Woman With a Flower Crown and Veil, touching her face

Yá’át’ééh. Shí éí Lady HawkMothe yinishyé. Nizhónígo ałhééhosiilzįįd. (English: Hello. My name is Lady HawkMothe. Nice to meet you

What’s in a name? I have had various names and labels in this life. I have labels such as mother, daughter, sister, and artist. Another important label I have is: I am Diné (Navajo; The People). I don’t have the strong, typical features of a person of color that the media likes to stereotype. If I didn’t mention it, you wouldn’t be able to tell I was Navajo. Growing up, I got singled out because of my pale skin among my peers. Outside of that, I could blend in with non-natives for a while until someone noticed I was different again. I had a difficult time trying to find where I belonged. I stood out, and it was never in a good way. I hated this ambiguity enough to distance myself from the discomfort given.

I used what my elders learned from colonization: Hide who you are to save yourself. That is what I set out to do, even from my people. I extended this mentality into every aspect of my life. By removing that identity, I had no home. In my quest to find where home was, I found a small space in Norse paganism. Learning about their gods and belief structure helped me appreciate my differences. It helped me see spirituality and community as a partnership and not something I had to bow down for to be accepted. Following this unconventional path has opened so many doors in my worldview. It has deepened my connection with the earth and its spirits. This acceptance I found there brought me back to my ancestors and Diné heritage.

Reconnecting to my culture has been one of the more difficult things I have done. I couldn’t let the opinion of a few “bad apples” keep me away from what I was born into. If I deny something which is in my blood, I let colonization win. My Indigenous relatives have suffered enough of this throughout history. There is no measurable estimation of how many teachings we have lost. Our elders are vanishing. With each passing, we lose an immense wealth of traditional knowledge they carried. Reconnecting with cultural heritage is difficult, but not impossible. I had to dig deep to find those that would look past the color of my skin and, instead, look at how I presented my heart to teach me the things I need to pass down. We are rising from the ashes that colonization has tried to burn with each new generation.

I am not here to teach or give an in-depth how-to. I leave that to those given the proper authority. I am here by invitation to share as much of my culture and pagan practices as I am allowed and comfortable with. This is me not wanting to hide anymore. I do hope you stay while I unveil this voyage in the Oracle’s Shroud.

Tʼáá íiyisíí ahéheeʼ. (Thank you very much.)
-Lady HawkMothe
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