Some of the major problems that exist in our world or on this particular land mass of Turtle Island ( a traditional name for North America) can be traced back to the points where people ceased to be in harmony, in reciprocity, in intimate connection to the earth underneath their feet.  The almost immediate destruction of the natural environment (and its stewards) here began as people showed up with designs on use and exploitation, opposed to the cultural idea of the visceral intimacy with earth, with nature and with Spirit.  What people did not understand, they did not respect and what they did not respect, they would most easily exploit.  The work of Susan Griffin in "Woman and Nature", Vine Deloria, Jr. in "Red Earth White Lies" and Jan Carew in "Rape of Paradise" illuminates this clearly.

The echoes of indigenous European traditions did come to Turtle Island, but lost out to the constant and crushing force of christianity upon them.  In turn, those people, divorced from their own intimate relationship to land, nature and the spirits of their Ancestors, would set upon the indigenous peoples and traditions of Turtle Island and Africa with a ferocity and systematic approach that was unseen in previous times.  We now live in a world on top of a world.  We see the echoes of ourselves in the patronizing images of Native Americans, Africans and European pagans, heathens and Wiccans that dot and smudge our media and social consciousness.  The modern, digital-technical, machine-world has edged its way into dominance and coerced validation - all in spite of the natural world that lives just underneath our consciousness, more powerfully though as time goes on.  But we are still struggling to come to grips with the negative effects of modern society on our natural world and our sense of closeness to it.

Indigeny and the spiritual perspectives within that diverse human tradition have always given us ways of seeing, feeling and understanding the earth, nature and All That Is in ways that allowed us to live in harmony, successfully and with intelligence in a world of beautiful and varied challenges.

The Turtle Island Initiative is a continuing opportunity to engage, to respect, to acknowledge, to validate, to illuminate our deep and abiding and often estranged relationship with the earth underneath our feet, underneath our consciousness - and to raise important political and social issues that frame and define the presence of diverse populations that now live in a place called the United States of America that has forced its way into a land already full of nations, full of peoples, full of traditions indigenous to and in full respect of the land called "Turtle Island, or Cuscatlan or Abya-Yala". ("500 Years of Indigenous Resistance", Gord Hill, pg.7).  The United States of America lives upon the Ancestral bones of indigenous people and its dominant culture has submerged and attacked the indigenous people and energetics of the land.  The forces of monotheism and christianity in general and the DC40 initiative in particular (spearheaded by the Reformation Prayer Network and the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network) are expressions of that negative force against those that dare to live out the Ancestral traditions that have held humanity in good stead with this Earth in general and this land in particular.

We invite  people to share their perspectives, their experiences, their knowings and feelings here in support of the land, in support of indigenous peoples and the traditions that have fought long and hard to sustain themselves in harmony with All That Is.

May Tenbalu, the feminine Spirit of the Earth, help us to see each other, to be grounded in compassion and caring, to know and then be fully who we are and to validate the reality of those around us.  May we nurture love, acceptance and truth.  May our feet, firmly, but gently standing on the ground, lead us down the path to healing and the acknowledgement of the humanity inherent with us all, the divinity inherent within us all.

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