Fall Newsletter 2017

Newsletter October 2017

Dear Community,

The blessings of Fall to you, brothers and sisters! I hope you are well in the midst of the many Earth changes of late. My family and I lit the first fire of the season a few days ago and are settling into a new rhythm, quietly appreciating the cool winds of harvest time.

I recently returned from the Bay Area in California where I enjoyed guiding a full day Song Carriers Workshop at the beautiful Regenerative Design Institute. I absolutely love the community of sisters who joined me in the circle and feel a real kinship of the heart whenever I am there. Thank you to everyone who supported my travel!

Our new non-profit, PRAISING EARTH, is taking shape and will soon have a beginning website to share! And we have numerous exciting offerings this year.

First, I am very excited to announce that the Song Carriers Immersion Training has been restructured into a one-week format that will be held in the spring. The program dates are April 8-15, 2018 and applications are  currently being accepted through Friday, December 8th. A powerful group of women is already forming and we have limited availability so please contact me soon at MadiSato@Gmail.com to begin the application process if you are called to this special training. It will be a truly lovely week in the sandstone canyon of Origin Retreat Center in Ojo Caliente NM.

Also, my husband Tim is offering a new retreat for lovers of language and wilderness! Way of the Earth Poet will be held December 1-3, 2017 at Casa Del Sol of Ghost Ranch Retreat Center in the red-rock canyons of Abiquiu NM. Tim’s signature deep style of guiding is sure to make this experience both nourishing and empowering. Register online at TimothyPMcLaughlin.com or inquire by writing Poet@TimothyPMcLaughlin.com.

Local New Mexicans, please mark your calendars for our annual Song Carriers Winter Solstice Ceremony & Celebration with the Pulse of the Sacred Men’s Circle & honored grandmother, Pat McCabe on Sunday, December 17th at 4pm at the Institute of American Indian Arts Hogan. This is always a powerfully charged gathering—we hope to see you there.

May this autumn time bless you with moments of still reflection and abundant joy!

With love,
Madi Sato
Water Wisdom~Women’s Circles~Medicine Songs~Grandmother’s Alliance


…the women wept into the Rivers all the bold yearning and beautiful grief and wild vitality of the cosmos, making them a SINGING WATERS… -THE RIVER WISE, Timothy P. McLaughlin

March Newsletter 2017

Newsletter March 2017
Dearest Community,

Happy Spring Equinox! Sending love to you all on this day of balanced light and dark.

I am rooting into the final stages of my pregnancy and feel especially grateful for life within and all around. The past eight months have brought much abundance of creativity and vision and the manifestation of long-tended dreams.

In the new year, my husband Timothy and I have established a nonprofit organization called PRAISING EARTH to house the interconnected threads of our work with the oral tradition and ritual. We are so grateful to have a home for our evolving men’s and women’s work and a platform to devote ourselves to serving the Earth in the ways that befit our times. We have found that the process of re-orienting our attention and energies as well as our intonations—spoken and sung—to the more-than-human circles of the total ecology helps us continually discover how best to live as healthful humans honoring and facilitating the wellness of all life as a wonderfully complex interdependent wholeness.

The women’s work with the beloved sacred waters is now known as the Singing Waters program of PRAISING EARTH. Learn more by visiting: TheSingingWaters.org. Tax-exempt donations are gratefully accepted on the website. Your gift will go toward our various initiatives including a scholarship program, the Basket of Seeds Grandmothers Alliance, and our loved and well-attended Community Ceremonies. Also, we are eager to dialogue with those who wish to help us further establish this sacred work of empowering the voice and body through song, poetry and prayer on behalf of our Beloved Earth Mother. Thank you!

Lastly, I invite you to our Spring Ceremony and Celebration with The Song Carrier Women’s Circle and now the Pulse of the Sacred Men’s Circle (led by Timothy). Our honored guest will be Grandmother Flordemayo (founding member of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers Council) on Sunday, April 2nd, 4pm at the Institute of the American Indian Arts Hogan (83 A Van Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, NM. See flyer below)

Please visit my new website: TheSingingWaters.org to learn about current programming including the Song Carrier Women’s Circle Fall Season and the Song Carriers Yearlong Apprenticeship Program.

Until next time with a new wee one in my arms!

Love and light,

Madi Sato

Water Wisdom~Women’s Circles~Medicine Songs~Grandmother’s Alliance

…the women wept into the Rivers all the bold yearning and beautiful grief and wild vitality of the cosmos, making them a SINGING WATERS…

-THE RIVER WISE, Timothy P. McLaughlin

December Newsletter 2016

Newsletter December 2016

Bright greetings from my hearth in Santa Fe to yours, beloved ones! We have crossed Winter’s threshold and I find myself relishing in this holy dark time of renewal and cleansing. For me, this new year’s pulse seems to be pulling me forward a little faster than years past. I have to remind myself to ground back into my breath and allow the healing cloak of winter to settle me before racing off!

In this radiant energy of the new season, I want to share with my community near and far that I am now six months pregnant! I awaken each day in awe of this life growing inside me. This small but mighty star sprout is dancing with fierce vitality, gifting me with creativity, vision and hope for the future.

And it is with profound joy that I announce another impending birth, the manifestation of a vision which has formed over several years and is now ready to flower. I introduce to you to TheSingingWaters.org a global web of connection through the waterways around our Mother Earth. This is the harvest of seven years of work with women’s song circles and aspires to serve as a vessel for women in various locations to join in a web of community united in the passion to serve our sacred Waters through song and embodied prayer.

SINGING WATERS is the home for several interrelated programs including the Song Carriers Women’s Circle, the Song Carrier Nine-Month Apprenticeship, the Basket of Seeds Grandmother’s Alliance as well as seasonal community ceremonies and regular events furthering the empowerment of the woman’s voice on behalf of all Life.

SINGING WATERS is a major component of a newly emerging non-profit organization called PRAISING EARTH co-conceived and co-founded by my husband, poet Timothy P. McLaughlin, and me. PRAISING EARTH will serve as a center committed to revitalizing and even reimagining essential ancient traditions: oral song & poetry, circles for women & men, earthly dance and ritual. All this work of embodied prayer is meant to facilitate the human effort to listen for and follow the best ways we can expand into true stewardship of a re-balanced and newly-flowering total ecology. We will officially launch this exciting new organization with a special event on the Spring Equinox this year! For Timothy and me and children, our collective cup is certainly overflowing!

I wholeheartedly invite you to visit the new SINGING WATERS website and to participate in the many exciting offerings. The Winter/Spring season of the Song Carriers Women’s Circle begins January 12th this year (a bit early due to my baby’s expected arrival in April). I am very inspired to gather again with the women and am charged with the rising of humanity’s consciousness as we ride the waves of a new-shaping Earth and am sensing songs for the seeds, for clean waters and much needed rains, and for celebrating Spring’s birth. You can now sign up through an online registration program.

And, beautiful beings of the Sacred Masculine, I feel it is just as crucial that the men gather in new consciousness. To that end, please consider joining Timothy’s new circle, Pulse of the Sacred: Poetry, Prayer, and Drumming for Men, a monthly gathering beginning January 19th. I have been witness to Timothy’s powerful journey of devotion to the wild places, watched him dive into the dark depths of male initiation, and seen him fervently answer his heart’s calling to poetry through constant deep dialogue with nature. I also know him to be a master teacher as he has guided so many in awakening their voice through poetry and sacred speech. He is ready to gather brothers in a special way and it feels so timely for our beloved men to step forward. To register, contact: poet@timothypmclaughlin.com

May your dreams and intentions for the highest good and beauty come to fruition in a powerful way this year. Now is a potent time to plant those hopes in the garden of the cosmos and commit yourself to tending the seedlings through the turns of the year. I look forward to sharing all the developments of SINGING WATERS and PRAISING EARTH in the months ahead. And with the grace and support of the Holy Beings, I look forward to announcing the name of our new child this Spring.

All my love and sincerest wishes of wellness,

Madi Sato

Water Wisdom~Women’s Circles~Medicine Songs~Grandmother’s Alliance

…the women wept into the Rivers all the bold yearning and beautiful grief and wild vitality of the cosmos, making them a SINGING WATERS…

-THE RIVER WISE, Timothy P. McLaughlin

Water Wisdom

I was a child living in a small southern town in Tennessee, known as, Red Boiling Springs – the home of the annual folk medicine festival and the place of the healing waters. My mother and two brothers lived just on the outskirts of the central part of town on top of a small mountain within a lush, thick-aired pine tree forest. One of our daily chores was collecting water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing. I remember carrying one-gallon plastic jugs light in my hands as I danced down the dusty path to the springs. The springs trickled with fresh mountain water and was a spot that we tapped into by inserting a small PVC pipe into the running water and then funneling the water into our jugs. It was always a visceral experience gathering the water, listening to its gurgling, bubbling sounds and feeling the jug get heavy in my hands. It would fill to the top and then over flow icy cold onto my small hands. Sometimes I was sent to the springs by myself to fill just a couple of gallons and other times my two brothers and I were sent. There was a small creek next to the mountain spring and my brothers would leave me to do the job of filling the jugs as they played by the creek.

Walking home we’d try to carry two jugs in each hand. Those plastic jugs were suddenly weighted down and I remember abruptly dropping them down to the ground every few feet or so to sigh and gather my strength. This was not my favorite part of gathering the waters but once home it was as if all was good again. Life could continue.

Now as an adult of two children and one on the way I look back on those times as a profound gift. I really learned the importance and beauty of the water. I learned that water is life!

And now-a-days the water of my tears flow too often with grief that my children do not have the same clean pure resource of water that I had just thirty years ago. There are political battles going on right now for the ownership and control of the waters. Since the industrial age, waters are being funneled through right-angled metal and plastic piping into our homes, schools and restaurants. There is a mainstream thought that water works for us and is a commodity which can be bottled and sold and that there is plenty of water to just turn on the faucet and use as much as we please.

What will happen to the precious resource we call water? What about the future of our Mother Earth and the generations to come? Is it our responsibility to fix this problem and how do we do this?

This past summer I was visited by a holy being water keeper. She came in a water prayer lodge and spoke wisdom that answered the questions in my heart. She appeared in the middle of the lodge, clothed in white fabric from her head to her toes. Her face was the face of all races of women combined and she was kneeling next to the sacred water vessel in the middle of the pitch dark lodge. She began to speak and I heard:

“At this time it is the women who will stand up for the sacred waters. They are the caretakers of the waters and are the leaders of humanity’s awakening. They will care for all water, the oceans, lakes, springs, waterfalls, rivers, rain and the waters within the body. Women’s prayers, songs, stories and rituals are greatly needed, more than ever at this time. Women everywhere and from all traditions are being called to gather around the waters and listen, pray and act on behalf of the waters and ultimately help humanity learn to appreciate, honor and care for the holy waters or life cannot continue for all relations. And the men will help you protect the waters. The men are also awakening and will participate in this important work and will hold a circle around the women, offering their hearts and hands where they are needed. This will be a collaborative journey back to right relations and the women will initiate this movement.”

And she gazed further into the vessel of water and spoke again:

“Water is the original mirror – fluid, multi-layered, translucent, malleable and always changing. When the ancestors first saw their own reflection it was in the sacred waters and what they saw were shapes that shifted based on light and the elements. They saw this reflection as a gift from Creator as a tool to gaze at the mystery of life. Now our mirrors have become fixed and hardened and we see too many details and judge what we see on the surface. Now we see light skin, dark skin, long noses, round eyes and are quick to judge our own selves and those around us. Go to the water relatives and remember the wisdom of water as a mirror. Soften your gaze, look beyond the surface and the details – realize we are made of water, holy, beautiful, changing and affected by all of life. Don’t be too attached to your image dear relatives. You are made of light and will one day return to the stars and to the earth.”

And with that spoken she picked up the vessel of water in her hands, sat up straight, lifted her gaze and spoke:

“Water is the original medicine. All you need for healing is and can be infused in water. And whatever you give, sing or speak to the water that is what it becomes. Relatives, it is time to awaken to this wisdom. Remember the womb waters from which you emerged held everything you needed to grow and live and then when you were born your mother’s water and blood turned to milk and you drank and received all that you need. And somewhere along the journey you forgot that water is your source of life and you started falsely believing in man-made material things to give you what you need. Remember it is as simple as breathing good thoughts and words into the water and the water becomes medicine for you. And yet your thoughts, actions and words spoken are actually creating toxic water in your bodies and on the planet because you forgot water is the original medicine. Remember relatives! Awaken to the wisdom that water has the power to heal if you but only become aware of this truth and start honoring the water, start speaking and treating the water with loving words and actions. Sing to the waters your gratitude songs, hold the waters in your vessels with care and all that you need for true health and vitality will be provided. The waters love and honor you. Thank you for listening to me relatives. I am the caretaker of the waters. I care for life and I care for you!”

And she disappeared and I was back in the lodge of the water ceremony. My heart swelled with potent truth, my eyes were washed clean, I breathed in this potent wisdom and breathed out gratitude.

And I sit here now remembering my childhood and gathering the sacred waters and how that gift is still living in me. Thanks to my mother who bravely made a choice to live close to nature. And as I recall; my brothers and I were never in a hospital during the years we lived off the land and we were hardly sick. And if I was ever feeling sick my mother would say “Go Madi and get a bowl of water” She then would sing and pray over that water and feed it to me. To this day I remember that teaching and I strive to do this with my own children. May they also remember that water is sacred and can be turned into good healing medicine. And may all beings realize the beauty, wisdom and love of the holy waters. Aho!

Thank you! Wado, Mitakuye Oyasin!