La Leun Calendar
Welcome to a new (old) perspective. This calendar prioritizes the lunar phases over our more common calendar, while keeping enough of the common understandings to keep you grounded. The Moons are from a prairie Cree understanding and the teachings from my Métis/Michif teachers. The calendar begins with the new Spring Moon, which is where it feels natural for some of the first peoples of Turtle Island (North America).
Bathed in the light of the full Hunter’s moon I can feel the enormity of my responsibilities to this land. My grandmothers’ people have lived their lives on these prairies for hundreds of generations. This soil has held their sweat, their tears, their blood and their bodies in the ultimate cycle of nurturing.
My grandfathers came only four hundred years ago, a drop in the temporal pool of turtle island, one by one from the Scottish isles with barely more than their hope and their hearts. And then they too shared their blood sweat and bodies, building a community and a future for our people.
The relatives that share this land with us have also done so for a millennia. The plants, animals and birds that support us now are the descendants of the ones that supported my grandmothers and grandfathers. Each sacrifice acknowledged with tobacco and eternal respect. We have moved together in cycles of reciprocity, giving and taking when we needed, always aware of the delicate balance.
When I am called to welcome others to this place, it is with the deepest sense of responsibility that I do so. Each footstep falls on the back of an ancestor, each promise impacts the lives of relatives.
This land has not just nurtured my family, it holds them and it is them. The paths we walk, the plants we sow, and the medicines that I am gifted, grow from the heart of my people and my relatives.
Gratitude is all that remains.
In the time when our cycles more closely related to those of the land, we would take this time to prepare for the coming winter. Living within the rhythms of our relatives helped us to understand what was coming and how to be ready. Community allowed us to share observations and ideas to build a full picture of where we were headed and the tools we would need to survive.
Today Hunter’s moon is still about knowledge and preparation, seeking and capturing what you need in your life, but the beast that we hunt is a tricky one. In today’s world, the most important commodity is our own health and wellness.
Self care and community care are skills that we mastered over generations. Families looked out for each other, men and women worked together and children learned in the safety of relationship.
If you do not have a Métis community to work with, look around for the people who share your path and reach out. If you do have a Métis community, take a deep breath, lean in and share your energy, together we are strong.
The last of our winged relatives are taking bold steps from the nest at the same time that we once again wrap our own little hearts in orange shirts and backpacks to take on the world. The old people remind me that while it has not always been done this way, we must look forward and trust that the teachings will support them.
In the time before our lives were made up of cell phones and schedules, our people learned to measure and adapt to two very different worlds. Our children were gifted the skills and abilities of our mother’s peoples in the traditional ways of watching and listening, practicing and doing. In the same manner, we were also given the knowledge of our fathers, often in schools or churches, often in difficult and unfamiliar ways. Through the combination of these teachings we built a new world with room for both ways of knowing.
Flying up moon is a time of great fear and great celebration. Above all, it is the shift from one way of knowing the world to an entirely different one. Our little ones watch us move in and out of the world, assessing and absorbing every shift in energy, building their understandings. They have come to know their place in the world through our eyes and our stories, our communities and relationships The lesson that resonates with me today is that, like every generation before them, our children must craft a new world that can honour the teachings of the nest while adapting to the changing winds of the world we have left behind with only those communities and relationships to guide them.
This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.
Take what you need
The work on this page is my passion, and where I borrow, I give thanks. Borrow what you need, share as often as you can, but let my name travel with my words so that the voice remains authentic.
This season, we have seen our world, our mother, take a long awaited and much needed deep breath of her own. The birds sing louder, the four leggeds roam more freely and the scent of warming cedar has the space to reach our noses.
I am filled with gratitude for all that each of you has sacrificed to bring in this spring and cannot wait to learn a new way to be together that allows the world its continued breath.