A red dress hangs in a gnarled hemlock tree, hovers in stillness, at an arms distance from the chain link fence that surrounds the elementary school playground. Her presence disrupts the impersonality of the fringe.
It was a gift to sit in circle last weekend with a collective of strong-hearted women, who have stepped into leadership and co-creation to open to the Divine Feminine way. These steps forward are on behalf of our whole human family and for systemic change. In these mastery weekends, we immerse ourselves in energy work and ceremony, creating with focused intent and beauty the sacred space necessary to hear and heal the stories of our mothers, sisters, and our daughters. But our efforts do not end when we close directions and dismantle the altar. This is where the work begins, at the ground level of our communities.
The REDress Project is a movement created by Jaime Black, a Métis multidisciplinary artist and art mentor. As she explains, the intent is “an installation art project based on an aesthetic response to this critical national issue” of the atrocious disproportionate rate of murdered, missing and abused Indigenous women and children in our country. The dresses are hung in public and natural spaces to provoke and create awareness. One of the ways that we are participating in social change is through art in action. Christine spoke to this in our closing circle, “This is an aspect of your sacred art that is in service to the world. Allow yourself to be seen through your art. Let it touch others and move them. Their story is a response.”
A red drum sits on the windowsill of the Yoga Studio, downtown. The mountain that stands tall behind Her is out of focus. But to the hearts that have been beneath its shelter, Siam Smanit, or Stawamus as it is known to many, offers refuge in its presence.
Last weekend, we listened with open hearts to the teachings that came through one of our Indigenous teachers, Chelsie McCutcheon, a Wet’suwet’en from Witset in Northern B.C. Chelsie’s work in the world is rooted in belonging and worthiness. With brave vulnerability, she is an ally and an advocate spreading awareness through her story of the realities of the ongoing loss, devastation, and grief for the communities along the Highway of Tears. What I took away from listening to her sharing is the reclamation of our right to be here, to occupy space as women, and to have our voices heard.
Chelsie has evolved the medicine of the Red Moon Mystery School into her Red Drum Project. These sacred instruments are created with the intent to spread awareness and to hold a healing space for family members who have lost a loved one and for the victims of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. These drums are calling us all to respond. In our opening, Lydia Williams, one of our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh nation ambassadors, played her red drum and led us in the Women’s Warrior song. The joining of our voices was raw, unbridled beauty. We sang for all generations beyond our bloodlines with power and faith. The evolution of the Divine Feminine way is through our capacity for responsiveness. Where are you engaging or disengaging? When do you choose to withhold or serve? For whose benefit?
It is time to lean into the support of the collective and serve on their behalf. Be seen through your art. Let your heart songs be heard.