Excerpt from Lily Mendoza’s keynote at the recently concluded Third International Babaylan Conference held in the Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver, Canada:
This is what we’re doing when we come together in this way, and in our respective local communities, when, in ritual and ceremony, we ask help from our Ancestors to joggle our memories so we can remember once more how to live on the earth in a good way, in order that we, as a people seeking to rekindle our Indigenous Souls can remember once more the Original Instructions that every natural people has lived by for hundreds of thousands of years. What we’re doing, often in fumbling, bumbling, and groping ways–in the process inevitably making many mistakes–is striving to create cultures capable of sprouting seeds of vitality worthy of feeding a time beyond our own, cultures that could not be designed by humans using the imperial mind. In other words, they could not be grown by us simply upping and leaving our cities and current places for a hoped for new life among our indigenous kin (Empire is there, too!).
Prechtel’s caution is instructive in this regard when he warns:
We could never transcend the mad toxic trap of the present without deferring the Hell of it on the next generation. Nor could we “perfect” ourselves or “purify” ourselves or the world without becoming spiritual fascists.
…. [A]ny worthy culture has to sprout right out of the slag heap of the world’s present condition, that love would have to manifest in hell for heaven to begin. These cultures would start in many small ugly places in ways hardly noticed at first.” (_The Unlikely Peace of Cuchumaqiq_)