A Stranger Haven Podcast
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Podcast

Episode 1: Wetiko (2017)

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth as ‘wild.’ Only to the White man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was the land infested by ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it ‘wild’ for us.
— Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle

Wetiko, an Algonquin word, describing a form of cannibalism transmitted by a mindbodysoul virus.  Once infected, the carrier becomes a cannibal that consumes all of the life around it until there is nothing left.  It fails to see interconnection; it fails to acknowledge that it, too, is part of an ecosystem that must be balanced. 

For more information on Wetiko, click here.

Most of us in the western world carry the virus.  We transmit it through our dreams and culture, and it hides in our blindspots, thrives on our separation from the land and from each other.  It traps us in the materialist cage of the American Dream.

We trade clean water and fertile soil for the ability to eat any food, from anywhere in the world, year-round. We  buy, consume, and throw away more in a year than whole villages of our ancestors consumed in a lifetime.

Wetiko creates a world where the gap between the haves and the have-nots has never been greater.  

In the year 2017, a dark force rose in America and many other parts of the western world.  Those of us who are rational, who see beyond the political grandstanding and rhetoric, watch in horror as control of our institutions is handed over to the worst among us.  And though it is easy to point to these Charismatic Leaders as harbingers, they are merely symptoms of a cultural network that gave them power to begin with (you will never get a new result by just changing the leaders if you don't also change the system that gives them power).  In this dark era, the few safeguards we have in place to provide for the weak, to educate every human so that they might have some autonomy in their lives, to protect the last of our wild places, will fall.  Wetiko will feed.

In this new America, scientists and park rangers go rogue--defying the orders of their bosses, funneling years of work and data to sympathetic professionals in other nations--while the World-Eater-In-Chief slashes the EPA surrounded by fossil fuel billionares and coal miners sick with a myth a self-hood that never existed for them.

If you repeat a lie often enough, people begin to believe it.

War has already been declared.  All of us are the enemies now.  .

Let us dance with thought-forms through a deeper understanding of ethics, knowing, and being, and the intimate awareness that our individual minds and bodies are a part of the collective battleground for the soul of humanity, and indeed, life on this planet. And let us re-embrace the ancient futures of our Indigenous ancestors that represent the only continuous line of living in symbiosis with Mother Nature. The dissolution of wetiko will be as much about remembering as it will be about creation.
— Alnoor Ladha, Martin Kirk

So, what do we do in the face of such uncertainty?  Do we allow ourselves to be coddled by the fake opposition of a fake #resistance led by politicians who do no better on the issues that matter when they are in office themselves?

Tracklist

  • Preparation of Plant Remedies/Honoring Fire—Shipibo Shamans

  • Mexico 1 —Mujer Lakota

  • Empathy Box (Hypoxia Mix) —Drumcell, Hypoxia

  • No Lite (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Dreammachine Mix)—Blanck Mass, Genesis P-Orridge

  • Ayahuasca—Porangui

  • Donald J. Trump's Swearing In—A Stranger Haven

  • Nautilus—Anna Meredith

  • Mirrors (Third Chakra)—Glen Valez

  • Father King—Emancipator

  • Hallelujah Money—Gorillaz, Benjamin Clementine

  • Yaririririndin—Kike Pinto

  • Ayahuasca/Beauty of the Feminine—Shipibo Shamans

  • Icarando a la Ayahuasca—Norma

  • Runaljod—Wardruna

  • 4 Degrees—Anohni

  • Endangered Species

  • Tribus—Antonio Fernandini

  • Cleansing of the Heart/Sleep Protection—Shipibo Shamans

  • Connecting Dreams—Jim Sims

Or do we fight back by claiming our own autonomy, by ridding ourselves of wetiko one individual at a time, by building networks that support and sustain humans and ecosystems alike?

In the past year I gave up a career and made a host of irrational choices for my own health.  I was sick with Wetiko, sick with life in a systems whose values I do not share, sick with personal demons hidden by my own complacency in that dying system.  I had to fix myself.  One of the choices I made was to travel twice to the Peruvian Amazon to work with indiginous Shipibo shaman in ayahuasca ceremonies.  These ordeals have been the most challenging of my life.  I will not, here, narrate the details of my ordeal, but those ordeals shaped the music I am offering to you today.

I went to Peru for healing, but I refused to fall into the traps of so many western seekers--I was not after some cardboard "enlightenment," some gussy-uped version of the law of attraction that would justify my own complicity, materialism, and consumption.  From my view, we are at war with Wetiko--the virus that is melting our glaciers, spoiling our air and water, turning our world into a toxic wasteland.

Awareness of the disease can lead to its cure, but here in the west we choose, instead, to stay asleep and keep dreaming of a world where some tech billionaire, some new technology, some untapped 'resource', will save us from ourselves.  But only we can save us from ourselves. It begins with awareness.

The music in this mix, which I am choosing as the first episode of my new podcast, is the result of a year of meditation in my time after Peru.  My intention here is to create a battle cry, one that will wake us to our sleeping selves and the plight of the world around us.

If we are enlightened, what good is our enlightenment if it does not lead us to fight?  The world is burning, the glaciers are melting, the oceans are rising, great tidal waves of plastic wash ashore on even the most remote islands in the world.  Our mother is sick, and there isn't much time left for us to wake up. 

We need to wake up.  This is an alarm to wake us from our dreaming.

Series 1John Wright