Chapter News

Mourning the New Dark Age
and A Call to Embrace our Collective Power

Hollie Oakes-Miller
October 17, 2019

For most of the half a century since I was birthed on this planet that we call Earth, I’ve been in mourning, though it would take me decades to realize it.

As a very young child, I saw ads on TV depicting starving children, and animals that were on the edge of extinction. My heart broke, and I began to mourn, which I now understand is ultimately a never-ending process in this new dark age.

As a lifelong reader and learner, I daily come upon stories that describe the multitude of ways that our world and its human and non-human inhabitants, and ecosystems, are being harmed.

I’ve always had an overpowering connection to, and have felt compelled to be a voice for, our Earth Mother. A friendly nudge when I was in college set me on a path to become a geologist and teacher of Earth Sciences. As my knowledge of the Earth System grew, so did I learn the many ways that this system that gives us life is threatened.

Social media brought systemic oppression into mainstream discussions and allowed me to “listen” to diverse voices and communities. I watched and read about thousands of instances of police brutality and hundreds of mass murders. I learned the myriad of ways that black and brown people, womxn, and those who identify as LGBTQ and disabled, are harmed and killed. I also found words for my own lived experiences, words like generational abuse and trauma, gaslighting, anxiety, depression, PTSD and more.

At first, I did not see the connection between all of these issues, but later I would. All of this trauma demands to be healed. But it wasn’t until a few years ago I was given a clue of how I might start that process. To heal we first need to learn the histories of our ancestors and the traumas that are recorded in our DNA. Traumas we experience to our very bones.

What I discovered on that journey was that before this world was colonized, womxn were the highly revered caretakers of the land, the Earth, our Mother. I believe we are being called to take up that responsibility once again. The evidence of this exists all around us.

Every month since 1977 has been warmer than average and the effects of climate change are increasing at an exponential rate.

Every day brings new images of the environmental disaster that industrial capitalism, colonization, and imperialism have wrought. Our old-growth forests cut down, our waters polluted and choked by oil spills, chemicals, and plastic. All for the profit of a few at the expense of the many.

Last summer we watched a mother orca carry her dead calf around for 17 days, as if she wanted us to bear witness to our dying ocean.

This summer, we watched as our world burned from the Amazon rainforest to the forests in the Arctic, Africa, and Siberia. We also watched as untold numbers of salmon died as they tried to make their way up hot, low flowing streams to their home waters to spawn.

The theme that connects all of this is the Imperialist Capitalist Patriarchy we live under, which has left us dead, raped, broken, traumatized, and polluted. Mother Earth and their systems have suffered equally, and are threatening to break to our detriment. We need to reconnect ourselves to the Earth which gives us life, and also to our pre-colonial histories seeped in reverence for the Earth and the feminine. We need to collectively rise into our power as the caretakers of this planet and dismantle the capitalistic system and all of its tools; imperialism, colonization, patriarchy, racism, ableism, and homophobia.

A world order that lives regeneratively with our Earth and supports all working class people is still possible. Join us and together we can build a world for everyone.