Home / Extraordinary Jane / Remembering Mary Jorgensen, Freedom Rider with Kathleen McIntire

Remembering Mary Jorgensen, Freedom Rider with Kathleen McIntire

IMG_7294Mary Jorgensen’s Passing and the Shawl

My last visit with Mary Jorgensen was very difficult.  It was our first time in many weeks that we weren’t able to cuddle.  She was very deep into the other world.  A beautiful white light glow emanated from her.  Her mouth was open.  I sat next to her on her single bed.  I tried to lie down but there wasn’t much room on the side, it was a delicate balancing act. 

I realized that cuddling is really a transitive action verb.  It takes two to cuddle.  This day was not about cuddling.  I sat up and tenderly stroked her forehead and cheeks and collarbone and arms and hands.  Wondering with each touch how much love could I impart from my body to hers. 

Pabby, Mary’s primary care giver, informed me the doctor had been there the day before and said Mary would most likely only have two to six days left to live. It was difficult knowing this might be my last Monday visit with Mary on the physical plane.

I saw that Pabby had placed the shawl I had knitted for Mary next to the vase that had held the madrone leaves from my property, roses and lilies for Mary’s 98th birthday just nine days earlier on July 12th.  

DSC01717Remembering the shawl: In January of 2006 a friend gave me a Cellular Memory Release session where we went to my most eldest Self I could see. She was very, very old with white hair in a bun. She was so full of passion and so alive! She lived in nature and felt one with all life. She loved to laugh and had many loving friends. She was totally fulfilled.  She was wearing a most beautiful shawl.

Often when I am given guidance on a vision quest or a journey, I will create something on the physical plane to honor and ground what I am given.  So I decided I would knit a beautiful shawl for me like the one I saw my wise elder-self wearing in my session.

While on a trip to Vashon Island, just south of Seattle, I found a quaint store with beautiful yarns. I chose the yarns to knit my wise-elder shawl. When I came home, I began the process. I decided that with this shawl, I was going to make it sacred and infuse it with prayers, Rumi poems, and Hafez poems with every stitch. It was going to be created consciously and with love! 

Several months later I opened a drawer and found my nearly completed shawl. It wouldn’t take much to finish it. As I began knitting again with the prayers and poems, I clearly heard Spirit telling me I was not knitting this shawl for me, but for Mary Jorgensen!

DSC01652I wanted to honor Mary Jorgensen  for being such a wise elder not only in our community, but in our world.  I realized the perfect time would be in just a few weeks when I was having a ritual at MoonBear Sanctuary with women building a labyrinth.  With each stone we set down it would be done in silence with the prayer and intention of creating a world of love that works for all life. 

Mary was a Freedom Rider in the 60s. She did it with style. She stood up for African American civil rights tall and proud. She was wearing her finest suit, hat and white gloves as she walked into a Southern jail with her freedom rider collaborators when angry police arrested her.

20110428-tows-freedom-riders-book-cover-949x534Watch More on the Freedom Riders PBS Documentary Here.

She and her husband Russ founded the Woolman School in Nevada City, CA, an educational community named for an 18th Century human rights activist. They also founded an intentional community in Santa Rosa, Ca. Their activism for human rights was important. She and her Russ had just appeared in O The Oprah Magazine that just came out prior to the labyrinth building ritual.  More on Mary Jorgensen: Article- Read More  Interview: Watch Here.

FreedomRiders_SLAH-verticalHer eyes always sparkled; she was the emanation of love and truth with the capacity to walk her talk and take action.  She was my heroine.

Spirit had told me to give Mary the shawl and I did, never expecting to have it back.  Then a few weeks before Mary’s passing Spirit once again gave me a message that I was to ask for this shawl back.  I felt funny asking for it, but Spirit said it was important, so I followed my guidance. Good thing too.

photo 2The day that Mary transitioned to the other side, I was with a friend at the river.  I brought the Sacred Path cards and she drew “The Shawl” card. “The Taking of the Shawl is a little known Paiute Teaching that came into being when some members of the Red Race could no longer live in the white world.  Those Native Americans who chose to return home and embrace the Teachings of their Elders took on the Shawl. The Shawl was a symbol of coming home to the arms of the Earth Mother and being wrapped in her nurturing love. To accomplish the Taking of the Shawl, one would have to return to the Traditional Teachers of their Tribe and ask permission to live among the People who honored the ways of the Ancestors… Many people would feel confused at having no Indian blood and yet be Red on the inside and white on the outside”.

The Sacred Path cards teach that the act of “Wearing the Shawl” is a coming home to the arms of the Earth Mother and being loved. The responsibility of “Taking the Shawl” is being loving to others who have forgotten the Sacred Path or the way home.

When I got home from my last visit with Mary, I put the shawl on my kitchen table, but didn’t go near it. I was feeling too much sadness. But when I went to bed that night, I picked up the shawl and held it to my face. It smelled like Mary. It is amazing how each person has her own personal smell. I couldn’t describe hers if my life depended on it, but I recognized it on the shawl. I took the shawl to bed with me that night. I held it, cuddling it as if it were she. I felt connected to Mary through it and sent her love through the airwaves.  Just two nights later her spirit passed.

imagesThe Bigger Form: Krishna Das studied with his Indian teacher Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji). When his teacher died, Krishna Das was lost and for a time took up drugs and sex as a substitute. When he went back to India he was asked if he would be going to a huge festival for his teacher now that he was not in this world, but of his “bigger form”.  He woke up hours later transformed. 

I imagine all these amazing women that have recently transitioned over to the other side now being in their Bigger Form to guide us and help us at this pivotal point on our planet as we move out of one paradigm and into another one of higher vibration, one of love. We are so blessed to have Maya Angelou, Angeles Arrien, and Mary Jorgenson among others, to hold us and guide us from higher dimensions.  

photoNow having the shawl back, I sleep with it every night. I realize it is now not the same shawl that was so lovingly given to Mary so many years ago. Now this shawl is infused with the essence of Mary. I received it back at the higher turn of the spiral. As I wear this shawl, Mary will be holding my back, and I will always have her wisdom and love and fierceness invisibly guiding me as I walk my path in this lifetime.  

Thank you Mary, for being my friend, my ally, my wise teacher and the pure emanation of love and justice. I miss you although you are always with me. 

 * Mary Jorgensen received a See Jane Do Extraordinary Woman Award in 2012.  It was most likely the last time she publicly shared her life story and the incredible life she had lived.  She will be deeply missed.   


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