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Rooted Knowledge


I keep asking myself, who am I to write this? Who am I to address anybody? I don’t even think I have any well-thought out objections to writing, just a knee-jerk desire to keep my deeper wells protected from the prying eyes of skeptical spectators- including the ones in my head. I didn’t used to write with this much trepidation, but violence- emotional, mental & literal attempts on my life- has tried to teach me that nobody cares about the webs & angles & angels & alignment & being. That that’s the duty of rich people on vacation. That my duty is to try to figure out how to live in a world that doesn’t give a fuck.

That’s the problem, most of us trying to live in a world that doesn’t give a fuck. Any world that don’t give a fuck is bound to collapse, and this too is liberation. Anything new must be first born, & this too is destruction.

Lately I been saying, go talk to the trees. They know & do not forget the tangles and webs of connection that meet where we choose not to see. They know that we breathe as one. All of us here on this earth, & the earth, we breathe as one. Friend or enemy, we breathe as one. And that is a truth that we acknowledge in spiritual combat. That what makes an enemy is one that does not recognize that truth. And one that does not recognize that truth is a danger to themselves and others.

We think we are different than the trees because we can lift our feet from the ground. Move away from where we think the collapse and and birth and destruction and liberation are happening. That we can use our arms and hands to build physical walls and our brains to build emotional walls away from these things. But we instinctively know these have never been more than a breath away, so we hold our breath in knots in our chests and throats. We hoard our breaths longer than is good for us and take tiny sips of air, surpressing the uncomfortable knowing that any idea of separation from ourselves and from each other- and also from the numinous, the divine & the magical- is a lie.

In this time of so-called ‘social isolation’ let us remember to deeply give a fuck. & let us begin to remember what true connection feels like. I saw a post about using erotic knowledge in the face of this pandemic, & I think that calling something erotic still repels people. Because, again, we have been taught to be afraid of connection, and erotic sounds like something titillating but ultimately inconsequential. What I’ve come to understand about the erotic is not that it can be used, but that it is the ‘absolute’ feeling/knowing/understanding that you inhabit when you allow yourself to open to the interconnectedness of you to Life.

As an aside, but really a pathway to what I’m saying, when my son Judah was about 3 or 4, he asked me what god’s name was. Me at the time, following a Yoruba thread, told him “god’s name is Olodumare.”

He said to me, “No. god’s name is Life.”

I gave him a name, he gave me the quality.

How it happens, how it unfolds, how you show up to greet it, how you allow things to die, how we die and how we show up for death, how we show up for Life, all of these things matter because they are all Divine. And whether you show up or not. Divine does greet you in all of Their spectacular & terrible faces.

This pandemic is one face. Not in the “this is Divine punishment” sense, or the “this is the apocalypse” sense. But in the, ‘we all breathe as one’ sense. A face that many of us have chosen not to see until we could no longer ignore it. Until now.

How do we choose to be in communication with the erotic here? How do we connect in a time where the safest thing for us to do is to be away from each other? We remember the trees. We remember that we too have roots, even if we have chosen not to see them because we can lift our feet from the ground. We remember that we breathe as one, and that those of us that have the absolute privilege of deep, healthy breath must breathe deeply & as we breathe, we breathe into the roots. and we begin to see how we too have a web of roots connected to the vitality of others, connected to the songs of the earth, connected to the life-force energy of creation, connected to a living, breathing, Universe. She breathes with us. We breathe and sip tea and shed layers of disaffection, disillusionment, apathy & separation. We remember that physical isolation is only a single layer of reality, that we can make magic and connection wherever we are, that it is our duty to make magic and connection wherever we are. We remember when we lay the prayers down that we are feeding our roots and our roots touch others. Our roots touch all.

This Divine face is not done yet. We are in the middle of a birthing, a destruction, a collapse, a new thing coming. I would say to the medicine makers and the ritualists & the alkhemists & magicians. Remember that thing that has connected you to life, that has kept you alive when all else has failed & share as you are allowed to and able.

A practice:

Stand, a hip’s width a part, knees slightly bent

Relax your shoulders, belly, asshole

Draw your breath up from your feet, into your belly and chest. hold for three beats. allow the energy of the breath to circulate through your entire body, from your feet to your crown.

breathe out through your fingers, toes and mouth. feel your energy expanding and connecting with others. hold for three beats. listen.

draw your breath up again through the soles of your feet. hold for three beats. allow the energy to circulate.

breathe out, this time through your feet & nose. hold for three beats. listen.

draw in one more time from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. release from your chest and belly through your mouth in a loud Ahhhhhhh.

breathe as you would regularly, while appreciating that every breath is an opportunity.

Lay a prayer down by touching your feet and acknowledging that you take no steps alone.

I share this practice not as a cure, not as a defense, not as an amulet or a talisman against the pandemic, but as a first step to hearing what is being asked of you. a step towards what you are being called to.

A step towards re-membering who you are so that we may remember who we are.

A step towards letting go of alienation as a self-protective reflex.

A step towards re-membering that any forest is only as strong as its interconnected roots.

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