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Pray for Magic: An Open Letter to My Unborn Child

by Hank Stowers

Hey kid,

When I first sat down to write this letter, it was for your younger self. I wanted it to be a letter passed to you soon after you were adopted, set lightly on your nightstand to be puzzled over with dim lamplight and radiant courage. I was going to draw pictures, to help you understand. I would have anguished over every word, desperate to impart the gravity of all species’ greatest threat on a kid, simultaneously paralyzed with the knowledge that my remarks may drift away in a sea of new impressions, as is so often the case with young minds. I would not have been able to deliver the world to you gently enough.

Mostly, I would not be exhibiting my own radiant courage. My courage is waiting, insisting instead that you will survive to read this on your twenty-fifth birthday. Courage is believing that we will find the power to mend our brittle, fissured world, before it’s too late. I want you to see me being courageous, because I know you will need to do the same, and much more. So I speak to you now, grown and flourishing, my child. I hope with all my heart that these words find you well.

As I write to you, the final days of this decade wane away. It feels like the whole world is sighing, tattered and fatigued, and perhaps tenacious enough to to hope for relief. There is so much we need to be relieved of. The number of displaced, stranded people has doubled in the past ten years, and we approach an era in which one hundred million people cannot return to their home, or the scarred remains of that place. Increasingly, our refugee crises, escalations of conflict, and crushing losses of blossoming life, are attributed to weather events. Our climate is not changing, it is collapsing all around us. Fires, heatwaves, droughts, floods, and hurricanes are razing the landscapes that our species have inhabited for millennia. Many other species, woven even deeper into their ecosystems than us, cannot not flee, and are disappearing altogether. It pains me greatly to know that I will reminisce of fellow biosphere community members who you will never know.

I turned twenty five years old today. You will probably be born in a few years (I don’t expect to adopt you for another decade). I cannot imagine the danger that you will soon be facing, learning to survive in your infancy not by example, but through the brute force of trial. I hope that by the time you read this, the deep crevices of inequality and oppression will have been sewn shut, that the word privilege might mean a little less, wedged between us. While an energy dynasty forged in fossil fuels and capitalism ravages the only planet we call home, I have grown up in the private sanctuary of white supremacy culture, shielded temporarily from the destructive power of climate chaos. In my own lifetime, the poisonous ventricles of my culture, rooted in extraction and dominion, have transformed the climate crisis into a weapon. The most brutal of our environmental injustices have been aimed toward communities of color, nations of indigenous people, and intergenerationally nurtured ecosystems. The same architects of imperialism that evaluated millions of human lives as chattel, and built empires atop their breaking backs, have polluted our biosphere, and transformed the miracle of energy, which surges through all things in this world, into a cancer. I have struggled to exist, as humans invariably do, but my obstacles all bask in the empire of privilege, built by slaves and servants. I have never been forced to move anywhere. I have never wandered in the streets of my own community without palatable water, or breathable air. The hottest of my days are air conditioned, the empire into which I was born dumps its toxic waste Elsewhere, a fictitious place inhabited by real people. You, on the other hand, will be a child orphaned and forced to seek refuge by climate chaos, and I have been complicit in your suffering since my own birth. I want you to know that as much as I strive to confront and dismantle the pillars where my privilege resides, I will occasionally falter, and slip into the grasp of a colonizer mentality, and you will tell me I am wrong, and I will grapple with the sanctuary of my privilege before I am able to understand. I was born into a struggle for awakening; a sobering recognition that in our ruthless exploits, white society has only prolonged self-annihilation for a moment. We have behaved like a sailor perched up in the crow’s nest, shooting holes in our own ship. For what my people and I have done, I am so sorry.

But this is not a letter of apology for the apocalypse. This is a letter of prayer, that a new force of hope and resilience sprouting in the soul of my generation will be nourished and cared for enough to blossom in the hands of your own.

There is a revolution happening, growing and spreading through the youth, faster and brighter than any wildfire or heatwave. Oh, how I wish you could be here to witness it with me! It is ecstatic and terrifying, jubilant and heartbreaking, all at once. A great surge of organized, strategic and radical empathy has arisen to meet the goliath of climate collapse. Everywhere on earth, young people are coming together in a shared song of resilience, unshakable optimism, and uncompromising determination. Indigenous tribes are leading us all back to our roots in this biosphere, forming a path boldly defiant of their would-be conquerors. Young women of color are at the front lines of a political revolution, performing liberation, compassion, and honesty in the same halls where those virtues were first legislated away from their ancestors. Everywhere that there is injustice, technology has evolved in the hands of organizers into a tool of accountability and communication. People all over the world are simultaneously feeling the magic of a limitless empathy, the ability to share and fight for the miracle of life alongside anyone, anywhere. We are actualizing the potential of our magic, breathing it to action with political campaigns for mutual aid, investments in renewable energy transformation, and the graceful abolition of systemic oppression. It is all happening right now, in our trembling hands.

This revolution, or awakening, or whatever name it will be remembered by, is for you. For this reason, we cannot lose. It is for your children, and your children’s children. Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga and Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations, says it best:

We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come…Where are you taking them? What will they have?

Across the world, we are rediscovering our empathy for one another, our fellow animals, our rivers and plains, our biosphere, and our future. And we are acting on it. You deserve a world that can hold you, where you can learn to be courageous, and not hopeless. It is my own hope that by the time you read this letter, you will have found space for courage already.

My child, I wait with bated breath to deliver this letter to you. In closing, I wish to add one more thought, more so as a reminder to myself, than a prayer to you. When the revolution began, it was dismissed by many of my elders, even the ones I love. Many walked the path toward hope by our sides, but others laughed at our cries of desperation and sorrow, mocking our resolution, and cursing our joy. They didn’t know that they were only entombing themselves in their misery. The ruinous tendrils of a story they bound themselves to, patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy, decayed. We walked on without them, a little lonelier from the places where love was tangled up in revolution.

When your generation must face its own perils and trials, remind us of this promise: We will walk with you. We will remember what it was like to be a twenty five year old human, bursting with the frantic joy of being alive, and the relentless determination to flourish, and we will walk with you.

All my love,

-H



Hank, He/Him or They/Them pronouns:

I am many things! Organizer for liberation and the abolition of oppressive systems, outdoor explorer and risk-seeker, coffee and cigarette romantic, dork, and more. Most importantly, I am a literary futurist. I discovered the world I want to live in through the writings of Octavia Butler and Arundhati Roy, among others. The vision and critical hope latent in speculative fiction has guided me toward the work of abolishing my own oppressor identity. I spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing, and I think that means I’m a little like Octavia: “…an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.”

Healing Takes Place During the Pause

by Paula Harrison

The Covid19 upheaval has offered all of us an opportunity to pause, whether we are ready or not. It has taken me a few weeks to respond publicly to the pandemic because I knew I needed time to process. 

I’ve been going through many of the stages others are experiencing: denial, frustration, righteous indignation, and anxiety. I’ve emerged into the light of acceptance and even a kind of embracing of the dark. Within this darkness my spirit is light, I feel upbeat and hopeful for the future.

I’m not in deep denial. Rather, I have allowed myself time to grieve for the weaknesses and lack of love this pandemic has revealed about how we treat each other and our Mother Earth. We can only change once we identify that there is a problem and that process unfolds differently for each of us. I have come to understand that this worldwide virus is a symptom of our disregard for the way we should be living on this planet. We have been taking indiscriminately and with an eye to amassing wealth and so-called security. There is a balance, but we have ignored it. The message I have received is that we need to Do and Be differently. If ever there was a call to action, this is it. 

Healing happens during the pause at the end of each breath. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a global hiatus, the healing pause. We are being told that the action we need to take starts in stillness. My hope is that we will each emerge from this experience authentically changed in our ideas about our fundamental needs and values. That we will possess a deeper commitment to the connection between the world’s people and our Mother, the Earth. 

There is never a wrong time to start at the beginning, or, it is always the right time to begin with a good intention. We have always had the opportunity to be our authentic selves while engaging in nature — this is an opportunity, no one is going to bother you from any closer than six feet away, and probably not even that close! Choose a tree and invite it into your heart. Feel the patch of ground beneath you and thank it. Ask what you need to know relating to the pandemic. Be open for an answer, especially one you never saw coming. 


Paula Harrison is a lightworker at ReikiArts in Fort Collins. She aids others in health recovery utilizing bio-field and spiritual resources. Her decades of energy work, and living, have taught her many great and small things. One thing she has learned is that it is very important to allow change to happen within yourself and not to resist when things around you are changing. This can be very uncomfortable, but this discomfort is the material within which you can plant your seeds — to grow, if you can be open to it. You can contact Paula at paula@reikiarts.net

Review, Renewal, Reconsideration: Astrological Insights for Retrograde Season

by Sun the Pisces


Hello and Welcome to Earth Church!

About me:

My name is Sun, I am a professional Astrologer of 5 years, and energy coach. I am 1st generation Sierra Leonean and Liberian. I identify as Sun/They/Them is also appropriate. You can find me online at sunthepisces.com should you desire a personal reading or free information. 

I am so excited to teach you about astrology coupled with energy work and how you can use it to form a better life for yourself!

I’m so excited to be able to offer some guidance in this extremely unique year of transformation, change, and upheaval. These next 6 months we will be experiencing some deep inner work (Shadow Work) and the quarantine has really forced many of us to look inside of what we have not for so long. 

In this first piece I want to give you a beautiful explanation of the energy for the next 3 months. For transparency, at the time I am writing we are experiencing 6 planets in Retrograde! SO, without losing track let’s briefly cover upcoming energy!

What is Retrograde?

First off, retrograde is not bad, it is wonderful to finish old projects, healing, and great for cleaning out old thoughts. Retrograde in the scientific sense, is then a planet appears to be moving in reverse to the human eye through a lense. Seems extremely simple considering, it is not actually going in reverse. Now, let’s tap into the energy aspect. The energy associated with the retrogrades has to do with a few key words:

  1. REview
  2. REnewal
  3. REconsideration

Review is a fundamental piece for us as humans to grow, learn and structure ourselves in our beliefs. I’ll repeat OUR beliefs. Over time it can be quite easy to accumulate the ideas and beliefs of other people because they are in our circle, friends group, or family. So this time period offers a look into what is working for you and your energy. If you begin to notice you get drained around your social groups, it is likely because you do not align with them, but because they are familiar we attach to them so we do not have to face loneliness. 

Renewal is great during retrograde because with all of our old friends and exes hoping to come back into our lives they are usually seeking a type of review also, to heal. Healing comes through owning the darkness within ourselves and offers us the space and time to shed light on that which is hidden. Thus renewing our mind, body, and spirit should one invite themselves to do so. 

Reconsideration of facts, opinions and habits is another wonderful piece with retrograde energy. How is what you are doing now helping you shape your future? If you notice you, or others are stunting your growth, what changes can we consider making? This is perfect timing for launching an idea you’ve been sitting on and possibly need affirmation for. This is your affirmation. This is beautiful energy to work with because now we are able to reach outside of ourselves, get a little bit uncomfortable and strive to hit your goals and vision you have in this world for yourself. 

Which planets are currently in retrograde and what do the planets mean? (dates)

  1. Mercury – Thinking and communication (June  18th to July 12)
  2. Saturn – Law and Order (until September 29th)
  3. Jupiter – Luck and expansion (until September 12th)
  4. Mars – Agressions and Action (September 9th – November 13th)  
  5. Venus – Beauty and Harmony (until June 25th)
  6. Neptune – Dreams and Love (June 22- November 28)
  7. Uranus – Intellect and Technology (until Jan 1st, 2021)

Venus Retrograde will be coming to an end June 25, opening up deep healing from trauma from the month prior. Specifically in relation to the love languages in society and in the collection of the human race. This will highlight not only what we deserve, but how we want to be treated. I can admit, Neptune in retrograde I am quite excited for because love is very important to me (I’m a Pisces), but also we obtain a great time to understand what love truly is. It can often be a misguided area, should we base it on the things we were taught by unsuccessful marriages, television, or peers that practice unhealthy codependent relationship habits. This time period is the ending of a fundamental piece to setting up boundaries that allow you to fully feel and acknowledge the language that can best serve you and help you become more in tune with your heart! 

I love you all, I hope this was digestible, more to come! Please feel free to reach out with topics you’d like to ask questions on and hear more about. I will offer to review one – two natal charts each issue and cover any questions you may have as a group!

Lastly, but not leastly, some very quick direct advice from my tarot deck:

This will apply to your Sun, Moon, and Rising

July Horoscopes:

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Your mind is the only thing that can interfere with your goals and mission this month. Aries people are ruled by their head, sometimes you use it, it’s better if you don’t. Action is what creates the change you seek in your life. Write it out, then go.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Materials, toys, and luxuries doesn’t actually bring you joy. These are illusions of success. Your emotions are precious and should be treated as such, take time to tap in to how you are feeling in your heart, you deserve to succeed internally. 

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

You only fail when you choose to not communicate. When you do fail, the lesson is what you should pull out of the situation or event that causes you inside. Your fears aren’t real until you feed them with attention.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Happy Birthday! Let the world take care of you, you deserve it. It’s been a wild journey of finding and creating stability for yourself, which you always seem to do for others close to you. With the energy flowing your way, try doing the opposite of what you normally do, the fresh energy will help you feel again. 

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

You don’t always need to make decisions, especially if they both seem right. Peace can also come from not knowing the right answer. There is power in detaching yourself from your mind. You naturally always do what is right, that is why you are still alive.

Virgo (August 23 – September22)

You are not and never will be useless. Everyone needs you, they may be scared to admit it. If you already know this, stop thinking you need to help everyone, if you don’t know this, stop thinking you need to help everyone. The message is be more selective and discerning about why you are choosing to use your energy in the way that you do.

Libra (September 23- October 22)

Okay, you are either coming into a deep level of success, or the people around you are helping you do it behind the scenes. I love this for you, it is time for you to keep pushing on the ideas you have, ignore people so you can do your thing, the world needs that more than short term you.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Your mind is more clear than it’s possibly ever been, and if not, it’s because you are looking in the wrong direction. You are sure about what you want, but are you willing to claim it? Cause it’s yours should you pick that person or thing up. Hurry before someone else sees the value.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)

What are your new virtues? How can you apply these new beliefs into your passions and allow yourself to travel the world (inner or outer) during these times? The fire is within you to complete projects you didn’t have the time or energy for before so now is a fresh set of lungs, arms, and legs.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

The world is yours, always has been but now your work is manifesting itself into reality. Your gifts and dreams are finally balanced and the world wants to support you. You do not have to do it alone, in fact, you can’t. Allow everything to fall into place.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Time to work, not hard or smarter, but with a team. You are so good at working with people when you let your charisma shine, now is the time to build the project you want up and it will require a bit of coordination but it will have structure to help you, and help the world equally.

Pisces (February 19- March 20)

You are almost done letting go. The oppression that has been in your life is finally lifting itself from your back, this was a difficult time, but only because the world needed you to get stronger. Now that you are emotionally jacked, and spiritually in shape. Expect to be a powerhouse in all areas of your life.


John Lewis-Williams, mostly known as Sun the Pisces. I am a professional Astrologer, spiritualist and creative. Recent accomplishments include writing articles for SKIN magazine, host of television show Sunlit Studios where I host and provide a platform for local artists to share their unique sounds. Go stream my new EP called ‘Aries Rising’. “Things are as simple as you make them.”

Connecting to our Sacred Earth through Trees

by Gray Harrison

Early each morning, when I sit down at my altar to meditate and give thanks for this life and this sacred Earth, I start by holding a seed pod to my heart.  This humble seed pod carries the energy of a 700 year-old Lebanon Cedar tree, a tree that has transformed my understanding of consciousness and our ineffable oneness with all that is.

Like many humans, I have always felt at home amongst the trees.  I’ve embraced their beauty, their strength, their resiliency, and innumerable other qualities.  I’ve climbed them, built shelters in them, sat in their shade, rolled in their leaves, and yes, even hugged them.  But until the summer of 2019, in the Loire Valley of France, I had never experienced a clear, intentional, and unmistakable communication from a tree. On that day, however, as my partner and I walked up a path on a small hill, we came into contact with a fellow Earthling speaking a new language.  Not in words, but as a palpable energy field of consciousness, reaching out to connect, heart to heart. This ancient and beautiful tree had opened a portal to human consciousness, and it had a powerful message: The trees love the Earth with every cell of their being, and the activities of humans are breaking their hearts.  The tree was emanating an energy which can be described as an overwhelming and unquestionable message of deep, deep love, along with unfathomable grief. There did not need to be any human words; it was a language older than words, and our hearts understood.  

As my life has moved along from that incredible experience, I’ve been staying open to how I can respond to the imperative that I feel every day as I hold the seed pod to my heart chakra.  The answer I’ve found is that the message of deep love for our Sacred Earth, and the inextricable connection of all consciousnesses can guide and teach the human family to once again realize our intimate connection with Gaia Sanctus, the living planet.  

The Tree Initiative

The Tree Initiative is open to everyone of all practices and paths.  The purpose is to reconnect our spirits with the spirit of the Earth with the help and guidance of the trees.  Together, our energies can shape a future of caring and stewardship that will once again make the Earth healthy and whole.  The process is simple, if you will open yourself to it.

First, know this: The trees need us, and we need the trees.  There are many ways we can connect with the trees, and one practice that is available to us has been given by a group called “The Net of Life”. Started by Sharon McErlane (netoflife.org), who received a vision from a consciousness or consciousnesses identified as “the Grandmothers”.  

This is what the Grandmothers say:

“It’s time to get to know the spirits of nature and connect with the elemental kingdom. To save your planet from destruction and return it to balance, this link must be made,” the Grandmothers said, “and you are here to do it! The trees are where you will begin. Trees connect through the mycelium network in their roots, a freeway of communication. The Mother Trees of the old growth forests are masters at this,” they said, “and though only a few of them are left, from these few, others can learn. The great network of tree communication that once existed all over the Earth can be re-activated.

“The Net of Light is even more powerful than you think it is. Its reach is enormous and, when you work, you will be able to link it to the mycelium network of the plant kingdom. The actual work of communication will be done by the trees,” the Grandmothers said, “but human beings are needed to connect the trees to the Net of Light.

Each time you work with the Net of Light, think of the ancient trees, the great Mother Trees. Then, in ceremony, meditation, song, or however you do it, cast the Net of Light to these archetypal trees and ask them to anchor light once again. Ask them to send a radiant broadcast throughout their roots to bless everything that lives. Remember,” the Grandmothers said, “the template for this work is still set into the Earth, so what we are asking of you is do-able. Please take our request seriously,” they said. “Get to work now and more information will follow.”

I encourage everyone to connect with at least one tree.  Finding a tree friend is a practice anyone can try, and it is easy to do.  Look around you, at your home, or at your favorite place, and see if a tree is calling to you.  You’ll know when you find the right tree. Then, as the Grandmothers instructed, sit with the tree, open your heart, lean in, and breathe.  Let the communication flow, and let the tree know that you are with them, and there to support, once again, the Net of Light that holds the sacred life of our Earth.  Sit with that energy for as long as feels right, and return to your tree friend whenever you can. Also, take a seed pod, or a fallen leaf or stick from your tree friend and make it part of your altar, so that you can connect every day to the energy of the tree.  This practice will help open your heart and your consciousness to the Sacredness of the Earth, and you will be an integral part of the healing we need. Thank you, and, as the Grandmothers say, there is more to come.




Gray Harrison is a Colorado transplant, originally from Worcester, MA.  Involved in many environmental and social justice projects for most of his life, he is a musician, builder, welder, bicycle mechanic, fix-it kind of person who loves being outdoors, hiking, sailing, bike touring, and porch-sitting.  Always working toward a love revolution on planet Earth.

The Art of Protest: From the Climate March to Black Lives Matter

by Renee Marino

[This essay was originally published on DirtMedia.org]

Surely, you have heard of Greta Thunberg, but have you heard of Autumn Peltier? Autumn is a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, of the Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario. She is a water protector. Indigenous people, native to the Americas, along with Chicano and Latinx people, Black people, African Americans, Brown people, Asian Americans and LGBTQIA+ people have taken on “activist” roles, long before it was cool; whether protecting the Earth or their own lives and communities.  

Autumn Peltier, Greta Thunberg, Haven Coleman, and countless other youth climate activists and groups have emerged on my timeline since the Climate Strike on September 20th, 2019. My own climate activism and learning surged at that time, and now as the movement for Black lives resists and endures, during a global pandemic, my own learning continues. An access point, and something that resonates deeply with me is the interconnectedness of social justice and climate justice. 

Let’s pause for a moment to talk about protest. The history of protest, of strikes, boycotts, and all forms of non-violent direct action in this country and in the world is inextricably tied to the civil rights movement and to human rights. And how could it not be? If one body has a loud enough voice to disrupt the norm, imagine when tens, hundreds, or thousands of humans show up together for a cause. That’s an act of collective embodiment, a practice which is supremely empowering in and of itself.


We know the revolution will not be televised. 

It will be live streamed, and tweeted about furiously. But the real revolution happens IRL. On the ground. With our feet. With our fingers, dialing and emailing politicians. With our voices, telling them what it is we will not stand for any longer. What I found at the climate march last year, and what I have been finding in our recent history, including the current movement for Black lives, is that the art of protest is still our greatest tool. It’s outright intuitive, and undeniable. 

The first protest I ever attended was a march along 16th Street mall in downtown Denver in 2015. It was called “Sing Our Rivers Red” and was organized by Indigenous women and several groups to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). This phenomenon is as old as colonialism, but the idea that this is occurring modernly, and at such high rates isn’t common knowledge. And of course, the same reason it isn’t commonly known, is the same reason it is still happening- patriarchy, colonialism, toxic masculinity, gendered violence, white supremacy, the culture of capitalism, the list goes on… The long list of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is not publicized by mainstream media, thus further allowing for such atrocities to occur silently. Still, indigenous women have marched, or have done some kind of action consistently every year in Denver for the past 4 years to bring awareness to this violence. 

On the day of the Climate Strike this year in Denver, there was to be a Red and Black Dresses art installation for MMIW on the 16th Street mall. Due to a lack of support by the City of Denver, it was taken down and destroyed, even though the proper permits were in place. The Red and Black Dress Installation was created and organized by the International Indigenous Youth Council, 350.org and Womxn of the Mountain — an educational organization founded by several women, including Renee Millard Chacon. I met with Renee and she clued me in to her group’s work. 

The Womxn of the Mountain released this statement during the 2019 Climate March — “In an effort to support the narrative of bringing attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous WXM, Black WXM, Trans WXM lives the International Indigenous Youth Council, 350.org, and Womxn from the Mountain are working together to bring art installations to Colorado to change the dynamic to correlate SOCIAL JUSTICE is ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.”

Their main message? Social justice is environmental justice. This sentiment has been ringing in my ears during the weeks of Black Lives Matter protests. How can we take care of our planet, if we can’t even take care of our fellow human beings? 


Walking back from an open mic featuring black artists in Denver at the state capitol, is when this realization dawned on me. The momentum of the movement for Black lives feels stronger and more visceral than the movement for climate action has been. I thought – Maybe we aren’t here to save the planet. Maybe our karma is actually just to save ourselves. Now, I am learning the lesson once again, that the two (the planet, and ourselves) are inextricably linked. Honoring the Earth and honoring life are one in the same. 

I believe strongly in the power of art for our collective healing. Art has the ability to show the unseen- give voice to the silenced. There is pain in this unveiling of trauma, but we must be vulnerable, showing up in our lives with open wounds, for our pain to be seen and healed. As in life, so is art. We create what we want to be seen. I also see this principle of personal healing as the foundation of many feminist movements, where conversations become necessary for collective realization and solidarity — what we may think are our own private problems are actually widespread social issues. Then, out of the art of conversation, grows entire political movements.

There is oh so much trauma to address still, with the current and historic systematic killing, rape, and silencing of native, black, chicano, latinx, asian, trans, and migrant/immigrant people. There is trauma from the desensitization, silencing, and purposeful elimination of ways of living that don’t align with colonizers, with a white supremacy, with the U.S. American hierarchies of patriarchy and capitalism. Activists from Standing Rock are still facing life in jail. Prisons and policing uphold and perpetuate systemic racism. None of this is inseparable from the rape of the Earth’s resources. There seems to be a great inability of our “leaders” and politicians to see the harm we do to the planet, and the harm we do to others, as deeply connected to harm we are doing to ourselves. 

However, addressing all of this and it’s interconnectedness is part of the healing. It’s not neat, or nice and pretty. Healing collectively doesn’t look like a group trip to Bali. There’s a reason we are now realizing that our systems are broken, and it’s because we still have so much harm to address. The harm of Wounded Knee and every instance of colonization, the harm of slavery and every instance of police brutality is the the part of the story of the Americas. Stories with great atrocities are not generally resolved, until the harm is addressed, unless they end very badly.

It is our very human choice — to see the past and acknowledge it, to see the future and consciously move toward it. Art helps us to remember that being alive, being witness to our own choices and process, is powerful. 

If you are still reading, thank you. Full transparency- this article is my own healing. I can’t tell you how to protest, and I can’t tell you how to heal. That’s for you to decide, and I hope you’ll share that with me. 

As movement continues throughout the world, and as we all face challenges like nothing we have seen this lifetime, I encourage you to dig deep. Our blind spots are places for more learning. Only once we’ve come into our own power, can we be of any help. Our experience and our intentions are prerequisites for our activism. To vulnerably expose your truth is right action. Look for ways to engage authentically. Ways that inspire you, ways that go below the surface of your own thoughts, and land somewhere in your body. Look in your own life. Who have you chosen as your friends? Who have you committed to as an ally? Protest, like art, is an ongoing process. It must be sustainable. As sustainable as breathing. As sustainable as love. 


Please read the rest of the press release from Womxn of the Mountain below, which details the connection between MMIW and environmental exploitation…

“In an effort to support the narrative of bringing attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous WXM, Black WXM, Trans WXM lives the International Indigenous Youth Council, 350.org, and Womxn from the Mountain are working together to bring art installations to Colorado to change the dynamic to correlate SOCIAL JUSTICE is ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.

Womxn from the Mountain are cultural educators inclusive of all women from all backgrounds including those that identify as women. We believe that to transform towards a healthy futurein education, media, and for future generations for girls and Womxn, there needs to be an inclusive and more realistic approach to education now.

This directly means preparing the next seven generation for the social justice and environmental issues they are facing now. We offer educational workshops and curriculums to question are you “colonized or indigenous” in your concerns for the future of the next seven generations as an exercise to bring awareness into the connection to respecting the Earth and why it is sacred. Our Earth is sacred and honoring ALL Women is how we return to the sacred.

Several issues that are important to indigenous groups, including: 1) human rights and international law, 2) lands and territories, 3) biodiversity and conservation, 4) development strategies, and 5) culture, science, and intellectual property. For Indig- enous Peoples, conservation of biodiversity is not new; on the contrary, it is part of their own culture, history, and spirituality. We are here to correlate the issues of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and girls have long been a direct result of environmental exploitation and degradation. Large numbers of women go missing around factories, man camps, and truck stops around North America and there has been no policies changes to protect a vulnerable population invisible to the American identity. The political systems that have allowed environmental negligence and protection for these targeted populations are responsible for the exploitation of the land, resources, and womxn. Often times the same banks funding the projects, including detention centers, contribute directly to this plight of slow genocide. Furthermore the people affected are poor, lower class, people of color that do not have the ability to defend themselves with legal protections and privilege of more affluent people to say “no” to their local resources being exploited.

We are here today to support the narrative Social Justice is Climate Justice because we are all connected socially, economically, and environmentally like it or not and we need to change local and national policies to protect the sacred of our Earth and Womxn.We support a Green New Deal and a transformation of a change to 100% renewable energy which includes in immediate halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel projects immediately, including fracking, coal and oil refineries. Adhering to environmental justice principles to ensure that that transition is equitable for fossil fuel workers and pollution-impacted communities; Honoring treaties protecting Indigenous land, water, and sovereignty from the impacts of fossil fuel industrialization; and Protecting and restoring biodiversity through sustainable agriculture and protection of half the world’s land and oceans–including habitat and wildlife corridors in Colorado. The exploitation of land and resources do correlate with the exploitation of women and Indigenous people. The transition must be and should be indigenous led, and more inclusive of the Indigenous narrative of how to steward and honor our Earth.A transition that invests in prosperity for communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution, including reparations for the communities that have been most impacted by climate change and fossil fuel development. Welcoming those displaced by the cumulative effects of the climate crisis, economic inequality, violence, and lack of opportunity. A just transition for workers and communities who depend on fossil fuel jobs. Ensuring the protection of our air, water & land through enforcement of testing for toxins, pollution & other contaminants Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity Protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to all deforestation by 2030.Protections for local wildlife including the implementation of wildlife corridors near major highways and development. Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture. Investment in farmers and regenerative agriculture and an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture.

List of Demands — We demand political officials and departments, the FBI and criminal justice institutions gather and report accurate data about out missing and murdered Indigenous and Black Wxm. We demand this information be easily available for public record for families and investigators across state and federal jurisdictions to bring justice to families and victims. We demand action from our elected officials and law enforcement to work with local communities to create safe spaces for wxm to go for help and protection, no matter their background.We demand our Indigenous and black Wxm community members and leaders be able to have equal representation in political offices to change and diversify the narrative to bring justice to the issues facing our communities.”


Renee Marino (She/They) is a radical community creator, healer in training, DJ, and supporter of all artists.  She serves on the board of Street Wise Arts, a non-profit in Boulder, leveraging mural projects and street art education to amplify cultural diversity and engage in social advocacy. Renee founded Dirt Media in 2015, as a community publishing platform. Through Dirt Media, Renee has published collaborative zines, collections of art, poetry & music, and has produced interactive art events. Dirtmedia.org serves as an online publishing platform, featuring independent artists & writers in Denver.