The Singing the Bones class with Lydia Violet, and Leah Song from Rising Appalachia, was a deep dive into the history, stories, songs, and cosmology that came before me…. that made me who I am.
They guided us in exploring the cultural inheritance of one of our ancestries through researching myths, folktales, archetypes, musical instrumentation, and song. By the end of the 6 week course, I had a deeper understanding of the cosmologies/myths/stories held within my cultural lineage. I saw so many connections to my Annishinabe heritage and my Scottish Celtic heritage. I was also able to redefine what having a relationship with my ancestors means for me.
Music as Medicine
The Music As Medicine Project (MAM) was created by Lydia Violet Harutoonian, M.A, lifetime musician and dedicated student of Joanna Macy’s. While pursuing her Masters in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Lydia entered an in-depth study of some of the history and perspectives that have generated our current planetary crisis. For the past 9 years she has studied closely with deep ecology elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy, learning how we can metabolize our pain and care for the world into profound resilience and energy for action. She is also an accomplished musician who is deeply inspired by folk, blues, and protest music traditions.
We are a collection of all the actions, thoughts, and experiences of those who came before us.
I decided to research my fathers heritage, Scottish Irish German, as I have been very much involved with digging deeply into my mothers heritage, Ojibwe. I have always felt like the magic in me comes from my native heritage. Though I have learned a lot through researching Scottish Irish and German heritages… the Celtic people were very magickal.
Uncovering more information about the cosmology of the Celtic people, I found so many similarities to Ojibwe teachings. From drums, rattles, turtles, and ceremonies. It was a huge realization again, that we are all connected and everything comes from within.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the class, it was so amazing hearing everyone’s journey and being inspired by everything that was uncovered.
“People do meditation to find psychic alignment. That’s why people do psychotherapy and analysis. That’s why people analyze their dreams and make art. That is why some contemplate tarot cards, cast I Ching, dance, drum, make theater, pry out a poem, and fire up their prayers. That’s why we do all the things we do. It is the work of gatherings all the bones together. Then we must sit at the fire and think about which song we will use to sing over the bones, which creation hymn, which re-creation hymn. And the truths we tell will make the song…
…The old woman sings over the bones, and as she sings, the bones flesh out. We too ‘become’ as we pour soul over the bones we have found. As we pour our yearning and our heartbreaks over the bones of what used to be when we were young, of what we used to know in the centuries past, and over the quickening we sense in the future, we stand on all fours, four-square. As we pour soul, we are revivified. We are no longer a thin solution, a dissolving frail thing. No. We are in the ‘becoming’ stage of transformation.”– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
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