As people subjected to 500+ years of forced assimilation, we don’t need to appropriate anyone’s cultures or traditions to respect or reconnect with the spiritual symbology of our relations on Mother Earth – we just need to observe. This observation begins by looking at our relationship to indigeneity in the context of (de)colonization and the pursuit of liberation. Whether we choose to account for black indigenous peoples stolen from Africa or not, and in spite of the very real and deeply rooted anti-black sentiment from colonized Native peoples – indigeneity, first and foremost, begins with the principle of being of and in balance with the Earth.
If we look at black spiritual practices that emerged from the African diaspora, we find that most of these practices today, pay homage to different natural energetic representations of the Earth, through physical landscapes, deities and symbology. If we think of all things as energies or spirits and as a vital part of the web of all that is, we will learn to respect and welcome all the varying degrees of healing available to us from Atabey.
Water, for example, as we all know is fluid, but it is also our life source. Our bodies are mostly water, the Earth is mostly water and it is from water that we are born (*except that these days u cant be too certain about where all these billionaire babies are born from with all this GMO shit, honestly. But thats beyond the point*). If we call on the medicine of water to purify our grieving hearts, to heal our hurt, we are calling on life source energy and may find that after perceiving crying as cleansing, that our hurt feels more tended to. If we offer up our sorrows to Yemaya, or the great mother of the Ocean, we may find that our spirits feel lighter.
Observing how animals relate to their place in the cycle, can be another way to perceive guidance when we need to call on different types of strengths. The lioness, for example, doesn’t have to go around biting the entire Queendom’s head off to “prove” they are the Queen. The lioness just needs to hunt their feed, what it needs to survive, feed their fam, sit back and be protective of their shit, and all animals in the Queendom still know what’s good. Not all calls for a lion either, because there is the eagle and the ants, and the plants! The owl sees in the dark and guides us through the inevitable process of death(night) and rebirth(day). Welcoming the owl, may serve us to let go of what is no longer serving us and allowing grief and regeneration to run its necessary course. Every spirit has its place in the circle, serving as medicine that bring us back into balance and understanding that we are of the Earth, not the machines we’re made to believe we are.