September 23, 2022
What seeds are we planting and where are we planting them?
The moon that typically falls in September is known as Corn Moon to the Anishinaabe (Mdaamiin Giizis). My great grandpa Tanner was descended from a line of Anishinaabeg Metis from Manitoba. When I discuss these Anishinaabe stories, I honour my Anishinaabeg ancestors who guide me on my way.
I've been sick this month and confronting that forced rest has made me consider where I put my energy. In my line of work, I don’t have sick days or support in that way. This often leads me to push harder than I can reasonably sustain because the idea of productivity that our modern culture is obsessed with is a toxic and damaging one. I’m slowly working on adopting the indigenous world view of work, which includes healthy rest but it’s not always so easy to do.
I've been reading the brilliant book, You Are the Medicine by Asha Frost. In it she discusses the medicine that each moon brings us and how we can use that to heal our lives. I highly recommend this book if you find indigenous healing compelling (you can order it through Books and Co here)
The full moon that we just had is Mdaamiin Giizis or the Corn Moon. Corn carries the next generation with it in rows along its body. It asks us, where are you planting your seeds? Where are you channeling your energy and what is the long term impact of that?
I look at my little daughter, she will be 2 next month. She's learning words like shoes and socks, kitty and dog. She even says ‘aw shit’ and I swear that she didn’t pick it up from me hahaha. She's picking her own clothes and deciding when she wants to go outside. She's developing her own opinions and feelings. The energy and time that I spend with her now will have a direct impact on her life as an adult.
As I watch her grow, I can feel the tension between the colonial world, which would have me control her, and my indigenous blood memory. I know that kindness, patience and allowing her to decide her own path is best. It will be messy and not orderly, but it will lead to a healthier person.
I have to admit, as I was tired, sick and not sleeping, it was harder to give her the space to be her own person. I grew frustrated quickly and had a really challenging time. It's important to remember that rest is a sacred and essential part of life. The seed I needed to nurture in myself was rest so that I can help my little lovebug grow up happy.
I will be taking a planned rest from Sept 26th to Oct 5th where I will be unavailable and any orders to the shop will be fulfilled when I return. I really look forward to this rest.
In my own life, I think about my own seeds. Where am I putting my energy? What will be the long term impacts of me placing my energy here?
I know I can't be the only person who gets sick and just scrolls social media. But I feel it in my soul, drawing my energy into a negative place. I know that I can't keep planting my seeds there.
Lately, I've been planting my seeds in a spiritual direction. I've been spending time listening to indigenous audio books as I make my winter ornaments. These books have been giving me a different outlook and helping me see in a new way.
Asha Frost's book, You are the Medicine, says that the animal spirit which best encompasses this time is the Eagle.
Eagle medicine helps us see from a new perspective. It has certainly done that for me this month. Can shifting your energetic focus allow you to shift perspectives and see a new world?
This October I start a journey with an Indigenous Spirit Talker, Shawn Leonard, to help me strengthen my connection to the spirit world. This November I get a tattoo to remind me to put the sacred into my work.
The seeds that I am planting are to help me grow my connection to the sacred, which is a path that I have been on now for about 6 years. I've felt the call to go deeper, to explore into areas that my ancestors haven't been able to delve into for many generations. For many of my ancestors, it was not possible to spend this time in reflection, even though that was very much the way long ago. I'm in a special and honoured space to be able to reconnect with spirit.
My art will always be an extension of my spirit. It has no choice. Art comes from spirit. All of us have the ability to connect to spirit through art. That may express itself as food, beading, medicine, music, fashion, painting or any of the myriad of art forms that exist. In my newsletter I discussed a painting of mine, Welcomed Home in Love, that very much was channeling the energy from spirit. It is a painting that honours the spirits of those who were victims of the Residential School system. After the initial 215 children were found, spirit asked me to create it.
I don't always channel my work from spirit like this, and you don't need to either. We all have a part of ourselves, maybe called spirit, soul, subconscious, left-brain, whatever you choose to call it. This part of ourselves doesn't express itself through words, it expresses itself through art. So, as I plant my seed into the spiritual realm, I also plant it into my art. If you choose to put your energy into art, you also put energy back into your spirit. Be sure you choose loving, positive energy if that is what you wish to receive.
This month, I’ve created this piece to celebrate Mdaamiin Giizis. It’s a digital work that I’ve made specially for this newsletter. It shows the colours of the universe inside of a cob of corn, illustrating the universe of potential that exists within each seed.
If you’d like a print or a card, to help out with my sick time, I’d really appreciate that. Prints are $20 and cards are $5 and you can 'tip' me and purchase a $2 digital download. I'll send you the full res image and you can use it for personal, non-commercial use.
Chi Miigwetch! Thank you!