If, in 2010, I got a time machine to the year just gone, there would be many things that would make my jaw drop, but like every year, my experience can be loosely put into two categories – the things I can have influence over, and the things I can’t.

In 2021, since the 2020 Winter Solstice and the Great Conjunction, there is a very welcome shift in energy, and yet this is no miracle maker without our active involvement.

Let’s dream our world into being and then act from that place so our dreams don’t stay as dreams.

As we know, if we have trained with Spirit of the Inca, the medicine wheel holds great depths and layers. Whatever we apply it to, it brings insight and wisdom. Here I have worked with it as an antiracist tool, specifically for white people within Spirit of the Inca, to help us check in and move forward from wherever we are at right now.

If you are new to looking at racism in depth, the following can be difficult to allow in as it asks us to consider some very challenging and deep seated beliefs / concepts that we hold on to on a societal and structural level as well as personal. And yet, if now isn’t the time to unpick such things then I don’t know when is!

Part of calling in a new vision is untangling and releasing the parts of ourselves that are holding that vision back from manifesting. It is our shadow work. It not only frees us, but in acknowledging our part in the dynamic, it also frees those we are oppressing, meaning that a truly equal world can begin to be possible.

As people following a spiritual path, we are at risk of perpetrating a certain kind of harm, different from the right wing, nationalists and much easier to ignore, but dangerous if left unexplored. Layla Saad has written about it in her two part blog ‘I need to talk to spiritual white women about white supremacy’.

I hope that the following will support your process, as it has mine, as we do the antiracist work that is asked of us at this time. It is a deep dive in a small space and you will need to read around all of the concepts and ideas.

So here we go....

The South – Serpent – The element of Water
Everything is exactly as it seems to be. The literal. The physical. The body. No judgement.

At this level we are looking at what is in front of our senses, without judgement and without changing anything. It can seem simple but skipping or rushing this step can lead to very fundamental issues that become the foundation for harm, such as racism, to build on. For example, if we say ‘I don’t see colour’ this usually stems from discomfort or wanting things to be better or because we were taught this way. It is not speaking the physical truth.

The world is not an equal or balanced place, if we don’t see colour how can we see racism? It is uncomfortable and can bring shame or denial. We can find we are twisting the simple truth of how things are as we try to make ourselves feel more comfortable with what we see. Though these are feelings from the West, it takes Serpent to cut through them here in the South.

To let go of
“I don’t see colour”.

To bring in
I see Black and brown and white people. I am a white person.

The West – Jaguar / Lynx - The element of Earth
Nothing is as it seems to be. Words. Emotions. Hidden truths and lies. Daring to see it all with all of our senses. Sniffing out the truth. Instinct. Confusion. Our bloodline and ancestry. Victim and perpetrator mentality.

In Jaguar we begin to twist and turn in the place where our words and feelings exist. If we have not owned the truth of our whiteness in the South then it is in the West that we see that take shape and build up layers of harm. It is easy in the West to wind stories around stories. Often these are based in our current life experience, sometimes they span other lives and universes.

If we have white skin, our experience of the world is different from that of people who have Black or brown skin in many ways. One aspect is that we experience privileges due to the colour of our white skin. In the West of the wheel, if we allow ourselves to acknowledge this and to work through the shame, denial, anger and sadness that it brings up, then we are able to start the journey to becoming antiracist. It is here that we can recognise the histories and herstories that haven’t been told, explore the effects of colonisation on the way life is today and look at how we are part of upholding that, and how we can become part of dismantling it. It is here that we can begin to identify our white fragility (coined by Robin Di Angelo who has written a book of the same name) which stops us from looking at our part in the problem.

To let go of
“I was Black / Indigenous in a past life and so I have an understanding of what it feels like”. “It’s not a problem here in the UK”.“ That’s all history now, we need to move on” “I’m not racist, I have Black friends / partner!” “I have taken on new ancestors because of my spiritual practice.” “I am one of the good ones”. “I am too fragile to take this, it needs to be nicer”

To bring in
Because I see I am white, I see that I have lived with privileges that are not afforded to Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC). I am willing to look at the places that scare me, the places where I am the oppressor, the places that even today, I am receiving / taking something that isn’t mine. The places in me that want this to stay this way because I don’t want to give up my privilege. The places where I believe that I am superior. The ways I am culturally appropriating. I commit to looking my whiteness in the eye, exploring my colonial history and recognising that there is no neutral in this. Society, history, institutions and power dynamics support and uphold white people, not BIPOC – if we are not dismantling it then we are keeping the power dynamics as they are (and benefiting from our white privilege).

The North – Hummingbird / Bee – The element of Air
The journey. Finding the sweetest path. Pioneer. Rescuer. Making the impossible possible. Action. Dictator. Clear seeing. Tunnel vision. Resilience.

Hummingbird can help us to see the sweetness and take powerful action with clear vision in any given situation whilst ensuring that we are not lost in the clouds, like an arrow shooting towards a target. When in balance, it can lead to sacred activism (as coined by Andrew Harvey in his book ‘The Hope’) and the kind of change that the world needs -change that empowers everyone, is communal, and doesn’t need saviours. A shadow of hummingbird is the pioneer who becomes more like a dictator or the voluntary worker who moves into rescuer or saviour mentality.

Hummingbird, although bringing sweetness and light, is no pushover! With hummingbird, comes that strength to persevere through the tough times without collapsing into a heap and giving up. We need hummingbird energy if we are to get anywhere on our antiracist journey because the unpicking of deep unquestioned and unseen beliefs that have been built up generation after generation takes courage, determination and an ability to say yes to the journey.

To let go of
Think of Columbus, the missionaries, colonialism… The damage done by this archetype is still effecting indigenous communities and lives on in our colonial mindset today. It includes white saviorism, white centring and cultural appropriation. It is also a dogged holding onto a way of thinking and being that does not allow a deeper exploration of antiracism because it doesn’t fit your world view, self view or envisioned plan.

To bring in
A lightness of being that leaves space for change and world views that challenge or contradict our own, enabling growth and personal / social development. A resilience that enables societal change over the long haul. A capacity to question our long-held beliefs and stay focussed and strong even when being called out for unconscious racial bias.

The East – Eagle – The element of Fire
Spirit. Total Connection. Seeing through the eyes of the heart. Ease. Joy. Love. Oneness. Possible disconnection from the body and the world. Possible denial of our shadow.

Here in the East, when we have done the work in the other three directions, it is possible to meet a place of true connection and love but this can be a place of disconnection too if we use it to avoid the difficult truths about ourselves and the world. This is known as spiritual bypassing (discussed in Layla Saad’s book ‘Me and White Supremacy’). It’s found in the desire to meet deep world problems with the retort, ‘it’s all part of a bigger plan’ or ‘let’s just focus on love and light’. Such mindsets actually separate us from our hearts and the feeling place where sacred activism can spring from. It often comes from a fear of really feeling the pain that is triggered within us by the state of the world and with it is a denial of other people’s suffering and any responsibility to get a bit messy and involved.

There is nothing more powerful than action that comes from true connection. If we dare to begin the journey of uprooting the inherited white supremacy within us there will be many moments when we are faced with needing to speak out when we are scared to, when we see so deeply that we are part of the problem that it hurts us, when we start to question the fabric of society and our involvement in it at an even deeper level. All these explorations, and more, are part of becoming antiracist.

In the East, if we are not afraid to include the hard stuff, then a connection so real and true is possible. And that’s what changes the world.

To let go of
It’s all perfect. It’s part of a bigger plan. Everything is as it’s meant to be. We just need to hold the vision and the rest will take care of itself. Send them love and light. Spiritual bypassing.

To bring in
I see you. I listen. I own my part. I love. I respond. I go back to the beginning.

Going deeper… these two books really opened my eyes to what is happening. There is much more out there. Enjoy getting curious! For more reading on this topic see the blog below for the recommendations at the end.

Me and White Supremacy - Layla Saad
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Renni Eddo-Lodge