I found this youtube video of Sakej Ward extremely moving and inspiring..
In this video presentation he defines a Warrior’s responsibility, to look after their people and the land, preparing it for the next seven generations.
The key points that stood out for me were –
- Acknowledging the land we are upon. As a druid this speaks to me of taking the three breaths, with land, sea and sky, of acknowledging and asking for guidance and permission from our ancestors of place,blood, and tradition, and asking for guidance and blessings from the spirit of place/the circle
- The English word ‘warrior’ throwing us off a bit by defining what this means in modern language. As he speaks he gives a long list of Native American words for ‘warrior’ and their translations. The one which struck me was “Those who have the burden of carrying Peace”. We here in the UK have lost most of our original culture and words and are still in the process of reclaiming and rediscovering – remembering – our spirituality. Remembering who we were in order to find out who we are today. Sometimes we have had to borrow words from other languages to describe our practices, because our own words have been long lost or forgotten. I like the idea of “Those who have the burden of carrying Peace” as a side-shoot of “Druid”, “Witch”, “Shaman”, “Wicce” as these words (IMO) should refer to more than just a ritualistic practice, it should be a way of living and relating to the time and place that we find ourselves in now, and doing work ‘for the greater good’. These lost words are a link that was taken from us that place us within our own cultures.(This will be continued in a separate article)
- The modern use of the word “Warrior” being constructed by the media. Specifically in our environmental context, it can bring up imagery of an angry mob, or of a culture of violent behaviour. We have already begun to avoid using the word (see previous post about Nanas for instance). We here have repeatedly spread the message that direct action alone will not stop the industry, though at times it might be an essential last resort. We have been urging people to stand up and do whatever they can, whether that starts off at signing petitions, going on marches, starting or being part of local community groups, changing the actual culture of where we find ourselves now to one that cares for each other and our environment. We as warriors/pagans are not some far out group on the fringes who should be avoided. We are also mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, local people…. We have a role to play out.
- The concept that we have a responsibility to the land – not private ownership – that we hand over the land to the next seven generations in as good a condition as we received it, if not better.
- Sacred Responsibility – as a pagan this speaks volumes to me. Those who will stand up and fulfill their sacred responsibilities when there is a threat to our land and environment
- If there was no threat, we could relax and do other things, take care of each other.
- Social and spiritual responsibility
- When Sakej talks about the colonialism, in our current culture we have capitalism,. It will not irradicate its own power, it is designed to turn our land into profit.
- We can rekindle our fire and remember who we are, we have a culture that is thousands of generations old. We have lived our ‘modern’ lives for only a short time
- Sakej brings this directly into the context of fracking. Progress and advanced way of life will not save us from the very demise that it is bringing us