Allies in Despair, Grief, and Loss
Lately, I’ve been doing work with myself around grief, despair, and loss.
As some folks know, my father died this summer, and that has led to layer upon layer of grief and mourning.
But of course we are also living in a world and a nation that is built on injustice and careening toward its own collapse. The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report warns of catastrophic conditions if we continue in the same global warming trajectories. We are living within the Sixth Great Extinction event. Kavanaugh was confirmed as a justice of the supreme court as lawmakers ignored multiple charges of sexual assault.
ongoingness can feel insurmountable.
But we aren’t in this alone.
We have each other.
And we have wisdom from the Earth and from wise-folks who continue to support us in our survival and flourishing. I’m really grateful to Dori Midnight, Asali Earthwork, and How to Survive the End of the World for the resources they continue to share (links below).
I’ve also been working with more-than-human allies, and in particular, this orthoceras fossil that came into my life this summer.
Orthoceras is an extinct species of cephalopod that lived approximately 400 million years ago. They are some of the earliest animal life recognizable in fossil records.
When I sit with this stone, I sit with the traces of ancient life as well as the loss of the species.
I sit with the endurance of earth and the life of ancient waters.
I commune with letting go and also holding on.
I sit with the immensity of deep time and the minerals of my own body that have persisted for millions of years.
I connect to the parts of myself that swam in watery depths before this continent surfaced.
being in connection is healing.
I remember that we are not the first species to face extinction and I am not the first person to experience immense loss.
I sit with the materiality of memory, the nonlinearity of time, and intimacies that form across countless ages.
None of this makes loss or grief or despair go away. rather, it’s a way of being with it, getting close to it, holding it, and caring for it.
As you face your own despair or grief or loss, I hope that you reach out for connections with more-than-human and human allies. You are not in this alone.
-Asali Earthwork, "Herbal Allies for Grief": https://littleredtarot.com/ritual-honey-herbs-for-grief/
-Dori Midnight, “Rituals & Remedies for Hard Times & Political Despair”: https://kpfa.org/episode/the-herbal-highway-october-18-2018/
-adrienne maree brown, "Spell for Grief or Letting Go": adriennemareebrown.net/2014/10/09/spell-for-grief-or-letting-go/
-How to Survive the End of the World podcast, "learning from the apocalypse with grace, rigor and curiosity": https://www.endoftheworldshow.org
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Michael J. Morris is a witch, an astrologer, a tarot reader, an artist, a writer, and a teacher.