I’ve been explaining this phrase “earthwidetribe” to a few people in person and realized I hadn’t made it explicit here!
It came to me when I was researching PocaHAUNTus–shapeshifting history into Herstory. I was researching the Algonquin language base of tribes, which is huge!, & something really stood out for me at that time. The Powhatan Alliance, about 34 tribes totalling roughly 14,000 people, gathered together under Powhatan (chief dreamer) Wahunsenacawh in the early 1600’s (which was a major political shift from tribes living side by side, but that’s another story…). This paramount chief was Pocahontas’ father. I love that. An instance in HIStory when a man is referenced by a woman! Anyhoo, what I was struck by was the freedom inherent to women & particularly within intimate relationships at that time, at least as I discovered in my reading. Apparently a woman could choose to leave a relationship just as readily as a man could, which is not to say that either would come and go lightly, but the freedom to change was there. Yet the children wouldn’t suffer because they were part of the whole tribe.
The reason this was significant to me was that I had announced to anyone who knew me, & was listening, that I intended to have a child, god/dess-willing. So people started asking me, “Do you want it enough to do it on your own, without the father?” Never occurred to me. So much of my own journey of discovery & healing has been overcoming this limiting idea that I didn’t have one steady father figure growing up. I’ve been learning to embrace the blessing that I have had so many! But that took me decades, so I wouldn’t want my child to not have an engaged father figure. So I said, no, I wouldn’t consider that. But I also have not seen successful marriage, so I’m not expecting that either.
When I read that the Powhatan people, in their innate tribal structure, prioritized the support of the children over the longevity of the parental relationships, that made sense to me. These are OUR children, our people, our tribe. But of course, these days we don’t live tribally. Or do we? So I thought, ok, when I get into relationship with a man & I’m clear about what’s on the cooker for me, I can be clear that what I want is an engaged father for our child. Perhaps we will have that fairytale vision of a marriage til-death-do-us-part, but I’m not counting on it. What I am counting on is a man who is clear enough in himself to be available for, & supportive of, a new life entering the world through my body. Whatever becomes of our relationship, the child would not suffer. Instead of the commitment being to one another, it’s to the creation we co-create.
But then I thought, somewhat discouraged, I don’t have a tribe. Almost immediately I corrected myself. Girl, you so do have a tribe! It’s just that it’s not locationally based–it’s earth-wide! Ok, I thought, well then how would I, or we as a family, access it? And since I was about to embark on a return to the land that partially made me, the USA, it seemed a perfect opportunity to take this perspective, this idea, with me as I traveled. As I travel now.
What I’ve seen so far is that the majority of people who take me in & care for me are not even blood relations. Beyond that, they have their own extended tribes who may or may not be blood-related to them, their local tribe. So when I drop into a tribal contact locally, I am also embraced by their extended local tribe & my own sense of a tribal net widens farther. Proportionately my gratitude deepens.
Here’s a video of me connecting with part of my Phoenix tribe, which used to be Pennsylvania-based. Aunt Sheila & Aunt Maureen adopted me into their family when my mom married their older brother Jay when I was 10. Kelly is Maureen’s daughter & now has a 12 year old daughter of her own whom I only just met this week, having left the US 15 years ago.
And that fantastic photo at the start is from the same day. ALL PAWS IN!!