AUTUMN 2011 -

Sometimes life takes us by surprise. Recently I came to hear about The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers ( and right after got the chance to go to Göteborg to listen and learn from two of them - Sámi healer Laila Spik and Hopi elder Mona Polacca. This turned out to be a wonderful, heart-opening, and encouraging experience. They talked about their cultural traditions, about environmental changes, global warming, and the Hopi Prophecy. They talked about not giving into fear, but, instead, keeping awareness of our interdependence with The Four Foundations, as Mona calls them - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

Together with the Spirits, the four elements are very much at the center of the work we do. And when I heard these two women talk about their own life experiences, from being raised in Lapland and the Arizona desert to visiting the other Grandmothers in Asia, Africa, and South and North America, I felt as though I was being reintroduced to the world around me – it was the same world, but expanded.

Returning home, reading about the occupation of Wall Street in New York spreading across the USA (, I saw again how economic growth is directly proportional to environmental destruction. Then word came from Survival International ( about the Belo Monte mega-dam in Brazil which, if built, will flood thousands of square kilometers of jungle, destroying the natural habitat of rare animals, medicinal plants and thousands of people, some of them yet un-contacted tribes.

It’s all the same story – our story. And I remembered the Grandmothers’ words: "Do not give in to fear."

- Jonathan