We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Maria Yraceburu a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Maria , appreciate you joining us today. How did you learn to do what you do? Knowing what you know now, what could you have done to speed up your learning process? What skills do you think were most essential? What obstacles stood in the way of learning more?
I grew up apprenticing to my grandfather, a Native American HolyOne. We spent hours each day, walking through the canyons and he would teach me how all the answers to my questions could be found in nature, through a relationship with the Earth Mother’s spirit. There was no way to speed up the process at that time, as it was very experiential in nature. Learning to be still and observe was probably the most valuable lesson that came out this time. It was like see one, do one, teach one. Now I’m the teacher working the Medicine Wheel of Life in my unique SpiralDance.
Probably the biggest obstacle has been bigotry on both sides of my lineage. My grandfather gave me a job to do, and it has not always been met with open arms by Native or non. I understand it, I carried it for a long time, but have finally come to peace with the many facets of who I am and what I do… just like that Medicine Wheel.
Maria , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I am a Native Amercian spiritualist above all other labels. I guess I got started when I was thrown in to a self-help group in 1972 and came up with ritualistic action for them to do to work through their traumas of sexual assault. For years I fine tuned what I learned sharing in college that first time, and then taking it somewhere between ancient Indigenous ways and modern eco-psychology… I utilize all the resources the Sacred Parents – Earth and Sky – have provided.
I use the nature around us, and we’re a Butterfly Way Station and have therapy horses, so those are often utilized in the reconnection of human to Mother, something that lies as a source wound for most humans. Separation anxiety.
I like to look at a person’s whole life. Listen to the story in their words, and then help them create the tools of empowerment from that story. I walk with them, along side of them, in support of their healing.
The root of some of this started back when I was ten and I started writing prayers, or words of power for others. I’ve been doing that most of my life, and the last 10 years have been the acknowledged PrayerMaker for the Sedona Journal of Emergence. I’ve also produced 25 books that have been translated, and utilized in schools, through AA, and other groups. It’s been a good life.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Our community gathered together to buy land back in 2011 in New Mexico, with the hopes of starting an intentional community. We went out and began holding events, working hard in the hard landscape of my ancestors to make it work, but after 7 years we just had exhausted all funds, and had to leave, forfeiting our dream.
It was hard, but it also was very fulfilling to come back to San Diego, where we had been prior to going to New Mexico. Our community actually raised the money to bring us home… not just us, but the three horses. I’ve never felt an out pouring of love like that before.
As soon as we arrived we hit the road running, so to speak. We started having our spiritual gatherings, and working our healing ways. Teaching what we know to those that are looking for a way to have life make sense really is the icing on the top. We love our community, and are deeply involved in each others lives. This is what I call success.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
To share with as many as I can, how a spiritual relationship with Earth Mother, is the most healing life that can be lived. No one’s asking anyone to go live in a tipi – though we have two that sometimes folks sleep in during retreats – no, it’s about acknowleding and being present to the relationship that makes all things flow. This is a change in perception. Earth Changes have perpetuated the necessity, humans will have to make the choice for the future to continue in a life affirming manner.
- Website: https://www.yraceburu.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamshima/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EarthWisdomSD
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-yraceburu-8b7a94a2/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MYraceburu
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MariaYraceburu