My spine tingled when she said it. Truth Tingles.
“They fired the council of grandmothers. That’s when the bad times began.”
My indigenous teacher, Maria Yraceburu, was talking about how Native American people were changed when modern culture encroached.
Yes, of course it was the violence, the greed, the mechanization of things. Yes, of course it was the introduction of new diseases, of alcohol, of the consumerist-taking attitude towards the earth.
But there was another shift, one that I’d never heard spoken of so clearly.
Maria said that in the older times, the tribe was run by councils.
The women’s council decided how to set up camp, where to garden, food prep, and gathering.
The grandfathers educated the young ones.
The men’s council decided where to hunt, and how to go to war.
But it was the Grandmother’s Council that decided WHETHER to go to war.
The Council of Grandmothers was the highest authority.
The Elder Mothers had final say on the BIG stuff.
Old Women Ruled.
Why the Grandmothers?
The heart of a mother is the one that can decide if it’s really worth it for the warriors, her sons, to die. And the Grandmothers, those elder women who no longer cycled, were now able to hold all that creative power inside themselves.
They were easily acknowledged as the powerful ones. The Wise ones.
Why, then, were the Grandmothers put asunder?
Well, among many of the people, according to this story Maria told me, when the invaders came and the genocide began, the fear was overwhelming. And in that fear, the Council of Grandmothers was set aside.
Now I was in tears. Sobbing. I’m actually crying again as I recount this tale.
Somehow this makes sense to me. Deep heart sense.
The wisdom of the feminine, of the Mother, was set aside.
She is still set aside.
Yet this is the potent nurturing wisdom that we need in these times, to bring balance.
We are still in that mode of terrified desperate defense, so we put the elder ma on the sofa, medicate her, demean her, and ignore her.
Who would we be now if the Grandmothers Council were honored?
Yes, we’ve had the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers who’ve traveled around the world, holding this space. And there are many indigenous elders doing great work, protecting the remaining forests, holding their cultural heritage, sharing the stories and lessons, including my own Tlish Diyan shima, Maria Yraceburu.
But what if there was a larger movement to hear our elder mother wisdom holders, the ones who our modern culture tends to sedate and ignore?
I’m pleased to say that many of the women I’ve coached in intuitive business in my Academy are bringing forth this kind of wisdom, empowering grown-ass women who have forged a way through the meno-passage to step up in their wisdom years as leaders, teachers, guides. I feel so fulfilled when I imagine all the elder powerhouses that are rising up, due to my clients going out into the world and empowering them!
Want more elder ma wisdom, and good news about the second half of wisewoman life? Check out my podcast episodes with Sue Boardman, Arianne Schurmann, Nadia Kraus, Dr. Rita Marie Loscalzo, Wendy Phillis, and more.
I have this sense that our denigration of deep feminine power is what is killing us.
We need to get back to the place where we recognize the truth.
Old Women Rule.
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