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FROM THE GREAT LAKES – Lake Michigan – Illinois – Greater Chicago – Evanston

Jim Richardson National Geographic Creative

Welcome to one woman’s search for America’s central fire…..
where all adults and elders sit in council together for the benefit of all,
knowing that the children are watching and listening.

On this website, I hope to articulate….
…the meaning of a central fire
…how I discovered that we don’t have one in the U.S.
…what many of us are doing to re-create one


We are the 9th generation of the United States.

The U.S. was born in 1776. Counting 30 years to a generation, the 7th U.S. generation ended in 1986,
the ripples of 1776 having subsided completely. Not only had the ideals of 1776 not been manifested by
each succeeding generation. They and the very land on which the U.S. was founded had been cannibalized
by the very people we call our “founding fathers” — white, land-owning males implementing patriarchal
systems of confusion, greed, cruelty, and destruction.

The 8th Generation—1986-2016—appears to have been zombieland,
characterized by confusion, addiction, and lying, plus many new technologies (both hard and soft).

Now, in the 9th Generation, we are waking to the need for updating 
–our Constitution
–our operating systems (money & banking, public process, knowledge)
–our personal relationship to our own livingness

The process of updating is mostly filling in big gaps in our personal & collective consciousness
— the basics of our survival (food & farm)
— the relationships needed for survival (democracy)
— the relationships needed for thriving and true freedom (women’s public authority)

But the process of updating is also about composting — letting things go, let rotting things rot —
freeing up all that vitality and energy for a true renewal, a real rejuvenation.

Getting specific about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness….

NOTE: Because abstract and emotionally charged words like “feminism” and “patriarchy” can sometimes be a source of our communication problems, I offer my current working definitions.

Feminism is the act of remembering that no humans exist or thrive without the wisdom, agency, and authority of women — as indigenous individuals, as an intergenerational culture (women-to-women), and as the center of a wild species living on this Earth.

Patriarchy is the organization of a human society around the interests of a single “alpha” male or small group of males, to the exclusion and detriment of most other males, all women, all children, and all non-humans.

NOTE: The map image in the FoodFarmsDemocracy header is cropped from a map of the
larger Mississippi River watershed.
Licensed under Creative Commons, here’s the licensing page on Wikipedia.
Thanks to whoever drew the map.