It was November 2016 at the Standing Rock Indigenous Protests that this notion of water being life really hit me... Going to North Dakota in the middle of freezing winter was not my original plan when entering the USA but it soon became my reality and altered it quite dramatically in one fell swoop.
In short, I was invited to the land by elders of a community of water protectors who I met in LA. They asked me to support the protests (or rather, prayers) that were happening on their native land. Thousands of people from around America and the world arrived on the reservation to setup camps and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from poisoning the only water supply for the Standing Rock Reservation. The Pipeline was also being constructed through sacred burial grounds and sites of historic importance to the indigenous Lakota and Dakota people, who had called this land their home for thousands of years.
Up until this point, I had never really considered the importance of water - I mean, I appreciated water, but I never knew where it came from, how it was treated, and the devastating water wars that are currently destroying entire countries and millions of peoples’ livelihoods....
It is embarrassing to admit my ignorance, but that is the privilege of waking up and opening a tap your whole life… I spent most of the first few days at Standing Rock crying. Unstoppable water literally streaming down my cheeks, grieving the huge disconnect between myself and the land, myself and the waters. I realised just how lost and confused we were as humans, how far off course we had gone...I felt a bubbling rage at the West, at my ancestors, at myself...at the state of the world.
I was told by one of the Chiefs of the Rosebud camp where I was staying to not go to the front lines. “This is a peaceful protest…You must process your anger as it is violent”, he told me. “Your energy can affect the front lines and turn this into a riot.” It was a humbling moment for me, I needed to really check my ego and the true intention for why I was there… This is not about me, I had to keep reminding myself. This is so much bigger than my little pain. I spent the next few days cooking meals in the kitchens and helping build the teepees and sweat lodges for the elders. Getting my hands literally in the ice cold dirt and processing all the internal turmoil within me...
Going to Standing Rock was a life-changing experience, and whilst the end result was not what we had hoped, the message sunk in loud and clear.
Protect the waters, honour the waters, and drink living water.
I make an effort in my little world to do just that. I regularly greet the ocean, “mamma ocean” as I call her, thanking her for her healing and cleansing. Taking time out of my busy life to be with her, to learn and listen to her. Honouring the ocean for all She does to bring new life and healing to this Earth. I also take the time to collect living spring water. I live in a city where we have access to the most sacred and precious water that streams off one of the oldest mountains in the world.
Drinking spring water is like drinking ancient ancestral codes, it truly is an honour.
My invitation in this post is to invite you to consider your relationship to water....
We are made up of 60% water.
Our health is dependent on the water we drink.
Water is vital for every function in our bodies, including protecting our tissues, spinal cord and joints, helping to remove waste and aiding optimal brain functioning.
Water is alive, so alive that she responds to the words we speak, creating patterns depending on what is said to her or the music played to her.
The water we get from our taps has been heavily treated before it reaches us. Chemicals are added to the water to sift out debris and the water is then disinfected to combat any of the leftover chemicals. However, this disinfectant is never filtered out, it remains in the water to kill off bacterial overgrowth and thus, enters your system as well. The most common chemicals found in tap water include fluoride, chlorine, nitrates, pesticides, and salts of mercury, arsenic and lead.
I always felt bad for being “snobby” about water, but I realise now that my body knew the difference. The difference between water in pain and water in harmony.
We prefer to use spring water when we make our infusions. However, the beauty about making infusions with tap water, if you have to, is that you are bringing your water back to life when you infuse her with wild weeds. The wild bacteria and rich minerals that seep into your water from the weeds returns vitality back into this precious living substance.
If water has been stripped of minerals, she will strip those minerals from your own body.
This is another important fact people do not realise. Buying your fancy filters is all good and well but if you keep “cleaning and cleansing” your water (which by the way is code, as Susun Weed says, for ”destroy and damage”), you are ultimately doing that to your own body.
Water is perfectly harmonised and mineralised when alive. When stripped of minerals, it will seek to return to that harmonious place by leaching the minerals out of your body.
Here at Wild Nettle we are all about going back to basics.
We see honouring and collecting living water as the foundation for a simple ritual of connection and self-care.
Ultimately, water is life and life wants to flow.
Water loves running down cold rocks and communing with wild trees and leaves.
Water is you and water is me.
Are you ready to commit to creating a more loving relationship with water?
With your own body?