scheme of things.
Part of self-care is recognizing what is within our ability to change, and what is beyond the scope of our ability to do. I have two jobs and a kid, so obviously I’m not going to go gung-ho and do everything listed there – it’s meant to be a roadmap for some of what you can do. That goes for joining every protest that’s out there. Be selective, and it’s generally recommended to pick a cause that is close to your heart. It helps because our energy is not scattered, and more focused so that it can effect a greater change.
Now that that’s out of the way – let’s talk about Standing Rock. Why do people care about Standing Rock? What is it? Obviously it’s something that is dear to my heart, but why should we care about it?
I’m sure many people have heard of it at this point. It has finally hit mainstream media to some degree, but mostly it’s through social media that this movement has thrived. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a pipeline being built by Energy Transfer that will be used for transporting crude oil over 1,172 miles and through 4 states. Click here to read the fact sheets on Energy Transfer. Sunoco Logistics (whose parent partner is Energy Transfer) will take over transporting the crude oil once the pipeline is complete. The reason for the pipeline? They claim it moves oil faster over longer distances, and it will help boost the economy in certain areas. Prior to the construction of the proposed pipeline, they have been transporting crude oil via trucks and rail. They claim they take the utmost care and security during transportation, however Sunoco has the highest spill rate of all of the companies that transport crude oil. Their public statement says they will do their best to “minimize spills”. They have also not been documenting all of the spills that take place, stating that they didn’t want to “over-report” their spills. The biggest recent spill happened October 20th, 2016 when a Sunoco pipeline burst, leaking 55,000 gallons of oil about 100 miles North of Harrisburg, PA. Because the oil was leaked from that area, it soaked into the water supply and has reached down as far as the Susquehanna river (it first spilled into Loyal Sock Creek which then flows into the left branch of the Susquehanna) about 15 miles south of where the oil spill occurred.
- Read about other fatalities of other oil spills
- Read about oil spills in other areas and their environmental impact
We now begin to understand the severity of the situation on a physical aspect alone, of the environmental impact of transporting crude oil via pipelines. Another layer to add to this, is the fact that the construction process did not even consult with the owners of the property this pipeline will be going through. Many farmers and people that own private property have been pressured into selling their property so this pipeline could be created. Some of the land that this pipeline runs through was promised to the successors of the Great Sioux Nation in the treaties of Fort Laramie in 1851 and 1868. The government itself has broken the property stated by seizing 56,000 acres for the Lake Oahe project (dam and reservoir) by the US Army Corps of Engineers without prior consent from the Sioux tribe. Technically speaking, the property that the Energy Transfer, DAPL is cutting through military property – and they continued construction on the pipeline even without consent from the US Government. When approached with this legally, the CEO of Energy Transfers released a public statement that equated to drilling first, asking forgiveness later. Even with the Army Corps of Engineers, and President Obama getting involved and sending official letters and documentation, Energy Transfers still decided to proceed with the construction of the pipeline, have dug the trenches and have brought equipment for drilling underneath Lake Oahe on both sides.
As if that isn’t enough, we are also able to witness the layers of inappropriate action in regards to the handling of the protesters. They arrested people at the camp and threw them into dog kennels for “protesting” when they were practicing their freedom of speech and religion through praying. They fired rubber bullets and sprayed pepper spray on a crowd of protesters as they tried to protect sacred burial grounds. The basis for their non-violent protests have been a message of peace. When people come to Standing Rock, there are multiple classes a day that try to educate people about their way, and about how their fight is based on prayer. When beginning any protest, their elders lead them through a ceremony with prayer, and make it a point to include everyone there, including any law enforcement officials present. I was there myself during the protest in Washington DC, and I was there as they gave the blessing that “Everyone was to stay safe and continue to be so.” I was in the back of the protest line that was close to half a mile long, and I didn’t hear any arguing, or fighting. Just the chants for freedom, equality, peace, and the sweet smell of tobacco and sage being burned as we marched to the White House.
If you have questions about what exactly this fight is for, the Indigenous Youth Council put out this wonderful video which highlights the fact that this isn’t just about Native Americans fighting for their land. It’s not just about this one pipeline. It’s about the human race fighting for survival against tyranny and corruption. The blessing of this movement is the fact that a Global Community has been formed around Standing Rock, because they see the value in protecting what is Sacred. There are tales of people not understanding what this movement is – so they go to Standing Rock to see what this change is about – and instead it changes them. This is not just about fighting for what it right, it’s a wave of a mental, emotional and spiritual awakening that’s being led by prayer and ceremony. Its changing lives, the way people look at things, and how they interpret what they see.
It’s obvious the acts of disrespect have been seeded by the creation of the pipeline, which was started and continued without consent from the indigenous people, OR the hundreds of private landowners that the Energy Transfers Partners have cleared out/bought out. We need to be more mindful about what we are manifesting in this world. A good majority of this Western Society is founded on profit, and emphasizes sacrificing many things in light of convenience.
A good majority of the humans running things are doing so with power, greed, and without thought for the communities or environment. What would happen hypothetically if the pipeline was created, and everything went through and a major oil spill happened just like what was witnessed on October 20th? Lake Oahe feeds into the Missouri river. Obviously there’s going to be the immediate area that would be affected, but who’s to say what will happen when the other contaminants leak into the surrounding water supply? What happens if all of those chemicals associated with crude oil get into the water supply that feeds into the bread belt of the United States? We already have a large number of people that are allergic to wheat or developing gluten intolerances with the amount of preservatives in our food, and other factors. If the food that we grow is being fed by water that is contaminated, what do you think that is going to do to the food that is grown? It’s a chain effect.
The Standing Rock movement isn’t just about the DAPL. It also is a call to action for all people to wake up and see what is going on around them. What is the environment we live in now like? What pollution is around us that we are contributing to, for the sake of ease and convenience? All of these are big questions, and we turn inward to find the answers. If we are not in a stable place as we ask these questions of ourselves, then how can we be in a position to think about the greater world/community that is stitched together because of this simple thing we all need.
This movement isn’t JUST about the Oahe Lake and the surrounding water of North Dakota. It’s about all of the water that the Oahe Lake feeds into. It’s about ALL rivers and ALL life. Water is Sacred. #WaterIsLife
If you want more up to date information on Standing Rock, visit the Sacred Stone Camp Facebook page. Find out facts about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protesting.
Feel moved by what was said here? Feel inspired to help now that you have a broader understanding of what is going on? Then congratulations, you just took the first step by reading this article and educating yourself more on the situation. This blog post is not meant to be all inclusive, but provides only a small sampling of the information available to you about why people are making such a big fuss about the situation. I encourage people to do their own research and to double check all of the facts provided here. There will be many sides and perspectives, and the side of the story you get will often be filtered through the eyes of the person seeing it. I know that my view point of the world is very different then others, hence why I encourage you to find your own truth.
If you’re so called to help with this particular protest, then here are some things that you can do to support this movement:
The Sacred Stone Camp is the compilation of different camps at Standing Rock. They are on the front lines where they are directly bordering where construction is taking place. They are keeping an eye on the pipeline construction with drones, and are keeping themselves informed on the progress. Many people here are praying, surviving, and doing their job to protect the land. These protectors are being called to stay at Standing Rock, and have either left their jobs or have taken time off work in order to come support the cause. A lot of people that have gone there are living off of donations.
- Here are Frequently asked questions and how to Support the Camps at Standing Rock.
- They are winterizing their camp so the Land Protectors can stay warm during the oncoming Winter. They have an Amazon Wishlist for supplies.
- There are many people who have gotten hurt at the protests, and that have acquired injuries. Click here if you would like to donate to medical funds.
- If the Standing Rock movement is something that moves you, but you would like to support the Non-Profit organization that is helping them legally in this matter, then find out more and donate to Earthjustice.
Don’t have money or supplies to donate? There are other ways that you can help. In order to “starve” the Black Snake (oil pipeline), there are efforts to defund the project.
- Letters to Officials to stop DAPL – email list to stay in contact with the movement
- List of Banks to write to – Banks are much more susceptible to pulling their funding from projects. Especially if large numbers of people write to them asking them to change their minds.
- Largest Bank in Norway pulls its assets
- DNB bank threatens to pull their assets
- Latest update as of November 14th – still a chance! Our hope is growing! Obama administration and Army Corps of Engineers have stomped down their foot because of protesting
- (Not immediately connected, but by proxy connected because of the awareness the movement has brought about) Interior Cancels Oil Leases On Sacred Tribal Lands In Montana
- As of November 16th – NADL in Financial Jeapordy (Letters to Banks have been working)
Shadow side of this movement
Obviously with the majority of people following along in the Standing Rock movement and its footsteps, we also have those that have become so moved/touched by this movement that they jump in without really knowing what it’s all about. These extremists do not understand the true meaning of standing with Standing Rock, but that shouldn’t be the whole example that can appear to discount what this movement stands for. With every act of balance, there is always a side of the argument/movement which is done with good intention, but their actions come out as warped and twisted. Read about the Killing of Buffalo “in the name” of Standing Rock. It would be unwise to pull up all the wonderful facts about Standing Rock without understanding the other aspects of what some might be reading about. We must embrace all sides of an argument and understand that they exist and are still apart of us – even if it is misguided.