Category Archives: Activism

Gimmie Shelter

I believe in the power of dreams and collective dreaming. In these mythic times, we have the opportunity to harvest our most sacred dreams. In Gimme Shelter, I share with you  a direct prophecy that traveled across time to awaken me in the middle of the night.

Gimme Shelter
“ A story is the shortest route between a human and the truth ” Robert Moss

Opening Salvo- Act 1
Featuring Mick Jagger as Bard

1:30 a.m. I am startled awake. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is screaming the opening verse of “Gimme Shelter” into my ear. “ There’s a storm that’s threatenin’, my very life today. If I don’t get some shelter, ooh I’m gonna fade away. Oh, children, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”

In the space of a breath, I am catapulted back to 1969, which marked my coming of age. The urgency of Gimme Shelter’s lyrics, written about the demise of the 60’s counterculture, ripped off the mask of the status quo to reveal the collective shadow, the illusion of a just democracy and along with it the remnants of our youthful idealism.

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very streets today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way
Fire children,
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

In 1964 young Civil Rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner are abducted and murdered by the Klu Klux Klan in Mississipi. The streets of Mississipi are burning.

The words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy ignite us with a vision of freedom and equality for all people. In 1968 they are assassinated within 2 months of each other.

“War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away”

The Vietnam War. We rally, we protest “ Hell No, we won’t go! ”, we commit acts of civil disobedience. In 1970, thirteen Kent State students are shot and four die at the hands of the Ohio National Guard.

We march on Washington. We burn American Flags. In 1972 we watch in horror the searing image of 9 year old Kim Phuc, naked, fleeing from her village in Vietnam after a napalm attack incinerated her village, her clothes, her skin, and ultimately her soul.

We fall into a dreamless sleep… which lasts for 50 years.

Act 2. The Corona Virus.
Featuring Donald Trump as the mad bull
Covid 19 as monster
Ourselves as children
Covid 19 vaccine as savior

“Ooh, the floods is threat’ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I’m gonna fade away
Oh children, It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away”

We awaken to a living nightmare. Our umbilicus has been cut and we have been separated from our true mother. Pachamama. We suck on the teats of cows raised on factory farms. We have become orphans. Over the course of a half century, this forced separation has resulted in global warming, climate change, contamination of life-giving waters, the eradication of 60% of the earth’s wildlife, the loss of 20% of Amazon forests, the melting of the polar ice caps.

In this apocalyptic realm, a red-eyed mad bull roams the realms of social media, lost and spewing toxic fumes via Twitter.

Enter the Corona Virus, a modern day Godzilla. The name fills us with terror. It brings suffering and death. No one is immune. It is our mortal enemy. We flee, screaming. Sobbing and alone, we cry, “who will save us?”

“It’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away”
“There, there children”, big pharma says. A savior is coming.
It’s just a shot away. It is a vaccine. It will cure everything. Hush now. Go back to sleep. Take shelter.
Obedient children, we take shelter.

Act 3. Sheltering in Place
Featuring Covid 19 as prophet
Pacha mama as our mother
Nature as our teachers
Us as Awakened Souls

Interconnectedness of lifeIn taking shelter, something miraculous unfolds. Devoid of external distractions, we begin to notice that sun rises to ignite our inner fire, the trees speak to us. The wind purifies us. Bees, hummingbirds make love to flowers. Flowers sigh and bloom and fill our senses with sweet fragrances and sacred patterns. The waters run cleanly and swiftly. Birds sing sweet songs of awakening, and the stars, so clear now, remind us where we came from. The four-leggeds emerge, bringing messages that are so clear that we cannot fail to know this truth. The Earth is not our property. She does not belong to us. Fear, greed, hatred flourish so long as we perpetrate this myth. We belong to her. We are all related and we have strayed far from home. We have awakened.

“Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”
“Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”

From this place of awakened consciousness, and from a place of interconnectedness, we find the courage to turn and face our nightmare. We are not children. The corona virus is not the cause of our suffering. The promise of a vaccine will not save us. We are not orphans. The Earth is our Mother. We are family. We belong to each other.

Closing Act. Emergence
Featuring love as Truth
The Kiss as Sacrament

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” Irish Proverb

“I tell you love, sister, it’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away”
This is not a fairy tale with a happily ever after ending. We are in epic times and it is only through finding shelter in each other that we may just make it through.
Will we choose the shot? Or the kiss?
As co-creators of the Collective Dream, the choice is up to us.

Gimme Shelter
Rolling Stones:
Playing for Change:

All Our Relations–Making a difference in the world through spiritual wisdom in action

“Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating…. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods…Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”

― Linda Hogan, Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

Wičháȟpi HinápȟA (Lakota- Emergence)

Oceti Sakowin Camp, Standing Rock,

North Dakota, December 2016

The elemental forces have called me, waking me from dreamtime and I have answered yes. One week later, I find myself in Cannonball North Dakota, in the midst of a fierce blizzard, joining thousands  who have also been called to join in the protest against the installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A long time social justice activist, and a teacher of Sacred Activism, this model of action inspired by prayer, offerings and ceremony, this diverse community formed through our love for the pachamama ignited in me a promise to carry this work forward no matter what the outcome. The sacred fire was tended to, always in the presence of the elders. There was praying, the daily predawn gatherings at the frigid riverbank to make offerings, there was divination, there was music, there was dancing, so much dancing. And singing. Dancing and singing and falling and rising again. And always the chant: Mitákuye Oyás’in- a phrase from the Lakota language:.  “We are all related,” , “All my relations.”.

I was ignited and forever changed. As an outgrowth of this experience, my colleagues Sharon Oxendine & Sheila Pride are honored to offer All Our Relations, Spiritual Wisdom in Action, a three day retreat held on the campus of Warren Wilson College, October 25-27, 2019 which offers a new model of constructive, collaborative action, weaving together the principles and practices of Sacred Activism, Yoga, Qi Gong, First Nation and Andean peoples and breakthroughs in Neuroscience.

All Our Relations Incorporates the principles of sacred activism put forth by  Andrew Harvey, weaves together the paths of the mystic and the activist and binds them together in spiritual passion and sacred purpose.

Sacred Activism is a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world. The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants.

Compassion in action begins first and foremost with embracing radical practices for self-care and healing. Participants will experience the need to embrace their innate compassion,wisdom and resilience in order to take effective Sacred Action.
Scholarship funds are available to eligible participants.

For more information, to register and/or become a donor/sponsor visit: or e-mail Suzannah.