By Erika Murcia, a Mesoamerican storyteller and poet

What if we honor the mothering and nurturing of Earth Mother as wealth? What if we pray with every drop of rain that fertilizes life-giving ecosystems in their dynamism? Can we then reclaim and re-generate the anima of money as life-giving spiritual energy?

Money is considered an energy exchange in Indigenous cosmologies. Therefore, exchanging energy with the ecosystems we co-create requires us to receive and give abundantly. 

However, my relationship with money has been messy due to transgenerational money trauma and internalized toxic scarcity. I even tried to quit it and balance my need for it, but the truth is, I need money to eat daily; we all do. 

This realization required me to deepen my relationship with money. In this reconfiguration, what I call a more in-depth relationality with it, I am becoming more respectful, grateful, and humble with this energy flow. I am remembering how to be more present and intimate with money as part of my spiritual journey.

Let me simplify this. Nature has its cycles. Those cycles shapeshift in every ecosystem. But Nature is always continuously providing in its mothering vastness. It does not stop nourishing bodies; it simply finds transformative, restorative, regenerative, and emergent ways to feed them. 

These bodies dance with everything in their environment and continue to exchange, give, and receive energy. Energy influx is like an entanglement of crossroads beyond human exceptionalism. In other words, I want to emphasize that our journeys are nurtured by Nature, by Seasons, by animals, by pebbles, by rivers and mountains, by flowers, by thorns, so can we reclaim it as homecoming? 

If money exchange is an energy influx, can money mobilized from a heart center affect nonhumans? Can nonhuman beings impact how resources are mobilized?  

From what I can recall, money was not something we often held in our hands in the pueblo I grew up. Because money wasn’t our primary source of energy exchange, we had many other ways to mobilize energy. When my mother brought pan dulce1 made in her horno artesanal2 to our neighbors, after an intentional visit to learn how they were doing, we would leave our neighbor’s house with a live gallina3 as a gift of their gratitude. 

Mother and grandmother taught us to care for our garden during every season as we were in a sacred relationship with each plantita.4 They told me plants listen when we speak, so they would remind me to sing or speak respectfully to them. 

This praxis of tending our sacred relationship with Nature is what inspired me to become a fundraiser. I thought, what if I could embody a labor that allowed me to mobilize energy beyond my family and to impact communities, cooperatives, nonprofits, and initiatives co-led with womxn and co-led with Nature? 

I will not give you more concepts so that we can all become more “culturally competent” on money talk; I have been fundraising since I was in my mother’s womb, so these topics run in the blood of my veins as much as in the underground rivers that flow from the Mountains in many pueblos I have been in a relationship with. Yes, fundraising, but most humblingly, learning with and listening to the stories of how creative people and Nature are in Mesoamerica and other sacred soils.

You may be wondering, what is the point I am trying to make here?

I am not making a point but rather inviting you, inviting us to introspect on how we exchange energy with our nonhuman and human neighbors. Do we care to greet those who serve our coffee at a busy shop in our forest, pueblo, or city? How do we offer gratitude to our heart for guiding us to co-create ways to receive money monthly? What cultures of energy exchange did we inherit from our ancestors?

Remember the gallina I mentioned above? Yes, that gallina grew up fed with love, with tender care by an entire ecosystem beyond human-centrism. And guess what? That gallina was becoming food for my family as we were feeding it. One day Mother chose to make gallina soup on a special occasion, and we sweat with so much joy while eating it. Yes, the essential ingredient was love as an energy exchange. 

So if money is energy, with which we have the power to buy food, can we try for a moment to expand our notions of “owning”? Can we be in a respectful relationship with all that touches us beyond money? 

Humans can not own Nature. We belong to it. We must dance with its cycles. Therefore, humans can not own money, cosmologically speaking. Yet, as energy, we can choose to mobilize it from a heart center so that all relations it touches in an ecosystem as energy can be expanded. 

Yes, money has a heart, but the toxic systems that we are navigating in these so-called “modern civilized” times have tainted it and have tried to tame its energy to create binaries of “poor countries” and “first world countries,” “poor peoples” and “rich peoples”  Whaaaaat? [🤯😵🤢]. In other words, can we call this binary worldview of “victims of poverty” in monetary terms and “victims of wealth” in spiritual terms?

Stay with me, with us, for a few more in-queeries.

What if we honor the mothering and nurturing of Earth Mother as wealth? What if we pray with every drop of rain that fertilizes life-giving ecosystems in their dynamism? Can we then reclaim and re-generate the anima5 of money as life-giving spiritual energy? How can we bridge our entangled crossroads? Why is the Heart of the Cosmos and the Heart of Earth Mother calling us to awaken ancient ways of energy exchange that center peace? How can we undo and unlearn the illusions of mental scarcity? Can we reconfigure and reclaim other forms of embodied agencies? 

Remember the pan dulce and gallina exchange in my story? Yes, these women were not in a transactional relationship; they were — we were in a spiritually abundant cosmological interdependent dance of expressing power. What do you know about how your ancestors exchanged energy in their co-created ecosystems? Are there more stories regarding money beyond trauma, beyond colonial ways? Can we identify the power of Nature in your lineages? 

I poetically pray that the gallinas (or vegetables) in your life are as sacred as your titles and jobs in this trendy fundraising and philanthropic sector. Are we willing to undo and re-pattern the pillars on which philanthropy was born: violence and extraction? Can we give ourselves spaciousness to dream new roots that center life, collective care, and the natural flow of energies? Let’s meet in the middle, at the zero point of our entangled crossroad. Let’s slow down to introspect with more depth.

For more on the meanings of indigenous cosmologies and the zero point principle, I invite you to listen to episode zero: Sacred Ether, Returning to Our Spirit of Somos Semillas, We Are Seeds, a podcast about Indigenous sovereignty and collective storytelling. This miniseries invites us to reflect on these in-queeries:

  • What does it mean to walk our journeys on Earth Mother, with more depth? 
  • Why does it matter spiritually to weave our walk with a rooted purpose? 
  • Are we capable of synchronizing our heart with the heart of Earth Mother and the heart of the Cosmos?

In the Mayan-Tolteca paths, grandmothers have taught me, through the teachings of my mentors in what is the Anáhuac region, the importance of reclaiming our zero space to reimagine and co-create a praxis that centers the principle of coexisting interdependently with all our relations. 

How can seasons support us to cleanse our perception from overly identifying with the hat of a “fundraiser” to envision other ways of mobilizing resources?

One way I’ve embodied this principle of interdependence in the past was by creatively offering my time and wisdom to organizations like Birth Detroit, not as a “volunteer fundraiser” but as a storyteller and catalyzer from far-away because their labor centers life-giving initiatives on birth and postpartum care with Black and Brown Indigenous birthing families. Their values align with my values. 

As a member of the community-centric fundraising global council emergent initiative, I feel a heart calling to slow down a little more to embody with depth other creative ancient ways that invite us to bridge mobilizing resources beyond the capitalist “laissez-faire”6 boring borderlands. 

In ancestral abundance,

Erika Murcia 

1 Homemade sweet bread
2 Adobe artisinal oven
3 Organic hen or chicken
4 Plant relative
5 The vast feminine energy [beyond gender constructs] that can repattern a culture of hoarding and excess exploitation into a regenerative economic culture that includes the seasons of birth-death-rebirth as part of Nature.
6 The principle of free markets, globalization, and exploitative overproduction practices.

Erika Murcia

Erika Murcia

Erika Murcia is a multiracial Storyteller, Poet, and Consultant. Daughter of the Mesoamerican diaspora. I am co-author of the anthology Maternidad Creativa, a collection of essays on how womxn embody our Creative Sovereignty. I have directed and co-created fundraising projects with diverse grassroots women & youth communities in rural & urban settings in the Americas for more than 18 years. I am Creatrix of REMATRIAR: Introduction to Poetic Writing program. A slow self-study offering guided by Seasons Medicine. I enjoy dancing, hugging trees, and drinking high-quality coffee. Connect with me here.