Indigenous Futurism Round 2: Edgar Fabián Frías + Chrystal Toop

Who gets to create the dreamworld? What do we want to have realized when we're already there?

Risa Dickens
May 11, 2023
38 min read
Witches FoundAncestorsIndigenous MagicKinshipBeltaneReparations

It's May, we are almost halfway through our annual joyful community fundraiser in support of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal! We invite you to listen to these joyful and heartfelt sketches of a living future, to connect with these brilliant thinkers, and to make your donation!

Edgar Fabián Frías is a nonbinary Wixárika artist, psychotherapist, educator, curator, and brujx based in Los Angeles. Their art spans a diverse range of mediums, including installation, photography, video art, sound, sculpture, printed textiles, GIFs, performance, social practice, and community organizing. Frías has a notable ability to convey stories and narratives through their art, which addresses historical legacies, acts of resistance, resiliency, and radical imagination within the context of Indigenous Futurism, spirituality, healing practices, play, pedagogy, animism, and queer aesthetics. Their work seeks to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary art, creating a rich tapestry that speaks to the complexities of our modern world. Frías' work has been exhibited internationally at prestigious venues such as the Vincent Price Art Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Oregon Contemporary, MOCA Jacksonville, Project Space Festival Juárez, and ArtBo, and has been featured in several publications, including Cosmopolitan, Taschen, ELLE UK, Bustle, Los Angeles Times, Slate, CVLT Nation, Terremoto, and Hyperallergic.

Chrystal Toop is an Indigenous Storyteller, community educator, and life spectrum doula. She is the founder of Blackbird Medicines, a plant and land-based spiritual community practice. An author and speaker, Chrystal shares insights and intersectionalities of her lived experiences including generational survivorship of residential school and grassroots activism. Chrystal is passionate about reclaiming culture and identity as restorative healing justice.

In 2022, Chrystal launched the Indigenous Death Doula training program, free for Black, Indigenous, People of the Global Majority until December 2024. Please visit her website www.blackbirdmedicines.ca to learn more about current and previous offerings of heartwork.


[00:00:08] Risa: Welcome home to the Missing Witches Coven. Welcome back, listeners, friends tiny little irises all the familiars who are here with us today. Welcome back. Thanks for being with us. This is our second episode dedicated to indigenous futures, indigenous future isms for the month of May while we celebrate our annual month of reparations and our joyful fundraiser wave, which is underway While you're listening to this, hooray and good job everyone, and let's fucking kill it.

All the way to the end. Amy, do you wanna tell folks a little bit about that fundraiser and then we will ease properly into an introduction of our incredible guests? And I think beloved friends of the podcast, I certainly have come to adore them and their work and the way they think and their openness and kindness with their work.

And yeah, the integrity and the sense of being brought into a portal that they both open, that feels appropriate for talking about the future. Anyway, we'll let Crystal Tube and Edgar Fabian Frias introduce themselves in a minute. Amy, tell us what the people can win.

[00:01:27] Amy: Well, hello, it's May and that means I have a scripted speech to deliver about a fundraiser, and I will keep doing this all month.

So, Every year we do a fundraiser with our coven in support of First Nations women. As always Risa and I will be contributing our profits for the month of May to the native women's shelter of Montreal. In addition, we're asking our listeners to make a donation and a reparation. We know that most of you are listening from the United States, so wherever you are, we encourage you to find a local, a local native women's shelter to support.

And some places don't have First Nation specific orgs, so we'll also accept donations from shelters for vulnerable women and children, sex workers, or victims of violence. But we would appreciate a focus on support of indigenous people. This year we've got more than 20 prizes, thousands of dollars worth of classes, art, jewelry, readings.

Books and more donated by our covenant large, just waiting to be yours. These include prize packs from Jinx Monsoon, Sarah Steiner Pam Grossman among others. So stick around to the end of this episode to hear the full list of prizes or head to our website right now for full descriptions and to see photos.

But most importantly, here's what you're going to do. Make your donation of $10 or more. Take a screenshot of your receipt and email it to missingwitches@gmail.com with the subject line reparation what country you're in, plus the amount of your donation. The amount is important because for every $10, you'll get one entry into the raffle for these prizes.

So if you donate $50, you'll get five entries and so on. And just a reminder that we never touch this money. You can keep your tax receipts and know that we are not making any kind of profit off of this fundraiser. All of the details will be on our website, and socials winners will be chosen at random and announced on June 1st.

Plus, everyone who donates will automatically get discount codes from our favorite witchy businesses. As always, this fundraiser is an experiment, so if you think it's a cool idea, please help us make it successful by making a small or large reparation to First Nations women who have been systematically marginalized and disenfranchised both socially and economically.

Let's raise some real money, make some real change, and be blown away by what we can do when we work together.

[00:04:22] Risa: Thanks for being here, folks, and for listening to the spiel about the thing we do this time of year. I wanna invite Crystal first to introduce yourself, and I mean that in the broadest way possible.

Like, who are you today? What are you working on? How are you feeling? You know, like tell us a little bit about you and your work.

[00:04:48] Chrystal: I'm from Renfru County, Pembroke Ontario, unceded Algonquin territory, and I'm a member of the Algonquins of Pic, Wagan First Nation. also have French Polish whole, you know, my, my pie charts are real interesting.

But I get my connections to my community through my mother and my matriarchal line. And after being displaced for several generations, I'm. I'm feeling pretty good today. Coming back to my ancestral community. I'm, I'm here with you all very excited. I love this annual fundraiser. I love how you are so smart and have done it, and I'm just feeling very equally smart having, you know, gotten myself here twice in a row.

So I'm feeling really good and what the heck, who am I and what do I do? I'm a public speaker, believe it or not. And I'm an educator, a counselor, a helper, and sometimes I am often a lot more comfortable behind the scenes doing those community helper things. But today I'm very excited to, to be upfront and I'm a mom, a wife Amateur Green Witch tattoo addict slash revitalizer.

Yeah, I don't know. I have different little hats I can put on at any time of the day, but definitely very excited to be here with everybody. So what,

[00:06:20] Risa: We have to come back to Blackbird Medicines and that whole aspect of your work, but I feel so like electrified and really grateful that you felt like you could take your introduction to that place with us.

I feel like we actually heard you there, which is so hard sometimes in introductions where we just like put up a, a list of our hits, you know? So I really appreciate that. Edgar, how are you, who are you today? Tell us about your work and your, how you're

[00:06:52] Chrystal: feeling.

[00:06:52] Edgar: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Such an honor and a gift to be here and to be a part of this incredible event and to know that we're gonna be supporting so many folks just really is warming my heart and I've just been really excited to reconnect again. It's been a moment since we've gotten to chat and so much has happened since we last saw each other.

I've moved to different states and finished a graduate program and I am back now in my fourth month back in Los Angeles, which is also home to the Tongva people. And my family's from Mexico. I was born in Southern California near Los Angeles. And my people are the bik, which is a community that exists all over the world, but it is, is predominantly in Saca, Lesco, Oaxaca, and.

I am, you know, feeling all over the place today in the best way where I have had the chance to work on art. I've been working on some writing. I got to go for a walk. I've just really been kind of feeling the flow today and just feeling a lot of gratitude for being able to live a life in this way. And to be able to share so many parts of myself.

I'm someone who exists in many realms. I am, you know, AKI or witch and I offer workshops and events. I make spells. I also work on art cuz I'm also an artist. And my work can be seen in museums and galleries, also on the internet and social media. And any place I am able to share it. And I also offer tarot.

I offer Events and ceremonies. And I'm also a therapist too. Definitely I'm someone who has a background in somatic psychotherapy and I integrate a lot of spiritual and creative practices into my therapy practice. And I've now been for almost a year in private practice where I work one day a week with folks and then the rest of the time is art.

So it, I feel really blessed to have been able to arrive to this place where I have this balance where I'm still able to offer support and to be with people in this way while also focusing on all the many projects that emerge in my life. So thank you so much for

[00:09:22] Amy: having

[00:09:22] Chrystal: me.

[00:09:24] Risa: Thank you. Oh my gosh. I wonder if we can stay with you for a second.

Would you? Think out loud about something you feel like your, your practice, your work, it's so hydra headed and like, so polyvocal. What is something that your work is, has taught you


[00:09:46] Edgar: Oh yeah. Wow. I think one of the big things that it's really taught me is to get clear on my intentions and to really know what I'm trying to do with my many different disciplines and practices.

It's also really been a great teacher when it comes to learning about boundaries and really caring for myself and my time and my space. Because I really realized more and more as I expand and diverse and move into multiple realms, that time is really precious and it's really precious what we're able to do with it.

And I think that's something that my practice has also really been teaching me is to really value what I'm able to do and how I'm able to reach folks and to know that I'm able to reach folks directly one-on-one. And also knowing that you know, we're creating legacies that we're leaving and, you know, we're touching people beyond time and space too.

And that's something that I really feel like my practice has also been showing me, is that I am a part of a lineage and I'm also building something that is planting seeds and having effect beyond what I can even understand. Cuz I've been surprised over and over. So, yeah. Thank you so much for that question.

I think it is such a big question that I'm just like, ah, I feel like I, I could spend some time writing about this too, just cuz there's so much, so much there to. Connect with.

[00:11:13] Risa: Yeah. Well, I wanna read that when it's written and publish it. If you, if you want us spot, I wanna keep thinking about it and I wanna keep think, drawing that question into how we think about the future, you know, keeping doors open or, or planting seeds for the future.

Crystal, would you tackle this question with us or, or share a bit of your perspective on what you're learning from your work these

[00:11:37] Chrystal: days? Well, I, I just, I feel like I need to riff off of the intention piece because that's something I find I've been you know, having to reacquaint and realign like my perspective with my intentions.

It's, it's definitely been something that has been coming up for me possibly with the crazy time of the recent New Moon and Mercury retrograde and all these other things and like, oh yeah.

Plus, you know, perimenopause or whatever, like hormones and age, and that's a whole thing. And we're trying to, you know, age gracefully, like these, you know, luscious berries on the vine and, and that intention It's just, it, it's really important cuz it does guide so much of these, you know, even just what you said about having these different kind of modalities in different ways that you do your work.

It's, I, I struggle with that myself. I always joke like, I have the worst elevator pitch. It's like nonexistent. It's like, and my husband too, when people ask him what I do, he just, he, he's getting better than me actually. It's like, where do I wanna put my energy really?

How am I making sure I stay this luscious berry on the vine as I, as I hang in there? The futurism peace of doing that work. Especially with, you know, the helping profession and, and working with people one-on-one and unpacking and repacking and, we're touching down with people. Sometimes it's worse time of their life. Sometimes it's the most confusing. Certainly with my work with people around like death, doula work and stuff like that. You know, sometimes they're so deep into the work they don't even realize they're doing the work.

So intention can just be such a powerful grounding, I guess. Yeah, that's what flourished there.

[00:13:31] Amy: I wanna ask you to respond to one more word that Edgar used that I think is so important and has been such a massive part of my, like awakening. Is that word boundaries. Yeah,

crystal just made the knowest face. I wish that I could describe it to you in better words, but yeah, boundaries. It's a big one. And I know that this is something you've written and thought about,

[00:13:54] Chrystal: Well,

Hopefully my dogs are not coming up. So boundary.

It's, it's a, what a great word. And definitely, something that comes up over time repeatedly because we get more comfortable with holding those boundaries. you know, we were chit-chatting a little bit about my, my teen daughter before we got going. And she is so good at boundaries. Like she could really teach a class.

And she's also working through those things with her peer relationships where she's recognizing that some, some kids aren't learning that in their, in their experience. And you know, it's just like how awesome we, we teach our kids more about consent than ever before. You know, we have actual words and tools and skills to, to frame consent for children.

It's one and the same, right? Our boundaries are so fundamental to our own wellness. And even learning that can take like 20, 30 plus plus plus because so much of it is conditioned in our society to, to let those boundaries be mowed down. So when we, when we take time to do that, it's, sometimes it's a lot more work when you have boundaries, but I promise if you hang in, it will pay off.

And in some places people believe they live longer. So I think, at least that's what my daughter tells me. She's like, I'm gonna be really old. So

[00:15:29] Risa: my four year old is also excellent at boundaries, it's inspiring. Honestly. I learn from her all the time. Which, you know, gives me a lot of hope for the future.

For sure. Edgar, do you wanna extend on the idea of boundaries and consent and how that charts of futurism maybe of


[00:15:49] Edgar: Yeah. There's so many directions we can go with this. You know, I, I've been. In a sense, like one, one of the reasons, and I think that this connects with intentions, like I think I, I have a part of myself that wants to expand and continue to expand and just do as much as I can and gets really excited and doesn't wanna say no.

And I feel like one of the big lessons I've been learning is yeah, how to have boundaries with that really excited part of myself without having it feel defeated or like, it's not, you know, important to feel that excitement. Cuz I love that excitement and that feeling of like, oh, yay, I'm, I'm like connecting with this community.

I'm supporting this project, I'm doing this artwork that I love, like, and knowing really what feels important, what my priorities are, what I'm really wanting to work on for this like era or this moment in my life. And, Being able to really create a scaffolding, create some sort of container that helps me then make more of those things happen.

And I really feel like this connects a lot to lineages as I was sharing, where I've been really feeling called to creating more work that is going to have a lasting impression that is going to be communicated beyond, let's say 15 seconds on social media, for example, which is also powerful.

And I love and obviously traverse in those realms. And I've also been thinking about more long-term, like having folks find me in the library, having people seeing me in archives or in our historical canons and the importance of bringing in queer, trans, indigenous voices into those spaces. And I need boundaries to be able to focus on that, to be able to know that that is a certain kind of work and.

I think unfortunately, you know, n not a lot of us, and I'm speaking for myself, but I'm, I'm imagining maybe people listening could resonate with this. Like not a lot of us are taught, like those other elements or parts that like augment creative practice or spiritual or community or cultural bearing practices that are around like archiving and saving, containing, documenting, you know, organizing, doing all these things that like can give something longevity or can connect it to something larger than just, you know, one person.

And I think it's been definitely like a growth edge and I feel like I'm in a part of my practice. I think kind of going back to the earlier question of where we are, like I feel like I am in a place where my art practice is evolving and changing and I'm having to like reprioritize and think about it in different ways and.

It's hard, like I feel like there are no classes for this or we're not really taught these types of things. And so it is a lot of self-reflection and coming to understand what you value and what feels important. And also knowing that sometimes you could have an intention and something might come in that emerges that like shifts that intention or makes you focus on something for a while and to come back to that intention later.

So it's a process. And I do feel like boundaries are a big part of really helping, at least to create some sort of scaffolding and what can really feel you know, like hard to navigate. And so you, you create at least some sort of path that you can follow and that can support you as you start to make decisions.

[00:19:19] Risa: I love the

idea of boundaries as container. That's so magical and protective a way to, to think about that idea. It's not always about like, keeping shit out sometimes. It's about like, nurturing what's inside the boundary. Okay. Can we sort of glimmer forward? Can you just imagine out loud what this future looks like and also how did we get here this, like, this dazzling future on the horizon?

You know, Edgar and Crystal's books are not just on the shelves, but they're you know, at the heart of an important canon of indigenous thinking and practices. Queer practices and feminist practices this whole movement has, has like brushed forward a hundred years.

Like what, who else is there? How did we get there? Let's just play the future game. Will you do that with me,

[00:20:23] Chrystal: I think of caregivers. I think of celebrity and legacy, and I think of how our society makes the move from what it is now to that future and that.

I, I, I, I wanna see this shift where the caregivers become the celebrities, or at least paid and held up in the same way that we value these, you know, these, I mean, I, I'm a absolute cinephile, but there's a little bit of pay disparity that can just shift and we can, and the celebrities are joining these causes with speaking out about the importance of caregiving and caregiver work.

And it's always, since time and Memorial been the foundation of our societies and it's, we know that we're better off when we're more cared for. So I see that, I am calling it into the path ahead because I. We have this legacy work as doulas that we can do if you're a birth or death doula, whatever it is, you might be called upon to help form a legacy for someone who's, who's gone through to the sky world.

And some people get really freaked out about that. And it's always sounded. To me, kind of like those obituaries where it's sort of your little paragraph to Crow at the world about how wonderful this person was. And then we watch it on like P B s finding our roots or something where they really found the stories.

And those are awesome. And there's this really cool thing now that they do where you can get a little QR code on a gravestone or as part of a, you know, an obit or something like that. And I think about that sometimes because we know that celebrities now talk about, you know, there's a real burden of growing up and having everything documented in social media and the internet that we didn't have 30 years ago.

And if you had all of that documented, and I see, I thought of that legacy for the future. And if I was to get my little QR code scanned, how would I feel about what came up? Honestly, I felt kind of awesome, but

I was like, that's my parameter. What do I want to come up? And I think that's how we have to think when we're trying to get there. What do we want to think when we're there? What do we wanna have realized when we're already there? And maybe that can start forming the, the stones on the path for us.

[00:23:14] Edgar: I love that you're sharing care in the center. That feels so good to my heart to hear that. And. Fully agree that there is this like reorientation that feels so powerful and magical to, you know, turn community back towards what's been there for thousands of years, which are the, as you said, doulas, the healers, the medicine people, the visionaries, the folks who really hold community together and who help in these big moments of transition as you're sharing.

And I feel like that could be such a profound medicine and a balm to all of the ways in which people are feeling really lost and really disenfranchised and hopeless and. There is definitely a moment that we're living in right now where there's a big competition about who gets to really create the, you know, the dream world or the imaginable world that we exist in.

And I know that indigenous communities are experts at creating worlds, at making realities. And to me that's a big part of this future is being able to bring in cosmologies ontologies ways of thinking and existing and perceiving all throughout all of the different disciplines and regimentation that colonization has made.

And then of course, dissolving all those regimentation and unifying practices and bringing people into the fold of an imaginable world that we all get to create together. And. That to me feels like such a big space of potentiality, such a scary place, such a messy place. And also somewhere that we really all need to show up in our full authenticity.

And it's a beckoning that I think a lot of us feel and a lot of us are feeling called towards. And I also feel like it's scaring a lot of people, and especially folks with a lot of privilege. It's really scaring people to know that that world, which so many were benefiting from is dying. It's gone. And the L more folks really grieve and come to accept that reality.

The more that we can make space and hold space for what is wanting to emerge between us, and I think we need to also move through that. In order to get to this future, we need to move through all this grief, this sadness, this transmutation that needs to happen. And reorganization is definitely huge. And so I'm really grateful to this this scaffolding, this container of us moving healers and caregivers into the center of community and then having them guide us and provide support and us obviously supporting them back so they can continue to do their work and uplifting their work.

And this already will start to reorganize society. So I have so much hope in what's to come and I know that there is so much work to do and feel really grateful to be called to be a part of this work.

[00:26:39] Risa: I was interested in what was going through your mind with, the idea of mourning the death of that world that many people benefited from, especially from your perspective as a death doula.

How can we apply, or how could you maybe apply your way of thinking about that work on the larger

perspective of death?

Oh, it, it feels, it, it feels separate and it feels the same. It, you know, there's, there's the part of like this world that is dying. Absolutely. And this, you know, these kind of towers of power are, are definitely crumbling at the foundations.

And that is so hard for people with privilege. And there's some kind of, you know, Interesting. You know reach for those folks to kind of discredit and those, there's the things that are said that it's like, oh, woke blah, blah, blah. And, you know, they find a way to kind of poo poo and everything. And, and that's, you know, kind of expected, right?

But I just, I think about there are folks that keep trying to get it and they don't seem to quite grasp it. And I, there's like just this layer of fragility that's really, they're really snuggled up tighten. And I mean, I just don't envy that particular part of the process for folks. It is super uncomfortable and super awkward and as a death doula and, you know, supporting people through grief, like so much of You know, with the pandemic and climate crisis you know, piled on top of each other and compounded of having the pandemic and then resource extraction continuing and violence at man camps and women are still going missing and, and horrible things are still happening in healthcare institutions.

It just is really exhausting and, and discouraging. But it is something that I'm happy to be able to at least witness a major leg of this shift in my lifetime. There's so many layers to it, whether it's from, you know, for the first time we have all of this socially acceptable dialogue around mental health that's unprecedented.

I mean, that's huge and. You know, maybe some people who are struggling with those shifts and those deaths and those griefs of, of, of everything. Maybe they'll they'll be part of that. It, it's, it, it, it is hard. Sometimes it's part of the vicarious trauma I struggle with and sometimes I cannot, I need the news filtered through my partner like the cliff notes or, you know the grief is, you're always carrying it, you're always recovering from it.

You're always trying to give others tools to cope with it. I just feel kind of like, ugh, heavy all here, just thinking about it. There's so much that we need to, to shift. Yeah, I'm, I guess, yeah, that's kind of the note I'll leave. Survived in other generation.

Does that ring true for you, Edgar? That feeling? Do you feel that in your body? I

[00:29:57] Edgar: did. Yeah, definitely. It's, it's so massive and I definitely feel it in the folks that I work with and the folks that I've been supporting in different ways. I feel that weight, and I think that weight is, yeah, it's. Really being called forward for that healing.

And it's gonna be a really intense process. And I do feel more and more people being called to step into that role. And I really love what you were saying around, you know, us having more dialogue and bringing able, being able to bring these things into the light, I think is so important. Being able to bring these things into community is so important because so many of these things were not spoken about, whether it's mental health or colonization and exploitation and violence against so many different kinds of communities.

Some of these things were just taken as fact and as part of resource extraction, right? Or as part of colonization. And these things are really being talked about and studied and analyzed, and again, brought into community where we're all holding that together and. To me, that's something that is really profound and I also feel that gratitude in being able to witness and also that.

You know, exhaustion of having to hold so much. And, you know, I'm so grateful to the parts of myself that, you know, again, going back to boundaries, are able to, you know, put up some like psychic shields or like some energetic containers to really keep me in a place where I can still be curious and imagine and hope and play and care for myself and, and care for others because I do know that this is a lot for people to handle.

And as we've seen, some folks cannot handle what's going on. It is too much for their system. And so there is something also around resiliency and building up your. Ability to hold, to hold complexity, to hold pain, to hold what's wanting to be birthed into this world and what's also wanting to leave.

And and that takes a lot of strength and courage and also rest and caring for yourself because those are also a big part of this work too, is making sure that we're able to show up again, right? Knowing that sometimes it's okay to take a step back and to care for yourself and to go into your cave and do what you need to do to, to just return.

And so also want to really validate that and normalize that. That's a big part of the process too, is to Yeah, to care for yourself and your communities. And again, I, that's why I love caretakers being really centered and, and being a big part of this, because that's the only way we're gonna make it through this.


[00:32:59] Amy: I think,

[00:33:00] Edgar: A big part in, in my perspective of like indigenizing the future is, is a recognition of our, our non-human allies, friends, and foes. I'm wondering, I mean, when we first jumped on the crawl, crystal, you were like, I saw an eagle and a deer today. And, and Edgar, when we asked you what you were doing, you said, I went for a walk today.

And first of all, I want to thank you both for like shifting the paradigm of, of what what we say about our goals and our achievements and seeing an eagle and a deer is an accomplishment that you had today and should be treated as such. First of all, let me just say thank you for adding. I went for a walk to a list of laudable accomplishments for today, but my question is more general and broad.

Whoever wants to jump in first, can you talk about how the non-human world Works its way into your practice or your work or your philosophy?

[00:33:57] Chrystal: for myself, I mean, I have four dogs, so that starts there. But my crazy dog lady but I really like they do give me so much joy and I didn't ever expect to have four dogs. I got them staggered, not all at once. But they're definitely a big part of that joy and rest in my environment and, you know, kind of still in those caregiver lines and also boundary lines and that rest that we need to, to, you know, be encouraging with ourselves around Yeah, definitely getting to see animals.

Like we, I'm really lucky where I live there's mountains and lakes and I'm near the, my traditional territory, a k a Algonquin park. And you know, there's so much that you can witness. You can take an easy drive with. You know, even with accessibility needs or limitations around mobility you can see nature and you can take it in right up close and.

That's a huge gift coming from living in the city for years and years and years trying to survive in city spaces and just, you know, I always found ways to make the most of what I had, whether it was the Ottawa Canal or, you know, the Ottawa River or the patch of grass. There's or the, or the garden bombers.

Oh, bless the garden bombers. I love those. You know, just finding those unexpected places and, and creating a relationship with my plant kin. Of course the, the Holy Bible that is Braiding Sweetgrass has so many You know, deep, deep ways for you to find those connections. And for me, it's no different.

And, and to be able to, you know, see the little strawberries peeking out in the crack next to the foundation of where I live to see and understand how I can feed myself from, you know, our plant can and what they offer and, you know, all of those things together. And just having the joy to be able to enjoy the stillness that I maybe didn't have in my youth.

And other times yeah, I feel like that, you know, just being able to take in the wind, seeing that same cardinal every time I talk to my cousin because my grandma's listening. You know, all those, all those little things really They're, they're part of privilege to be able to connect with it.

And it's, it's something that if you're still enough, you can hopefully get a chance to enjoy. I, I have always felt that it's not specific to where you are there, there's ways to connect. And if it's a glass of water that you drink in with intention it's, it counts. It counts. And if that's all that you've got, it's gonna count even more.

Yeah, I feel happy. I wanna snuggle a puppy now. They're very loud. I won't get them.

[00:36:58] Risa: I, I feel like maybe this is part of your practice as a healer, a caregiver, or maybe this is just part of who you are, but you're so good at summarizing what you've just said so eloquently with like a feeling in your body.

Like both times you've been like, I feel this weight, or like, no, I feel this snuggle.

Like it's

really an interesting gift. How about for you Edgar? I love that question, Amy.

[00:37:29] Edgar: Really connects with me in so many ways.

I'm. So in love with the relationships I've built with plants and animals and the elements, and it's such a deep resource for me. It's a place that I know I can turn to whenever I need it. And that walk that I shared I went on was definitely filled with flowers and clouds and wind and sun. And it's in those moments where I do receive deep ancestral communion and knowledge is shared and I'm able to connect and collaborate and I'm able to send my love and offer things to the plants, to the flowers.

And there's this deep relationship that I am ever so grateful for because it has helped me really build that resiliency so that I can return back to the computer screen, I can return back to my practices knowing that I've been nourished and I've been able to connect. And I love what you were just sharing around the different ways that nature can show up in cities and outside of cities and, you know, knowing that it is a.

So important if you're able to, to, you know, get outside of a city every once in a while or give yourself the gift of being really surrounded by trees or to be surrounded by land or water. And to also know that it is in those small moments where you are connecting with a flower essence or you have a glass of water or a crystal in your hand.

These are also moments where you can connect and to also give yourself that if, whenever you're able to, to give the, those moments to really tune into and be still as you were sharing, because I think that's a big part of the practice that. It can really nourish us too and, and give us those moments that we can really use to reconnect and receive guidance and support.

I've had so many moments in my life where I felt lost or I felt ho hopeless or disenfranchised or dislocated. And it was a plan that like rescued me and brought me back in and shared some wisdom with me that I was really needing to hear. And I love sharing about this with people because I want people to know that that's a resource.

And you know, earlier Crystal, you were sharing about the work that, you know, these systems sometimes do to invalidate or dismiss these types of experiences and. I think that's why I also really share about it because it's important to know that these experiences are real, these relationships are real.

And we're not alone because I think that is what ends up happening, is that people feel like they're lost and they're all by themselves when they're surrounded by so much life and love and support. And I think that's really important to name that it's always there waiting for us, and there are an infinite amount of ways that we can access that.

Okay. This

[00:40:37] Risa: is a strange question and or I don't know, don't, don't answer this if you don't want to, but if, as I believe it is centering an indigenous understanding of kinship relationships, that availability of this healing many voiced world is. Right At the heart of mapping a future, a living future, what would you say, and it's not your responsibility to say it, but what would you say to all of the settler white people who feel crippled with guilt in, in some ways, and, and white fragile guilt of like, that's not for me.

I shouldn't touch that. I mean like left wing, good meaning intentioned or right wing, but witches who are like, I, I don't, I don't wanna take something that's not mine, that's not fucking for me. I know how much damage has been caused there. Is there, is there a path to that that makes sense for you to

[00:41:43] Chrystal: talk about?

Well, I deal with this a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot. There's a lot of a cultural appropriation in, in. Doula work so much and, and in healing work it's kind of ridiculous. And even calling folks out can somehow warp out at times and turn into some really crazy PR campaign that actually backfires and they get even more attention.

Yeah, there's, that's something I had to plan for with the death doula training, the indigenous death doula training. I. When I decided to become a death doula, I could not find anything specific or anywhere specific to reach out to, to learn or to get a little advice or heck share some, some links on the interwebs with, and everything was geared to kind of mainstream supports.

And I just found myself struggling over and over again. And then you would say, okay, well I'll learn what I can. And then you end up in an environment where you're learning indigenous customs from non-indigenous people and they're not even doing it right. And they don't credit where they learned it from and they're making money from it and, and, and, and, and, oh.

So all that to say I had to strategize, and we, I've seen this in indigenous women's support centers over the years. Shelters like you name it. If it says indigenous on it, there's gonna be somebody who comes along and definitely wants to be from the line. And I've seen people have a lot of different reactions.

I was taught a lot of different reactions, and there's always one now that I share because it's so, such an issue. And also because we have a lot of folks here who don't know their ancestry and they maybe have, you know, oral history that they're, it's so oldest, worst game of telephone ever. So what I was taught was that we all belong in the circle regardless of your, you know, color, creed, race, whatever.

We all are meant to be part of the circle, and you're always going to be welcome in the circle. But when you are. Joining the circle bumps other people out who are not able to get to that circle. You know, there's a lot of good things I see people do like, you know support, like pay it forward kind of thing.

I really haven't seen a lot of folks be turned away, but it's when they start causing harm. And that's the thing, like, that's how we ended up all colonized. Like indigenous people are very polite and accommodating and no, not all of them. That's crazy. But, but there is, like, there is a lot, my, my nation, other nations that I've learned about there is like, there's manners, there's definitely. You know, ways where we were welcoming folks into that circle and looking out for each other as, as beings, not, categories. And that's always the underlying spirit. It's, it's just when you're, when you're asked, you know, one of the things I used to do is work with the Cairo's blanket exercise, and this is something that has been really largely controlled by ecumenical bodies, despite it being, you know, family stories, family history, lived experiences.

So there's a lot of ways that people would ex, you know, express that fragility. And when you completely derail something, derail an event, derail, you know, everyone else's enjoyment, this is when you've gone too far, this is when the, you've made a wrong turn. It's okay to be there. It's okay to be participating, but it's important to ask permission.

It's important to be respectful. I get a lot of random questions all the time, and I always have, and I, you know what, I'm always gonna answer them because that's something I can do that maybe, you know, will prevent some harm, harm reduction for my community. And if I can provide that harm reduction so they're not bothering more people in the community, that's important as well.

So I always tell people, just ask. Ask permission. The latest thing was like someone was invited by a First Nation to join and facilitate like a farmer's market, and they won an award for how wonderful this farmer's market was. And then they invited the non-indigenous people from the farmer's market to talk about the partnership and collaboration and why they won the award for collaboration.

And she came to me and she was like, I don't feel right about this. I was like, yeah, good instincts. Why don't you go back to the people who offered you the space and also pay them. So many of us do this work to, you know, pay the bills and we're gonna do it whether we pay the bills or not.

Unfortunately, that's kind of the nature of helpers. But yeah, it's, it never hurts to ask, but maybe don't ask just one person and maybe make sure you're asking the people whose land you're on. That's always a good start too. Native land.ca. Great resource.

[00:47:21] Edgar: Yeah. I feel like, you know, the word, you know, take, I feel like really stood out in what you were sharing, just cuz I do feel like that. That does speak of that like fear or that like imbalance that comes up for folks and I really appreciate what you were just sharing right now, crystal around being in right relationship and being able to understand the space that you take up, the privileges you go into spaces with, and also understand what is needed to keep certain people and systems.

Alive and thriving and you know, both human and non-human. And so I think that, you know, connecting back to, you know, indigenous concepts of land stewardship and being in right relationship with different elements or different beings means to be someone who is of service and who is caring for, and who wants to see things thriving and growing.

And so it, you know, definitely behooves people to learn what it means to offer back to the land. Or if you're going to ask for something, what does it mean to, to give something? What does it mean to enter into relationship to build packs and agreements? What does it also mean to have folks from your own communities that are available to help you process?

When that fragility comes up. And I think going back to this dream of a future of having caregivers in the center, I think there's also a way that, you know, we could center folks of different communities that could be available to help people when they get up against these spaces where they need that support from someone, maybe from a community that's more aligned with them, so that it doesn't have to become a burden for other people to then hold that space for them.

But then of course, we need to have these systems in place to really be able to offer these resources for people and to be able to support each other in that way. And it's gonna also require a lot of cross pollination and cross collaboration between communities because we, we all do need each other and.

I do feel like there is something around this feeling of taking and this feeling of extraction that is really coming up for healing and transformation because it's been so damaging to so many communities including those who benefited from them.

[00:50:01] Risa: Thanks for both engaging with that question, not to add emotional labor to the mapping of the future. This is my last question, and then maybe Amy has more or can ease us out with offering an active reparation that folks can make while they're listening.


wondered if there's a piece from your artistic practice, your spiritual practice, your cultural

[00:50:28] Chrystal: practice that helps you make.

[00:50:32] Risa: Decisions like the ones we're talking about. You know, where do I put my energy? How do I, how do I map this future? Is there, is there something that you do that you can do that we can do,

[00:50:47] Edgar: My people have a sacred technology called Thek, and it is a map that you use to both represent reality and also to create reality. And it's actually been a big part of my Both research and also artistic practice has been really connecting with Anika, and I've also had the honor of being able to guide folks to connect with Nika that I have made and just hold space while they explore what comes up for them and how they are navigating that representation and connection.

Because Nika are also used for ancestral communion and being able to connect with other parts of ourselves. And so I've definitely been using Nika both as a way to help myself. Structure and think about my life and also to do some divination and spell casting and imagining of what my life can look like.

And it's a practice that I feel really called to bring more into community and to also find ways to connected with other sorts of divinatory and ancestral communion practices. Seeing that there are many communities that have done these types of practices and have their own maps that they've made.

And also I've been recently really Pushed to find ways to connect these technologies to emerging machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, because I am getting a sense that these technologies are gonna become really prevalent and endemic. And I do feel like there is a deep black of the understanding of what people are doing in creating ontologies and realities using these technologies.

And so I do feel like these Creators and coders and people who are immersed in these technologies that are in maybe ways going to be making lots of money on these technologies really do need to learn from indigenous people and really understand what they're doing. And this is all very rudimentary.

I'm actually working on like a writing piece around this and, but I really do feel like feeling called to like really make this connection and to really have a centering of indigenous technologies within these emerging technologies because that conversation isn't really happening. And I am just feeling really called to be that bridge and to weave those webs.

[00:53:10] Amy: I am just so excited. I'm so excited. First of all, just to be in circle with both of you. You're both so energizing. It's like a warm glow that's the exact perfect temperature. You're like the Goldilocks of guests, both of you. And I really, really appreciate that. The sort of accidental theme of tonight's conversation was the word care.

Because that, that ultimately is what we're doing through, through our, our reparations fundraiser month, but also every day with every episode and every zine piece and everything that we do as a community. It's, we are inviting you to care. We're inviting you to care about each other and about yourself and about your non-human friends and the air that you breathe and the water that you drink, and people you don't know and people you do know.

And again, crystal and Edgar, I'm so grateful both of you are just these role models of a sense of care that I feel like will carry us into the future if we can center people like the two of you. So before I do my spiel, I would love to know crystal and then Edgar, how can people support you? How can they find you?

What's the best way for listeners to shower abundance upon you and help you to fruit your future?

[00:54:38] Chrystal: Oh, thank you. I mean, I'm on Instagram blackbird underscore medicines and that'll lead you to my personal account as well. I'm gearing up to launch self-published book. So if you're following and paying attention to that, I would very much appreciate it.

I'm also Absolutely on inviting folks black, indigenous people of the global majority. Please, if you're feeling called to you're very welcome to take the Indigenous Death Doula training for free until December, 2024. So I'm gonna keep pushing that and also thanking you both for that all for all for this, like you said, the surprise theme of care because that's, that's everything.

Just to be able to offer care for others and that ongoing grounding work of caring for myself. So, and that's my writing. So very, very thankful to everyone for just this chat. It's been great.

[00:55:36] Edgar: Yeah, this has been so great. I am feeling the glow and the warmth of that fire that we are all sitting around and feeling also really energized and moved by this conversation and this theme that's emerged between us of care and yeah, really grateful to the labor that goes into creating these types of containers for our communities.

The labor, both that we're all putting in together that y'all are doing, and also the labor that folks that are gonna be offering their resources and their time and their energy to this beautiful container that we're all holding together and. Yeah, if people want to connect with me, I definitely want to encourage folks to sign up for my newsletter.

You could find that at my website, edgar fabian frias.org. And I'm on all the socials, so you could find all that on my website as well. But I definitely wanna center my website cuz as we know we're living in times of social media instability. So yes we are on those platforms and also, I do think it's also important for folks to know that you can always find my work on my website and I have an archive and also do post upcoming events and ways you can connect with me.

And I do have a couple of really exciting projects that I'm working on this year that I would love, love, love, support with. So when you see that on my newsletter, definitely share the word and do what you can to support because it helps me continue to do this work. Just like all the caregivers and folks who are needing that level of centering bring us into the fold of your community.

All of us.

[00:57:16] Amy: Yes. Thank you both so much for caring. Thank you so much for caring. Thank you so much for caring. I am going to read out a very long list of very generous prize donors, this conversation is a spell.

This is a fundraiser. Think of it as an act of ritual sacrifice. And I wanna just bring Crystal one more quote from you. We all belong in the circle. Everyone, we all belong in the circle, so make your donation of $10 or more. Take a screenshot of your receipt and email it to missing witches gmail.com with the subject line reparation.

Plus the amount of your donation. All of these details will be on our website@missingwitches.com. Here is the full list of prizes, a prize pack from Jinx Monsoon. Magic class with Pam Grossman. A full year of classes with Kate Blue Chris and Kristen Libe with the Barto Bar Toed, the Barau Institute.

That's a full year of writing workshops. Amazing. Julia from Root Kitchens has donated a series of classes. Sarah Steiner, a 45 minute terror reading Palma. Has offered us some custom made silver jewelry, so if you win that prize, you'll actually get to make specifications about the piece. Melissa Wang, a watercolor artist, has offered a piece of her art.

Felicity Roberts is doing a foraging and cooking workshop over Zoom. He Martinez an an astrology consultation. Amy Wild of Spectral Communications is doing an animal communication session. I'm so excited whoever wins this. Please keep me posted that Ash yet yata an intuitive co-created tarot reading.

Ritual Herb has a gift box of ritual oils to be won. Dawn, the Kitchen witch from Cuchina Aurora Kitchen, Witchery as a whole gift basket of kitchen witch goodies, including signed copies of both of her books. Heather Darby DeMarco Head Witch of Wild Moon Charm School is offering a medium reading. Where she suggests you can hear from your beloved dead.

Say hi to them for me, Sarah Beck. A copy of her children's picture book, the Tarot Deck Mess, and a copy of the Companion Companion Major Arkana mini deck. My first tarot, Hannah Lewis, has a handmade greeting card hack that you can win and send greeting cards to your friends about how you just won a prize.

Tomorrow the acupuncturists is offering a sound bath. James Davis, a weaving class over zoom. You could learn how to weave. And Rachel Slar is offering one of her art pieces, which is also woven gorgeous. Go to our website to take a look at beautiful pictures. Granddaughter Crow is offering three sessions, so three of you are going to get to have a sit down with granddaughter Crow.

And finally, Michelle Pay, Jack Reynolds has offered us a hundred dollars gift card from her jewelry shop. Again, go to missing witches.com for all this info and don't forget everyone's a winner because everyone who makes a donation is going to get a coupon codes for our favorite Witchy businesses.

That's everyone who makes a donation is going to get these digital coupons for these businesses, so you really cannot lose. We invite you to care and blessed fucking bee

[01:01:17] Chrystal: Blast.

[01:01:17] Risa: Fucking bee, y'all.

[01:01:21] Chrystal: Those are awesome prizes.

Be witch. Be witch. You must be a witch. The Missing Witches Podcast is created by Risa Dickens and Amy Toro with insight and support from the coven. Amy and Risa are the co-authors of missing witches, reclaiming true histories of feminist magic, which is available now wherever you get your books or audio books.

And of New Moon Magic 13 anti-capitalist tools for resistance and re-enchantment coming fall 2023.

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