Letter from the Editor
Are You A Witch, Mom?
“Are you a witch, Mom?” my son looked up at me earnestly while a small pack of giggling fourth-graders circled behind him in our kitchen. “Uh, no?” I sputtered and launched into a monologue on women’s history and witches. But the confused look in his eyes prompted me to save the history lesson for later, after the peer-pressure to out Mom as an official witch with who knows what sort of juice-box fueled trial, had been redirected to more interesting pursuits, like who can belch the alphabet the loudest.

That evening, when I asked my son why he wanted to know if I was a witch, he said his friends were sure my skills in gardening, being a naturalist, using herbal medicine, and becoming a Reiki master teacher meant I was a witch. Although it was my autoimmune illness that directed the investigation of, and found comfort in, natural medicines, whole foods, and alternative healing modalities, these interests were “weird” to his friends, and he wondered aloud again if I was a witch? When I told him no, he looked disappointed.

Ten years later, in 2017, a friend, who also viewed my avocational interests as “curiosities” gave me a book called The Green Witch. I sighed when I read “green witch” characteristics included being a naturalist, herbalist, healer, and gardener. I don’t mind being called a green witch, but I do mind being made to feel unnatural. My parents and grandparents, and their grandparents, grew up monitoring the moon cycles and stars for planting, foraging from the land, and taking seriously the stewardship of the Earth as farmers. Being connected to nature is our ancestral tradition. While it’s natural for us, according to social scientists, interest in becoming Nature-connected has been growing since the 1980s.

According to the Cultural Creatives research by Paul H, Ray and Sherry Anderson, a quarter of the world population is interested in holistic, Nature-connected, sustainable living, but they often view themselves as odd as counter culturalists. The Cultural Creatives research is one of the contributing factors to Kindred World’s creation: to support this emerging worldview, especially for families pursuing a Whole Child Wellness Model.

We are Nature. When did we begin to believe and act otherwise?

This past week, on October 23, Genevieve Vaughan, the founder of the Maternal Gift Economy, brought together in her international, online salon a scientist and a priestess to speak to the unnatural state of our human disconnection from Nature. The presenters included our very own Kindred World president and Evolved Nest founder, Darcia Narvaez, PhD, an award-winning researcher, and Kathy Jones, a Priestess of Avalon who has lived in Glastonbury, England, for the past 40 years and is currently bringing together the MotherWorld political party. (You can listen to my interview with Genevieve here from this past spring to learn more about the Maternal Gift Economy.)

In the salon video, Darcia shows, from a scientific worldview, how our disconnect from Nature makes us an atypical species creating a degraded, unsustainable culture that perpetuates itself through Undercare for babies and children. Kathy advocates for breaking our current Cycle of Competitive Detachment by centering our cultural focus on mothers. This cultural shift, to value mothers and mothering, would require reclaiming our Sacred Feminine, she contends.

“MotherWorld is the society which places Mother Earth, mothers, and the values of mothering and caring in the center of our lives rather than leaving them out on the periphery,” Kathy states in the video.  If you forward to the last few minutes (1:53) of the video, you can enjoy Kathy’s guided visualization of walking out your front door and into a MotherWorld, a world created on the values of nurturing and loving relationship. It is a wonderful experience.

After the discussion, I asked Darcia to help me help you see the bridge more clearly between our disconnected worldview and Kathy’s integrated awareness with the Sacred Feminine. Darcia graciously answers my questions in her response entitledThe Reason for the Absence of the Feminine Principle in the Western World.

In this issue of Kindred, you will also read Kathy’s story of her path to reconciliation as a descendent of the race of oppressors,” and how the “mists” are rising at Avalon, where thousands of visitors are seeking a new way of being in the world.

We also welcome to Kindred, Isa Gucciardi, PhD, who shares with us the chapter, Reclaiming the Initiation of Childbirth, from her book, The New Return to the Great Mother. The book shares many women’s experiences of being attended in childbirth by the light presence of the Great Mother.

If you are looking for baby steps to restore your connection to Nature, nature therapist Jan Cafearo shares her practice with clients of Forest Bathing. “I have come to believe that finding our connection with Nature is not only very beneficial for our personal health and wellbeing, it is also a powerful step towards social and environmental justice. What we love, we protect,” writes Jan.

The chronic inflammation that led me to explore alternative healing and medicines over twenty years ago is, as the book Inflammation reveals, the “root of disease in humans and the Earth” and the result of the “colonization worldview that separates individual bodies from their social and historical context, often ignoring the health of the web of life supporting the individual.” Read the book review here.

There is more in this issue, carefully cultivated for your nourishing reading and viewing pleasure. Don’t miss Pam Leo’s two-minute reading of her new children’s book, Please Read To Me, as she is a gem, and we are very proud to call her children’s book our first Kindred World Publishing House project!

And finally, if your child, or any child, asks you if you are a witch, say yes. I asked my now 23 year-old son this evening if he thought he wanted me say, all those years ago, “Yes, I am a witch.” He replied happily, “Oh, yeah!” Own your Nature connection, your Great Mother love for all children, and your Mother Earth stewardship of all life. After all, according to both science and spirituality, this is who we really are, relational beings who thrive on connection and create magic, naturally.


Kindred Media, Editor
Kindred World, Co-Founder
“Until we understand and act as if we are the earth, each of us will experience the pain of separation from sacred knowledge, from ourselves.” ~ Joy Harjo, Poet Warrior, US Poet Laureate
Meet the Wayfinders EVENT
Meet the Wayfinders Will Run Until April 2022
Enjoy the Meet the Wayfinder oral history collection produced by Kindred in celebration of La Leche League International's 65th Anniversary Conference which is now available until April 2022 on their website, with a registration fee. Learn more here.
Breaking the Cycle Film LIVE Discussion!
Breaking the Cycle LIVE Film Discussions
You're also invited to join the upcoming LIVE DISCUSSIONS with Darcia Narvaez, PhD and Lisa Reagan. These discussions are not recorded for the comfort of participants. They are free and open to the public, but you must register to join.

November 17, 9 p.m. EST, REGISTER

December 16, 12 noon EST, REGISTER

Thank you for sharing the film and helping us to break 10,000 views this summer!

Visit the film's site to view the film and discover resources.
Sacred Feminine INSIGHTS
The Reason For The Absence Of The Feminine Principle In The Western World
By Darcia Narvaez, PhD

The missing feminine side of our personalities comes from undercare in early life—coercive care that was unresponsive to our bids for companionship. With undercare, capacities for empathy are impaired because the baby is not treated with empathy and feels distress and despair instead. Social communication skills are underdeveloped when a baby is not immersed in a community of responsive caregivers. Babies don’t grow what is not encouraged. Instead, in this case children are encouraged to suppress feelings, intuitions, interests, to fit into an adult world not focused on meeting their needs.

So there is a gap in our personalities where our intuitive hearts should be guiding us. We are guided instead by our survival-oriented gut and our schooled mind (conscious ego mind). We experience confusion where there should be certainty about our place in the world as a beloved member of the community with a spirit tuned into the greater cosmos. 

In effect, poor early care undermines the “feminine” side of the self, capacities for presence, connection to others, and mutual understanding—the heartmindedness that most societies consider central to being human. Our species’ gift economy, starting with mothers’ unilateral giving, provides the evolved nest. The loving presence of motherers (nurturers) promotes the basic feelings of being safe, beautiful and cherished.

Reclaiming The Initiation Of Childbirth
The following is an excerpt from the book, The New Return to the Great Mother: Birth, Initiation, and the Sacred Feminine, by Isa Gucciardi, PhD. 

Birth is the epicenter of women’s power.“  – Ani DiFranco

The lack of information regarding the significance of childbirth as an initiatory process affects more than birthing mothers. Without a proper understanding, ministers, teachers, doctors, and other birth professionals charged with guiding women through birth are unable to provide the level of care needed once the initiation is underway. Partners also miss out on their own deeper experience of the initiation of birth when they are uninformed. 

The good news is, we can help change all this by remembering the spiritual component at the heart of our initiations and vowing to ourselves to enter the sacred initiation of childbirth with a well-informed mind and a deeply connected heart. In doing so, we take back our power, allowing us to move through the initiation with greater clarity, strength, and ease. From our own education, we can teach those around us about the deeper meaning of the initiation of childbirth. 

I Am Descended From The Race Of The Oppressors
By Kathy Jones

She is returning as we remember Her. Each person – woman, man and child, re-membering who She is, makes a difference. In Brigit’s Isles the Isle of Avalon is beginning to appear once again, becoming visible in the landscape of the small country town of Glastonbury in Somerset, the Summerlands. Avalon is emerging from the mists to be experienced by those who love Her, as well as by those who may stumble inadvertently into Her mysteries. She is calling us to awaken and remember Her and many are responding to Her call. Just as She is calling each one of you in this great land, to awaken and remember Her here, to heal what has been lost, to forgive the unforgiveable.

This is our hope of forgiveness for the atrocities which have and are still being committed against Her and against Her lands and peoples. That w learn to love Her again. That we love each other as She has always loved us.

My prayer is that you might hear Her Call to you and answer Her with an open heart and with all your creativity, learning to cooperate together in bringing Her back in this land. For if we do not do this work who will?

Next Generation Changemakers
Get Your Jammies and Blankies!
Pam Leo Reads Her New Book To Kindred Fellows, And Us!
Pam Leo, founder of the Book Fairy Pantry Project, joined the Kindred fellows and staff in summer 2021 to talk about her brand of Kindred Activism: Community ARtivism. Pam shared her insights into working tirelessly in her community for over three decades as a bonding and literacy advocate in prisons, parenting classes, and through family literacy projects. Pam is also the author of the classic conscious parenting book, Connection Parenting, which celebrated its 15 anniversary in 2021.

In this video, Pam reads her new book, Please Read To Me, to the fellows and staff. (We curled up with our jammies and blankets for this nourishing treat!) Please Read To Me received a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation in 2021 to print 12,000 for every baby born in Maine this year. The board books are published by Kindred World Publishing House and will be available to the public in 2022.

Nature Connection As Social And Environmental Justice.
By Jan Cafearo

I have come to believe that finding our connection with Nature is not only very beneficial for our personal health and wellbeing. It is also a powerful step towards social and environmental justice. What we love, we protect. If instead of stress, we all felt that open state where we can make decisions based on wisdom and compassion, just think how quickly society could change for the better!

The Care And Feeding Of Empaths
By Kelly Wendorf

The world needs you and your empathic gifts. But it needs you to be clear, healthy, balanced, sane and happy. Treat yourself like the unicorn that you are and learn how to take care of yourself in the unique ways your body, mind, and heart need. 
Wellness-Informed Nurturing Promotes Heart-Minded Virtue: Contrasting Western And First Nation Morality
Darcia Narvaez, PhD, Kindred World's president and the Evolved Nest founder, contrasts the Western and First Nation Morality and how these disparate worldviews are wellness-informed. The video will be displayed during the 47th Annual Conference of the Association for Moral Education in November 2021.

We can contrast the wellness-informed manner of raising children in traditional First Nation, Indigenous societies with the Westernized ways that have become predominant. First Nations provide the most holistic approach to raising a virtuous person (McPherson & Rabb, 2011). 

The western way introduces self-doubt and trauma (through punishment and undercare), creating a reliance on external rules, whereas the First Nation approaches use a wellness-informed approach to growing human moral potential (Narvaez, 2014), growing personal moral knowledge (Polanyi, 1958). 
The results of traditional Indigenous child raising is a thriving individual, as a person and as a person in relationship.

With a degraded nest, all sorts of things go awry and it becomes a species-abnormal development. The result is a cycle of competitive detachment, the cycle in which we find ourselves. The provision of the nest fosters a wellness informed cycle of life we call connected cooperative companionship.

BOOK Reviews
Poet Warrior: A Memoir By Joy Harjo, A Review
By Stephanie Mines, PhD

The absence of rites of passage for our children and youth is a symptom of the broken chain of life that we can mend by reimagining our initiations into selfhood. Joy Harjo does this through her poetry, visualizing and making manifest the ceremony of becoming for herself.

Here is a paraphrase of her words describing how she does this. These words form a template for how we can enact our own rites of passage, efficiently and swiftly, so that we can serve our youth. I dare say we have an obligation to do this. It is a step towards enhanced consciousness. 

“I construct a doorway where sunrise is a line above a dark blue horizon My grandmothers and great grandmothers gather round and speak. I am worthy of love, of tenderness, of all I need to create a future. The world lives within the cradle of my hips. This girl is every girl.“

Inflammation, The Root Of Disease, In Humans And The Earth: A Colonization Legacy And The Hope Of “Deep Medicine”
By Darcia Narvaez, PhD

The book devotes a chapter to each major system of the body—from the immune system and circulatory system to the endocrine and reproductive systems— and describes how inflammation occurs and its consequences. Embodied inflammation, the authors contend, is a result of the various systems colonization has designed historically.

The authors contend that colonization has completely disordered the systems of the world—the many systems within our bodies and the many layers of ecologies that evolved on the planet— and that the disorders are intertwined. And it has been so powerful that it often overwhelms thinking of how to change it.

The authors believe that change can only come about collectively, people together reweaving themselves back into symbiosis with the world and each other in a way that is based in earth consciousness. The authors also believe that it is particularly important to move in solidarity with Indigenous-led efforts. Indigenous/First Nation communities lived in holistic life supporting ways before colonization. Their care-based economies helped everyone withstand the ups and downs of life and kept biocommunities, in bodies and landscapes, flourishing.

There’s No Such Thing As Naughty: A New Book By Kate Silverton
By Darcia Narvaez, PhD

A young child’s brain is a work in progress. Silverton describes children’s brain metaphorically as consisting of a lizard, a baboon and an owl. The lizard brain is the survival brain, oriented to safety, kicking up the stress response when threat is perceived. Life is scary for a young child and so the lizard brain can get activated easily. To train the lizard to not get riled up easily, caregivers move in quickly to calm down the baby. This builds stabilizing mechanisms in the brain and associations of the caregiver with safety.

Welcome AUTUMN (Northern Hemisphere Folks!)
Decolonize Your Lawn This Fall: Leave Leaves Alone
Leaves are an important source for overwintering insects, and many butterflies. To encourage biodiversity in your yard and help insect populations, which are in serious decline, leave leaves wherever possible. Mulch the leaves on the lawn to avoid smothering the lawn, but leave leaves as they fall in perennial beds, under tree canopies, around shrubs, and on ground cover, like pachysandra. 

What else to do besides exposing yourself to gas-blower emissions and incessant noise pollution?

Resources For Decolonizing And Indigenizing Thanksgiving
Decolonize Thanksgiving
1. Combat erasure by telling the real story of Thanksgiving around the table. 
2. Re-center Thanksgiving by serving locally sourced food. Your local farmers market is a great place to find locally grown foods.
3. Address oppression by widening your circle. Ask someone outside your usual group of friends and family what Thanksgiving means to them.

Indigenize Thanksgiving
2. Serve locally sourced food.
3. Invite in new friends from outside your usual circle.

Parenting for Social Change ONLINE COURSE
The Parent Liberation Project Is Here!
The Parent Liberation Project is an online, eight week, self-directed course based on the book, Parenting for Social Change by Teresa Graham Brett, JD. PLP is an evolving, cross-cultural program that provides parents with the science behind child brain development along with insights and tools for reflecting upon cultural norms as a conscious move toward building emotionally intelligent families and compassionate communities.

Please Support Kindred World's Nonprofit Initiatives
Why do we need citizen-supported media? Because this is how we will tell our own stories, learn about one another, and collaborate to create a compassionate, sustainable world.
A Few Of Our Reviews:

"In my work that revealed epidemic C-PTSD (Complex Post-traumatic stress disorder) in and among Elephant societies, I discovered that the lives and experiences of human and nonhuman Animals are tragically intertwined. They are mirror images of each other caught in the brutal web of colonialism and capitalism. Kindred counters and heals with the revitalization of another, ancient web - the seamless continuity of kinship in mind and soul we all share as Earth beings. Viva Kindred!! - G.A. Bradshaw, author, Elephants on the Edge, Talking with Bears." - Gay Bradshaw, Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity

"My passion in life is to find more sustainable ways of living and being on Earth. This journey began as technological solutions and through a long winding path led me to child development as the root cause of unsustainable behavior. Kindred however has been on the ball from the beginning, recognizing the integral ways that our childhood experiences affect us later on in life and taking active steps to alleviate the negative cycles of behavior that affect us all. Their work is critical to creating a more sustainable world." - Chris Agnos, Sustainable Humans

"I am a past Kindred Fellowship student and I cannot say enough about what I learned from Kindred and all of those involved in making this program. Psychology student or not, this non-profit will teach all how to implement kindred activism into you lives, and many other lessons. I hope to continue my involvement with Kindred for years to come and hope to share its teachings with those around me!" Kendall Lobdell, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Kindred World is an incredible organization that provides knowledge on often overlooked and ignored parts of individual, familial, and communal wellness. I've had the pleasure of working under and with some of their fantastic Board Members, and the wisdom we have shared will no doubt stick with me for the rest of my life." - Reshma Grewal, University of California, Santa Barbara

"As an academic and activist, teaching at the college level, I have had the great pleasure of working with Kindred World and Lisa Reagan on multiple occasions. This is a groundbreaking organization focused on making a difference in the world. Kindred Media articles, educational content, and referenced resources are required reading in my undergraduate “Sociology of Family” classes. In addition, I first worked with Kindred in 2011, at the Museum of Motherhood when Lisa organized several high-profile events. Presentations by leading experts in conscious-parenting, family wellness, and holistic-living drew wide audience participation and encouraged a conversation that continues today. Over the course of the last eight years, I have witnessed Kindred’s commitment to an important cultural shift, of which we are proud to be part of. This is such significant work – Thank you, Kindred! Thank you, Lisa!" ~Martha Joy Rose, Museum of Motherhood, Founding Director 

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