EP 143 – WF Michaela A. Harrison: We Are One

In this episode we sit down with prismatic Singer, Activist, Witch Michaela A. Harrison about her Whale-Whispering project, about the ocean, ancestors, the Middle Passage slave trade, reality and rainbows, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Judy Garland, and singing as a means of survival and transcend

Amy Torok
May 19, 2022
26 min read
Witches FoundSonic WitchcraftKinshipBlack WitchcraftQueer MagicTranscripts

In this episode we sit down with prismatic Singer, Activist, Witch Michaela A. Harrison about her Whale-Whispering project, about the ocean, ancestors, the Middle Passage slave trade, reality and rainbows, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Judy Garland, and singing as a means of survival and transcendence, a spiritual, political and healing act – the healing, transformational power of music through song. This is the message she received from the whales: We Are One. “The sea,” she says, “is Holy Water.”

“Singing is claiming space.  Making your voice be heard is definitely a political act…Singing is inherently political.” It’s about telling the truth.  “What we need to be doing is singing to change the state of things.  I’m convinced that singing together is the answer, that wailing together is the answer.  I’m so convinced that setting our intentions to shift this vibration and jettisoning our voices out into the air, out into the waters, into the ether as a collective of folks who are joined in  the intention of stopping the cycle of violence and harm that all these systems we find ourselves inside of are reeking on the planet as a whole, on women, on prismatic folks, on people of colour, on all the ecosystems, all the animals…that we can change this with our voices.  I’m convinced of it.”

Your song can start a revolution. “Just say yes and listen, then go with the flow…”


Michaela A. Harrison is a musician and witch whose career is rooted in relaying the healing, transformational power of music through song.

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Full Transcript

Episode 143

Amy: [00:00:00] Just a reminder that The Missing Witches fundraiser for Native Women's Shelters is happening now throughout the month of May. Check out our website at www.missingwitches.com for all the details, and join us on Patreon a patreon.com/missing witches. You aren't being a proper woman, therefore you must be a witch.

Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. A witch. You must be a witch.

Hello to the Missing Witches Coven. Let's raise our voices in song together to welcome today's guest, Michaela Harrison, also known in some circles in our circle as the Whale Whisperer.

Thank you so much for sitting down with us today to talk about your projects, plural. Um, I can't wait to talk about singing, and I'm so excited [00:01:00] to hear your particular bend on, on what singing means to us. So again, welcome Michaela Harrison. Michaela, can you tell our listeners a little bit about who you are?

Michaela: Yes, thank you so much for having me Amy. It's a blessing to be here. Um, I am, a manifestation of Divine Source embodied as a black woman on the prismatic spectrum. That's my substitution for the word queer, which I don't identify with. I'm prismatic. I am right now enjoying the settling into middle age and the reflections and the wisdom and, um, [00:02:00] clarity of perspective that are coming with that transition.

I am a singer. I am a writer. I am a layer on of hands, a healer, um, a lover, a dreamer, a Pisces, and most definitely a witch.

Amy: That was, possibly one of my favorite introductions, self introductions, I've heard. There's, I mean, I have my list of questions that I wanna ask you, but now I have a whole separate list.

Um, so let, I guess before we get off of that, tell me about queer versus prismatic. Can you expand on that idea?

Michaela: Yeah, I just don't like the word queer. I would never use that word to describe myself because it's not a [00:03:00] word that's ever been a part of my vocabulary. Um, and honestly when I've talked about this before, but when I began to hear it, you know, be used as sort of a catchall phrase for, L G B T Q I A, et cetera, folks. I was like, Hmm, yeah, no, I don't. I wouldn't ever use that word. I mean, it's a word that feels very specific to not only like a white sort of vocabulary, but even like, more like British, in my mind. It's something that feels very detached from me, just as a vocabulary choice, you know?

And I understand and identify with the idea of it and I [00:04:00] like the idea of a word that encompasses all the letters. You know, um, and for me it's a prism. It's a spectrum, right? It's, it's the rainbow. Um, I'm also a big Judy Garland fan. Quiet as it's kept these days, and I have a whole nother rabbit hole. Now, we probably should not go down right now.

Amy: Oh no, please.

Michaela: To rainbows, and, um, how that really kicked in when I was 10 years old and I was watching The Wizard of Oz and I just connected with Judy Garland's spirit and she was singing Over the Rainbow. and something happened, like her spirit came and touched me, and then I, like I went in, you know, and she's always been present with me since then, um, [00:05:00] as a singer and particularly around connecting with this, uh, sense of, of journeying and seeking home and finding home.

Wherever you find yourself, and also this, this connection with the rainbow and that spectrum and that appearance, you know, of, of the scope of possibilities, of realities, of manifestations, of colors, and, um, possibilities. So the prism has resonance for me on many different levels, and I was like, okay, well, if we're talking about the whole range of expressions that are not, you know, white, cis heteropatriarchy, then let's just call it what it is, which is a prism.

So I'm prismatic.

Amy: I, I'm [00:06:00] listeners. We have our cameras turned off right now, so Michaela can't see me just sitting here bouncing with a crazy smile on my face. So I just, I just want to articulate to you, Michaela, that I am sitting here bouncing with a crazy smile on my face. I love the notion of a prism too, because how we view it depends on how it's refracting the light. It changes.

Michaela: Yes.

Amy: Yes. And of course, I mean, Wizard of Oz is like, for, a lot of us, was this like first entryway into the possibility of going from a world that's black and white into a world that's full of colors.

Michaela: Mm-hmm.

Amy: Ahhh, maybe I'll be prismatic. Listeners, let's think about our prismaticness.

So I, I'm gonna go to, uh, your website. There's something here. I, read this little bit. I sent it to Risa, my podcasting partner, and I [00:07:00] was like, doesn't this sound like something we, would've written? Like, it just, it resonated so much with me and with us and to, you know, our, coven. So I'm gonna read it now and then maybe we can again cut it up and talk about it word by word.

Michaela: Okay.

Amy: Let me take a sip of water. "We are one. That is the central message pulsing through this web that's spinning forth from me and that I'm being woven into. This confluence of sound and image through and across waves of various types. Marine sound brain, that for now is called, Wale Whispering". So, again, I want to talk about every word of that individually, but I guess maybe if you could introduce the Whale Whispering Project to our listeners who [00:08:00] are unaware.

Michaela: Okay. Uh, Whale Whispering is a project that I've been working on for almost four years now, since 2018, um, that is based in Baya, Brazil. Where I spend a lot of time, and the gist of the project is that I am listening to singing with composing songs inspired by and with humpback whales, uh, to tap into the messages that they have for me, for us, around water, our relationship to water.

Nature in general, and more specifically, the memories that they hold in their ancestral storage of accompanying ships journeying through the middle [00:09:00] passage. Making the crossing the middle passage, during enslavement, and having heard the sounds coming from the ships and holding that record in their songs, and also the exchange that happened between those Africans on the ships.

Who heard the whales. Um, and so tapping into that memory for, lineage healing, for collective healing. Um, and bringing forth songs that express the vibration of, of that power and that healing and that connection. Um, and then on a, on a deeper, more personal level, um, tapping into the healing energy of the vibration of whale songs, for my personal womb healing, um, which is also [00:10:00] related to the lineage healing as there's so much ancestral womb trauma in this history of, of capture, enslavement that people of African descent, um, in the Americas have have lived for many, many generations.

So it's, it's multi-layered. Um, and while it's very specific, in some ways, it's also very much for everyone and anyone who feels like they can, um, access it and resonate with it, you know. And as you read, my, my understanding of the central message that the whales wanna bring is one of, of union. One of really, um, tapping us into the fact that, [00:11:00] that we are one. And it's, it's so simple. Yet here we are seven plus billion just human beings, so-called human beings, you know, and countless other living beings just on this planet.

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: And so , we can easily get, um, away from living the awareness of the oneness. And I, I'm, I've been experiencing how the whale songs and the vibration and the energy and the presence and the spirit of the whales can help us tap back into that.

Amy: Yes, so many questions, did you, did you find that this, this message of oneness was something that built up over the four years of your project, or was there a day when it was just like, we are one and the message was very [00:12:00] strong at a very particular time?

Or was it more of like a, a slow build to that realization?

Michaela: Um, well, you know that knowing sort of always in my consciousness somewhere, um, not necessarily at the very forefront. When I began this project in 2019, I had my first opportunity to use, um, the equipment that has allowed me to, um, project my voice underwater to the whales and then listen back.

Um, so sort of have a live conversation with the whales underwater, you know, and the recording of that first session. So, up until then, I had been just singing into the air from the boat and interacting with them, you know, without [00:13:00] equipment. Sometimes listening to their songs from underwater through a hydrophone, played through a speaker or headphones onto the boat, but mostly just, you know, without equipment.

And so the recording of that first experiment with the equipment. . When I listened back to it, I listened to it over and over and there was one particular phrase that I kept hearing repeated. It's a three note phrase that was, Mm-hmm, those are the notes and that's the rhythm.

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: um-hm.

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: And I kept hearing it and I was like,what is that?

That is something. That is like a key. They're saying something with that, you know? And I listen and I listen and I listen and I left it alone. And I came back and I listened some more. And then I heard it. I heard we are [00:14:00] one.

Amy: I heard like we are one.

Michaela: Well, I didn't hear the words at that time, but I received that message that that's what was being communicated, you know? And so I was like, all right. And that's when I wrote the piece that you read the excerpt from that's on my website. And I sort of held that as you know, as I said, so the central message that they want to relay and operating from that as a foundation. And then I was blessed, um, to be able to purchase this equipment, um, last year for the project.

Thanks to a grant from V-Day. Yay, V-Day. Um, and V formerly known as Eve Ensler. Shout her out. We're talking about the witches.

Amy: Yeah. Shout [00:15:00] out Eve Ensler, yeah.

Michaela: Um, and so I had multiple opportunities on the last Whale Whispering mission, which was, um, August through October of 2021 to do this recording underwater with the whales to have these conversations.

And there was one in particular where I was exchanging with a whale that was very clearly articulating the words. We are one, like I actually in the moment, this whale was directly underneath the boat. Positioned right next to the hydrophone, and saying the words, we are one to those notes and that rhythm. Um, and [00:16:00] you know, that just changed my whole. Universe.

Amy: Like, uh uh. Did you weep? I think I would've wept.

Michaela: I did. I did. I did. I did. I did. I did. Um, and I have that recording. Um, and nothing is the same since then, you know, I yeah.

Amy: And, and do you found that, that this is, has echoed into your whole life now? I mean, obviously this is a project, it's not, it's not you, but sometimes our projects sort of just like a gas sort of fill the entire space that we give it.

Michaela: Oh, definitely. Yeah. This is, this is my life. I mean, the whales are somehow present with me all the time and with whatever I'm doing. It spills over into everything. Um, and as far [00:17:00] as the, we are one piece, yeah, definitely. I'm, I'm, I'm in this continuous process of seeking and, um, gleaning understanding of how to hold simultaneously, you know, this knowing and this attunement.

To an enjoyment of the oneness, you know, while functioning inside of, uh, responding to living as wholly as I can within, and contributing as much healing as I'm able to, um, to this context of, you know, white supremacist, cis hetero.

Amy: Yes.

Michaela: Patriachy, and violence that we, that we find ourselves situated [00:18:00] inside of.

Amy: Yeah,

Michaela: So,

Amy: Oh, go ahead.

Michaela: Seeking balance, you know, has become very much a focus. With this work, like how to occupy all the realities simultaneously and be, um, be in that knowing and in, in the peace of that knowing. While being present in the world that's defined by things other than that oneness on the surface.


Amy: Yes, I, I think this must have been such an emotional navigation for you because, you know, we think about the whales and your work with the whales and the beautiful oneness in song. But, uh, like you said, your project is also heavily attached to the slave trade that passed through these waters. How do you navigate like the, [00:19:00] the most beautiful with the, the ugliest in your same project?

And, if I may also add to ask, which part of it came first. Were you looking to talk about the slave trade from like a marine perspective, or were you thinking about whales and then, the sort of middle passage connection came to you? Does that question even make sense?

Michaela: Um, that's not such an easy question to answer because I feel like I was always thinking about both.

Amy: Yes.


Michaela: know?

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: I mean, I, I, I have, my master's degree is in Africana studies. So in, in that work, and even in undergrad, some, you know, definitely a focus on diaspora studies and this connection to Africa and African spiritual traditions in particular has been a part of my journey for the past 30 years.

[00:20:00] So, ancestral work is always present and always on my mind, you know. In terms of the whales, I have felt a connection with the whales, animals in general my whole life. Um, and the whales in particular, since I first heard their songs as a teenager. Um, and so stored away in my consciousness was, was since first hearing them this idea that at some point I would do something with, with whale song, you know, and it came together as I said, in 2018 when I was in Brazil. Actually, 2017, I first went to, on whale, a whale watching trip and was able to meet whales for the first time. Humpback whales, and through that personal, [00:21:00] direct physical connection, I began to basically, you know, receive the downloads about what the work was to be. And it's been evolving from there really ever since. It's been a very, organic, not so much thought out intellectual process as one of really receiving guidance about what this work is, and, and it's supposed to be. And as I said, it's continuously evolving. .

Amy: Yeah. And I think, um, based on what I've read about you, um, that like a lot of us, you know, singing was, um, a, a spiritual birthright, a a birthright of joy.

I think you, you, um, started singing in the church like, like a lot of us do. So how has your spiritual journey of song changed throughout your life?[00:22:00]

Michaela: Um, how has it changed?

Well, I've definitely grown to place it in a more central position in terms of my, um, my work, you know? Um, it's so central. It's always been so central to who I am as a person.

Amy: Yes.

Michaela: Singing, you know?

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: Um, and in the past, I guess 20 years or so, it's been my career, you know? Um, and so I guess that would be the most [00:23:00] significant shift, um, is that I've been doing it as a career. Um, whereas before that shift, I had done many, many performances, some of which I received money in exchange for, some of which I didn't, you know, but I, I wasn't identifying as a, as a career vocalist.

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: Um, and through songwriting, which I've deepened into, I've always been a songwriter, but that's definitely sharing the songs that I create has been more of a focus over the past, mm, I would say six to seven years. Really, I was, I was one of those people who was writing songs and very few people would hear them, or [00:24:00] sporadically I would share a song or two that I had written and, um, eventually came to understand that, this was a central part of the work that I'm supposed to be doing with sharing music, is sharing the songs that I create. So that's definitely something that's changed and become more focal as well.

Amy: Can you maybe do like an emotional compare contrast to us? Like what's the same about singing from the pulpit as singing to and with whales versus how is it, how does it feel different? .

Michaela: Oh, well I always, you know, as a child singing in church, singing with gospel choir, I was very aware of the power of the music to bring me personally and, you know, based on [00:25:00] what I was observing everybody, into the space of feeling spirit present. You know, like that was what the music did. The music took us there. The music was the vehicle, the container inside of which everything else that happened in that building on Sunday existed. You know, the music was the way into and through,

Amy: mm-hmm.

Michaela: that, that ritual, that space, you know. And it's the same with the whales. It's, it's sacred. It's, it's, it's, and I'm, I'm, you know, at the sea, in, in the sea, at sea when singing to them. So that is, you know, holy water for me, for sure. Um, and so it's that connection to spirit, it's that connection to, divinity that is [00:26:00] very much the same in terms of how I feel it moving through me with them.

Now, what I'll say is different is that the whales have, a very particular vibration. And of course, you know, they're individual whales, each whale has their own vibration, their own personality, their own characteristics. You know, and there is a collective, um, whale spirit that I feel connected to that is this generosity, is this compassion, is this wisdom this, this profound and expansive awareness and knowing and love that is it's universal. It is so expansive. It's so far beyond what gets [00:27:00] identified as human consciousness. Uh, modern western, society is generally, um, defined by and touching that, connecting to that is, um, is an embrace that, um, is very comforting. Particularly given, you know, the madness that is just so rampant on the planet right now. Having that as wildly an anchor, you know, is, um, is very comforting and very reassuring that this is always happening, you know, well, all this other foolishness is going on.

The whales are continuously under the water, singing these [00:28:00] vibrations out around, you know, around the globe, around the planet. Um, and to my understanding, connecting, um, inter, inter galactically, um, with those songs as well, because it's not just us, you know, earthlings. Um, and so I feel, I feel that comfort.

I feel that embrace, I feel a safety, uh, inside of this connection with the whales and, and having their support and having their, their guidance and their tutelage. Um, with me,

Amy: I love this image that I have in my mind of you putting your songs into the water and them being then reflected back up into outer space for the whole universe to hear.

And you said something, you were talking about comfort and you said something that [00:29:00] I immediately got this sense of like exhilaration, but also that deep kind of sacred comfort that you talk about. You said the sea is holy water. I just kinda wanna repeat it again. The sea is holy water.

Michaela: Yes.

Amy: Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about your project, um, the Healing Room, speaking of being sacredly embraced and comforted?

Michaela: Yes, so the Healing Room, it's not so much a project as it is a, um, I don't know, orientation approach, philosophy. So, I have a song called The Healing Room, and over the years that I've been sharing this song, it's kind of become, sort of my [00:30:00] signature composition, you know? Um, and, and I lived in New Orleans for many years, um, and in creating music sharing spaces there, you know, some regular gigs that I had there, I began, calling the, the regular performances, the Healing Room, so that the sharing of music was an invitation. Is an invitation. To not just come and listen, but to come and be a part of an environment that is designed with the intention of healing. Um, that invites everyone present to participate, um, through singing.

Um, so there's a lot [00:31:00] of call and response. There's a lot of, you know, audience engagement with regard to the, the singing itself, because that's how I grew up, you know? Um, and tapping into the healing that music is, that music offers us, um, in a very intentional way. So something beyond the idea of performance or the idea of being on a stage transmitting something.

There is, there is a container that is very intentional, that's created, um, each time I sing, each time I occupy a space with my voice, that that has a purpose of relaying and exchanging, healing, um, that's offered in a way that's safe and that's held [00:32:00] and that is loving and, um, that prayerfully extends, you know, well beyond that physical space when people leave it.

So that's the Healing Room. It's a song, it's, it's whatever space, I find myself in making music, and it is what I offer to people, um, when they enter my home, when they, when they eat my food,

Amy: mm-hmm.

Michaela: it's the Healing Room.

Amy: Yes. I mean, I, I, like I said before, you know, I, I'm a big believer that music is like a divine gift that has been bestowed upon us and whales and birds, and so many.

Michaela: Yes.

Amy: Other, uh, creatures. So you'll, you'll be preaching to the choir when you answer this question, but how does music heal? How does singing heal?[00:33:00]

Michaela: Well,

Amy: From your, from your perspective.

Michaela: So I'll, I'll answer that in two ways. One, from sort of a broader universal perspective, and then from my specific perspective as a black woman coming from the tradition that I come from. So sound is vibration. Everything is vibration, right? And so music is vibration that is sent out and received.

Um, with particular frequencies and when intention, I mean, we're talking about magic, so you understand. We understand, all the witches listening understand, that when intention is combined with vibration, that frequency is magnified, that intention is carried on those vibrations and music. Because it [00:34:00] is something that exists as, uh, as an energetic force and also as a force that can be tangibly received through the senses through, your hearing, through feeling vibration, it is something that actually has a physical effect on the body. Those vibrations impact the body. They're absorbed by the body. They're received by the body. So music that is created with healing intention is received, um, by those who are receptive to it as healing vibration.

And I know personally that from the beginning, you know, singing in gospel choir I started when I was four, was something that I could [00:35:00] perceive how, as soon as the choir started to sing, as soon as the organ started to play, the energy in the room shifted, and it was always clear to me that it was the music that was making the change.

It was the music that was putting everybody into a space of being on one accord that was making people get happy and get the spirit and jump up and down and shout. And as I grew and learned more of my history, I came to understand that, it was singing, that was one of the main ways that black folks had used to survive.

You know, these experiences of oppression, um, from Jim Crow through enslavement, through capture and colonization in Africa, that singing had been, had [00:36:00] always been a means of survival. And not just survival, but transcendence of, you know, finding oneself, entrapped in a reality, that is so wretchet in so many ways and, and being able to tap into beauty and being able to tap into, spiritual power through the voice, through singing and through collective singing. Claiming freedom. Claiming liberation in the moment. Um, and also using that force, the power that is music, that is collective singing in particular to generate energy and generate power and generate a manifestation through movement work, the Civil Rights Movement, um, labor movements, et cetera, et cetera.

But the Civil [00:37:00] Rights movement specifically. And so in my time working with and being mentored by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, who's the founder Sweet Honey in the Rock, and one of the original SNCC Freedom Singers and amazing scholar and activist, I came to understand. Um, just how profoundly singing had brought us through so many trials and tribulations as black folks and I, I, I then saw myself situated inside of a lineage of, of healers.

Um, and survivors who had sung their way through, and that is, um, very central to how I understand my place in the world now at this point.

Amy: Yeah. And, and you brought me perfectly to the next thing I wanted to bring up, which is that I know you do community sings for MLK Day, [00:38:00] Lift Every Voice and Sing. So for you, We talked about healing and we, and we definitely touched on this, but how, how is singing political?

How is, I'm sorry, my dog is having a moment.

Michaela: Hello? No, don't be sorry. Hello? Hi, doggy.

Amy: Yeah.

Michaela: What's your dog's name?

Amy: Her name is Bijhu and I think maybe she's gonna leave the room now.

Michaela: Hello Bijhu.

Amy: No, she's digging in, she's digging in ok,

Michaela: Yeah, it's me and the animals it's ok.

Amy: It's like, I want Michaela to hear me singing. I want Michaela to hear me sing.

She says We Are One.

Michaela: That's right.

Amy: So, um, again, my, my question is like, how is singing political, how is singing activism in addition to being healing and communicative and spiritual.

Michaela: Well, first of all, it's claiming space, right? Making your voice be heard [00:39:00] is definitely a political act. You know, for people who have experienced oppression and the suppression of their voices and realities and identities and perspectives. So, um, taking the space, taking the audible space that singing is, is inherently political and then expressing, um, truths, perspectives, um, realities that have not necessarily been encouraged or supported by the mainstream, um, media focus. Um, is certainly an act of resistance [00:40:00] and defiance and affirmation and assertion of, of self-worth and, and value.

And for me personally, it's about where I, I place myself when I'm singing. You know, what kinds of environments do I sing in, what do I sing, you know, in terms of what I'm singing about, the lyrics that I'll sing or won't sing, um, where I lend my voice in terms of you know, movement work, singing at demonstrations, singing, um, in healing environments and retreat spaces, singing, um, with other people who are involved in progressive work, you know, to dismantle, white supremacy and the prison industrial complex and, you know, slavery and, you know, LGBTQ phobia, et [00:41:00] cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

So there's many different ways that singing can be political. Um, not the least of which is, you know, the words that are actually being sung. And I, I call in Nin a Simone. She's very present in my mind as I speak about this, as someone who dared, in her time to sing the truth, you know, and audience discomfort be damned.

Amy: Yes.

Michaela: You know, just really brought it wherever she was and suffered for that.

Amy: Yeah.

Michaela: You know, and is now very much celebrated for the record and the records that she left of, of having done that.

Amy: Yeah, but she certainly, um, it wasn't made easy for her.

Michaela: Yeah.

Amy: That's for sure. Yeah. Um, you, you made me think too about, um, Strange Fruit by Billy Holiday. I know a lot of [00:42:00] people like, sort of, I don't wanna say give credit to that song for the civil rights movement because that's like, an insane statement, but a a lot of people talk about how, you know, tightly woven that song is with their notion of, um, civil rights and, and what was happening with black people in the United States and like you say, Jim Crow and...

Michaela: Well, I think, you know, there were so many things happening in that moment, um, not the least of which is this technology, right? That is allowing voices to be recorded and projected around the world, right? And so,

Amy: Reach, yes.

Michaela: So, Strange Fruit, this recording by [00:43:00] Billy Holiday, which is, you know, in the late thirties. Comes out really is the first thing, you know, that gets this level of, of play, of circulation, you know, that is speaking directly to the terrorizeion of black people. And it's this technology that allows, this idea, this sound, this song, these words to circulate around the globe, and at the same time, world War II is happening. Black folks are going off to fight in this war against fascism in Europe, and really thinking hard about, you know, the, the racism that they experience at home. And [00:44:00] so they come back with, with this kind of like, No, we're not doing this anymore. You know, that whole timeframe sort of busted open the foundation that Jim Crow rested upon.

And so Strange Fruit is, is like this, this herald really, because it comes right at the beginning of World War II, right? And so it's like this, this herald of, of this crumbling, this dismantling that was to begin with the experience of black folks going off to fight in a war, to liberate, uh, folks who were experiencing things that were very similar to what they were experiencing at home, or in some cases, you know, parallel to, um, what they were experiencing at home.[00:45:00]

Amy: I just thought too about the, um, some say that one of the sort of inciting moments before Stonewall, the Stonewall Riots. Um, and, and, uh,

Michaela: yeah

Amy: and uh, um, prismatic, liberation,

Michaela: Yes.

Amy: Was the death of Judy Garland.

Michaela: Yes.

Amy: And that is always, I mean, people say it's not true and it's, you know, it's a coincidence. But, you know, maybe there was this moment where like, our rainbow singer died and we're just not gonna take it anymore.

You know, it's like this, the amazing power that a little girl singing about a rainbow can have that like echoes through the universe in ways that I'm sure Judy Garland, even even Billy Holiday, would, could never understand the way that, their singing, just singing, you know, so we take it so for granted singing, we can all [00:46:00] do it again.

It's our, it's our divine birthright, but it can start a revolution. Your song, Michaela, can start a revolution. And our listeners too. It's, it's amazing and humbling to think about for me, Judy Garland.

Michaela: Well, I'm so convinced that what. What we need to be doing right now is singing to change the state of things. I'm so convinced,

Amy: Yes!

Michaela: That singing together is the answer.

I'm so convinced that wailing together is the answer. I'm so convinced that setting our intentions to shift this vibration and, jettison, jettisoning our voices out into the air, into the waters, into the ethers as a collective of [00:47:00] folks who are joined in the intention of stopping this cycle of violence and harm that you know, all these systems we find ourselves inside of.

Um, are wreaking on the planet as a whole on women, on prismatic folks, on people of color, on all the ecosystems, on the animals that, that we can change this with our voices. I'm convinced of it. I'm convinced. I'm convinced.

Amy: I you've convinced me, if I had any doubts.

Michaela: All right, I share. I gotta recruit.

Amy: And I think everybody, everybody who is listening is if they weren't before, they are now convinced.

Um, would you consider, um, closing this circle with a [00:48:00] couple lines of singing from you?

Michaela: Sure. Sure.

Amy: Yay.

Michaela: Yeah, Um, okay. Let's see what wants to come through.

I think it's this one. This was in my head when I was, um, in the shower before we got on. And it's just a little, just a little four line dity. I think it's four lines, but it's something that, um, the lyrics actually come from an event, a Whale Whispering event that I did back in October for the Imagining America Conference.

And I was being interviewed by Jayesha Duta, uh, of Another Gulf is Possible and Jayesha, asked me something, I can't remember specifically something [00:49:00] about my approach to the work and I, I went back to listen to this interview because I was writing a piece for the Journal for Imagining America, which will be out sometime this year, I think.

Um, and so I went back to listen to the interview and these words that I responded with stood out for me. And I said, just say yes and listen and go with the flow. That was the answer that I gave her, and so that sort of echoed in my mind and became this song,

Just say yes and listen. Then go with the flow.

When you stop resisting,

your true self [00:50:00] will shine, when you pray through this circumstance, when you pray and have confidence.

That your prayers have been heard and answered.

Amy: That was so fucking beautiful.

Michaela: Awww....

Amy: Oh my goodness. That was so beautiful.

Thank you so much, Michaela. Um, before, um, We let you out. Um, can you tell our listeners how they can support you? Where they can find you, where to send the you their money?

Michaela: Oh, thank you, thank you. Um, yes, my website is Michaela [00:51:00] and Michaela's, uh, M I C H A E L A, like Michael with an "a" Michaelaharrison.org.

Um, there is a page specifically for web, Wale Whispering on there. Um, and there's, um, on every page on the website, I think a button to be able to, to donate to make an offering to the work. So you can do it directly through my website. There's also music available for purchase. Um, I have two CDs that are CDs of cover music.

I'm working on getting the funds together to record all my original music. So, um, and there's also available, for purchase right now and really like within days, I'm so behind on this, but it's coming through in the next few days. The We Are One track of me and that whale. Um, having the conversation, the songversation about We Are One [00:52:00] underwater is available for download, for purchase on my website, and very soon will be available just to listen to for free.

So there's many ways to, to support and engage and you know, for folks who don't have, money to offer. Um, just engaging and listening and, and sharing and being a part of the intention of the work is, is also a way of contributing.

Amy: Yes, just say yes and listen.

Michaela: Yes.

Amy: Thank you again, listeners, we encourage you to go out and have your own songversations. Keep singing, carry on, and Blessed Fucking Be. Thank you so much, Michaela Harrison.

Michaela: Thank you Amy. And I wanna just, you know, before we close, I wanna say I use that word songversation because it really is what I experience in my exchange with the whales and, [00:53:00] the wonderful, the marvelous, the fabulous India Arie, another amazing singer.

Amy: Mm-hmm.

Michaela: Has a song called Songversation, and so I wanna give her that credit, um, as we, uh, use that term.

Amy: Yes. Music Video. Uh, her song, Music Video has been...

Michaela: Video. Mm-hmm. .

Amy: Yeah. Video,

That's it. Video has been huge throughout my life.


Michaela: Yes. I've sing that song a lot.

Amy: Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

Michaela: Mm-hmm.

Amy: Thank you again so much. Michaela, I love that word, songversation, and I will look for the India Arie song, listeners, please support Michaelas', multiple projects. I really need that, um, album of original music. So help me help her. Help me.

Michaela: Thank you so much Amy. Thank you for having me.

Amy: Thank you again. And for one last time, Blessed Fucking Be

Michaela: [00:54:00] Blessed Be.

Be a Witch. Be a Witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. Be a witch. You must be a witch. Just a reminder that The Missing Witches fundraiser for Native Women Shelters is happening now throughout the month of May. Check out our website at www.missingwitches.com for all the details, and join us on Patreon a patreon.com/missingwitches.

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