Love, Pandemics, and Earth ~ a COVID-19 Online Meetup with Dr. Daniel Foor

– So we’re recording now. It’s March, maybe 19th I think, 2020 and we’re entering in more acutely here in North America and beyond, it depends where you’re
at, to a global pandemic. And it’s the equinox indeed. I’m Daniel Foor. Some of you have met me in some capacity and others not so much. I feel like it’s good to say
just a word about who I am and why you might even be here. I am a doctor of psychology and licensed marriage
and family therapist. So I have that background. My ancestors of blood are
German, English, Irish, early settler colonialists
of North America. I live with my family here
in western North Carolina. And I’m a ritualist,
I’m a priest if you will and a student of different
Earth honoring systems. That priesthood or that
ritual work focuses especially on work with ancestors and work with spirits of
place and non-cultural change. So that’s my main. That’s what I’m up to with my life. So I have a whole practice about that. I don’t have some particular scientific or
pandemic specialization per se but I have a strong anchoring in animists or relational values that can be a useful complement
to all the other important skills in this particular moment. And in that spirit let’s
actually start off our shared hour with a bit of relational awareness, which will look like me
spending less than five minutes just talking you
through a basic grounding, centering and noticing who
already is resourcing you and supporting you in spirit. So there’s not an intent to
do some big dramatic thing, just to gather your
focus and energy of it. So if you’d like to participate,
I’ll talk you through that. Let’s start by just allowing
for me I usually use my breath but allow your awareness
to settle not just in your upper body but in your heart, in your belly, in your hips and feet. Invite with your breath. Invite your energy to be
more fully through your body. But inhabit your space, even if you’re working with
pain or whatever it is. Just be all the way present in your body. And as you’re settling even
more into your own space, see if there’s at least
one helper, protector, kind ancestor however that is for you. One that you trust in
spirit that would be present with you and would be near
to you in this moment. And invite that one to
be even more consciously present with you. – [Woman] I don’t know
what happened to my audio It was on and then it mute– – And from that place of
being dropped in and connected to at least one supportive power. Ask that this one assist you in taking just a moment to clear
from your personal space anything that actually
really is not so good for you right now. There’s a bit of clearing. Cleansing, washing,
releasing from whatever’s in your space that
doesn’t need to be there. So take just a moment
with that if you would. And at your own rhythm,
finally ask this supportive presence you’ve called that
you know already and trust to just establish gently
a layer of protection around your space. Doesn’t have to be a fearful big boundary, but just that you have a bit
of containment and affirming of your own sovereignty and space. So from that place, the
final thing and then we’ll be in conversation from
this embodied, resourced, protected space just be
curious about the conditions outside your benign
friendly little bubble. That you can notice that
there’s all kinds of things going on but one of the
things is an increased amount of fear and
turbulence in the world. And you can notice that and not allow that to automatically be translated into where you’re at. So that’s the first
thing that I guess I want to lead with is the conditions are never
optimal for cultivating awareness or presence or good character or whatever we’re supposed
to be doing here on earth, something like that. But sometimes, sometimes
they’re even more intense and it’s still possible and
even more so our responsibility to a large degree to
be responsible for how we’re showing up in the
moment in our own state. And it could be that we
gotta work at it a bit more when the collective energy
is freaking out, but. And so that’s the baseline. Is if we can if you can do whatever you
know helps you to hold your center that allows us
to be more responsive and more useful in whatever happens next. I know, if folks wouldn’t mind, just staying on mute. I can kinda track it but
then my attention goes a little divided. On the most tangible of levels, you know I’m not a
scientist so I don’t want to get into all that but
I would say it’s important at this time to to self-isolate to trust
the science to be informed, at least in the United States. I know it’s true in the UK,
the government responses have not been congruent with
the scientific consensus on what actually helps to
reduce the amount of suffering. And that’s a we could say a lot of
things about that but let me say in a real general way
that it leaves individuals with the task of becoming
informed and at the very least doing what you and those near
to you need to do nonetheless. That’s probably obvious. Hopefully you don’t need to
hear that from me necessarily. I would say that it’s my read
on the situation as someone who’s trying to stay
attuned to what’s happening. That it’s more of a
marathon than a sprint. So in terms of our stance,
it’s important to be settling in for a situation that
is going to be a real before and after kinda thing in the world. And however that plays out,
the level of interruption and attention that everyone has now turned to what’s happening has the potential to be really defining. And of course the
prediction is for anywhere from a lot to a whole
lot of hardship ahead so that I don’t presume to
know what’s going to happen with that but my gut sense
says that what a lot of the really informed people are saying probably has some merit, therefore,
it’s important that we settle in a bit. And that includes a few
basic principles of making sure not in a competitive
scarcity minded way that you’re making
whatever basic preparations you need for yourself. And the more prepared you are personally, the more position we are
to be helpful to others. And when it’s a long situation
that unfolds in layers, it could be that it’s your
turn to rotate in and be helpful in early June, or in September or something like that. And so there’s real pacing of our response in that way. And knowing that the more diligent we are, the more we are positioned to help others. ‘Cause it is time to be
generous and connected. There’s a lot of folks
who are really vulnerable and a lot, I would say
the majority of the people who are especially vulnerable
don’t see themselves in that way. And people tend to just
see themselves as going about their lives. So, you know, those are just
basic things that I think most people are already tracking. Another thing that I think
it’s actually a blessing is to really be thinking more
locally on a lot of levels. There’s a way in which suddenly we’re, we walked around and met
more of our neighbors the other day. So things like that that, okay. Those are basic like hey
folks, we’re heading into it, if you hadn’t noticed. You can hear that same
basic wisdom from a whole bunch of other people. Let me try to say a little bit
about the psychological layer now that I’m tracking. One, there’s a whole bunch
of different responses which I notice also in myself
which is kinda fascinating. I think when you do that
inner work over the years, I’m not sure if your amount
of inner bullshit actually decreases or if you’re
just more able to see it. So it’s this is kinda
fascinating to watch all of the responses. Like one of course is denial. They’re like well, it’s not happening now. Like you’re at the beach and wow, the water’s going out, there
couldn’t possibly be a tsunami. That’s when the water comes
in ya know so that kind of response is so is not super helpful but it’s good to be able to
notice in ourselves and others and be kind about it. And then there’s the like
the minimizing of it, and the catastrophizing
of like seeing it as like the apocalyptic end of the
world or not a big deal because it’s really hard
to hold medium scale things in our awareness psychologically. And it’s especially hard to be to sit with the reality of we’re not sure how it’s gonna play out. It could be a real bad or just kinda bad or we’re not sure yet really. And that, so that’s tough to sit with. And it’s good to notice it. And it’s good to notice if it’s our habit to just see the horror and
the suffering or to just want to see the dolphins in
the canal in Venice, which I’m happy for them. It’s good, go clean water
in Venice and I’m happy the penguins got to move
around at the zoo in Chicago. So it’s good to notice if
you’re stuck in one channel. ‘Cause the underlying energy
that is present for me at times I imagine it’s
present for all of you at times even if you’re really like the only person or what not
is it’s the energy fear. And fear is one of the
toughest feelings to sit with. It’s super uncomfortable. Not only but especially for
men or people socialized as men and like so fear can cause
people to do amazingly dysfunctional things to avoid feeling it. This is really closely
connected to anxiety. And it’s not delusional in this situation ’cause there are a lot of uncertainties. And there are the big one
being like am I gonna die? Or are my loved ones
going to die this month? Or next month? Or are my older parents
in Ohio going to die and then I won’t be able
to go to their funeral? Or, or, or, or. So all of the different scenarios, that’s a legit possibility. And it was a possibility a month ago, but now the odds of it are much higher. And so that’s real. And another kind of response to notice, and it’s especially
present in social media culture which we’re all likely
to participate in even more now is masking fear with cleverness. And it’s really, I can do it as well. When other people do
it I’m annoyed with it, probably ’cause I do it also. And the the move is
basically to you know find something that people aren’t
speaking to or to highlight some aspect of the situation that guards against the vulnerability
of not being able to control so much right now. And just being real clever
about it or real witty or real critiquing of
the system and all that. And all that’s valid but
if you’re using it to not be with the vulnerability
then I would suggest that the vulnerability
is especially precious and optimal kinda zone to be in. Not all the time. But just to, this isn’t a moment, I guess what I’m saying is
like it’s not a moment to seek to be special. That’s my bias. It’s a moment to be other people in a real human sort of unifying humbling way. This is something that
happens in the animist ritual which is to say, or just life, when you have a framework
where you recognize the other than humans whether it’s
virus people or bears or you know tulips, that they’re all people
that at any given point they might speak in some way. And we might be having an argument. Let’s say we’re having
a political argument is about who’s the best candidate
or why our government’s broken and then suddenly,
there’s a very small powerful person who steps in and begins
to change all the systems. So in that moment it’s
the conversation between virus and human. And the pivot, the opportunity
in that is that we can actually move as human but
there is a possibility that some of the entrenched
divisiveness can dissipate in a way that when conditions change, it doesn’t actually have to all reform in this old calcified way. So I think that’s part
of the opportunity is to participate in that
softening by not being as ass about the situation and
being kind and being able to say I’m scared. Or this is like, this is hard. It’s hard to be home all day
or whatever your experience is. So that’s psychologically
that’s my main thing is like it’s okay to be scared
and it’s okay to actually be needy and to allow people to help you. And to be the one, maybe
you’re real able bodied, you have some money in the bank even or you have your needs
provided but you’re just like having a super fucking anxious day ’cause you’re already anxious and now you just like tried
to bring in the groceries and you don’t know if
you got your self sick and you just kinda wanna cry like it’s okay to feel that and
even more so it’s okay to bring that vulnerability to
somebody else who’s having a stronger day. So that permission to struggle is part of a gift that
we can bring to things. And we might not be the
one to help that day because somebody might you might turn to somebody
and they’re having an even harder day. So you gotta, this is a time where we how much relational wealth
we’ve been investing in is tested. Like how’s our social network? Have we been caring for that? We’re, there’s a fair chance
that we could head into things like food shortages at times or food medicine shortages. Deaths without funerals. Interruption in basic services. And when it’s like that, it’s an opportunity to get so slowed down and dropped in and notice
all of the fear that arises and to know that we have a
choice in how we respond to that. So, so that’s coming. That’s a bit about the in some
form I imagine that’s coming. That’s what I would say
about the psychological layer is give yourself permission
to feel all of it if you can. There’s a strong, let’s talk about the, excuse me the so called
spiritual level of the thing. Not from a place of saying
I know what that is. But, what I can bring to it
is a curiosity that’s informed by hanging out with traditions
and systems and teachers that see the spirits of
disease, for example. The smalls in general,
but especially the smalls that intersect humans in
a way to cause illness, to see them as people. They’re gods, they’re big powers. In Buryat Mongol tradition,
at least as I learned it from Sarangerel Odergan the
Eastern dengar, I believe, are associated with the disease
spirits and I don’t know a lot about them besides that they have their place in the universe. No one would think to like
remove them so to speak. They are original
inhabitants of this earth. They’re ancient ancestors
and they’re powerful and they will speak when
they choose to speak. I know that the meaning, like this, it’s an understandable impulse
to want to make meaning from a thing and it’s possible
to notice that impulse and actually decline to
make a story about it. That’s all right. It’s kind of a very zen
strategy in some ways is to intentionally decline the
making of the big story about a thing. We don’t necessarily
respond more skillfully just because we’ve made
some big story about it. That said, I think the
most common story folks are making is that I know
of in my weird sub-culture that I’m connected to is
the story that the earth is either like hitting
back on one personification or correcting itself where
there’s a kind of ecological balancing thing that’s happening. And I don’t I feel ambivalent about that a little bit. Where I personally don’t
resonate with it is where it starts to take on
what for me sounds like a moralistic sort of evangelical
Christian God posing as the earth is making you die because
you’ve been bad earth people kinda thing. I don’t. It’s not my place to be
judgemental of others who find helpful meaning in that, but for me I don’t feel
personally like there is a moralistic hitting back. But to bring a more nuanced attempt at exploring meaning as a
student of traditional Yoruba, one of many West African
traditional wisdoms, there are a couple powers
in that system which might be relevant to name. One is the Yama osharunga, the ancestral mothers
or the Aye, the witches. One of the ways of referring
to them is as the earth, the world and they’re associated
directly with the earth and they some among them are
quite potent and there is a sense of sort of unrestrained, untameably
raw and potent energy. That can manifest when
especially when there is not an appropriate honoring
of the feminine of women. Of all body types. Not being outside of cis
excluding way of saying women and of just life and the
fundamental goodness of life and the earth and the waters. And so in that sense it is a way of saying those
powers may bring balance through an energy that checks the harm. That’s not that different from
what I was just suggesting but somehow it’s easier for me
to get checked by the ancient powerful grandmothers than
by the Christian daddy God. But that’s just my, that sounds rude, I’m sorry to be rude
like that I just mean. Sorry, sorry. Another power in Yoruba traditions that is especially worth naming
here is Olbaluyawe. Babaluyawe, Almaloo,
are different lineages. See those deities as the
same or different but we’ll say Olbaluyawe. Let me go ahead actually
and type that into the chat just in case anybody wants to wiki it so to speak. But this deity is a deity
of infectious disease and traditionally of smallpox but they and again is looked at in
different ways and different lineages but is seen as a
manifestation of the earth. And also as constitutionally hot. The orisha bemona is a
hot-tempered deity and in this sense the rituals for
Olbaluyawe tend to have a feeding but also cooling asking baba to be cool, to be cool. And there’s not a message
that disease is inherently bad but there’s a recognition
that we may not with to die of it personally or to
have our communities ravaged by disease and so the invitation in that sense is
to bring cool spectrum energy so it’s a good time to honor
the mothers and the feminine in a big way, including
in their form as the body that is the earth. And it’s a good time to
bring coolness and humility and some of the stories of Olbaluyawe the this deity has an aversion to people who are coming with arrogance and so brings the gift of
humbling and humility and is sometimes seen as being treated poorly because of the experience of suffering through illness. Or being outcast or exiled. And so it’s a time to
be mindful in that sense of what are we disowning? What are we excluding? And when we do that, when
we cast out certain aspects of human culture of ourselves,
of our vulnerability, then those things come back
fiercely to demand attention. Another reference from Yoruba culture
is of the Ajugun or the elder you could say destructive I suppose forces of the universe, death, illness, Arun is the Ajugun of illness. And the Ajugun are not
seen as evil per se either. They’re just doing their thing
and they have their place they have their turn they
have their wisdom to bring. And one of the remedies for
those types of risks or harms at least in the tradition
is to go to Efa, to go to divination to go to the deities
and one general principle from that is to say where are
you personally in alignment or not with your own specific destiny? Because in the places where
you’re not in alignment will be the places where the trouble gets in. So you can take as a
general principle the times as a urgent call or nudge or demand
even to make sure that if you’re pretty aligned
but also kinda like put in procrastinating stuff like that. Then it’s the time to actually
get particularly aligned. And to cut out distractions
and to focus in as if it’s your last life on, or
last life on earth maybe, but last year I was gonna say. And. Not in an uptight way
but in a like, focus now, do we have your attention kind of way. So, that’s useful. That’s useful to me to
say grieving and cooling energies, humility,
honoring of the mothers and renewing clarity. Deepening your understanding
of what you’re here to do. So for me those are some
very general kinda takeaways. There’s one other, two other things I’ll say
and then we’ll take a minute and drop in and listen a
bit and then open it up if folks wanna share a thing. It’s with the humans for
the greater good seems clear that keeping our distance
is in generally speaking, there’s some nuance to
it, respect to the people who aren’t able to do that
’cause they’re handling things like garbage and food
and medicine and et cetera. But, it’s good to keep distance
for a minute to flatten the curve as it were. And with the spirits it’s
actually a good time to do the opposite of that. It’s a good time to network. So you take your impulse to
relationality and to intimacy and drive it into your
work with the spirits. That can look like actually
getting stuff healed up with your ancestors so that
you’re subtle immune system and your larger energy
body are more fortified. You’re more likely to
survive it if you get it. It can, or you’re more
likely to transition well, become an ancestor if you
get it and don’t survive. Or if you die from something else. And it also is a way of really
interrupting the dominant colonialist frame by
remembering or maybe realizing for the first time that
you can have super intimate relationships with
people who aren’t human. With deities. With the river near your house, which you never slowed
down to really greet. Or with the companion plants in your home. Have you just watered
like they were things? Or with the people in
your life who you thought you knew but you didn’t
know as well as they wanted to be known by you. Or, or, or. So, it’s, you might notice
that being around less humans you feel lonelier but that limitation that’s imposed by the
circumstances can be a catalyst to enjoy way more intimacy
in a way that then endures once the limitation is released. And if a lot of folks did that, that supports a cultural
shift where that becomes even more the norm and even
emotionally constipated tangled up white people start
to be more animist and more earth honoring and more
willing to hold the value that it’s not just humans that matter. What is happening is not the
meaning isn’t scripted so some of that’s up to what your
own ancestors and your own powers show for you. And so in that sense you
want to bring it to them. In the bigger collective sense,
there are deities walking the earth now that weren’t
doing it in the same way a few months ago. Certain things have been opened up, there are certain powers on the move, that’s a bit intense. Those powers are not inherently compatible with staying alive. And heads up, that’s real. That’s not personal. So there are you know the
giants walk the earth. Strange little giants but
the smalls have a kind of collective intelligence
and they’re not as small in stature as one might
think so that’s weird. That’s another level of it
but I’m not suggesting that it’s ritually exactly what you want to do to ask the coronavirus what
it’s doing and all that. You can, but traditionally
it’s not my understanding that the lay people who are
kinda new to ritual are the ones to directly consult
with the disease spirits in a time of trouble. So unless, you know, if you
have a dream about a thing, that’s different if they come
to you or if you are a carrier for the virus ’cause you
get it that’s different. But don’t feel like you need to like solve the collective problem by
eating a bunch of mushrooms and asking the virus
what it’s secret name is and then posting that on Facebook. You could, but mostly like get clear about your own destiny and know that the, like, the powers are real. Like the I call ’em disease
spirits but the word spirits is a little superfluous. It’s they’re elder big forces. I don’t know. I’ve seen them a little
bit and I’m like whoa, you’re above my pay grade. Good to see you, you know? So that’s it. Let’s take a minute while
we’re here and listen in with the spirits I said that
would be a part of the time and that feels important. We did a basic drop in at
the start and I’ll invite that again for just few minutes and then we’ll allow for a few folks if you wanna say a thing you
can raise your hand in the chat but bring your attention
back to your own heart and body and centeredness. And to the ones that you noticed
at the start of the call. If you weren’t here for that, just any supportive powers
that you want to call into your space, invite
them to be present. Take another moment and
tend to your own protection and make sure your personal
space is clear and fortified in that way. And from that place, see if you can just sit in
steady, grounded curiosity, not needing to reach for anything. Not needing to make anything happen. And just hold the question
like to your own inner divinity or to the spirits that support you. Gently, is there anything
you want me personally to be seeing about this moment
that I’m not already seeing? Is there anything about this
moment we’re living right now that the spirits want you to see that you’re not already seeing? So honoring whatever that
might be, the final thing here, I want you to see if you can tune to, without reaching outside
yourself, see if you can just notice that there are
millions and millions, really, of other people. Also, listening right now. Also, moving in the
world with an open heart. Besides the people that
are dying right now and being born and doing
whatever they’re doing, there’s a lot of folks
that are sitting with this. What is the gift? What is the invitation of this moment? How interesting. Even if I die, like how interesting. What’s the invitation? And see if you can notice
yourself among them that we are in this
really together and that what a delight. What an interesting moment. So if it supports you, stay with that. Great, to just stay with that. If it supports you to type
or share a thing that was present for you in the chat, just share that with
others, that’s welcome. If there are one or you
know a few folks who want to express succinctly um, through speaking then you
could raise your hand, I see Allison had your
hand up from the start. You’re welcome to speak if it
still has energy right now. And if anyone else, we have
a big call, there’s lots of folks and it feels connected
to allow a little space for people to share something from the heart. And if you would, just share
where you’re calling from, that’d be welcome. Anyone is welcome to just
take themselves off mute if you do want to share. It’s hard for me to, so
many people on the call. Yeah, go for it yeah. – [Melinda] Hi, Daniel, this
is Melinda from South Florida here in Tamarack and I wanted to say this is shocking a heartbeat. I made her myself. She’s shaheena and we share
our heartbeat with all of you and thanks so very much for showing up and doing this with us,
we really appreciate it. – You’re welcome, thanks Melinda, yeah. – If somebody wants to
speak, it’s welcome. Otherwise I’m gonna say
a few other things– – [Melissa] Hi! Hi, it’s Melissa from
White Salmon, Washington. – Great. – [Melissa] In a Indian lands. And um I just wanted
to say that I followed this virus for a long time and thank you for having this
gathering and I just wanna say that secondary and
tertiary and quaternary nursing is going to be needed
so keep yourselves well. Thank you. – Thanks, Melissa. Yeah. – [Spice] Hi, everyone, my name is Spice, I’m calling in from the Bay Area. I actually used to live
in Asheville, also, so I know that area as well
and I think I just wanted to say that something that’s
really been helpful for me is staying in the present
as much as possible. It’s so easy to move forward
with these ideas of like this is what’s going to happen. We’re all trying to figure
out how is it gonna be. Is it gonna be really bad or kind of bad? How many people are gonna die? And while I think it’s really
wonderful and needed to be prepared I think it’s
also just as important to really stay in the
present moment and not let ourselves get too much in the future, running in the future of
what’s going to happen, so. I hope that we all have health
and happiness and strength moving forward through this. – Great, thank you, yeah. – [Woman] Can I ask what you
think the role of the artist is right now at this moment in time? – Uh, there’s a bit of wind,
but speak strongly into the heart of it, go ahead. – [Woman] Yeah, I’m wondering
if you can speak to what you see the role of the artist is to be in a moment like this? – Yeah, um. Feel like I’m an artist who
does a lot of admin work, so. I’m like am I an artist? Yeah, I think so, I’m a ritualist. The one of the many functions of art, even that way of saying it’s
a little depressing is to bring the beauty and
meaning and coherence to an otherwise unharmonious moment. And so that way in which art
in the many forms in which that plays out has a function
of bringing connectivity and coherence that’s gonna
be especially important through all that’s ahead. And it’s important to not
piece it together too quick. Sometimes the role of
art is to shatter a thing that need shattering and
is to actually accelerate the falling apart. This is a moment where certain
structures that need to go may actually loosen. In the United States,
like, he’s got issues with his campaign but overall
I like Sanders’ platform. I don’t want to get too
political but now within a month the government’s like we need
to send people a lot of money and I’m like what is going on? Like y’all are getting real
socialist real quick and, it’s just a time, regardless
of the politics of that, or you know I don’t have a
definitive read on it but was interesting to me
is that under duress, people’s views can get very
you know adaptable and change and if people then experience,
oh, we actually kinda really liked that sharing thing,
why don’t we keep doing that? So there are all kinds of
possibilities that can arise. One of the things for me
that’s been present I’ll share is unexpectedly I shared
this on another call the other day but the deity
of Ogoon in Yoruba culture of iron of, you know,
building, building a house, building a road of civilization is a deity that has a lot of grounded messy willingness to
get in and like make a thing happen or do a thing. It’s like the opposite of perfectionism. And Ogoon of all the deities
is willing to act and willing to get messy with life. And this one’s been showing
up for me recently as a way of saying it’s not a time
to be perfectionistic. The change that you all
want, if you really want it, is going to be messy. It’s gonna be difficult. And some people are gonna
die and it’s gonna be hard and but if we’re gonna do it, let’s do it. So, I think we’re headed
into a cycle where it’s gonna be a bit messy, so to speak. But, for people that have
already been suffering under the many different types of oppressions, it’s been that way already. It’s not like, yeah. If you don’t see this already that way, you’re in the privilege bubble. So, so I’m hopeful. In that regard that the unpredictability of the times
can yield a lot of beauty and healing and different
structural change that’s really needed if we can keep our attention on receiving
the potential of the times. As a new, you know there’s a
tracking for what the potential is in receiving that. So. Good, does anybody else have
something from the heart that wants to say a thing? – [Woman] Hello, hello, Daniel. – Hey. – [Woman] Hi, it’s Gale Louise
calling in from Australia. – Oh, hey I see ya now, hey. – [Woman] Hi. Yeah I think it’s an important
time for us all to be united because I think
the powers that be will take advantage of our panic
and really try to manipulate the situation and you know
declare martial law and all of this sort of stuff
so we’re headed for some pretty rough times ahead
in terms of you know financial economy and things like that. They could take all
our money, they can do, you know introduce all sorts
of things to keep us really under control and I think we need to be very aware of all that and really stay united and stay with
other people because that’s the only way we can defeat
harsh regimes that are really going to come into play. – Yeah. Thanks. Our ancestors, everybody’s
ancestors on this call have lived and died through
times of plague, of big illness, also famine and not always
but often during those times there’s a increase of innovation
on the other side of them. We almost went extinct about
70,000 years ago and there were a lot of cultural
innovations that came after that and so the adversity will
drive creativity in a big way. To the question about the art so to speak. I wanna share one way
in which I’m attempting to respond usefully. Sada can put the link in
the chat, if you would Sada, we through together an
offering last night. It’s an online course. There are other online
courses which I’m guiding on ritual foundations and animism
and all those have a lot of live conference time and so, we’ll be in that way responsive
to the times also but this particular offering Bring Out Your Dead, Ancestral Healing for Poxy Times. We are pleased with our amount
of snark for one and also pleased that the offering is
quite accessible in the sense that you can pay the regular
amount, the lower amount, the lower amount than that, or the pay it forward no
dollars exchanged amount. I don’t usually have a free
setting in the online courses but this one it felt right
to do it that way and the what I’m trying to not call
it free, it’s pay it forward. Like actually be committed
to your own self that you’re going to do something
tangibly helpful for someone near to you and the we’ll get together for an hour and a half a
week, basically like this. But instead of it being more
discussion-y and I guess you’d say intro level, we’re gonna actually
dive into ritual work and do some work with our own
ancestors and if you don’t have that framework you’ll kinda want it, ’cause I’m not gonna
teach it in the space. We’re just gonna get in and do the thing. For people who have already
been doing that with me. Then the other half of the
time will be synchronized ritual for the greater. Because there’s a lot of
witchy people who know that in training with others
actually is very practical and useful for ritual results. And so we’ll be using in
a nice way the group field or the group energy as
way to get some work done. So that will be once a week
and if you can’t make it live then you could listen to the recordings
and still make use of it. And yeah, so that’ll be happening,
I hope you might consider joining us if this type of
meet up space serves you well. And you know you know this
I think but I said it the other day but the calm before
the storm is not the storm. We’re in the calm before the
storm, for the most part. Conditions are about to
change more tangibly. There’s a lot of fear about what’s coming and unless I’m misreading it, maybe. False alarm, could be, kinda hope so. But if it’s not that then
what’s coming is going to be unpleasant in a lot
of ways and like we’re on day six of cooped up home schooling. And bless people who
have more than one child. Day 20 of that, somebody needs
to mute if you don’t mind, day 20 of that is gonna feel
real different than day 40, than day 60, et cetera. So we’re heading into a intense time. And so it could be that it’s
good to maintain a thread of connection and drop in with ritual. So if that supports you, we’re
creating a space for that. That’s mostly what I wanted to share. We could take a minute
before we sign off to just in train for another minute if you want. And. – [Katy] I have a question. – Yeah, it’s okay, who is it? – [Katy] I’m Katy, I’m in Ireland and I’m self-quarantining
because of suspicious symptoms but I’m also awaiting testing before I can hopefully fly home still. I’m wondering what if
we do have the disease, which for me was very mild,
so actually it was scarier to think about getting
it than thinking, oh, I might have it and oh
(laughs) I just need to stay away, that’s
really important to stay away from everybody. And of course that experience
is not the same for everybody. But if we do end up getting this, is there something we can do ritually? Is there a way to engage that
can be helpful for the whole? – I don’t, the general
answer is to ask your own wise and kind ancestors what’s best for your particular path. I don’t want to give a
generalized kind of prescription on that but, it’s my understanding that
there is an immunity that comes, I don’t know if it’s a full
immunity but a resistance, some degree of immunity that
seems to come as a result from what we’re understanding
from getting the thing. So in that sense, that’s a blessing. But. I think that there’s a you could ask the virus directly, the
spirit of that thing, what’s the blessing here? What would you like me to understand? If I’m to really receive the
gift that is your manifestation in the world what does that look like? And you might get a
different answer from you know different people get
different answers on that but it’s a good question to hold any
time you are having a pathogen or foreign person who’s
symptomatically present in your body. So I guess that’s what I would say. We’re here for just a minute. It’s really quite brief. And it’s good to be loving
and to be kind and to not add to the amount of like
dogmatic garbage in the world so if you can, as a general takeaway, if you’re experience of suffering, and I know you said you
weren’t particularly symptomatic so I’m speaking
in a more general way, if your experience of
suffering can help can temper you in a way that you
become more compassionate, that’s a good way to go with it, yeah. So. Why don’t we finish up. That’s my instinct in this moment. Take just a final 60
seconds with me, with us, with everybody here in silence. I’ll stop talking very soon. And offer just a natural prayer but. I want you to notice that it’s
not, it’s a moment to notice it’s not just about the humans. We gotta get outta that habit. It’s not just about us. I really have heard more birds here. And there’s a way in which this is the others are like oh,
humans are slowing down. What are they doing? Are they plotting? Are they avoiding us? What are they doing? And so it’s a moment to be
in it beyond just our species so let’s take a moment to
just be in it like that. Ancestors and other
elder powers who hold up the world and who are the world, we give thanks for our lives
and for this moment shared and ask that you extend
kindness especially to those who are afraid right now. Afraid of being alone. And who are suffering,
confused, or who have died recently and feel alone. Or feel torn up ’cause their
people just died and they’re not able to be with them. All the people in tough
situations right now may there be a sense of kindness
and care extended to them. May we walk with them also
in our heart and allow that to help us to be
more kind and responsible and loving people. May we rise courageously and
humbly to meet the times. Thanks. Shay. Thank you all. Yeah, hope to stay in touch. – [Woman] Thank you.

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