Acrylic/Mixed Media on Canvas
30” x 40” x 2”
"When the Grandmothers speak, the world will heal." this beautiful Hopi prophecy stirred my heart when I first heard it. My painting of the “Grandmother Spirits” was done to raise money for direct support for the grandmothers on the reservations, as well as consciousness. In addition, I honor our indigenous ancestors in the spirit world and the grandmothers still here on Earth, in physical form, holding space for peace on Earth and a healthy planet.
The “Grandmother Spirits” in the painting stand as sages, ancient feminine and wise ancestors in the peaceful magic hour where day pauses in hues of golden light before it turns to night. The grandmothers stand in silent reverence. Together they pray for Peace for the Earth and Her children. As yellow moon rises, their prayers are heard. I believe it is women coming into their own spiritual power at this time and men who honor them, balancing the masculine and feminine within themselves, who will return humanity to harmony.
Walk with us barefoot… journey… on the eve of a warm harvest moon…
Yellow… as it emerges on the horizon.
Sage dust smudges our surroundings… fire reflects
The wooden flute echoes with the drum.
Spider weaves her web in the light of grandmother moon.
On cliffs of the red rocks we tell a story… the dance of Peace begins.
My passion to action arose as in 1983. I found myself in the Four Corners area in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada on the reservations of the Hopi, Navajo/Dine’, and Zuni nations. I was working/playing with the handicapped children, a sad and sorry thing for me to experience at 22 years old, but an eye-opening venture. I saw many children with serious mental and physical handicaps, which is a problem of epidemic proportions in this area because of alcoholism and contamination due to a uranium toxic spill. Not just a little spill; the largest nuclear waste spill ever to occur in the United States happened in 1979, at Church Rock Arizona.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King
In 1974, Peabody Coal, a British owned company, began mining the area for coal. Tens of thousands of Indian people have been involuntarily and continuously removed from Big Mountain, their ancestral land, and relocated to Sanders, Arizona, only a few miles from the spill site at Church Rock. I can’t help asking, “What was/is the government thinking?” I was with these children it wasn’t pretty. Why would anyone in their right mind consciously move families into a lethally contaminated toxic waste area?
In 1985 Broken Rainbow, a documentary about the Hopi and Navajo/Dineh injustice at Big Mountain won an academy award. This publicity along with court cases stopped the mining and relocation, or so I thought.
Admiring the idea of peaceful activism and doing something to help others in need, years later as I became a working artist. I began donating my art to various causes and sometimes got involved in a more hands on way. I was at an event bringing awareness to help save what was left of the Ballona Wetlands, the last remaining large wetlands in LA county, from disappearing forever.
Low and behold a conversation arose and the fact was revealed to me that, the US. Government was still taking the Hopi and Navajo land from the native people. In reality they had never stopped relocating. They had only slowed it all down in an attempt to withdraw attention from the issue. And it worked! My emotions were hit strongly. Why so much deceit and greed at the expense of human lives and integrity to the survival of our planet?
Most of these men have died from the toxic environmental poisoning while working in the coalmines. “They (the bosses) never told us we needed to be careful,” said one of the Grandmothers. I have again gone back to the reservation bringing supplies and helping the Grandmothers plant corn and sheer sheep. We did what we could in giving them support and letting them know they are not alone in their struggles and to show that others do care about them and are doing our best to get the attention of the people to make change.
Over 350 million of our tax dollars have been used in this relocation project to date, which is a decision made by the United States government to support corporate profits and greed over sanctity of human life.
In 1982 Roger Lewis, one of the three Federally appointed relocation commissioners resigned saying: “I feel that in relocating these elderly people, we are as bad as the people who ran the concentration camps in World War Two.”
We want to stop the government from mining any more on this sacred land. We need to stop them from relocating the traditional Indians who continue to live and to carry the ancient wisdom today, as their ancestors have for thousands of years. The grandmothers’ have much they wish to teach us about listening to the Earth Mother. Once again they calls us to heed Her call. This is “Only One” atrocity government officials have ignored out of greed.
Let’s not just stop there; coal is a ticking time bomb for the climate, including the destruction of Big Mountain, the Appalachian mountain-tops and the millions of tons of carbon dioxide, mercury and other toxic pollutants emitted from power plants. Coal plants are the country’s top source of global warming and mercury pollution.
It is as if we have been living inside of a dream, sleepwalking toward oblivion, while self-serving, shortsighted interests encourage our slumber with managed news, celebrity culture and other weapons of mass distraction.
It has become clear that our political and commercial institutions are unable to effectively address this crisis, primarily because they don't realize that they are looking at an interconnected world through a fragmented lens. Perhaps the villain here is not Big Business, the corporate media, the military-industrial complex, or even those who for personal profit seek to clear-cut our forests, over-fish our oceans, and pollute our atmosphere. The villain is an outmoded worldview - a way of seeing the world in which such unthinkable acts appear reasonable, sensible, and even intelligent.
The grandmothers are here to convey that the chaos we perpetrate on Mother Earth is a call to focus on regaining balance. It is now time to permeate our lives with the Divine Sacred Feminine. They directly invite us to participate in restoring harmony to Earth.
"... Move beyond any attachment to names."
Every war and every conflict between human beings has happened because of some disagreement about names. It's such an unnecessary foolishness, because just
Beyond the arguing there's a long table of companionship,
Set and waiting for us to sit down
What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
Many jugs being poured into a huge basin. All religions, all this singing,
One song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. Sunlight
Looks slightly different on this wall than it does on that wall and a lot different
On this other one, but it is still one light. We have borrowed these clothes, these time-and-space personalities,
From a light, and when we praise, we pour them back in.
Rumi - 13th century
My experience in Activism has moved me to stand in a place of "conscious activism" which incorporates all aspects of the Goddess, her power, courage, passion. And equally important a contribution is her heart-love, beauty and softness in compassion. Conscious activism strives to open hearts of individuals.
I honor all Beings and the integrity to be in a place of self-discovery, clear, honest and real. I honor the hearts who care enough to move into a place of "action" to help the children and our Mother Earth, to stand up for justice and truth, free of reaction. Blessed Be... for being joyful without attachment to goals, kindness in the midst of passion and finding our vision. Initiating action in consciousness is the most powerful way to bring about change.
I am reminded of a dream I once had years ago: A white horse (power) was held in a university by a professor, the horse never had touched the Earth, never touched ground and never was allowed to run free. A group of activists were readying to charge the university. It was a troop armed with weapons and, also, a group of animals, a buffalo, lion and other power animals on the front line, to free the horse. I crossed the line and went to speak with the leader who was very passionate and angry. I explained to her that I understood her anger and that indeed the horse needed to be set free, but I urged her to see another way. I suggested that maybe it did not require violence to liberate the horse. She could not hear me and came back at me with the same raging anger she had about the imprisonment of the horse. Immediately she mirrored my own anger, which surfaced and as I began to rage back at her, I thought: “oh my Goddess I am raging angry now, just like her, just what I was trying to talk her out of”. I am that. (end)
This scenario is what I have seen in the old days of activism. In respect for the paradigm shift we are attempting to create today our activism can look and feel very different. The experience can be one of union in love and feeling that success no mater what the outcome of the issue at hand. In holding a grounded space of conscious love and centeredness we are guided…
“to turn the wheel of human destiny from destruction to reverence, Consciousness in Action makes a vital contribution to ongoing efforts toward a peaceful, habitable earth.”
Inspired in part by the author and book… www.consciousnessinaction.com
“Consciousness in Action” presents insights about the evolution of consciousness that Andrew Beath has distilled from decades of social and environmental activism, weaving a tapestry of wisdom that features inspiring stories from numerous progressive leaders. Julia Butterfly Hill, Joanna Macy, Deena Metzger, John Mack, Ralph Metzner and many others offer commentary that elaborates Beath's themes and provides pathways to personal and global transformation. Their focus is on seven attributes of consciousness that they have employed in their activism and that have demonstrated their viability across time and cultures to bring about change.