HomeAboutMissionCurrent IssueSuscribeeditorialContactJoin Our Email


Woman Spirit Tribe

By Loba & Kiva Rose


We can hear the river singing below our cabins, as we hug our student and guest. She and other women who come here each add a new depth of story to this place, our lives made all the richer when we have special people in our lives to teach and learn from, to be open and emotional with, or to share in a common goal. We’re connected at a deeper than usual level, sharing an intensity of feeling and level hope, allied in personal growth, healing and service, inspiring and sometimes provoking each other to new depths of purpose and love. Rather than being as a family that shares a single home, we are more of a Woman Spirit Tribe, doing what we do in distant and disparate places yet with a sense that we raise our children, do our work, mourn and celebrate together even when hundreds or thousands of miles apart... connected not just to the women we love and know, but to the caring conscious women we may never meet. Whether aware of the fact or not, we’re each connected to the spirits of all the other women throughout time, a tribe with roots grounded in the ancient past, its branches extending out to every existing community. In quiet or special moments, we may tangibly feel our intimate relationship to Gaia, the living earth and all her constituent creatures, and to a long lineage of place holders and dreamers, maidens and wise women and crones dating back to the very beginnings of human kind. This tribe may not share a common hearth or vista, but we still share a common planet and impassioned dream. We are united not just by the sensitivities of our gender, but by our quest for healing and awakening. We can sense each other’s spirits whether close or afar, in this Sister Spirit Tribe: A primal weaving of purposeful women’s hearts on a mission of personal and global wholeness. Women from all over the world are consciously interwoven, manifesting art, and beauty and ritual often focused on celebrating womanhood and women’s gifts and ways. There are ways we can continuously cultivate this sense of tribe, the sharing of our hearts, our goals, our love of magic, and our commitments to that living Earth of which we are each a sensual and responsible part. Here are but a few, and we invite you to add to the list:

1. Fully own our power to create sacred space at every available opportunity.
With our selves, with the earth, and with each other. Ways to create that space include stopping the normal shallow chatter and checking in on each other’s feelings, fears and hopes. Tending fires, baking breads, and stirring pots of soup. Dressing up ourselves and our surroundings together. Sojourning to a wild place in nature, and creating personalized and meaningful ceremony. Coming together in the powerful rituals of the sweat lodge, in all our intensity, tears and laughter. Being there for each other, challenging one another to go ever deeper.

2. Share purposeful prayers and goals.
What do we really have in common? Let’s find out! We need to talk about what our common hopes, dreams, and challenges are so we can give each other support in living our dreams. If we have opportunities to get together, we should make time to address these things, and figure out what we can actually and immediately do to help birth our visions, and practically make our dreams come true.

3. Challenge ourselves, and challenge each other!
We will always encounter obstacles that seem insurmountable at the time. We can help each other see where there are cracks in the imprisoning walls, ways we can shapeshift our realities with each other’s help. Finances, children, disinterested partners? We must not let anything get in the way, and where there is sufficient will there is a way!

4. Honor and serve the land together.
The voice of the Animá and Spirit is heard best through the land, and women’s land-based communities are cropping up all over! Become affiliated with one, start your own, or commit to prayer and service together at a special spot in your local park or on a dead-end road. Create altars, dances and songs inspired by the spirits and beings of these particular places. We can find out about native and invader species in our bioregions, and by spending a little time every day actively healing the earth, we contribute to our own healing as well.

5. Honor each other as teachers.
What are we learning from each other? We can honor all those lessons and gifts, by remembering them and putting them into visible practice. We need to give our sisters all the credit they deserve for all their efforts or accomplishments, for every way they’ve served as an example or inspired us. And we must be sure to tell them so!

6. Be an inspiration to our sisters in every way we can.
Make the time to get to know every aspect of our selves, and to love and be true to that self. To be with Nature, and receive her knowledge through our focused presence.

7. Never take each other for granted.
Show each other as much appreciation as we possibly can at all times, even if it means getting up an hour early to make it happen. Especially when a sister has gone out of her way to make time to serve our process in some way in the midst of her own busy life.

8. Communicate our hurts, and be equally willing to apologize and forgive.
It only weakens our family, tribe and relationships, if we keep things bottled up or swept under the rug. Sisters must be able to be honest about what offends them, to admit where they’ve gone wrong and make efforts to right those wrongs, and for any wronged party to acknowledge these efforts and make the effort to forgive.

9. Share the work as well as the play.
Instead of thinking we are too busy to gather with our sisters, we can invite them over to help out with mundane tasks. We will have a lot more fun and probably get a lot more accomplished if we do our chores together! If mothers have children, that makes focusing on things like sewing or home repairs difficult, they can come together to take turns getting things done and giving the kids attention!

10. Resist the urge to compete, or to compare.
Bodies, jobs, children, boyfriends, partners — we women have a habit of endlessly sizing each other up and figuring we are the lesser or greater in any given situation. Our work is to help our sisters love their bodies and their worthy selves, to discern what is valuable in their lives and learn to treat those people and things well.

11. Help each other to help the men.
Self-knowledge and sisterhood is a blessing to more than just the women. It is important to aid each other’s ability to relate to and assist the husbands, fathers and sons in their lives.

12. Bring the Tribe together.
We need to own our power to make new connections happen — by doing outreach for each other’s skills and projects, sharing creative projects, developing internet communities, organizing events, and creating special women’s time and women’s space.

As we bring this article to a close, we can feel our Woman Spirit Tribe, purposeful hearts interweaving across lands and seas. In our best as well as most difficult times we hear our sister’s voices, not unlike spirits of the ancestors that inhabit this sacred canyon. Together, they whisper in our ears, reminding us to bend down low to the ground, to notice the glowing stone and the magnificence of the flower or spider, to slow down and thank the first flame as the two of us light our wood-stove fire. We are somehow joined in this magic purpose of reconnection, this dance of deep feeling, whole being and creative doing. Together we can feed the fires of our connection, join together to do the hard work, gather in flesh or in spirit in celebration of our common tribal song.

Loba is a purveyor of sacrament and delight, author of the upcoming book “The Enchanted Pantry: Recipes for a More Magical & Flavorful Life.” Kiva is a Medicine Woman teaching online lifeways and plant medicine course, as well as the co-director of an international herbal conference: www.traditionsinwesternherbalism.org, and the author of the acclaimed Medicine Woman Blog: www.bear medicineherbals.com. Together they host grateful guests for wilderness retreats and workshops at the Animá Sanctuary, in the inspirited mountains of S.W. New Mexico. Visit: www.animacenter.org