Opening the Door of A New Era
Dear Friends and Relatives,
Darlene and I (Jyoti) wanted to take a moment with each and every one of you to recognize the beautiful awareness that’s walking with us right now. In our work around the world, and our involvement in so many projects and amazing people that are leading initiatives for the earth, we have experienced a deeply courageous, humble and devoted group of people dedicated to the next 7 generations and the caretaking of Mother Earth.
2012 brought with it amazing moments of awareness and inspiration, paralleled by challenging and sometimes threatening experiences. This global group of people that have unified through their hearts to meet their own private challenges, embracing their shadows, and opening their hearts, have prepared us for a historical moment in history that we are all here to witness.
There were many celebrations collectively held around the planet to acknowledge this shift in time. Millions of people are embracing it through an idea of fear and devastation. At the same time, there are millions of people that are celebrating the completion of a time in history that taught us many things, even as we walked through it most of the time unconsciously. What we are here to witness is the awakening of our awareness in each and every individual. We are coming out of a deep sleep. We are opening the door to a new era of possibility. In order to walk through that door, we have been told repeatedly by our elders to forgive ourselves and the story that wounded so many of us. In that moment of allowing and receiving the consciousness of that moment, our compassion is awakened and our enlightenment flowers.
What we would like to share with you today and witness with you today is a moment that we both experienced with a small group of people in the very sacred land of Estancia, New Mexico.
It happened in 2 phases. The first part of what was about to be revealed through creation to those open enough to be guided by nature, would occur in a meeting on 11/26 that Grandmother Flordemayo hosted and help to bring forward with some beautiful elders from the Mayan people and other representatives of First Nation peoples. We weren’t there for that first step, but some of our friends were. The Shift Network and some of their founders, Stephen and Devaa, were among those that were helping to witness and record it for the world. Devaa wrote an account of this moment. Let us see this first step from Devaa’s eyes: a vision of what the doorway to the next 5200 years looks like.
PASSING THE STAFF OF LEADERSHIP
“We are in a little rural town called Estancia in New Mexico. It’s dark, and it’s cold. So we huddle together in a small straw bale hut, waiting.
Eventually, we hear a car on the gravel outside, and then the cheerful voice of Don Alejandro, a well-respected Elder of the Mayan people. He’s an older man, and quite small. Wearing a wry smile, he enters the hut and walks into the embracing arms of our host, Grandmother Flordemayo of the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.
Don Alejandro begins to share with us about this crucial period in history. It’s the end of a 5,200 year calendar cycle for the Mayan people. And while the outside world is filled with fear and concern about the end of this era, Don Alejandro shares a different perspective.
“So, what should we expect with the end of this era and the beginning of a new one?” I ask him. He explains that there is no reason to be afraid, though he does admit there will probably be some major issues we must face in the next fifty years. But from his perspective, the biggest change has to do with the shift from masculine to feminine leadership. He explained that men have ruled for the last 5,200 years, and now it’s time for the men to support the women in our full power.
Though we don’t all know it yet, we are gathered for a very important ceremony. And very soon, all the men at this gathering would be meeting separately to plan the ceremony to symbolically transfer the staff of power from the men to the women.
This event, totally orchestrated by men of many different backgrounds, was totally unexpected for me, and so beautiful.
At the time of the ceremony, we were greeted by Marshall Jack, a Native American elder who played his drum to call us all into the ritual space. We could hear the sweet sounds of a native flute hanging in the air. And we were each escorted around an outdoor sacred circle by Sequoia Trueblood, another Native elder. He placed each of us onto a grid of energy marked on the Earth, and gave us each a simple bouquet of flowers to celebrate this transition.
As the drum sounded in a heart-beat rhythm, Mr. Jack spoke with a deep, resonant cadence that was a balm for my soul. He apologized deeply, from his heart, for the ways women have been disregarded and disempowered. He asked for forgiveness for atrocities like the Inquisition. He said “No MORE! Those days are over, and shall NOT come to pass again!” He asked for the support of all of our ancestors to cleanse the wounds we had each suffered as women.
I felt a tear well up in my eye and roll down my face. To hear these words from such a kind and generous older man struck a very deep chord. Blessings were shared by the women and men alike.
And then the men declared that it is women’s turn to lead this planet. And they gently passed Flordemayo, as a representative for the women, a hand carved wooden staff of Leadership, carefully crafted for this occasion. The staff was simple and about the length of my forearm. It was a bit smaller than I would have imagined for such an occasion, but it was beautiful. And it was swaddled with many colorful pieces of yarn that held flowers on the staff, which accompanied the ceremony and absorbed its blessing power.
At the end of the ceremony, each woman present was asked if she was willing to take-on a “clan” for the coming era. Those of us who answered “yes” were each declared a “Clan Mother” and given a thread and flower from this Grand Mother staff. I decided to take up the charge, along with other women. We were then each invited to create our own daughter staffs and to cultivate our “tribes” of women and men. We were encouraged to circle with others and to empower other Clan Mothers through time. And it was suggested that we each register our new clans at an official office for tribal recognition.
As I carry this deep blessing from the men in my heart, I am reminded of a phrase spoken by Marianne Williamson when I interviewed her for our Inspiring Women Summit. She said (paraphrasing) “Women have the power. Now we must be willing to USE OUR POWER.” Indeed.
I would add that we must use our power WISELY. It’s not about trying to turn the tables, toss out the men, and have female dominance everywhere.
No. In my opinion, such a stance will not heal our hearts and create a thriving planet. That would instead just be a recapitulation of an old paradigm.
This new era, marked by the end of 2012, is about creating true balance of the masculine and the feminine. And let us not forget that men too can cultivate a strong feminine energy, while most women in leadership roles today have plenty of masculine energy. So let this next era of 2013 be a time when we really explore how to harmonize these energies for the greatest good.
I welcome and look forward to this experiment. And I know many men, like my husband, Stephen Dinan, do as well.”
— Devaa Haley Mitchell
The next step began as Darlene and I and a group of about 30 people from all different parts of the world arrived in Estancia. Again, Shift Network was present in the middle of this to participate in the global initiative to acknowledge the importance of this day 12/21/12, a moment when we would participate and witness the beginning of a new era, of the 5200 cycle that is recognized by the Mayan people.
We found ourselves on 12/20 near dusk, driving down country roads, struggling to find our directions, not wanting to get lost, excited about arriving at Grandmother Flordemayo’s new Temple of the Golden Child. The sky was clear, the land was flat and full of the high desert mystery. It was cold, and so we were bundled, scurrying from place to place to stay warm, and at the same time the coldness encouraged us to huddle down, to be still, to be present in our bodies. When we arrived we were very humbled by the effort that we saw that was unfolding all around us. Grandmother Flordemayo had taken an old run down straw bale house and built it up to conform with the standard building code, so that it could be welcomed by the County people. This is what she would declare the ‘Temple of the Golden Child’.
Grandmother Flordemayo-Temple of the Golden Child
Reaching out from the Temple on these 40 acres, to the right was the fire pit that was molded from clay, the earth herself, set in a simple, humble and ceremonial way. Patricio Dominguez, who has been working with Grandmother Flordemayo in many initiatives for the earth for over 20 years, had helped construct a circle of material around the fire as protection for the winds; creating a space that was open to the sky, with a sense of containment, a sense of focus. To the left of the Temple of the Golden Child is the building that will house the seed bank. By the end of this month this building will have dressed itself in a way to offer teachings; encourage gatherings of seed keepers; and store these sacred seeds that would be lost otherwise. Next to the seed bank is a small building that is being used as a multipurpose site. It contains a small store of educational materials about a way of life that honors Mother Nature; also serves as a small meeting room for groups that may be coming to help with this initiative; and is a place where people can rest their heads when they are coming to visit the land and join in a collaboration with this initiative for the earth. Next to this building is a very simple green house, for working with the plants. And then right in the very center of this beautiful space, next door to the sacred fire, is an amazing circle. This circle, very simple and very humble, was laid down as Deeva has described. In the very center is the Mother Stone. During warm weather time, water pours and moves up and through this Mother Stone, reminding us of the ever-flowing motion of life. Placed around this circle with great thought from Grandmother Flordemayo and Patricio, guided by Nature, are tall standing stone people that help hold this sacred place of prayer and ceremony and give witness to what is directed by the Ancestors themselves.
The first night we arrived was to participate in lighting the fire, the last fire in the old era. We would be called to sit in circle as a community and to allow our own spontaneity to come forth through prayer or song or chant. It was a circle of equality and balance. It was a circle of women and men and children. It was a circle of Life that had a line of prayer back to those original times. This old fire had witnessed many circles of many peoples over all these years, gathering around to pray, sing and celebrate life, and to get direction for life. It was a moving moment to walk up to the fire and speak out loud anything that you wanted to be forgiven for; anything that your heart may be carrying that had to do with an old story, an old wound, an old way of life – to release it, and then let it go. We want to share and witness that during these ceremonies we could all feel the hand of Creator holding us, guiding, us, empowering us. We could feel the Ancestors rejoice with us. In fact, to my delight and surprise, the spirits of the land that we could sense and feel, allowed me to take pictures of them with my iPhone! They would allow me to do this on both days, the 20th , the end of the cycle, and the 21st, the opening of the door to the new. This is a picture I took the first night. It was still dusk, and there were candles in paper sacks that were marking the way to the fire ceremony. I decided to take a picture of where we were going to have ceremony that night. To my amazement there were many orbs that made themselves visible. I took several more photos and they continue to show themselves on my phone.
Candles to Fire Ceremony on 20th with Spirit Orbs
Grandmother Flordemayo had asked Darlene and me if we could witness and record this in some way. This is part of why we are sharing this story with you now.
So the next morning, at 4am on the 21st, Darlene and I tended Grandfather fire during this sacred time of the Cosmic Alignment. It was dark, the stars were clear, the crispness of the air was cold and sharp. Star Nation spoke to each of us as we prayed and sang, honoring our cosmic connection with all beings. As the stars traveled overhead, I took a picture of that first dawning moment of the morning star.
Morning Star 12/21/12
Then, shortly after that, I took another picture of the Mother Stone and she revealed her spirit to me… This is what I saw (more photos)…
Mother Stone Spirit 12/21/12
We then joined Grandmother Flordemayo as she offered prayers around the Mother Stone to herald in this new time and pray for all creation. After that, we continued prayers and inspirations around the sacred fire, many of which were captured by Shift Network to connect us globally with all our relations around the world. Our dear sister, Minouche, then shared with us her sacred painting for the Children, which was created in the Center for Sacred Studies in Guerneville. We held prayers together to empower all of Mother Earth’s Children to live in their full potential.
Grandmother Flordemayo’s Prayer 12/21/12
It was time to rest for a few hours, as most had been holding vigils at the sacred fire all through the night and into the dawn of the new era. The sacred fire would light our way. As we went to rest, Grandmother Flordemayo announced that we should be preparing ourselves for a ceremony at dawn on the morning of the 22nd. We were all filled with excitement, and through the stories of what had been shared on November 26th , the mystery stirred in all of us.
On the morning of the 22nd, Patricio called us to circle with his holy songs and the heartbeat of his drum. We were asked to line up, and a beautiful young girl, Sophia, who has a deep relationship with Grandmother Flordemayo, and her mother were there to hold this beautiful winged golden child statue that had been gifted to the temple. Sophia sat in the center next to the Mother Stone. We all walked clockwise around the circle, spacing ourselves around, so that each part of the circle was held by an individual recognizing the importance of their part in this awakening.
Patricio then began to speak about what had transpired on the 26th. He shared how the men came together in a private way to create this ceremony to pass on the power of leadership from the men to the women. He spoke how important it was for the world to begin to recognize this shift. He described how important it was for the men to honor the divine feminine in all things. Though his words were profound, they were humble and they touched each and every heart there. He told us that when the first ceremony took place, a piece of thread that had been on the Grand Mother staff of Leadership with Grandmother Flordemayo, as its Keeper and Care Taker till it is passed on to her grand daughter, had been given to each new Clan Mother as she was empowered in her new walk. On this new day, each of us held our own staffs. Grandmother Flordemayo then came to each of us to empower our staffs and to acknowledge the power that lives in our heart, the power that lives in every one of us– women and men. She gave personal messages and acknowledgement to each as she ignited this new fire in this new day. It was as if we all had stepped out of this reality, and in a moment, we were in the hands of God hearing the divine music of Life celebrating itself. And then, we were here again, in this reality with a seed that had been opened of possibility realized and a new day dawned. It was an experience that moved us all, touched our hearts and sent us home with more to do.
We were told that we are to go home to our families and communities and call the women and men together to repeat this ceremony. In this way, this ripple of acknowledgement of a new time that has arrived would continue around the world in it s own organic way; directed by Nature and empowered by the stars.
Darlene and I will be convening a circle of women in the next few months, inviting Grandmother Flordemayo to come and help us to unfold this next circle of wisdom and balance and humility. We know our ripples will go around the world, touching many and a new wave of consciousness will be released and a sense of joy and accomplishment embodied.
We give thanks to all of you who are walking with us, dreaming with us, loving with us. We give thanks for a new day! We give thanks to our elders and the Ancestors for guiding our way. Our Grandmother hearts are full with so much appreciation. We invite you to make ripples in your own lands, your own homes, and in your own family ways. We give thanks for the diversity that this will reveal and the unification that will be made visible.
With all our love,
Jyoti and Darlene
Jyoti, Spiritual Director
Center for Sacred Studies
Ambassador, International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
Darlene Hunter, Executive Director
Center for Sacred Studies