Hiking a short forested trail with my dog on the foothills of Ashland, Oregon, I come to a soothing assortment of Standing Stones. Here I sit at the base of a Grandmother Madrone tree with a panoramic view to this picturesque mountain town I call home. At some time in the life span of this Madrone, she has been struck by lightning. I love the energy she holds from the fire that must have ensued. Some of her branches are charred, burnt and dead, but mostly, her branches are gorgeously rejuvenated and continue to grow in a myriad of directions. She is currently loaded with berries, she stands atop this mountainside, a glorious specimen, a true testament to the resilience of Mother Nature.
I was drawn to this place to make an essence. I open my 1 ounce dropper essence bottle filled with Icelandic artesian vodka and Mt. Shasta spring water, both ingredients hold importance. I am deeply aware of the current struggle for fresh water being led by the woman in North Dakota and of the woman in Iceland who seem to be standing strong in their fight for equal rights. I call out to Grandmother Madrone, “Come bless my essence with your energy, I call forth the energies of a woman, struck by force, who wills her own rejuvenation, so that she may bloom again”. I named this essence, the ‘Grandmothers Speak’… through thunder and lightning… of the end of the patriarchy, of the healing of the woman. It is rejuvenation energy medicine.
This particular sacred Earth place is where my mother has chosen to make her presence known to me this year. “Be still daughter”, she says. “Bear witness to the women rising.” My mother was the victim of domestic violence. She has called me to Grandmother Madrone to impart wisdom. She is making it clear to me that although her life was short, and sad, that she created me, who lives on. Although she could not, by example, show me the home of an honored woman, she has led me to the very lessons needed to realize that women are sacred. She insists that I would create the balanced home of a woman well-loved. She marvels at my fastidiousness to heal the lineage of the women of my family and bloodline. She bows in reverence to the challenges of my path.
My mother started communicating with me in earnest last year when she nudged me to go to the shrine of Lady Guadalupe in Mexico City. This annual day of reverence, 12-12, is the Feast of Lady Guadalupe, it is also my mothers birthday. Serendipitously, I embarked on a shamanic training with Sergio Magana, Ocecoyotl in which I found myself in a moving crowd of nine million Catholic devotees and indigenous pilgrims. Sergio’s students, honoring the old religious protocol of the Aztec, walked along with clear intent as we performed various prayers & movements to heal our blood lines and to release our underworlds. Our six-hour walk will eventually lead us to the mound of Tonatizin Tlalli Coatlicue, the original Aztec Mother Goddess, Mother Earth herself, who the Spanish conquerors displaced hundreds of years prior with the current Basilica of Lady Guadalupe.
I was slightly amused by the perfect crossroads of Christianity and Shamanism, where my mother and I could actually, peacefully, meet. On this annual religious pilgrimage, I was able to light a candle requesting the Lady Guadalupe to assist me in my healing desires for my family, I was able to kneel on the earth offering deep gratitude to the original Earth Mother who provides all, and I was able to find an inner peace with my own Mother who had departed twenty-eight years prior from bone cancer.
Shortly after her death, I was called to Joshua Tree, California for my first plant medicine initiation. I lay under the desert night sky, riddled with more stars than I had ever seen, aware that some of those stars were speaking to me; they were my ancestors voices whispering. I was able to feel my mother safely in the Mictlans, the land of the dead. Throughout that night, the Sky World Ancestors kept urging me to remember. Remember. I have often been haunted by that particular spiritual quest as I never quite understood what message was being transmitted.
Nor did I know, it would be years later, in a pine forest, at the base of a madrone tree, after many life lessons, marriage, motherhood, loss of love, divorce, and maturity, far from the land of my birth, at the dawn of the 5th world, I’d finally realize the simple and potent message being imparted on that starry night: Remember who you are!
YOU are a Holy Being. You are the center of this universe. You are the creative life force. You are the beginning and the end. It is in your arms that all is well. YOU are the Holy Grail. Front and center. To be honored, respected, heard and seen. “Violating a woman is a violation against God, a sin against yourself; karmic suicide.” (Gina Loring) Any world, family unit, work environment or religious system that does not operate with this foundational belief is doomed to fail.
Woman, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Warrior. Remember!
It took years upon years of untangling, unraveling and re-patterning to believe these simple truths. It has taken centuries to reach this juncture in history, the dismantling of the patriarchy, the empowered woman, the supportive male. It is time.
“Aztec myth tells how the deity Quetzalcoatl, who in the Nahuatl language means “feathered serpent,” journeyed to Mictlan at the dawning of the Fifth Sun (the present world era), in order to restore humankind to life from the bones of those who had lived in previous eras. For bones are like seeds: everything that dies goes into the earth, and from the earth new life is born in the sacred cycle of existence”. http://www.wilderutopia.com
At Grandmother Madrone, high up on an North American earth mound, I carry a candle to the Lady Guadalupe to thank her for cradling me in her Mexican Basilica while hearing my prayers. Here, on this mountaintop, I bow down in prayerful thanksgiving to Tonantzin, Mother Earth, for everything. Everything.
Here, in Ashland, Oregon, I feel my Belizean mother’s full presence as my main ancestral guide. The Original Sky World Ancestor. It is my deceased mother, after all, who has dedicated her bones to the earth to offer me life and it is she who has called me to this rejuvenation tree to connect with my stars, and to make good medicine.
-Denai Grace Fuller, Cihuatochtli
is a Tarot Guide who offers hand-crafted flower & earth essences:
The Grandmothers Speak is a rejuvenation Earth essence which heals mother/daughter wounds and the female spirit $12.00.