Welcome to Recommended Reads, Sacred Fire Foundation’s monthly book recommendation series.
By Kim Langbecker, Executive Director
Once a month, we’ll feature a book that has made a profound impact on our work.
Today, I am delighted to share an excerpt from The Time of the Black Jaguar: An Offering of Indigenous Wisdom for the Community of Life on Earth by Arkan Lushwala. Originally published in 2012, the book sparked my interest after hearing about Arkan’s work in a course I was taking. Through a series of chance encounters, we met in the fall of 2020 and shared how closely Sacred Fire Foundation’s work is with his.
Arkan is an Andean ceremonial leader from Peru. As you may know, he offered a video message on the 2020 Winter Solstice. Because many communicated how impactful Arkan’s message was, it seemed fitting that our first recommendation would be a book written by him. If you initially missed his message or would like to experience it again, you may watch it here.
Though this book was published in 2012, Arkan’s wisdom and insights are incredibly timely, given all that is happening around us. As Jim Garrison reminds: “Our task is to remember what we have forgotten, and in remembering, we will find ourselves reconnecting with our Earth and learning the Language of the Mother as if for the first time.”
Arkan has given us permission to share a brief section of the book. This is from a section titled “A Sacred Economy.”
The Tribal Way
What do our rituals and sacred fires have to do with the economy? Our awareness is activated by our ceremonies, because ceremonies open our heart and give us the chance to remember what is really important. We return to the sacred fire, to our prayers and celebrations in order to remember how much we love all that is alive and how much we want to live. To put it in the simplest way, we return to our ceremonial spaces in order to feel our heart. Then our motivation and inspiration to do our task as guardians of life is renewed. When we remember our true nature, we feel good and content for being what we are.
Tribal economy, the natural economy of the children of the Earth and the Sun, is born from our natural talents; it is our birthright. This economy requires the sharpening of our intelligence to become capable of balancing the forces of Nature that we affect with our actions. This economy also requires heart, so with generosity and reciprocity we continuously look for the well-being of all life.
The tribal way is based on the generous circulation of goods and a deep caring for the health of the natural sources of life. Therefore, it allows the human economy to be part of the most successful economy every known: the universal economy. The amount of resources, energy, and blessings that circulate the Earth is so vast that no one could even imagine it. The Sun actually radiates 15,000 times more energy than what is needed in order to meet the demands of our entire planet. The Universe and the Earth are not poor. On the contrary, they are abundance itself. It is we humans who create poverty when we create wealth in an unbalanced, unwise fashion.
Arkan self-publishes and this book can be found on Create Space, a subsidiary of Amazon.