“The earth is what we all have in common.”
The next mask I want to work on is Pachemama, the name for Mother Earth among indigenous populations of South America. Something really important happened in December of 2010 with the passage of the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia. In Wikipedia's commentary about this remarkable event, the editor notes that "Mother Earth is sacred to indigenous peoples". I was saddened to be reminded, again, that in the so-called modern world, Mother Earth is not sacred. As corporate oil interests (from The Pachemama Allience below) negotiate for 5 million acres of rain forest in Ecuador......I am reminded again that to that mind, nothing is sacred.
I just have to say it. People talk about 2012 and the end of the Mayan Calendar and the "end of days". Here it is. I'm never able to forget that this is the reality going on all around us. Here I am, living in a large city in Arizona, daily shopping for my mother and myself, driving in and out of malls and grocery stores, stuck in the responsibilities and economic realities as anyone else............and meanwhile, I hear always the myriad voices of Pachemama.
As I pull in to parking lots or enjoy the great privilege and luxury of sitting down at a restaurant to choose what I want to eat, people in the highlands of Bolivia are being driven out of ancestral homes by global warming, and the famous snows of Kilamajaro grow less every year, and the blue glaciers of Antarctica fall into the sea, tribal wars intensify in the Sudan as resources become less, another 10 or 20 species becomes extinct ..........and corporate executives in black and white suits sit around expensive tables and discuss cutting down the very lungs of our planet in the Amazonian rain forests. And then they go to lunch.
WE are the agents of "2012", not some apocalyptic punishing father god, or, for that matter, a mythic galactic mother ship either. I remember when Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" came out in 2006.........I've seen this arise all my adult life. The shift in consciousness is also not going to come from some magical source - it's going to come from us, is coming from us, as we understand that we are all a part of Gaia, of Pachemama, and of each other. As we re-sanctify the Earth. And what happened in Bolivia is very hopeful from that perspective.
Law of the Rights of Mother Earth
Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra) is a Bolivian law that was passed by Bolivia's Legislative Assembly in December 2010. This 10 article law was presented by president Evo Morales at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The law defines Mother Earth as "...the dynamic living system formed by the indivisible community of all life systems and living beings whom are interrelated, interdependent, and complementary, which share a common destiny" adding that "Mother Earth is considered sacred in the worldview of Indigenous peoples and nations.
The law enumerates seven specific rights to which Mother Earth is entitled:
- To life: It is the right to the maintenance of the integrity of life systems and natural processes which sustain them, as well as the capacities and conditions for their renewal
- To the Diversity of Life: It is the right to the preservation of the differentiation and variety of the beings that comprise Mother Earth, without being genetically altered, nor artificially modified in their structure, in such a manner that threatens their existence, functioning and future potential
- To water: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of water to sustain life systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Mother Earth and all its components
- To clean air: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of air to sustain life systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Mother Earth and all its components
- To equilibrium: It is the right to maintenance or restoration of the inter-relation, interdependence, ability to complement and functionality of the components of Mother Earth, in a balanced manner for the continuation of its cycles and the renewal of its vital processes
- To restoration: It is the right to the effective and opportune restoration of life systems affected by direct or indirect human activities
- To live free of contamination: It is the right for preservation of Mother Earth and any of its components with regards to toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities.
The Pachemama Allience is working with indigenous partners to resist this new threat. For more information about the situation in Ecuador: