I'M ONE OF those people with a tendency to recommend a book or two before I leave a conversation. To end the issue, I thought I'd share a few finds that are keeping me going this winter—not just books, but music, videos, and plant relations. Enjoy!
If you haven't picked up a copy yet, I highly recommend you do! Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices (University of Arizona Press, 2019) is a beautiful anthology of wisdoms co-edited by Lara Medina and Martha Gonzales. To get a sense of the contents, you can read my interview with Lara in this issue, and you can also read pieces by Berenice Dimas and Susy Zepeda, who contributed to the book. (If you purchase the book through our Bookshop affiliate page, we'll get a small commission.)
Ixtoii Paloma Cervantes is the author of our featured Practice article in this issue. One of the things that stands out to me about Paloma is what a great teacher she is. On her YouTube channel, she offers introductory lessons on various elements of curanderismo. I recently enjoyed Paloma's "What to do in winter from a Curandismo point of view," which includes a calming meditation and centering practice toward the end. Check it out.
When I was prepping for this issue, I was pleased to learn that the medical definition of "intention" is the healing of a wound. Yarrow, a plant that is native to North America, Europe, and Asia, jumped into my mind. Yarrow is known as a wound healer. You can typically recognize it by its feathery leaves. The Nahuatl word for it, in fact, is tlaquequetzal, translated as "feather of the earth."
Many people think of yarrow as a common weed, so you can often find it growing in yards and what guide books call "disturbed places": patches of earth along the edge of roads and between built spaces. I like to think that yarrow grows in these "disturbed places" to bring healing to the earth itself. I sit behind a computer most days, so haven't called upon yarrow as a physical wound healer; however, I do sometimes place yarrow on my altar to help me bring attention to emotional wounds that need healing. It's a good plantcestor to get to know.
Artivists Katherin Canton and mariana IX moscoso have created an online ofrenda where the community can post creative work. They write: "As future ancestors, healers and facilitators we created a wider space for Indigenous identified people locally in California and across the world to not only create, but to exchange contemporary myths through our online art exhibition space. In doing so, it is the curators’ hope that together we can (re)envision our way into our next world." Check them out at ritualofmythmaking.com.
I received Angelica Garcia's Cha Cha Palace (Spacebomb Records) as a holiday gift, and it's been a soundtrack for January. Songs like "Guadalupe," "Llorona," and "Jicama" have kept me going. You can find her work on Bandcamp.
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