2020 Consciousness in the Black Hills: The Heart of the World
July 23rd through the 27th, 2020 marked the third conference on “Consciousness and Contact.” The first was held in Vermont in May of 2018 and featured Linda Moulton Howe as the main speaker. Year two brought us to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota where Whitley Strieber had the most transformative event of his life. This year, the event was held in Wasta, South Dakota at the site of the soon to be open Thunderheart Center of the Arts. Thunderheart is the location where the 1992 Michael Apted film “Thunderheart,” written and produced by John Fusco, was filmed. In order to discuss this conference accurately, I want to share what lead me to produce these three events.
I entered the month of December, 2017 with a desire to clean up my life and release anything I was holding onto that no longer belonged in my mind or in my spirit. I spent almost the entire month of December in silence, examining thoughts and feelings as they presented themselves to me, determining whether or not they had been resolved sufficiently to simply let them go. It was a productive month and I entered 2018 with a lighter psyche, one that was less cluttered with past events and ready to create new ones.
Part of my plan was to find my “tribe,” so to speak, to locate a group of like-minded people who were on the spiritual path and committed to making a contribution to the world. The idea of a conference came to mind and since I had a background in organizing large-scale special events in the arts in New York City, a small event of 30 people seemed manageable. The conference in Vermont was a success and marked the beginning of several significant events for me. In July, I took over as publisher of New Observations Magazine, an art and culture journal that has included some of the leading members of the contemporary art world as well as an elevated group of writers. I had been active in the industrial hemp movement and produced a series of events called HEMP NY CITY at the Great Hall at Cooper Union. Hemp luminaries came to Manhattan from around the country to lecture for two full days. Presentations were free of charge and open to the public. It was the first industrial hemp event to takes place in New York City. In addition, the artist Glenn Goldberg made a series of handmade paper pieces from hemp and exhibited them at the Art on Paper Fair in March of 2016. New Observations Magazine covered these activities in Issue #131 “Industrial Hemp: Superhero/Savior of Humanity.” These works of art and others made by Karen Gunderson, Erika Knerr, Terry Boyd, Ignacio Cisneros, Sally J. Smith, Lucy Slivinski, Mitch Epstein and Lucio Pozzi were subsequently exhibited at Art Santa Fe.
On the last day of the art fair in Santa Fe, I was standing alone in the restroom when I was “visited” by an Elder Native America Chief in white buckskin with a full-spectrum of colored embroidery and long, flowing white hair. He radiated light and powerful energy and told me that the way was clear, I would be protected on my trip and that “they” were waiting for me at the Pine Ridge Reservation. It would be my first visit to the land of the Lakota. In fact I was going there to visit with industrial hemp hero Alex White Plume and solar warrior Henry Red Cloud.
My drive to South Dakota was quite freeing. My car is a 2007 Saturn Vue and on Route 25 in Nebraska, I actually got the speedometer up to over 100 mph! A first for me, I truly felt like I was flying. Likewise experiencing the most dramatic thunder and lightning storm I had ever seen, I felt as though I had gone through a rite of purification. My soul, now cleansed, was ready for the experience ahead.
I have lived a mystical life. Even while living in New York City for eighteen years, my psychic gifts and intuitive abilities were considered rare. Moving to the countryside in Upstate New York in 1998 further expanded these abilities and introduced the added dimension of interacting with extraterrestrial beings as well as entities from the angelic, devic, elemental realms as well as the animal kingdom. Although I never joined the ET community or got involved in attending MUFON events or traveling to conferences such as Contact in the Desert, I did listen to some of the growing number of podcast lectures on the subject which familiarized me with many of the key researchers in the field.
Returning to Vermont after spending time on the reservation, life seemed rather flat. The Lakota have tremendous challenges in their daily lives to simply survive, yet even being the poorest community in America, they surely are the richest population in terms of spiritual wealth and connection to the land. Shortly after I returned home, I had a profound experience during meditation which clearly told me that our second conference needed to be on the Pine Ridge Reservation. As the “Thunderheart” film character played by Graham Greene told the Val Kilmer character in the movie, “You had a vision. You don’t mess with the visions,” my goal became that of duplicating my extraordinary experience on Pine Ridge and sharing it with others.
Although Whitley Strieber does not specifically state that he was attending a Sun Dance ceremony as part of our conference, he and the rest of the group were all there on Saturday morning, July 20th, 2019 on the exact date that Brazilian mystic Chico Xavier predicted that there would be signs in the sky that would indicate that humanity had avoided World War III and had taken its place in the galactic family of beings throughout the universe. Something surely happened that day and in addition, while a caravan of cars was forming to drive to the Badlands National Park, the car Whitley, myself and several other people were driving in was surrounded by hundreds of pink angelic orbs which danced around outside and inside the car, accompanying us the entire 25 miles to the park.
Our conference last year included a strong list of speakers inter-spaced with Lakota tradition and spirituality. The group participated in a sweat lodge ceremony as well as visiting to the Wounded Knee Memorial. They benefited from hearing the creation story from Dallas Chief Eagle and watched him perform a hoop dance.
As with the conference the year before in Vermont, the attendees experienced an upgrade in psychic abilities and spiritual gifts. The time together with a focused intention in a sacred place greatly impacted all of the attendees who returned home changed in some significant ways. Their intuitive skills were honed and their receptivity was heightened as well as their ability to transmit thought in a clearer and more productive way.
With the onslaught of the COVID virus, my job organizing this year’s conference could be compared to riding a roller coaster ride. On a daily basis, things went up and down and all around as I struggled to deal with speakers and attendees who were afraid to travel while construction work in Wasta, South Dakota was being delayed because of the virus. Renovation work began on some buildings then abruptly stopped because workers were quarantining at home. Linda Moulton Howe was afraid to travel. The family of Barbara Lamb convinced her to stay home due to the virus. Whitley Strieber went back and forth in his resolve but finally he obtained a mask through his doctor that allowed him to feel secure enough to make the trip. Ironically, when he arrived at the airport to board his plane, his driver’s license was no where to be found and he was forced to return home and missed the conference. Everyone was disappointed by the no shows, but we did our best to make up for it with speakers such as Chief Arvol Looking Horse and Henry Red Cloud. Chief Arvol is the 19th holder of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe for the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people. Henry Red Cloud is the great- great-grandson of Chief Red Cloud. Both shared Lakota wisdom and knowledge of the 7th Generation, the exact time of change we find ourselves in today. Leading Druid Richard Fox shared his knowledge of science versus magic and the power of the land in the Dakotas while Elana Freeland discussed in depth the darker side of what humanity is experiencing with issues of the virus and the related issues of control and surveillance. Each day around 4:00 in the afternoon, people would climb into the passenger van while others would car pool and travel caravan style. The Badlands, Bear Lodge or Devil’s Tower and Bear Butte with Henry Red Cloud provided points of inspiration for us as the weekend progressed.
The group were met at Bear Lodge by a massive thunder and lightening storm. The original focus with Whitley Strieber was that he would discuss his experience at the 2019 conference on Pine Ridge and lead a CE-5 event at Bear Lodge or Devil’s Tower. Astonishingly enough, three of our attendees were able to see a craft hovering above the land mass during the electrical storm. What I have found with the extraterrestrials is that once the connection has been made, they are happy to show up on cue. They understood that the plan was for them to connect with us there and they were happy to oblige.
My dear friend Cindy Catches, following in the tradition of her late husband, respected medicine man Peter Catches and honored father-in-law Pete Catches, hosted the oldest Sun Dance ceremony on the reservation. Peter Catches died two years ago and Cindy organized his memorial service and the give away celebration that marks the passing of Lakota people where attendees receive gifts. Jeff and Joe Catches and the community surrounding the Catches family organized the Spotted Eagle Sun Dance which was held the same weekend as our conference in Wasta and Cindy and I noticed that there were a number of parallels between the two events.. The weekend was extremely hot until the weather broke on Saturday night and brought in cool air on Sunday morning. The Sun Dance prefers the heat since high temperatures are used as a means of purification and an integral part of the spiritual experience. I was guided to fast for the four days of our conference, just as I would have done if I were participating in the Sun Dance ceremony. In addition, I prepared all of our meals. In Lakota, it is an honor to cook for others and people are expected to bring their best energy into the kitchen for the sacred act of feeding others. This is the spirit in which I approached these tasks.
In addition, this conference in Wasta was the first time that I had shared my own personal experience on the spiritual path with others. At the age of 19, I was tested at Columbia University for a study on right/left brain hemisphere activity. I was told that out of everyone tested, my brain was the most balanced. I attribute that fact to my ability to simultaneously process intuitively and intellectually and am able to arrive at a direct conclusion as a result. Having spent my entire life moving in and out of 5- D for long stretches of time, I experienced my big Enlightenment moment just a week or two after the first conference in Vermont in late May of 2018. My crown chakra and third eye are now open 24/7. It is a blessing and a distraction at times, but it definitely is an enormous help in the work that I do as publisher and philanthropist/fundraiser.
One of the extraordinary aspects of the conference in Wasta was that some of our attendees experienced spontaneous kundalini activations and crown chakra openings. These were made possible by the combination of being in sacred space such as Bear Butte and the other locations we visited daily, and also Wasta itself is a power spot and holds a tremendous amount of concentrated energy in the area. The beginnings of the rock formations of the Badlands first appear in Wasta and the town is known for the high quality of its water. Water is a conductor of spiritual energy.
For me personally, our visit to Bear Butte, the most sacred site of the Lakota people in the Black Hills, was the high point of the weekend. I could feel the ancestors gathering there to meet us and be with us during the time Henry Red Cloud shared stories about his family and Chief Red Cloud’s prediction of the 7th Generation as the time when all people come together to work for the good of the planet. Brightly colored prayer ties are visible along all the paths and trails. We sat in a sacred circle and prayed with Henry together at the end when he sang Lakota songs.
At a time when humanity is dealing with unprecedented challenges from current and past wrong- headed thinking, we have the obviously growing opportunity to expand our consciousness and change both our inner and outer realities. Most of the attendees were walking on Cloud 9 by the time people left on Monday morning after breakfast. Two weeks later, I am still hearing reports of expanded consciousness, profound changes in productivity and intuitive skills as well as spiritual growth. For me the weekend succeeded my expectations. Of course, there were some who expected more in terms of accommodations and were disappointed that our headliners where unable to attend. Whitley Strieber organized a Zoom call for all attendees last weekend to discuss the recorded presentation and meditation he had prepared for the group which helped to make up for the loss.
As an avid reader of Carlos Castaneda, I am reminded of Don Juan and the fact that in order for perception to change, people need to be knocked out of their comfort zone just a little in order for a new reality to be able to come through. Timing is crucial and the impact can be immediate or over time. I will hang some prayer ties at Bear Butte for growth and understanding for all the participants of our little conference and for everyone else on the planet.
We are all blessed.
Our fourth Consciousness and Contact conference will be held from July 22 through the 26th, 2021.
For information, please contact Mia Feroleto at [email protected]