It was August, four years ago, when I first knew.

Something’s going to raise itself up from the dark soon, something’s going to get pulled out of the ground, something’s going to be liberated…something. is going. to die.

I could almost smell it, but I couldn’t see it. Some elusive thing was pulling on me from the inside. And it hurt.

It was a tangled thread, a muffled song, a caged blackbird that only sings at night.

THIS THING needed to be brought out into the light of day, so I made the decision to hunt it down.

Flaming arrow in hand, and equipped with night vision, I danced in the dark with the wounds of my marriage, my creativity, my body, my home, my community.

I torched them all to see what would sprout from the ground up…

But still, this thing remained. And I couldn’t quite locate it, so I did what I always do when Mystery presents itself.

I turned inward.

A third Winter came, since that August hunch. And I shut myself into a hermitage.

I stayed on the land for more than a month, without setting foot in a car, or any place other than my homestead.

I broke bread with chosen family. I prayed. I listened. I cooked. I baked. I grieved. I walked with wild coyotes. I wept on my knees in the snow, again and again.

And, it’s taken me more than half a year to STAND UP again because, THIS.

THIS is what I found…

…A shimmering golden thread that MUST be woven into the fabric of a movement. A song that I’m learning to hear ~ the sweetest melody of the most incomprehensible beauty, sung by a bird who’s taking broken wings to flight.

THIS, I care about almost more than anything in the world.

THIS is a purpose, a promise, a thing to live for.

A holy realization. A revolution. 


I’ll say it again:


Maybe you’re thinking, ‘of course’.

But my daughter lives in a world where females are treated as property, cattle, commodity…trash, toys, things…

Until this changes, I promise. I will TAKE A STAND.

With shaking knees, I’LL STAND AND SING above the grave of the thing that I could smell decaying, August, four years ago.

It was my own silence waiting to die.

I want you to know that I AM HERE.

I HAVE A VOICE, and I will use it for good. 

I will not give up on THIS, until the whole world agrees:


{EDIT: This piece was written before BLACK LIVES MATTER was a prominent movement. My sentiments here are in no way meant to detract from the importance of that movement. I want you to know that I believe wholeheartedly that BLACK LIVES MATTER, and I am in full support the movement.}


  1. penelope

    Bearing witness. Thankyou for including me.

    • Marianah Jade

      Thank you for reading Penelope. I”m so glad you’re here. With love, M

  2. aurelie

    Thank you sister, chills all over my body. Women matter. I’m in with you

    • Marianah Jade

      Thank you Aurelie! I feel you here… XO ~ M

  3. Sarah

    Dear India,
    Thank you so much for sharing your soul’s truth…
    I am deeply inspired by your intention to Be the Change you desire to see in the world. For so it is with me dear Sister. We are awakening as women and arising! Like the phoenix rising from the ashes….Your email came in divine right timing thank you for the love and passion in your heart. It is so encouraging to receive your message calling up forth
    Blessed Be

    • India Bacal

      Aw, Sarah! Thank you for letting me know that my offering here touched your heart. It is so wonderful to hear that you are encouraged by my journey. With love, India

  4. michelle

    as I lie here awake at 2:08 AM thinking to myself …. no one should be left with their own thoughts alone at night.

    I read this short essay now thinking everyone should be forced to feel their own thoughts alone at night in the dark while the coyotes circle the house hungry and waiting.

    day 40. how many days is a lifetime? maybe a lifetime comes down to one monumental moment when you wake to realize this shall be no more as you find your voice and take back your joy realizing you aren’t afraid of anything any more .

    • India Bacal

      Michelle, your words are powerful. Thank you for sharing…keep writing sister… XO ~ India

  5. morgan

    I want us to reframe the languaging of our uprising.
    I see the importance of focusing on “The Feminine”, not on the female gender.
    That which is creative, nurturing, caring, cyclic, inclusive, softer, circular… for the greater good…. that force that will heal the gender-based atrocities and injustices perpetrated by men against women and against our mother planet… that is feminine and that is what matters.
    Feminine power matters. And that power, that perspective, must come from all our hearts, not just women. That force MUST rise in every heart in order for us all to survive what we have done to each other and our planet.
    And women must take responsibility for our part in empowering the patriarchy. It would be a mistake to think that the solution for our time is gender-based.
    I believe that what we are feeling is the uprising of the feminine in the cosmos, in the sentient planetary mother, in nature, in all of us. This is the thing to be dedicated to. This is the stand I take.
    I say SHE IS rising!

    • India Bacal

      Thank you so much for taking a stand for what matters to you, Morgan! It is important that we each take our places to bring the changes we wish for. My place is among the women. And I’m grateful to people like you, who take that wider out… With love, India

  6. Janey Francis

    I am standing with you in THIS. I too have just spent a month in silence on retreat in South Africa and felt the presence of the land speaking to me so strongly. I am not sure what is going to emerge in my life, but I have declared that I AM WILLING. I have also declared that I will be part of STOPPING THE VIOLENCE that is so endemic on our earth – again I don’t know how yet. I will also use my voice for THIS.
    Beside you in sisterhood

    • India Bacal

      What a beautiful journey you have been on, Janey. Thank you for listening to the land, it helps us all. Sometimes what we hear is even more important than what we say. Love to you…XO ~ India

  7. SusanMerrie

    Welcome Beauty. Unsure as to how I was lucky enough to be blessed with this deep , honest, magical post, but it mirrors my lifelong work/play of co-creating Woman/Earth honoring ritual circles. How inspiring, how affirming to witness the steady spiraling spread of this empowered Woman-consciousness. Carry on!

    • India Bacal

      Thank you dear one, for doing the beautiful work of Honoring WOMAN in the ways that you do. Yes, we are steadily spiraling… XO ~ India

  8. ...

    Thank you for sharing this always powerful realization, to germinate again and again in our bodies and our souls. I am with you.

    • India Bacal

      Mmmmm, may these seeds GROW BIG and WHOLE! XO

  9. Anhyka Snow-Valin

    More than fantastic. I hear you speaking from so deep, knowing, through you, to earth. Powerful. And yes!!!

    • India Bacal

      Anhyka, Thank you sister for feeling this deep knowing with me… XO

    • India Bacal

      Thank you Kay! XO ~India

  10. Carolyn

    Wow. Perfect. Powerful. Thank you.

    • India Bacal

      Thanks for reading Carolyn, and for letting me know you’re out there reading and resonating with this! : )

  11. Monserrat

    Amen sister #WomenMatter

    • India Bacal

      WOO HOO! Yes we do!!! XO ~ India

  12. Shan Rees

    I’m with you, Sister. Women certainly do matter. They matter enough to be respected, not labelled ‘guys.’ All females deserve to be brought up knowing we are powerful, that we have a unique contribution to make which can change the planet. We need to live authentically as our female selves and have the confidence to sound our note in the world. That is why I do what I do. I bow to you, Sister. Many Blessings, Shan Rees – Inspiring Women to Develop Deep Confidence

    • India Bacal

      Dear Shan, Thank you so much for the beautiful work you are doing to support women to develop confidence! I love this notion that every person has a sound to offer to the world. Blessings on this work, sister! XO ~ India

  13. Teresa

    I too feel this way, sister. But how do we make this change? To awaken women’s power, to bring back the respect and honor for all women.

    • India Bacal

      Ah, Teresa, this question is so beautiful! It starts with SLOWING DOWN so that WE ourselves can find the power within and restore respect and honor *for ourselves*. I can’t wait to share more with you here on the blog. And maybe you will choose to go deeper with these teachings and join our Global Women’s Circle in the Fall. Details coming soon! With excitement, India

  14. carmen

    I bow to you for this beautiful honey you are presenting! I am now in the same shoes as you where. I feel like a hunter sitting still….listening…. much love

    • India Bacal

      That listening is such a beautiful gift to give to a world that has forgotten how. Love to you, dear Carmen. XO ~ India

  15. Maia Joy Oden

    Your words are so empowering, makes me want to dig deeper and dance more…. thank you

    • India Bacal

      Maia, thanks for making me smile. I love the image of Digging Deeper and Dancing… Enjoy the process, sister. XO ~ India

  16. Deborah

    Wow! Awesome! thank you for doing the work. I witness you. I’m with you. Well maybe behind you… I’m doing the work, slowly, to find my voice.

    • India Bacal

      Thank you for your courage to take the journey, Deborah. We’re in this together! ~ India

  17. Karen Hartig

    My spirit quickened as I read, yes I feel you, I stand up with you For Woman Matter dearly.

    • India Bacal

      Yes! Don’t we Karen?! I feel you here, thank you. XO ~ India

  18. Ann B.

    I can so relate. I am recovering from losing my voice over twenty-five years ago to a rape. I became so sick that i drank and drugged all the time and totally lost any sense of self. And when i did sober up, i married an abusive alcoholic and became trapped with a small child. It is only my women friends that saved us. They think I’m strong. They have helped me help other women in abusive relationships. But I am not strong. I feel safe with them. They love me unconditionally long enough until i could start to change and take responsibility for my life and my son’s. My ex husband is pretty harmless now, he was just in a near death crash because of his drinking, his license was taken away a few years ago. but that’s not all i achieved some success in getting promoted at work. But the greedy, intimidating men that drove the hospital where i worked broke me again. i had a breakdown and had to go to treatment and on disability, which means i had to take lots of medication for ptsd and bipolar. Thank God for my friends they never let us go. i am now working part time as a Peer Mentor, advocating for people who have been through horrible lives and are in the mental health system. I am just feeling that tendril that has been nurtured by my friends and I know it’s my voice. Trying to make it’s way out again. I used to be outspoken and righteous always looking out for the poor and disenchanted and disengaged. I feel it making it’s way back. I haven’t taken care of myself and I am overweight and sick looking. I am doing my best to eat healthy and move more. I am almost half way through the steps in AA, a very thorough examination of my life requiring me to see my part, including how i’ve harmed myself. and to forgive.\ and then i will have to make amends that is next. I have great hope that as i do this God will restore ME. Restore my voice. Thank you for allowing me to start telling my story. God Bless

    • India Bacal

      Dearest Ann, Keep finding your way to those who support you to lift yourself up. Keep forgiving yourself. May the tendrils of your voice grow deep roots in self-love… Big Hug, India

  19. Holle

    Thank you, I am here, I am here standing with you and for us all.

    • India Bacal

      Thank you Holle! So glad to have you here… XO ~ India

    • India Bacal

      Thank you Sister! WOW, what incredible words you speak. Sending love to you… XO ~ India

  20. Trish

    Thank you for your marvelously apt description that gives voice to the intrinsic beauty of going within to heal and transform! This is Love and Love is The Answer. I witness and applaud the Woman Light shape of your voice! May you be heard far and wide and understood deep and true. With love, Trish

    • Marianah Jade

      Trish, thank you for this reminder that Love is the Answer, and for your enthusiasm! This touches my heart. XO ~ M

  21. Ximena Dinamarca Valenzuela

    Thank you , miles de gracias India por estas hermosas palabras y este re inicio.

    • Marianah Jade

      Thank you Ximena, for being a part of this sisterhood. I’m glad you’re here. XO ~ M

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