Category Archives: spiritual ecology/ecofeminism/ziraat

Being With Ancestors


And we too shall be ancestors…. With the startling colors of autumn as we come upon Samhain/Halloween/the Day of the Dead– time of ancient sacred traditions at the cross-quarter mark between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, we experience the world-shaking importance of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland , next week. As I see this conference as an important part of the struggle to save at least some of Earth’s miraculous capacity to produce and sustain Life, I bring the ancestors into my consciousness–blood relatives of mine going back millions of years, all other human ancestors, and all forms of Life which have existed on this indescribably wondrous globe.


Ingredients: One womb, varying fragments of Earth, such as soil, salt, clay, minerals, fungi, parts of plants and animals, spit, stream water, a huge amount of beautiful soul, DNA of sperm, DNA with whole egg–and passion. Before gathering the above, sit in Nature and invite as many ancestors of all kinds, as you can hold in your reality. Ask for their wisdom as you set upon creating this Earthling. After this thank the ancestors for their guidance. Then while concentrating on the sacredness of your task, search for the ingredients and put them in your basket. Next, except for the womb, mix all together in a wooden bowl and add enough extra soil so it becomes dry enough that you can mold it. Fit it carefully and gently into the womb and store in a dark warm quiet place for about nine months. The Earthling should then be helped with great care out of the womb and be nurtured and loved.

I have long been concerned about our society’s seeming lack of respect and devotion to the ancestors–this of course exempts those who do regularly bring ancestors into their consciousness. I seem to be one of these people despite not being Indigenous, Black, Asian, or a member of another group doing this. Ancestors are just with me, and sometimes my relationships with the dead can seem stronger than when the person was alive; they are alive in me. And sometimes I experience especially close relatives, in my expressions, appearance, words, sense of humor, singing, moving, my special interests and loves.

At COP26 in Glasgow will the participants invite the ancestors for guidance, and for the wisdom and caring of all past generations? Surely there is some ingredient that can awaken our species — not just much of the populous, but all the leaders, the “powerful,” to the fact that we all sit on the precipice, at this moment, gazing at the end of most Life, of reality around us. And we can change the picture in front of our gaze–that is the amazing challenge. How can we not be stirred to the depths or our souls and commit to paint the picture we want to see?!

Greta Thunberg is one young person who is awake and dedicating herself to being the global crier, bless her. Joanna Macy has devoted her work to showing ways for us to heal into the blessedness of this Life, this sacred Earth. Many organizations in many places are putting the planet’s future as a priority. What seems something very necessary is for borders to be torn down: we cannot mend these issues separately, with contradicting priorities. For the first time in thousands of years we have no reasonable choice but to act as one human body. Can we do that? One would think the answer would be “yes!” to such a life or death matter. Yet what have we done together to meet the issues of environmental disasters, refugees and forced migrations, poverty, violence, hatred, corrupt corporations and governments, the military monster that enfolds the world, the misunderstandings and hatred–the greed? Fear grips much of humanity, and the destruction of habitable land, of water resources, of the oceans, and the reality of conditions that propagate pandemics do nothing to mitigate the fear.

Fear can lead to more violence and conflict–can inflame hatred already there. Yet the ancestors are always with us, ready to answer our calls for help. At this cross-quarter time in our northern hemisphere as many plants show their colors before the leaves drop, as the bears fill their stomachs to be ready to hibernate, it is said that the veils between the seen and unseen worlds drop. It is an ideal time to be with the ancestors, to listen to their guidance, feel their caring; we can assume their lives were lived in ways they felt would help those to follow. Earth Herself can bring the ancestors to us: we know that Nature arises from the dust, the flesh and guts, the brains which the ancestors left and that we in turn will leave. In some there appears a distancing from Nature, from the feminine. The blood and guts of the feminine task of birthing, the final decisive ending of death, are functions of Nature as feminine. If we harbor a friendly embrace of this feminine Nature, there is no separation of death and birth. I could not have been born but for this slimy smelly stuff which includes the birth and death of my ancestors.

This all becomes a Sacred being-ness that envelops our lives. The fear of death is the fear of the feminine and of Life. Inside the fear of life humans can become unable to flower into their potential being. In a Chisti sufi explanation, the Arabic Ya Hayy (Ya indicates a calling-in of the power of the following word) points to the Life Energy which Neil Douglas-Klotz writes is an energy hidden deep within us that “…infuses the air we breathe ….” He states the sufis would say our preoccupation with our own “…concerns, hopes, and fears blinds us to the life energy moving around and through us.”1 In The Physicians of the Heart this term is called the “life principle that never dies” which is “…the living presence of everything, whether it is dead, alive, animate, inanimate, material, spiritual, or anything in-between.”2 Having a close spiritual relationship with this Life Force which is a part of us and in all else, can mean coming AWAKE to this critical moment. And with this we do not fear death, and do not hide from Life with its potential for us to manifest all to which we aspire.

It is my deep hope that the COP26 will not ignore the parts played by the pandemic and by war and nuclear weapons in today’s crisis. All these threatening conditions in the world now are connected, and exist by human means. It could be that the very fact nations store, build, and sell nuclear weapons just takes us further down the hole of separation from the Life force and the will to make needed changes. Having the constant terror of such weapons can give the sense there is no use, anyway. The dictator’s inhumanity, the corrupt billionaire’s greed, starving refugee children, the homeless, the oppressed, the reluctance of some governments to change the basis of their economies: all are parts of the greater challenge. Humanity can recognize itself as one family, and as we have not prepared for this, it may have to happen by the shocking realization that it has to be. Perhaps only shock could have the power to break open unconscious fears in such sudden fashion (I shall go more into these fears in another blog piece I am writing). “Enemies” would become working partners, insecurities would be swept aside for the sake of global cooperation. Weaponry can be destroyed along with the make-believe world that brings it forth. Feminine nurturing and caring principles would be prominent.

Or we can all just have a picture of us running toward that great extinction, as if it be our only path. Humanity can choose to live for a vision most meaningful, more beautiful and fulfilling, more filled with community, love and compassion. This common Mother, this Earth, can inspire us, as She has with untold numbers of our ancestors, with a passionate love for Her, for Life, for future generations. This can give our present lives the deepest meaning, it will bring us together with people beside whom we never dreamed we’d walk. There is an energy so profound that can come to us if we have the courage to break the many barriers so long constraining our species. We can be constantly in the awareness of miracles and find treasures in our lives everyday.

We can bring the ancestors into our lives anywhere, any time. They can come to us in our breath, in music, in our deepest pain or joy. Nature embodies them emotionally and literally, and many of us find this the favored way to access their love, inspiration, and caring. One can reach out a hand, and that reach will be answered; one can ask for an arm around a shoulder, and that arm will rest there, within the ever present ever-living.

All my relations.


  1. Douglas-Klotz, Neil. The Sufi Book of Life (New York: Penguin Group, 2005) p. 168-9.
  2. Meyer, Wali Ali, Bilal Hyde, Faisal Muqaddam and Shabda Kahn. Physicians of the Heart (San Francisco, CA: Sufi Ruhaniat International, 2011) p. 62.

Photos by the author


Planet of Compassion

Hello, and please allow me to introduce myself: I am a thirty-five year old woman called Emra. My home is on a planet in a galaxy light-years from your planet Earth. We call this planet Delloche, which in English would mean “our school,” because we are born here in order to learn compassion and ways of creating a peaceful working society. Intuitively our next phase, lifetimes from now, will involve us creating the Planet of Love. In order that you may learn something about our life here I shall share some special experiences I have had. We have quite a planetary culture here, so you can assume there would be stories similar to mine all over Delloche. The planet is about 4/5 the size of Earth/Gaia.

Now, you can picture me as somewhat Earthling-like–though my face would be somewhat wider, and I would be around fifteen cm shorter than some women on your planet. We see everyone here as a golden greenish color, and possibly to you we would appear some other color. We have biological groups here who are shorter and stockier than most of us–and they have six toes instead of five; those mate with others with no genetic or social problems. Our feet and toes are more spread-out than yours–and the toes longer. As Delloche’s axis is not tilted, like Earth’s, we have no seasons, but a temperate climate. So of course our days and nights are of equal length year-round. And we have two beautiful satellites orbiting Delloche–one “moon” is a little larger than the other. We call the first Seemur and the other Kithrow.

On Delloche we have occupations, not “jobs” such as you may have. We do not receive monetary payment for our work; all are recognized and honored for their service to the community. All are provided shelter, food, education, healing and other needs. Before we named our planet Delloche, we called it Kerogh, or “Struggle,” as it took many generations before we evolved to this egalitarian state. My occupation is metallurgy– I do research on metals used in manufacturing. My life partner, Tolnap is a history teacher. We have a son Heegholn, who is about nine Earth years in development. He is very interested in other galaxies and planets, such as yours. Heegholn is the one who suggested I communicate with you about us. He somehow connected into Earth internet, studied some conversations Earth kids were having, and became very intrigued with Earthlings and their cultures.

One experience I shall share took place in my hometown, about 200 Earth km from where I live now. I was twenty-one years old and a student in a large university. One day (equal to around 27 Earth hours) I had no classes as it was a “rest” day. I decided to walk the trails that wander through a beautiful forest up to a lake in the hills. The day was gorgeous, warm and bright from our sun, which is larger than yours, yet we are further from it. There was a slight breeze and I put on a comfortable jumpsuit, which is what we wear here most all the time. I took some water and food for snacks in my backpack. As I walked I sang to myself and marveled at the graceful trees with their smaller limbs moving slightly in the breeze. Then coming down the trail toward me was one of the small Dellochians–an elderly woman. Her body was stooped under a huge load on her back. Without thinking much about it, I began to approach her with entoug. Now I must explain: entoug refers to a process Dellochians can and do practice. It involves two people exchanging physical bodies, personalities and histories for a brief time. This takes the mutual consent of both parties, and is done purely for the experience of deep sharing and learning compassion for others. Children learn this process from their families by age twelve, and it is done in schools as a part of learning. Because entoug involves telepathy no words are exchanged; the process takes place gently, automatically and concludes the same way. On the trail I saw a quality in this woman from which I wanted to learn–to me it was dignity. There I was as a young woman and this totally captured me.

Our exchange into entoug was smooth and graceful, and I was thankful she also welcomed the experience. My size gradually decreased to hers and the ground was then closer to my head–which was bent as was my back from the load I knew, being in essence this other person, was books. As this person, whose name was Beisup, I knew these books were treasured as they had belonged to my grandmother. This grandmother had been a well-loved teacher of literature in a large school for young adults, and Beisup had always treasured the books and used them in her work as a historical novelist. Now she wanted to donate them to a school where her grandmother had grown up. One of the books was a biography of one of Delloche’s greatest spiritual teachers, Mukartah, who lived 980 years ago (about 1100 Earth years). This was a time when Kerogh was ending and there were still beings who did not accept equality nor practice compassion on a regular basis. Mukartah and her followers peacefully confronted these people despite the danger of being hurt or even killed. Eventually she was severely wounded by her opponents and spent her later years as an invalid. She never stopped teaching and practicing compassion.

As Beisup I was carrying the books on my back, actually as a way to honor Mukartah; in one of her labor protests she had joined laborers hauling bricks on their backs–refusing to eat or drink until the employers would set them free to live as others here. Mukartah’s demands were finally met because she was so revered those in power dared not let her die of starvation; in our times workers rights are protected. Dellochians feel actual physical pain when they feel guilt.

I noticed that as Beisup with my 80-year-old body bent from the books, the burden was considerably lightened by the love and devotion in my heart and the passion of my conviction. I held a great love for the students who would soon be able to read these books. One was my own great-granddaughter, Cecera, who was very dear to me and whose wish was to become a healer. She also loved music and would charm my heart with the songs she made up in praise of nature. The laughter of this child blessed my days and made my life one of joy. I had knowledge, love, health, and family. Beyond that the novels I have written have helped in the solidification of Delloche’s age of compassion. They are well-read, and they show how lives are transformed in the practice of compassion–in the experience that we are all the same soul, of the same breath of the One Unity. They show the blessings of joy and peace that comes through this practice. As I walk with the load on my back, on my feeble legs, I know what it is like to realize those blessings. Every breath I take seems a wondrous gift of Life. Every leaf on every tree is a recognized blessing of beauty. The fact that this younger woman Emra has wanted to do entoug with me delights me, as she seems thirsty for Life, for learning.

With this I slide out of Beisupls reality and body; I glide back into mine and she into hers. We smile gratefully at each other, and I hold a piece of fruit out to her, which she graciously accepts. Then she takes off her load to search for a book for me–it is by one of my favorite authors, which she know from having experienced my reality.

Some years ago Tolnap and I were looking for some play things for our son. We went to the workshop of a man who made toys of wood and other natural materials. The woman he lived with designed some of the toys and did the finishing work. We talked with them and ended up accepting an invitation to have dinner there. Our boy played with their children within our sight. There was something about this couple’s home that filled me with a powerful sense of security and warmth. Probably because of this suddenly I found that the male toymaker, Koben and I were verging into entoug with each other. Our respective partners would have noticed the signs and allowed us time without trying to engage us otherwise.

As I pooled out of my own body-mind and ventured into Koben’s larger and much more muscular body, I realized I was about seven years older. As I looked out through Koben’s eyes everything seemed different. There was a fuzzy yellow light illuminating all I saw. Auras around others were visible and were wonderfully beautiful to me. My body felt very different. Though my limbs were capable of great endurance and strength, perhaps because of this, the profundity of my relaxed state was greatly pleasing and sensual. I felt pleasure from the rise and fall of each breath; my skin tingled just feeling the air and electricity around me. I could feel warmth emanating from the others in the room. As if from a great distance I could hear the voices of the two still softly talking–which sounded like soothing music. I could feel what seemed like bubbles of laughter and contentment coming from my own heart.

Associated with this was a huge and deep well of loss–loss that made all the joy seem even greater. As Koben I looked into what seemed to be an infinite tunnel of grief. Koben had lost his parents when only four, and the grandparents who raised him were both dead by the time he was nineteen. I (Koben) had cherished these two people in the very center of my being. Through these memories there flashed again and again the picture of a man’s face–a kind faithful face with a loving sparkle in the eyes. This was the other grandfather, who had always had a special love for me and encouraged and given me faith. He was a fisherman, and still living, as was his wife. Without them I may not have been able to live through my losses. Without them I certainly would not have all this contentment now.

My grandfather taught there is no death. He taught me how to communicate with spirits of those who have passed beyond. From him I learned to meditate and to love myself and to love and respect other beings, other Life. He may die some year soon, yet because he has lived well I know we shall continue to be just as close. As Koben I had precious memories of times with my dead parents, and also with a couple childhood friends not seen in many years. I felt that my parents were in a state of serenity and that they were happy for me in my life. The love and caring I knew from them is imprinted on my heart. I am blessed to know my two children do not have losses at this point in their lives as I had. I realize that those losses freed me eventually and taught me that love is the only true reality–the only thing worth living for.

Koben and I came to the end of our entoug and came back to our own bodies. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a colored scarf which I presented to him. He went to a shelf and chose for me a small carving of a pleg, and animal something like your cat. As Tolnap, Heegholn and I left this enchanted home I shared some of what I had gained from being in Koben’s reality. Mainly I realized the experience of KNOWING loss and still feeling so much gratitude for my life. I gained an utter sense of peace and feeling blessed. It was a memorable event, and once something valuable is found during entoug it is integrated more and more in my own life. This is why I am passionate about entoug; and it was also a gift for Koben being inside my reality, as he shared with me.

My son Heegholn considers I am rather unbalanced, due to entoug being so important for me, but he thinks it would be a good selling point with Earthlings. And his passion right now seems to be to get in touch with Earthlings. He has asked that before I sign off I share one more aspect of Delloche life, and that is what happens to people if they end up doing harm to others, even though they live on this planet of compassion.

What happens is that if someone, for example, steals or damages something of value to others, they must live for awhile in a special home until they have done entoug with ten others and reported to the justice committee on what they have learned from this. If the committee is satisfied that there is no likelihood harm will be done in the future the person is free to return home. There are no such things as murder, war, or rape here, and hardly any abuse of others. Even so, transgressions against others are treated very seriously, and cases before the committee are reviewed by many others the community. The only law is that one does not do harm to others, and that includes to animals and ecosystems. If unresolved disputes occur, a third party or group from the community mediates toward resolution. Sometimes this is done as an improvised role-play or dramatic creation. This can happen rather rapidly, or in some cases over a longer period of time. Usually these sessions end with forgiveness, heartfelt apologies, and hugs.

Because such problems are so minor and take up so little of our energy (as Heegholn wants me to point out), we have a lot of energy to to deal with matters such as our environment, health, art, culture and technology–in order to promote wellbeing of all on Delloche. I shall not go into details of all this, just say that compassion is practiced on every level, in every sphere of life–so that living is a celebration carried on everywhere, all the time! We deeply appreciate there are things that some of our ancestors had to sacrifice in order for us to have what we have today. Remember, this has taken hundreds of our years to achieve. We call it “Dellochian nature” to have the momentum toward these values and this way of honoring each other.

My son is a little shy, however I imagine he himself will send the next words you receive from us. One of his fascinations with Earth/Gaia is the variety of expression and social norms which is expressed in your different cultures. He would like to see more variety on our planet: we have just one language, one social construct, one culture. He wants to wear something that is not a jumpsuit, and to hear various kinds of music, learn different dances, experience different works of art and ways of life. Maybe he will start an expressive revolution here someday.

I sit at my desk looking out at the trees, the sky, our sun–and my imagination stretches light years to your beautiful blue and white planet, alone yet not alone in this miraculous universe. We sense there a hunger for leadership, for uniting and healing among peoples. Perhaps some of you will want to contact us here. Heegholn says to give his contact on our internet-like system. Why not try? It may even work somehow: heeg@wink.del

Now I sign off, with sincere good wishes to all of you.