A couple of years ago I became compelled to speak out on social justice, and making the transition from visual artist to full-time writer was not such a difficult thing! There is no shortage of serious issues facing us today, and for finding one’s footing as a non-fiction writer, I highly recommend engaging with history or contemporary events to hone both your craft and critical thinking skills. In terms of my own process, embracing Nature Spirituality and the teachings of First Nations elders and community peoples has always been important, and at a gathering hosted by Trent University in 2010, I heard an Elder say that “everyone needs to get back to their own indigenous knowledge.” Like a lightning bolt from the blue (!) this simple statement activated a monumental set of questions about my own life, and issues in the wider society – questions of denial, obfuscation, white privilege, identity, boundaries and Settler Colonialism – issues that I was duty-bound to investigate, and in some cases track down to a final conclusion. Why were my kindred spirits in the spiritual community assuming First Nations identities or taking cultural and spiritual property that did not belong to them, and where were our own indigenous expressions as European people? Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community is the result of exhaustive research on eco-identity, along with my own nature-based observations, conclusions, evocations, poetry and illustrations.
In the course of writing Ancient Spirit Rising I began to realize that having a spiritual focus in life includes social and environmental justice, and by not engaging in activism on behalf of oppressed peoples and the other-than-human world we are not reaching our full potential. Ancient Spirit Rising offers diverse strategies and practices for increasing our solidarity with Turtle Island First Nations (our “co-existence in co-resistance”), discovering alternatives to common misconceptions, and developing skills for intercultural competency. Working for peace and justice is essential to personal and planetary healing, as is the directive to re-enchant and rebalance the world with a massive injection of holistic principles promoting biophilia and spiritual ecology. Essential to re-rooting ourselves as ecocentric peoples is to fall in love with the Earth again, and to revere the elements, manifestations and creatures in the natural world as sacred. “You cannot destroy that which you love.”
The Great Turning to ecological civilization is happening everywhere, in all sectors of society, and the various knowledge systems and their disseminators are doing a wonderful job. Many of us are finding the value in embracing ethics and lifestyles that reflect our connectivity to the new earth story, and Ancient Spirit Rising offers various ways and means to recover our essential bio-lineage through earthing, rewilding, ecopsychology or visiting Sacred Sites (which we are so fortunate to have access to in Southern Ontario). Our reclaiming process involves the re-inhabitation of place, or getting to know the unique features of our home landscape, and we also have a responsibility to embrace remediation and geo-justice, and to do the hard work of caring for and protecting the land. We all have a part to play in the paradigm shift, and Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community offers exciting guideposts and modalities for the revitalization journey!
About Pegi Eyers
Author-artist Pegi Eyers is the book reviewer for the regional community publication “The Link” (feel free to submit your work!), and she writes about sacred land, indigenous mind and the holistic principles of sustainable living. Pegi lives in the countryside north of Cobourg on a hilltop with views reaching for miles in all directions. With extensive notes and exhaustive references, her brand-new book “Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community” is an essential compendium for change. Available on Amazon or from Stone Circle Press at www.stonecirclepress.com.