Free Your Hair Bridal

A true love of mine is bridal hairstyling, and I want to take a minute to confess that love…..

I love collaborating with the bride on her hair vision, I love the artistry in the small details, the construction of the hairstyle, and then the day-of, when it all comes together in such a sacred space, a bride and her maids adorning and taking care of each other while the hair is being done. It is a very special space to be in as a hairstylist. 

(Photo by Rachel Sumner)

I also love working with hair and flowers together, and many weddings call for this beautiful synthesis. 

I am excited to announce that I will now be officially offering services in bridal hair styling, wedding party hair styling and documentation, groom hairstyling, and wedding floral hair adornment. I also do wedding hair consulting. 

If you are getting married and are looking for a wedding hair stylist, and like the feel of my work, please contact me at howtohairgirl@gmail and we can discuss your needs and desires. 

 

 

 

Aries Hairoscope

coverFriends old and new, thanks for visiting us today for the 4nd edition of the Free Your Hair HOROSCOPE honoring the Aries.

I offer this series to all as an ever-changing and morphing guide for Hair-Centered Radical Self Care, Ritual and Beauty in honor and tribute to each sign as they enter into their place in the Sun Rotation.

With this Hairoscope, we hope to inspire each sign of the zodiac to take some extra time on their birthday month to really love on and care for themselves. Every month, we will pull a card to share from The Moon Deck to inspire your monthly self-care ritual. With the sage advice of The Moon Deck, we will adapt our monthly mantras to bless and honor our own hair. We invite you to share these monthly Hairoscopes with your friends who are of that month’s astrological sign and help them take some time for self love!


For this series, I worked with artist Madison McClain to create our women of the horoscope, and with intuitive writer and healer Aarona Ganesan, co-creator of The Moon Deck, which is the Tarot Deck I use daily to inspire my own personal self-care rituals.

This month, we honor the Aries

Moon Deck Ritual:

(Words and Rituals adapted from the Moon Deck Guidebook, changed slightly to speak specifically to our hair.)

Hair Brush Mantra:

‘I am a Weaver of my own Reality ‘

Weaving our reality is a skill that begins on the Inside. It’s a creative practice that requires us to be attentive while setting clear intentions. The quality of our inner dialogue impacts how we feel and experience the world around us.

Call upon the Spider, who is here to remind you that you are a weaver of your own reality. She is a special creature symbolizing awakened creativity and determination, patience and grace when weaving her web, and the interwoven nature between past, present and future. 

If you find yourself in a position that no longer suits you, now is the time to look honestly, clarity what you want to design, and begin to change it. You are a resilient woman weaving your own story, embody it with your entire heart and spirit. 

Take 5 minutes today to brush this mantra into your hair, repeating it to yourself with every stroke. Be in a comfortable, calm place without distraction. Close your eyes and breath, centering your body as you brush. If you are not a regular hair brusher, here is why we think you should try it, and here is where to get yourself a beautiful hair brush to work into your hair care ritual. If you are more of the combing type, consider a wooden wide toothed comb or your own fingers for a relaxing scalp massage.

Earth Bath Ritual

Weaving from a Grounded Place 

Your self-care ritual for your birthday month, dear Aries, is an earth bath to bring you back to your self so that you can weave from a place of grounded power, bringing the fire with you as you begin your web, all the way through to the end.

Draw a bath

Add 2 tablespoons Sea Salt, and 2 tablespoons Bentonite Clay. Mix into bath with your hands.

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. I love Cedarwood for this bath.

Soak as long as you can in this bath, allowing the earthy elements to bring you back into your physical body, to a grounded place from which to spin your web.

After your bath, take a walk around your neighborhood. Try and find a spider, and when you do, watch her weave.

 

 

Hair Advice:

Aries: While we are on the subject of bringing in the grounding earth elements to the tapestry of your life, lets not forget the power of earth in your hair. This month, play around with clay in your hair as a texturizer and thickener. My favorite way to use it: See the earth bath, above. Be sure to soak your hair in your salt/clay bath. Feel the effects of it as it dries in your hair. Dig that wild, earthy texture.

For very fine/fragile hair, use Kaolin Clay. For fine-medium hair use Bentonite clay. For thick, coarse hair use Arrowroot powder

You can also put a pinch of clay/powder on your brush and brush it through dry hair to gain the styling benefits of earth in your hair. If you want to use my homemade hair powder clay blend, it can be purchased here.

Now, with your hair all earthy-textured, check out this post on 7 Braid Secrets, and express your inner Spider as you weave your hair into a braid web.

Moon Phases in Aries:

The New Moon and Full Moon are the most potent times for setting new intentions for healthy habits and relationships and creating rituals that are potent in their action. I highly recommend this months Earth Bath Ritual be done around both the 28th of March to observe the New Moon, setting an intention of what you are ready to let go of in your life/in your hair/in your relationship to yourself in physical and spiritual form, and around April 11th to observe the Full Moon, setting intention for what you are ready to bring in to your life. What do you want to manifest? Now is the time.

And how do you set an intention? for those who haven’t practiced it……Speak a little prayer to yourself. Honor it with the ritual of taking an Earth Bath and watching spiders spin their webs.  Hold the prayer in your heart as you practice self love. Make it so!

Please check out The Moon Deck for more musings. Aries babes, may we suggest you get your own deck as a birthday gift to yourself and make a vow to love yourself and your hair more in this coming year.

What would you like to see woven into our monthly Hairoscope? I would love to hear your feedback! We are excited to watch this series grow and change with your input.

xo, HTHG and The Moon Deck

 

 

Season of the Witch: When Something Awakens

 Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.

I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.

HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.

The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.

Please enjoy this interview with HTHG reader Sarah Choquette. She read some of our past interviews and heard the call to share her own story. Her path has been recently illuminated by some major life changes, igniting a powerful fire to seek truth and balance and own her power. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the topic of what it means to be a witch. 

Preceding her interview is an email she sent me, answering the call to contribute her words and experience. It really touched me and reaffirmed why I continue to strive to hold space for the truth and identity of others.


………..I replied to your invite to contribute knowing I was called to it, but I wasn’t ready until now.

2016 I spent voraciously learning, being recalled to my truth through old interests that grabbed me or made my heart sing, and new paths my brain needed walking. Mythology, divination, moon and woman magic, questioning the religious establishment, and always, my beloved crystals.

Since the start of 2017, Ive gotten to put it all into practice. We uprooted from our Southern town and Christian community, are in an RV with our daughter and headed ultimately to Washington state. And, that act of self love Spirit led me to? A choice to initiate a miscarriage. I had an abortion one town over from where we moved. A very polarizing choice in any circle it seems, but without our consent word got out to our previous community of friends, and now few remain after casting bombs of religious judgment. Its been agonizing to lose so much, we never intended to cut ties even though we felt our paths branching. And especially not in this way. It’s affected my family too, since my brother and his family were part of the same organization… Ive almost given up several times, wanted to walk out into traffic or ask my husband for his gun. (Just some

very hard moments, no real danger. I’ve turned down Death too many times already, the jerk just knows the way to my door too well, lol)

The Universe kept me going with the support of my husband and my own blessed Fire energy that just wouldnt let me quit no matter how many waves washed over it.

And yesterday, I gave in. To own my power, my story, my place, and everything else I finally had words for that tumbled out like a flood into this email.

I just wanted to say… having this email sitting on the shelf to reply to has been a catalyst charm for me. A touchstone. Not to be dramatic, but something to come back to. I knew it was time, it was real, and I wasnt crazy or wrong.

Having the other interviews to read has been such a balm as I am bereft of community so recently. I had not bonded or agreed with anyone for a long time, but had really opened myself up to one woman, who it turns out wasnt in the same place I was and in her pain and confusion at my choice spilled everything to the religious leaders.

Ive been asking the angels for faith in humanity and to trust people again.

Reading the witch interviews, I felt so warm and hopeful of one day enjoying and trusting women and community again.

Im so grateful all of this is happening now. I know there’s a reason for every part, and Im coming home not just to Washington but to myself, and The Mother.

-Sarah Choquette


What does the term Witch mean to you?

Wise. And unafraid of the dark. Of any darkness. In nature, themselves, or the cosmos. The old Saxon and Celtic terms swirl for me, as I imagine a heiritage embodied by someone who is wedded to the Earth, cognizant and alive to its secrets, rhythms, history, and power. Today, this may take the form of energy geekery or crystal nerdship, green living or full on BAMF manifesting. But it is always and forever about the Earth. And about Balance. A witch is someone unapologetically walking in their truth and/or power.

How would one know that one was a witch? 🙂

Oh, when you know, you know! For me, and others I have seen. You may have run for years, rejected or recategorized it, refused to inhabit that space marked with THAT name. But there comes a day with your flirtations with the trappings, sentiments, stories, and beliefs just isn’t enough.

Other people’s experience may look like beginning to try out new modes of thinking, rituals or the like, and gradually find themselves at home in a way nothing else ever fit.

Usually it starts with curiousity, interest, and research. Even with tweezers and gloves on.

Talk about intention and manifestation…..How do they work together, and can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

I am still fairly new to this, both using it and recognizing it. I began while in the framework of a Judeo-Christian background, giving credit to those archetypes. But at the time I needed them, to give me confidence in what my heart purely wanted, and to believe something powerful enough could make it happen. I would say the very first was Spirit journaling when I was a teenager. I wrote out that I would get married young, and my innocence would be a blessing to a man who had been hurt. That was at 16. Three times I thought I knew who the man was, and three times I was grown and matured into who I needed to be to meet and marry my husband, at 19. I am his second wife, and in every way that dialoguing scribble in my Spirit diary came true.

The biggest thing I can add to that, coming from the background I do, is that manifestation does take action, however small, on your part. Christians and those from that mindset often “leave it to God”. That has been an interesting belief to rewrite, for me. Taking that it does not mean Spirit and Source are any less willing and able to help, but that it is a partnership, and I truly have a powerful action to bring to the table.

Also the belief that the intentions of your heart are pure, and worthy of manifesting!!!

How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

That is a difficult question for me. Currently I am called to a solitary path. Yet, I do know and believe and enjoy the power of a collective. I have witnessed amazing energy among groups of like-minded people coming together for a passionate purpose. Any people! I imagine a gathering of witches, for the compassionate intent of Earth’s affairs or humanity’s, to be definately powerful. 🙂 Personally I believe it can be most effective in clear and guided meetings, events such as Spiritweavers for example. Or the Stand with Standing Rock demonstrations, days of prayer, global healing connection at 11:11, the Women’s March on Washington.

You get enough magical people together, good shit happens!

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)

Honestly… science. I began with the film What the Bleep Do We Know?! It takes quantum physics, belief, perception, and the powers in ourselves and makes it so clear and unmistakable!! Very easy to understand for the most part.

Next, ask yourself what you have always been drawn to? For me it was crystals and rocks, but a good dose of herbs and flowers and colors. And angels. Research and explore what your heart is leaning towards! Throw in some music at 432hz while you are at it, and notice how you feel.

Books books books! The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton may be a bit heavy, but benefit some. The Game of Life and How to Play It  by Florence Schinn or The Path to Wealth by May McCarthey (about more than money), great way to break into intention and manifeststion. Especially for those dealing with anxiety from religion.

I cannot recommend enough Meet Your Soul by Elisa Romeo and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Aside from those practicalities, I would say to look at what you shyed away from. That may be the very place you need to start. Healthy sexuality. A pagan or Spirit fair. Researching Native American symbolism. Harry Potter. Seeing a psychic or metaphysical healer. Start dabbling, there is something for everyone! Keep at it till you feel your heart lighting up, then follow that!

How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

Gah, my 2017 so far in a nutshell. And I started rereading I Am Morgan Le Fay by Nancy Springer, so I’ll just say it like it hit me there. Only when you embrace every part will you be whole, and free to choose what parts you truly want to focus on growing into.

I didn’t want to be able to tell when something was marked for death. Whether it be a pregnancy, illness, relationship, or venture. That tends to make you pretty unpopular. Especially in a religous circle where positivity and life is prized.

But, as I have looked backwards into the memories of wise lives before me, I and my gift are necessary. It is a mercy of Divine Compassion to have someone within a community who is bold enough to tell when a heart should take time to prepare for a grief that’s coming. And, that’s not the only facet of that gift. It works the other way, too. Pregnancies, marriages, good job changes afoot. I have predicted a lot of them. But there is a Balance to be trodden. And that is where the power of a Witch lies. Between seen and unseen. Spirit and Physical. Death and Life. In owning the Balance in ourselves we can more easily see it in the world, and do our part to correct it or share with those who need to see it too.

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

This was the first gem that thundered into my path of awakening. It is truly the best words I could hope to offer.

Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey. ( if you want:)

I never wanted to be a Fire sign. I never wanted to be angry about things, that got you noticed and corrected. I never wanted to be contrary, troublesome to authorities. I never wanted to be on any deity’s shit list. I wanted to skate under the radar in life and have people like me. I tried to change my results on internet quizzes, I wanted to be Water, Air, Earth!

I have spent my whole life miserably trying to make others like me, keep others happy, and do what was expected of me. Ignoring and piously shunning my hunger and pulse for crystals, moon mysteries, energy, and pleasure. At the cost of denying everything built into myself. Numerology wise, I am a One. I am meant to be a leader, and I spent my first 20 years after childhood looking for someone else to tell me what to do.

Depression has been a near constant companion since my childhood. After the birth of my daughter, my adrenal system was so taxed it was barely functioning. At the same time, I started asking myself what I was going to tell my little star-child about the world, as she grew. This led to me examining what I had professed to believe about pretty much everything. With low adrenals, postpartum anxiety and depression almost took me out through suicide. And I was DONE. I was done with a half-life. I had never been able to please my mom, or the other authorities I brought into my life. I only felt alive when I was stirred up about something, and I was adult enough to not be able to sit through misinformation or opinion in my religious circle anymore. I could see how it was hurting people, how it had hurt me. How it was keeping us all controlled. How as good as the people leading us were, they were teaching from a broken and flawed system. And after a lifechanging decision I made for my own self, the biggest act of self-love Spirit has guided me to yet, I broke my shell. I came face to face with my own power, smiled, and asked it to dance.

I think a lot of my depression came from ignoring my heart for so many years, and avoiding red, passion, sensuality and pleasure, avoiding confrontation or responsability, avoiding tarot, avoiding books I loved and mysteries I felt drawn to, avoiding leading or creating or being noticed. Physics has explained reincarnation enough for me to believe I was hiding because parts of me remembered being killed or outcast for my gift and beliefs before.

But I learned that Unconditional Love exists. I am the only one that can live my life. And it’s a darned interesting and important one.

I am a Phoenix. A Dragon. A Goddess. A Witch. I used to smirk and cringe when other women used those terms, I see you there. But I understand now. These words are important. Our power is important. May you know. May you be.

What is our role now, as witches of the world, and how would you like to see us collectively using our powers to heal?

There is ignorance to be taught, fear to be overcome, injustice to be called out, treasure from the ancestors the world over to be explored and relearned. Start with yourself. Start at home. Heal yourself of misperceptions, fears, and ignorance. Find others who are doing the same and lift them up! Take time to actually comment instead of just liking something, share your energy. Own your truth and speak up about what makes you come alive, that is what the world needs. Examine what you have believed, and why. Be open to changing.

Women are under attack in the world today. The Feminine energy needs to be nurtured, shared, celebrated, and deep gratitude sent into the Earth wherever women are free and safe. Find out what can be done tangibly in your community for the homeless, forced prostitutes, prisoners, the abused, the elderly. And for other nations, buying Fair Trade or supporting women’s businessess when you buy gifts. Giving to schools for girls. Raising awareness about war situations and giving to reputable charities and rescues.

Connect, whether through meditation, online, in person, whatever! with fellow witches to send healing and cessation towards tumultous areas. There was a female psychic named Krystyna Skarbek who worked for British Intelligence in 1944. She was sent to France ahead of the liberation of Europe, and using just her energy and words she convinced whole battalions to disable their guns and desert their stations.

Maybe you don’t think you can do that, but what if you pictured a soldier intent on harming someone and pictured yourself standing between them, saying “Stop! You are better than this! This person did nothing to you, take a moment and wake up to how your government is using you and forcing you to murder! This isnt who you are, or who you want to be, and you have a choice to stop.”

You might be amazed at the power of the imagination to cross time and space. Be open to being used in this way for the sake of the World.

I feel this is so far in the future it almost is pointless to say, but…

as those wrongs are righted, be a keeper of Balance that we do not swing too hard in the opposite direction and become opressors. It can be tempting for those who have been victims. The way of the Witch is to make and keep Balance.

 

Please Check out more of Sarah’s musings on her blog here.

 

Season of the Witch: Angela Sumner

Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.

I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.

HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.

The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.

Please enjoy this interview with Angela Sumner on the topic of what it means to be a witch. 


What does the term Witch mean to you?

WOM(B)AN. She is any human being who identifies as a womb-carrying woman, for in her womb lies the entirety of her magick – accessible to her throughout the month cyclicly depending on her needs. She is centuries in the knowing of her ways even if she is only know waking up to them in this life.

How would one know that one was a witch? 🙂

Tingles. Chill bumps. Deja vu. Synchronicity. That feeling of knowing. Intuition. Dreams. The connection to plant allies and animal totems. The easy way of being in sync with the earth and the stars. The day visions and the night exploring. She sees it when she looks at her lover, herself in the mirror. She sees it when she brushes her hair or plucks a blade of grass or holds a goblet of sparkling grape juice. She feels it in the wind, in her bones, in her existence.

Talk about intention and manifestation…..How do they work together, Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

In speaking of intention and manifestation, it has been clear to me that these things are vastly different than what is actually relevant. What is relevant is CREATION. We are constantly creating – second by second – with our thoughts. The intention behind the word is the fuel of creation, the manifestation is the physical seeing of what we’ve created —> The totality is harnessing our power as Creatresses.

I have been a Creatress since before I was born. I remember being in the womb. I remember the feeling of deciding when it was time to be born. My mother corroborates this truth by saying that one day I simply kicked and that was that. I was earthside. A witch once again being earthbound for the experience of it’s magnificence.

How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

A circle of women is the single greatest power known to humanity. The reason witches have been feared is not because of a single witch working alone… it is when she has gathered with her sisters which creates a stir that is instantly recognizable. This is the reason women have been glorified and vilified – the sheer magnitude of Creation possible when women unite. I recently experienced this in my online women’s gathering The Phoenix Experience. Within days women were having such occurrences as receiving checks for $1000 in the mail and harnessing their previously extinct sex drive seemingly overnight. The raw power was something I knew was possible but hadn’t witnessed in lifetimes.

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)

Ah! So many places depending on the woman. Some women need the gentle medicine of flower essences, some the sharp slap in the face of deep ceremony right off the bat. This is why it is so important to look to others for guidance… NOT because there are any secrets which some hold and others do not but because oftentimes we need help remembering. And when we ask for help, it appears instantly.

How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

I do not believe in shadow work or dark work. As a death doula, I have experienced first hand that death is no different than life. The yin and the yang are at once whole and complementary to one another. This is the dual nature of the human experience. HOWEVER, as a witch, when we work with the alchemy of ascending, we are able to transcend this shadow work. So many women get stuck in the darkness versus the light until they realize they are the same thing. Your shadow is your light – she only needs some coaxing and some softening in order to fully embrace her sorcery.

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

You are not afraid to own your power. You are afraid of what THEY will think when you own your power. Let’s get clear here so that we can start the work. When you allow your powerful self to fully embody the Divine Being you are, there is nothing to shy away from. In fact, when we are fully allowing our whole selves to work effortlessly in guiding our lives, all except love instantly falls away. You don’t have to worry about a job you hate or having no money because when you walk with the knowing that you Create your life, you are the ultimate Witch, you can harness all the Magic, NOTHING is off limits, there is only one truth : YOU. All is simple when you are fully living in the integrity that you came to live. The Path is clear. The Path is easy. Get on it. ALL becomes part of the journey.

Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey.

Growing up in the deep south in the first town slaves were brought to America, I experienced the fullness of my embodiment early on. VERY early on. The soil on which I was raised had been blessed and cursed for centuries… and my roots went even deeper than that. The church was scared of my fierce beauty and truths. I had regular migraines and hallucinations which took me out of my body and into the other realms. I saw dead people. I spoke to the non-human entities. The spirit realm were my cohorts. I didn’t understand the human limitations. It wasn’t until I rejected my human self (little s) and decided to step into my Sacred Self that I discovered how easy it was AND FUN to live this human life. I now channel and work in many realms while fully enjoying this Angela body. Being a witch is my favorite way to live. Being woman is the greatest gift I ever gave myself.

Ayana Young, Laughing with the Trees.

2 years ago, I found myself desperate for something I couldn’t put my finger on. I have had this feeling my entire life, off and on, that I was missing something really important. I experienced it as intense loneliness, deep grief, and an inescapable feeling of isolation and disconnection. I know that I am not the only one who feels this at times.

I found myself bumping up against these questions:

What fucking matters?

Is there some sort of spiritual path I should be following?

Where did I come from? Who are my people? Where is my homeland?

How do we make right that as a culture, we are so destructive and un-appreciative of this land that holds us? 

How do we fight for the earth that we love so deeply that sustains us and allows us to survive?

Where do we begin to cultivate the strength to look the crisis of of this earth straight in the eye without losing all hope? 

How can I raise my kids in this world with truth and reverence and an understanding of the fragility of our future lives on this changing planet?

Big Questions.

I was being called towards activism, and to the earth, and to some sort of spiritual experience, and I had no idea where to begin.

From the depths of the Russian Taiga, deep in the Boreal forests of the northern woods, a seed was planted long ago. Generations and migrations later, this seed showed up in full bloom, in the form of Ayana Young.

Have you ever been around someone who speaks profound truth in a simple, straightforward way so much that they catch you off guard and make you question what took you so long to see the light? That is what Ayana has been for me. In metaphor, meeting her and following her Earth Action work has been a light at the end of a dark existential tunnel.

Today, I want to honor Ayana Young as being a light and a bridge for so many of us from our own hearts back into the land from which we came. She is the facilitator of a beautiful space where the origin stories of earth love are contained. She is a mother of the wild, a mother of girl dogs, and a laugher with the trees.

Ayana is the creator of For The Wild ( formerly Unlearn and Rewind ) where she hosts podcasts which feature front lines earth activists, indigenous leaders, healers, authors, and politicians and engages them in conversations from the heart on issues related to radical earth renewal.

These conversations take us from the trees, to the oceans, to ancestry, spirituality,  politics, indigenous wisdom, anti-oppression, colonialism and de-colonization, the magic of mycelium, wild horses, psychology, death, birth, renewal, despair, and deep into the roots of the earth and the love that brings us to want to protect her. Activism rooted deeply in love, activism which deeply inspires.

Through these conversations, we learn that to act as stewards and protectors of the planet, we have to be able to understand all of nature as ‘being’, existing in more than just a physical form but in soul and in relationship to all other beings.

Within these relationships, there is a beautiful opportunity to live in reciprocity, give and take. There is an opportunity to lean in to the feelings of kinship we may feel with the natural world. To reconnect and find soul and earth healing medicine in these simple, beautiful connections. And to let them inspire us to act in protection and support of the earth from a place of deep love.

Through Ayana Young and the conversations on For The Wild, many of those questions of existential despair have been answered for me.

I am reminded that any path that leads us from our hearts into the land that we walk and all of it’s creatures is a path worth following. This path leads us to a deeper place within ourselves, and within the web that connects us all. This path leads us to live with more regard and in deeper reciprocity with our natural world. This path leads us away from loneliness and despair and it inspires a sort of activism that grows from a place of love, the sort of love that is needed to be able to keep pushing forward and finding solutions.

Ayana’s work reminds us that every act of love to the earth we walk is activism, and every minute we spend nurturing our own heart connections with the land is healing for both parties. Laughing with the trees, crying with the snails, praying, watering, nourishing and building relationships with the wild.

That is my love letter of the day. I had the pleasure of visiting with Ayana last week when she came through town. We had a lovely afternoon, chatted and laughed and then we visited some of my favorite trees and adorned them with flowers.

We talked about her upcoming Sisters Bonded in Action Webinar series with Spirit Weavers which feature women in activism speaking on the topics of:

Power, Oppression and Intersectionality featuring Barbara Jefferson

Decolonizing and Reclaiming Indignity featuring Jade Begay and Lyla June

Dismantling Systemic White Supremecy featuring Mollie Crittenden & Rain Crowe

Exerting and Expanding our Rights featuring Yasmin Christopher

Direct Action from the Grass Roots featuring Malia Hulleman

and Keeping Sane and Active amid Mass Psychosis featuring Joanna Macy

I highly suggest signing up for this series.

I got to braid Ayana’s hair, finally;) and also give her a little trim and some rose oil. Her braids brought out her inner Taiga Teenager, reminiscent of the Old Country and the sweetness of youth (her last name is Young, after all) I tried my best to encourage her to get deeper into self-care, something that can be hard for those who throw their hearts so deeply into their work. We truly cannot pour from an empty vessel. 

I fell in love with her sweet dog daughter, and she got to meet my human daughters. She left me with a full heart, a shit ton of hope, and 2 half-gallons of strawberry kefir from the farmer up the road from her land in the woods of Northern California.

xo.

 

 

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