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The 13 Grandmothers Council

Oct 2011 by Janhvi Johorey

The 13 Grandmothers Council

“Nothing will change until we change”

from “For the Next Seven Generations”, a documentary about the Thirteen Grandmothers  Alliance

This documentary is a gripping narrative about the story of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners who, moved by their concern for our planet, decided to form an alliance. As the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, they have been traveling the world to spread their message of peace and healing and a call for change now, before it’s too late.

In the fall of 2004, they gathered from all over the world, thirteen indigenous Grandmothers from Alaska, North, South, and Central America; Africa; and Asia. They came together at the Tibet House Menla Mountain Retreat center in upstate New York. Within three days they formed a Global Alliance for the good of all beings. Their Council was set in motion by a common vision, prophecies seeded decades ago in many people around the world. One of these seeds was planted by members of the Center for Sacred Studies.
In December 2009, Emmy Award winning Producer/Director Carole Hart, one of the original writers for Sesame Street, released the powerfully spiritual feature-length film For the Next Seven Generations. The opening premiere held in New York City was hosted by Donna Karan. To watch the trailer of the documentary featuring them, view this video given below:

The Grandmothers- A Powerful Alliance to Save Mother Earth

“My hope is that that this new era beginning to open, be an era of understanding for fundamental questions of health.That this period be an era of love and friendship between humans and among all peoples.”


-Grandmother Bernadette Rebienot

Peace Makers: The 13 Grandmothers Council a Visionary Painting by Minouche, 2008

The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers was set in motion by a common vision, a prophecy seeded decades ago in many people around the world. One of these seeds was planted in Jyoti, and in Ann Rosencranz, of the Center for Sacred Studies. In this vision, the Divine Mother appeared and offered Jyoti a basket with five precious jewels. As she handed it to Jyoti she said, “Take my basket, tend to these precious jewels, do not mix them and do not change them, each jewel represents a line of prayer that goes back to original times. Carry them through the doorway of the new millennium and hand it back to me, for there is something we are going to do.”

When they first convened in 2004, The Grandmothers recognized that vision and accepted the basket, establishing a global alliance. Now they are marching for world peace, for there is something She is going to do.  At the time of the original vision, Jyoti recognized one of these jewels to be Iboga.

In those early days of forming the Council, the Grandmothers Council appeared in the astral plane to guide people, and speak to them to go out and connect with  indigenous relations around the world. For it is only through relations that a movement of heart can flourish. As people approached their Indigenous loved ones around the world, the vision began to take form; the astral grandmothers landed in the physical realm.

“We are approaching our indigenous Grandmothers to ask for help and guidance in these times, so that we may make relations between peoples and nations, reinforce the prayer of unity and listen to our elders who hold earth based ways of life and prayer. The dream of the vision is that our indigenous Grandmothers who hold traditional lines of medicine and healing come together in council, not to mix, but to share their teachings and prophecies. We need the voice of our Grandmothers in this time so we can bring sustainability to our communities, to our peoples and to our planet.

There are many threads that weave together to form this vision. Like a prayer walking towards us, we are following the guidance of our hearts and souls. We come to you, inspired by the stories of the original indigenous Grandmother Councils, how their Council was honored and listened to as the final authority on most all the tribal issues, including waging war.

Our Bwiti mother, Bernadette Rebienot, a Grandmother of her people in Gabon, who holds a line of traditional medicine from her grandmother, has recognized our common dream and encourages us to put this call out for a Council.”

– From the original invitation to the Council, October, 2003

The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers was brought together by vision and prophecies, and through the strength of relations grounded in Spirit. It was brought together by sacred relations and it will be sustained through relations. No single people can claim ownership to a prophecy. Prophecies, by their very nature are seeded in numerous places and eras and the players come to recognize each other over time. In early 2002, Jyoti, Ann and Jyoti’s children, Scott and Dayna, were spiritually guided to seek initiations with Bernadette Rebienot in Gabon. At this meeting, there was a recognition of a common call to bring the grandmothers together. This meeting in Gabon was the first physical manifestation of the Council.

It was after this significant encounter that Bernadette encouraged the grandmothers to follow through and gather up the grandmothers. In the Fall of 2003,  an invitation was sent to sixteen grandmothers. Thirteen answered the call to convene at the Global Women’s’ Gathering in 2004. At this historical meeting many grandmothers shared their visions and prophecies, which guided them to say “yes.” Grandmother Rita Blumenstein, a 75-year-old Yup’ik traditional healer, was guided by her great grandmother. In 1942, when she was 9 years old her great grandmother gave her 13 stones and 13 eagle plumes, told her she would be a part of a Council of thirteen and to save these precious relics for that time. At their first gathering in 2004, the day after declaring themselves as an alliance, Grandmother Rita passed these 13 stones and feathers to the members of the newly formed alliance.

The concept of the Council of elders is not unique. It is a form of governance ruled by a circle rather than by a hierarchy of command. Since the inception of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, numerous elders around the world who are gathering their own councils or renewing their ancient tribal circles of leadership have approached the Council. In this era we are witnessing a re-emergence of the voice of the wise ones and elders, the gathering of Councils. The unfolding of  prayer shows us that many councils of elders are emerging, in Europe, Australia and the Middle East, to carry the suffering world out of its misery. The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers is only one voice in this unity.

For global peace to be established, all voices will need representation. To expand their representation and the receive the support of other influential leaders in the world, the grandmothers have named several Ambassadors:

Grandmother Rita Gregorio de Melo of the Amazon is revered as the matriarch of a global spiritual community, which leads a movement for world peace and unity.

Grandmother Pauline Tangiora is a Maori elder from the Rongomaiwhine tribe of the East Coast of the North Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand. She is a Justice of the Peace, a former President and currently Vice President of WILPF Aotearoa, and the former Regional Woman’s Representative for the Earth Council.

Princesse Constance de Polignac is the President of the Fortress de Polignac Foundation whose mission it is to search for new forms, new materials and all together new concepts allied with the restoration and further development of ancient trades where Hand is truly guided by Spirit, and sets an example of what could allow the regeneration of the Universal Order.

Grandmother Jyoti was Appointed by the Fourth Council Gathering with the position of Traveling Ambassador Charged with the Mission, Jyoti is  the Spiritual Director of CSS, founder of the international spiritual community, Kayumari; founder of the Stargate Mystery school; Founder of the Center for Sacred Studies ministerial program, working for the last several decades around the world in many different cultures healing historical wounds.

The Thirteen Grandmothers represent a powerful and united voice in shaping the destiny of the world.

The Thirteen Grandmothers of this Council

The Thirteen Grandmothers of this Council

The mission statement of the Council is as follows:

“We represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come.

We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life. We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future.

We look to further our vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: lands, medicines, language and ceremonial ways of prayer and through projects that educate and nurture our children”

This unique council of indigenous women elders, some who are in their 80s, are from Arctic Alaska, the Amazon/Brazil, Tibet, Nepal, Gabon, tribes in Oregon, Mexico, New Zealand, Lapland, as well as Hopi, Lakota, Arapaho, and Mayan peoples. The Grandmothers Council is heralding the return of the Sacred Feminine on the planet—as foretold in many prophecies. The Grandmothers serve as healers, shamans and spiritual leaders in their communities as well as internationally.

Every 6 months the Grandmothers meet at another homeland offering prayer ceremonies from their traditions, then holding council on the environment, youth, education, women’s wisdom and empowerment, prophecy, protection of ceremony, medicine plants, etc. Past meetings include in Mexico, Brazil, N. Mexico; plus Dharamsala, India with the Dalai Lama in fall 2006, and the Black Hills, South Dakota in June 2007, homeland of the Lakota people. In 2007, the Grandmothers gathered at the Bioneers Conference in San Francisco, California, and in 2008, the Grandmothers gathered in Gabon, West Africa, Spain, France and Italy. Most recently, they again gathered at Omega Institute in Upstate New York in August 2009, in Portland, Oregon in September 2009, and again in Sedona, Arizona in December 2009.

The Grandmothers share their wisdom, dreams and concerns and are moving ahead with declarations and networking with other organizations locally and globally.

Janet Weber of the Center for Sacred Studies, shares the history and impact of the International Council of Thirteen Grandmothers in this video below:

The Council has partnered with numerous organizations such as the Bioneers. There is a book called “The Grandmothers Counsel the World” which includes the grandmothers as well as women who have made an impact such as Alice Walker and Gloria Steinem. The importance of the grandmothers in healing the world and showing people the right path has been documented in this book as well.

The Grandmothers possess knowledge and wisdom rooted in ancient indigenous traditions and cultures. The Grandmothers aim to raise awareness about the environment and the impact of pollution on life inhabiting this planet. The impact of pollution on the life and health of people needs to be highlighted, so that people can unite to take action.

The first gathering of the Grandmothers at Menla Mountain retreat in October 2004, where they made their momentous decision to form the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.

The Grandmothers at the first gathering
The Grandmothers meet with the women participants at the gathering

Here is a video about the first gathering:

The Grandmothers have an active and important role to play in shaping the future of human destiny. They have held prayer meets at several locations, such as Dharamshala in India.

Watch this video which is cool because it shows the journey, the encounters and the beautiful activities and voices which the Grandmothers are part of and their meeting with HH Dalai Lama, at Dharamshala India in 2009.

The Grandmothers were also honored with the gift of a white shawl, which is traditionally used to welcome visitors, and is part of the custom of greeting honored guests.

The Dalai Lama also shared at this meeting how he ” ..would like to express my congratulations. Grandmother means a lady with a lot of experience. If I were not a monk, I would have been a Grandfather. So, I feel that elderly people should play an active role in shaping society. The seed of my compassion is learned from my mother. So, therefore, mother is the real teacher of the value of compassion”. HH Dalai Lama also stressed the  importance of ensuring women play an active role in varied fields including economy and politics.

Grandmother Bernadette is greeted by Buddhist monks at Dharamshala, India
The Grandmothers holding a prayer meet at Dharamshala

Here is a video about their meet at Dharamshala, Santa Fe and many other places in this world:

Here are some of the personal stories and vision of two Grandmothers:

The Grandmothers are concerned for the state of the world and all living in it and believe that the need for change is urgent; and consider that their formation is fulfilling an ancient prophecy by many indigenous people of the world. The Grandmothers state that indigenous tribes have been connected with the earth and had the role of the Earth’s caretakers. They wish to help restore this connection and the role of respecting and taking care of the planet in order to restore the balance that has been lost. They are there to guide us to change for the better.


How You Can Help….

The Grandmothers would especially welcome support for their lives at home, which are often challenged by lack of access to basic comforts as well as modern services and technologies.  The hope is to create a flow of abundance that supports a monthly stipend for each of us and a local assistant to help fulfill our mission.

The seeds of the Grandmothers’ Corn Garden were planted by the Flow Fund, founded by Marion Rockefeller Weber. The Flow Fund gave $300,000 to the Grandmothers Council, to flow to organizations of their choice.
The Flow Fund project areas help us to take care of our children; our elders; our ways of prayer; our cultural heritage; and our traditional medicines; and to heal generational trauma.
Continue the flow by donating to one of the project areas.  As funds are received the corn stalk in that project area will grow taller!

Join their league of volunteers to assist in their work. They need volunteers at their events and for ongoing support for their staff and the projects.  

The Council came together through a common vision seeded by the Center for Sacred Studies (CSS). They facilitate the council activities and act as the fiscal sponsor, as well as offering programs designed to heal trauma and wounds that divide peoples.  CSS schools and programs endeavor to shift attitudes towards the sacredness of all things and beings on earth.
“We are all like flowers. If we purify our hearts we remain smelling sweet, if we do not, we will stink.”  — Aama Bombo, Tamang, Nepal

The film, For the Next 7 Generations, and the Grandmothers’ Blessings CD, are distributed by Beyond Words.  The book, Grandmothers Counsel the World,  is avaiable from amazon.com.  Meditations by Jyoti and an accompanying video are available from Wisdom Films.


“Every morning I get up and I pray for all sentient beings…humans, animals, even birds — they all need happiness.” Grandmother Tsering Dolma Gyaltong

Please visit www.grandmotherscouncil.org/ to know more about the Grandmothers, the Council and their activities.

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