We Are the Ancestors of the Coming Seasons
Hope is fragile. Precious. Hope catches the light. Splitting the darkness. Revealing your destiny.”
- Aughra, the Dark Crystal, Age of Resistance
I don’t know about you folks, but I’ve been gripped by the excitement of returning to the world of The Dark Crystal since the new series was announced. There are some details I’ve been eager to see updated, like different skin tones on the humanoid gelflings, or a creative retelling of wings and gender. I’ve only watched the first episode, which answered none of my wishes for revamped fantasty storytelling. It did however prompt a thought, sparked by a particular scene involving a family heirloom containing the final wisdom of one gelfling’s mother, and a tithing ceremony in which she is asked to give it up to honor the holy faculty of the collusive Skeksis.
How often have we been asked to give up something that we believe, or that we hold close to our hearts for the false or vague notion of the betterment of the whole? Some people have had to go to extremes to ensure the safety of their traditions, values, or morals. Some turn away from institutions, and some even sacrifice their family ties for the sake of their own path. Through this kind of bravery, we often find a new community based upon others who couldn’t bare to lose sight of themselves, or were not willing to subjugate themselves and others to hatred- or to what they simply felt to be wrong. It does however often come at great cost.
In the case of this little gelfling, she is not only asked to give up a generational talisman - she is asked - rather, forced - to give away her ancestral wisdom. When we do such things, we are forcibly cut off from the ties that make us what we are. So many of us have been left floating without roots to ground us, which is why the calling to rekindle the ancestral flame now cries out from our burning hearts. This call must not be ignored, distracted away, or shrugged off. Our species may rely on this very wisdom buried within our souls. Like rings of a felled tree, we each contain the truths of our past. These are the final parting gifts from our lineage, little statues of truth whispering their collected lessons - and what we will continue to pass on. They’ve perhaps become whittled over the many lost years, but like a living being, they have the chance to grow again anew.
Our methods have failed us, and humanity is going unquestionably mad. Whether discussed openly or not, I’d guess that the majority of us now realize that nothing we’ve come to normalize is actually normal. Celebrity, wealth, poverty, population, our blindfolded relationship with food, the routine abuse of animals, careers and the life that’s drained from them, the system called healthcare, taxes, the deification of money, sensationalized violence, the habitual depletion of natural resources, careening towards potential extinction while maintaining our regular diet of commercialized existence - the list goes on. How could one species sustain so much? Yet the safety net of routine, the day-to-day A to B, is stronger than the impulse to change. In fact, none of us are quite sure how to get off of this ride that we’ve worked so hard to build. We look at the ground longingly, wishing to touch down once again as we’re sure our ancestors had - and close we might come, we’re carried up again in one swift motion, back into the endless loop-de-loop- all at once together and alone.
I don’t have any heirlooms, or even familiar blood relatives to turn to for guidance. I’m an adopted person living in America, having been born in Morocco and of Mozabite roots. These details are small, but I’m blessed to have them. To know any information about who we are and where we come from - any at all - is a sacred key. If used, it is sure to open an inner gate containing a couple more. It’s a manyfolded journey to the self, and as we swim through the layers of spirit, we find that we are not and never have been alone.
This is a time of change in more ways than one. As the days carry on their pace towards autumn, the morning and evening winds begin reminding us of the coming months, and the promise of a sacred death and rebirth. This oncoming season of stillness is but another turn of the wheel. The planet spins, and we spin with her. How we approach the chance to hold these changes, embody them, and bring them to truth will be reflected in our lives, and the life of the planet that so graciously gives. Our world serves as the most honest and consistent mirror. Feeling strange about the state of things? Talk about it. Share and discuss with those you know and trust. Spend time amongst the trees, too. You don’t have to suffer in silence, nor must you comply to the ongoing normalization of a sick society. The only way to create change is to change ourselves. If our great mother earth has taught us anything, it is to start small, and grow.