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.
In my sprint this week to decide on what tech tools we're using for the Bloom Summit and Action Incubator (info coming soon!), I just had an inspiring and informative conversation with Crystal Huang, founder of CrossPollinators.
CrossPollinators helps the world connect with community organizations. It's largely populated with Bay Area groups so far; you can search by category, find community events, volunteer or collaboration opportunities, etc. Their weekly newsletter is an inspiring summary of Bay Area front line related events.
Crystal and team have gone about designing it with a more stakeholder-engaged process than how most tech companies go about designing comm tools. The platform stems from her work in solar and experiencing a company thinking about how to get low income and working class families to care about climate change, without them being in the room. XPollinators is a beautifully engineered thing, by real communities, and this is just the beginning. <3
Anyway, check it out!
I heard someone sing a song in Yoruba yesterday. It got me thinking about indigenous language preservation, which somehow led to this question:
What are 10 random things you would do if you lived forever?
Here are mine:
You can send me Bitcoin tips @payment code:
Here is an explanation of what a payment code is.
I don't feel safe on Facebook. Its interface and business model feel like the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal, sucking your content and life force for the profits of its shareholders and advertisers. In 2018 I pledge to post more to my website and create media I can actually search for and support beneficial impact with. I also pledge to create more local in-person events spread by word of mouth and real face to face contact.
Facebook is actually my least favorite place on the whole internet. It often turns into the shittiest version of a town hall where everyone is just bitching within cordoned off marketing corrals of political ideology, stuffing late stage capitalism down your throats in a last hurrah of centralized marketplaces. You can't even program your news feed to show you the info you actually want.
I knew all this going into Facebook, which is why I originally created a satirical profile under a different pseudonym. Yeah right I am going to give my personal information to the public. Also at the time I didn't want my political expressions to be censored or squelshed by my conservative family members. I didn't have the emotional and intellectual maturity at the time to talk with them about my views in a constructive way. As is the case with the majority of people on platforms like Facebook and Twitter today. They are not designed for the depth of dialogue and careful moderation, as well as successful collaborative mobilization that will be required for humanity to make its way through today's problems. Further, as a political activist, managing one's identity is often a careful operation. In this sense and many others I think Facebook actually suppresses political progress.
To emotionally and intellectually digest information on Facebook, I think the user needs a lot more blank space. The platform literally squeezes commerce into every square millimeter it can get away with. On the right hand sidebar right now, I have a bad version of Craigslist showing me random stuff for sale near me, there is a top navigation bar, and a side navigation bar, a central feed and a ride sidebar, all packed to the gills with what to me seems like a completely chaotic display of information. I nearly never click anything on the left or right. And this is without the far right ticker showing you realtime friend activity. It is so bonkers! I hate looking at it. It actually makes my face look different afterward. I look like I just saw the psychic detritus of thousands of traumatized people talking into a platform centered around ego and commerce, displayed on devices that put people in variously hunched over fetal positions.
I wish I could say I'm done with the platform right now. I hope I'm close, or at least will be able to re-center my content creation outside of it and use it more as a channel. I happen to be really good at writing engaging Facebook posts, and it has been a useful social utility for me in making connections with fellow creative activists. My head still feels like garbage after I'm on it, and I honestly feel terrible the entire day after making a post to it. I think this is because I can feel everyone reading it and how uncomfortable they are in that virtual space and what it's telling them about the real world. If people spent less time yelling at each other on the internet and more time with their neighbors building community and localized production, a lot of things would start to get better.
To ditch Facebook, I need a platform that has a better integrated mobilization function, is more carefully designed to support IRL interaction as its priority, and has a community governed way to decide which features to implement. Imagine a Facebook created by the Maker community crossed with really skilled facilitators who have mad chops in mediating conflict across race, class and ideology. But don't imagine a Facebook, imagine that this is just an interface format or plug-in that is available across any website that is a hub for community to share resources and information. And that it has a good, secure identity system. I need to get a thorough rundown on Blockstack from someone over there, but I vaguely know they've been working on the identity problem: https://blockstack.org/
(To finish up the story about my first Facebook profile... After about a year my profile, friend set, and a bunch of really incredible photos people had taken of me at festivals in full costume, all vanished with no warning, with a note that I had violated their names policy. At the time, there was no warning, and no channel to recover my profile to at least pull the data off of it for myself. Once I set up a new profile I regularly download a backup. I do this with Google Drive as well because Google will also pull content down without warning if it finds something out of bounds. These are platforms the user has essentially no voice in their design, governance or policies.)
Since getting involved with Bloom Network in 2010 I've been researching social network designs and following what's out there. At the moment my favorite things are weco.in and scuttlebutt.nz . We've been approached over the years by many companies developing social networks, to be early adopters because we have a large existing global network of interesting people. However, I really think we either have one shot at asking our communities to join a thing, or, and this would be my preference, the next generation of social networks gradually emerges as a more decentralized, interwoven ecosystem, which our website is basically just an inspiring-to-be-on routing engine for.
Bloom will be producing a conference in September 2018 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. It will be part of a larger cycle of incubating regenerative action projects across the planet. As part of the practical implementation of it, and the needs for digital communication systems across the working groups, I think we're going to end up grabbing the best fit tools for now and beginning to string them together.
We've already spent 8 years designing a decentralized global governance model for Bloom. At the conference we'll be producing a hackathon to complete that including identifying the tech tools we're going to use for voting and proposals etc. I hope we can demonstrate an example of a community-directed technology/utility, which straddles the physical and digital world in a way that supports people in healing their bodies, psyches, and their ecosystems.
With love and passion for creative collaboration,
Reading is like collecting intellectual architectures to inform how I think, view and act in the world…
Here are books I’ve read since July this year, catalyzed by reading Daniel Pinchbeck’s latest book, How Soon is Now. I hadn’t spoken with him in 3.5 years, after taking on his former role with Evolver Network (which is now Bloom Network). His book set me off on a catch up of writings about climate change solutions and psychedelics, followed by books with tools and tips for large-scale mobilization.
I recommend all of these books - most of them have been on my to-read list for a long time. I recently learned how to set up my Android phone to read books aloud to me using Kindle + Android's visual disability feature. It's a robot voice but it's good, non fatiguing. That way I can read while driving or doing work with my hands.
My friend Michael Garfield interviewed me on his podcast, Future Fossils. You can listen here:
We discuss topics such as:
- The adoption of regenerative culture practices;
- Cultivating planetwide resiliency;
- Communicating across HUGE political gaps;
- How can we be good ancestors?
Last year I had the pleasure to share my thoughts and experiences at an ERIE event at UC Berkeley. ERIE stands for Entheogenic Research, Integration and Education. They are a group in San Francisco that produces talks and community integration circles for the psychedelic community to connect across different cultures and viewpoints.
This talk was part of the "Heads" tour - a book by Jesse Jarnow about psychedelic America. The highlight of this event for me was meeting Sarah Matzar, a former acid cook, mother and dye chemist from Guatemala. I was asked to share my thoughts about "the future of psychedelics":
"Magenta will share her vantage point on the future of psychedelic cultures. Hundreds of millions of people on the planet are tripping. How do Ayahuasca and acid cultures mesh? What’s beyond the blinky lights at a chaotic, sexist rave? And what does it look like as American psychedelic culture matures into societal integration?
Magenta is the executive director of Bloom Network (formerly Evolver Network), an international social network for regenerative culture. She dialogues with creative medicine people from 6 continents about the transformations that are happening in their cities and ecosystems caused by climate change and economic pressure. Bloom helps people migrate to sustainable, decentralized practices in governance, economics, agriculture, health and more.
You can now support the work I'm doing via my Patreon page at http://patreon.com/imaginationhealer. My first goal, at $200/month (I'm already halfway there!), is to produce a video series about my experiences living on gift economy for 5 years. Here's the intro video I made for that, and I hope you'll check out the fun and helpful rewards and choose a tier to support at. Thank you!
Here's a recording from NuMundo's Beta Launch Party in Oakland. The theme of the panel discussion was Leveraging Networks for Social Good. So wonderful to meet folks from GEN (Global Ecovillages Network), get to know Raines Cohen of CoHousing California better, and meet Ashay Aek from Australia! Lovely to meet networking counterparts from different communities.
Via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/numundonow/videos/10153747482652811/?pnref=story
NuMundo now has a booking tool on their site where people can register for stays at ecovillages and "impact centers", as well as classes and internships. They've started populating the site with centers in Central America and are now fleshing out their North American listings. Check it out: http://numundo.org
Big ups to CEO David Casey and the whole NuMundo team for the amazing networking they host at events, for people working on transformational projects to meet and support each other. <3
I also got to do a lightning talk about Bloom Network. Several folks offered me support and collaboration, including developer support for our website (ok, so maybe I don't even have to raise money to get the site built??), mainstream media support, and incredible projects to feature on Bloom's site, including a mobile mushroom educational center and an upcoming thinktank in Washington DC on regenerative agriculture. I was able to also ask for personal support, since Bloom Network is scaling up very fast and it's a lot of pressure and newness for me.
Creating media for regenerative culture