Quoting Lyla's text on this in full:
This Beltane, we are forgiving the persecution of an estimated 6-9 million women as "witches" in Europe with the release of our new music video, "Mamwlad."
As a biracial woman (Native American/European), I thought it would be good to take the time to write this song to honor all of my grandmothers (and grandfathers) who were burned alive, drowned alive, raped, beaten and tortured in torture chambers for being so called "witches" and "warlocks" (https://www.nfb.ca/film/burning_times/). 6-9 million is a conservative estimate considering that everyone was under heavy watch. You could be condemned for something as simple as having a strange birthmark or for not being able to have children after so many years of marriage.
I know that these people were not evil, but rather were the carriers of Indigenous European knowledge that was demonized by colonizing forces, just as my Native American ancestors were demonized and persecuted. This is a wound that we as Europeans have yet to heal face, forgive, and heal from. If we can find the courage to heal from this, I believe we could break many cycles and resolve much untended intergenerational trauma, to help not only European folk, but all those who are affected by our unresolved trauma.
Our elders have taught us that any assault on the women of a society is also an assault on the men who love them. Imagine having your wife, or daughter burned alive and being restrained from helping her. This is what so many of our grandfathers went through and it drove them purely mad. We must too pray for the soul of the masculine that was tricked into thinking it was insufficient, tricked into thinking it "failed to protect." These are all psychological tactics to make us hate ourselves across the board and have damaged us for too many generations. This is healed through self-love and the forgiveness of this unimaginable cruelty of others. It is time to throw off these chains and throw off these lies and affirm our sacredness and worth as men and women in the eyes of Creator.
I named this song Mamwlad (Mah-Mu-Lahd), which means "Motherland" in the Welsh language. In the 1920s, if you were caught speaking Cymraeg (Welsh) in school you would get a big block of wood tied around your neck with the letters W.N. there inscribed. This stood for "Welsh Not," and you could only get the wood off your neck if you caught another child speaking welsh (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_Not). The prohibition of this Indigenous European language is one example of many of how our ancestral, earth-based culture was suppressed and destroyed much like my Native American ancestral culture was.
It is time for all of us to return to our indigenous selves and this includes Europeans. It is time for us to look behind the thin wall of time that dominates our understanding of Europe--the time of King Edward I who ordered the massacred of 100 harpists and bards of the Celtic Nations, the time of Napoleon, the time of Hitler--and remember who we truly are, beneath all the trauma and rubble. It is time to reach into the time of Indigenous European culture evidenced by a figurine of a woman, symbolizing the sacred earth and the sacredness of women, found in German soil in 2009, whose radiocarbon dating indicated that it was at least 40,000 years old. It is time to remember that this is who we really are.
And, it is time to forgive. For when we do not forgive, we become the oppressor, as we perpetuate the violence that we experienced on other peoples the world over. We have the power to help this end immediately for the sake of generations of human beings of all ethnicities worldwide. In sum, if we find the courage to face the truth and love through it, the way all great leaders have done throughout time, we can heal 7 generations forward and 7 generations backward. We have this power to transmute that darkness into hope and become the humble examples of healing that we as European descent folks are capable of being.
We must also recognize that witch burning still occurs today in many countries around the world (https://www.reuters.com/…/killing-of-wo…). I hope we can unite to heal the past, the future and the present day to say no woman should ever be killed because of her spiritual practice. Please join me in this musical, cinematic journey, filmed in the ancient sacred homelands of Gaelic, Celtic and Welsh civilizations, blessed by wild ponies, and connected to local Indigenous women of contemporary time.
Creating media for regenerative culture