We’re being tested. Within each survivor is a warrior.

Nahko Bear wrote “we’re being tested. Within each survivor is a warrior.” He named his upcoming album “Take Your Power Back”. The song he sings in the video below, which will be on that album, is “Slow Down.”

The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are forcing us all to slow down. Forcing many businesses to come to a halt. Corporations are losing their power over us. Do you feel a power realignment? Do you feel like you are getting some of your power back even in the face of this adversity?

My friend Ronnie James recently wrote:

I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.

So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?   Ronnie James

This time of crisis is an unexpected opportunity to “do something drastic that has never been done before.” As Nahko says, “within each survivor is a warrior.”

Peter Clay, Linda Lemons, and Ronnie James

The great Lakota Chief and Holy Man Sitting Bull described the meaning of a warrior by pointing to the inherent responsibilities such a position held:

For us, warriors are not what you think of as warriors.  The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another’s life.  The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others.  His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves and above all, the children, the future of humanity.

Sitting Bull

The Spiritual Warrior is a person who challenges the dreams of fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create suffering and unhappiness in his or her life. It is a war that takes place in the heart and mind of a man or woman. The quest of the Spiritual Warrior is the same as spiritual seekers around the world.  

Toltec Spirit

Each Warrior of the Light contains within him the spark of God. His destiny is to be with other Warriors , but sometimes he will need to practice the art of the sword alone; this is why, when he is apart from his companions, he behaves like a star. He lights up his allotted part of the Universe and tries to point out galaxies and worlds to all those who gaze up at the sky. The Warrior’s persistence will soon be rewarded. Gradually, other Warriors approach , and they join together to form constellations, each with their own symbols and mysteries.  

Coelho, Paulo. Warrior of the Light: A Manual (p. 89). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Greetings Relatives,

 Spring is in full swing and before Thanos can snap his fingers, it’ll be summer on Turtle Island. Our country is primed for an overthrow of power within rapidly shifting currents. The land has seen devastation over the winter’s long night, but now sings songs of rebirth inside the blossoms of the cherry tree. At least in this hemisphere. The people…well, we’re all a little worn out thanks to a heavy hitting astrological and planetary realignment. Does anyone else feel like they’ve hardly had a moment to process and catch a breath before Mercury went Gatorade? Again? We’re being tested. Within each survivor is a warrior. Can we captain this ship through unknown waters? Are we braver than our fears? Will we earn a seat at the table, our place as a future ancestor? Oh, hell yes.

I, for one, was running on empty for too many years. I masked it with subtle addictions and destructive personalities that served my escapism. The songs became a shield. The Tribe became an enabler. I had become overwhelmed with anxiety and unconscious depression. In order to not lose myself, I had to rediscover ( the hard way, per usual) what it means to love myself, love the little boy spirit within me. This is something we all must do, in time. These are rites of passage. This is a step in taking your power back.
As a storyteller, I turn experience into something shared. This trick can play itself in a manipulative way on the teller, as well, if you’re not careful. Many times over I have lost myself in the falsities of some of the stories I have circulated within my psyche. Multiple personalities creating art and chaos and war and peace. Who’s really in charge? What is reality and what is a narrative my mind made up? I began to envision a whole version of me, the bear and the cub, working in tandem to ascend the inner heavens, traverse the endless forests. Taking the power back, beginning at conception, the source level, and working from there. The songs in this new body of work encapsulate so much of what I have been carrying on my shoulders, on my heart, in my bones. Thousands of years of karma and the scars of so many people I never knew. Every single one of those ancestors went through stages of awakening, fulfilling their own version of answering that fateful call to action. I like to think they learned to wade through what was theirs and what was inherited. It gives me hope.

The songs came to me in waves. I think land has a lot to do with what comes through you, in writing. Being back in Cascadia, the Mt. Hood National Forest, has been really grounding for a guy without any Earth in his chart. For the first time, I wrote to a record. I doubted myself. The songs. The process. The melody. The message. There’s so much weird math and science in song writing. Naturally, the nerd in me found courage in the folds of that mystical tapestry. This fall, I’m going to wrap you all up in those nurturing wisdoms, offerings in a woven basket, filled with sweetgrass and cedar.

It won’t be long now till we are taking to that great road again to bring our praise and worship to you… Naming this tour the ‘Take Your Power Back Tour’ felt entirely appropriate given the state of the planet and all Her creatures great and small…given the state of your loyal narrator.

We’re rounding the bend to 20/20, ya’ll. Arrive at our gathering this fall with whatever shape your heart is in. Full, broken, in pieces, strong, hopeful, hurting, overflowing, all of it. We’ll help best we can. The more time we spend together in this way, the more whole we can become. The Medicine Tribe is a community, a village, a movement of human beings and becomings. We are many colors and creeds, sharing that breath of life. We are the music, a common language. It’s our way out of the maze. It’s that missing puzzle piece. It’s us. Together.

So here’s to expanding beyond our initial beliefs. To opening our minds to higher reasoning, to fields of toroidal blossoms where we can lay in stacks of dimensional light and turn off the oppressive broadcasting station of the patriarch and tune our dials to the matriarchal podcast within nature, human and non-human. Here’s to taking our power back.

In love and service,

Profits from this video are donated to the Lakota Way Healing Center. The Denver-based nonprofit promotes spiritual connection and human wellness through programs, events and workshops that share the traditional Lakota Way of prayer and healing. Learn more and support the mission at https://www.lakotaway.org/.

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2 Responses to We’re being tested. Within each survivor is a warrior.

  1. Miriam Kashia says:

    Hi Jeff, I’m following your work and so appreciate it! We’re in a whole new era now & it’s anybody’s guess how this will end. I’m hoping for the CoVid-19 being the final blow to the corrupt political and economic and justice systems. Nature bats last. One can wish.

    Stay strong and safe, miriam

    On Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 10:35 AM Quakers, social justice and revolution wrote:

    > jakisling posted: ” Nahko Bear wrote “we’re being tested. Within each > survivor is a warrior.” He named his upcoming album “Take Your Power Back”. > The song he sings in the video below, which will be on that album, is “Slow > Down.” The consequences of the coronavirus pand” >

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