Magdelion Moondrop’s Story The Compassionate Power of the Feminine. Hailing from Colorado, Moondrop is a quiet, young woman who is quick to smile and give you a hug. In her calm, peaceful voice, she told me the story of the women-led, silent action on the police-blockaded bridge on Sunday November 27th, seven days after Bad Sunday. When she arrived at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, she felt that many women shared her desire for a women’s group. Having been a part of many women-focused circles before, she helped call a meeting together of about 40 women, which grew to a daily gathering. They created a safe place for women to share their stories, their challenges and to discuss the goal of a women-led action to cross the Missouri River. Led by Cheryl Angel, Lyla June and Starhawk, three powerful and unitive indigenous leaders, the group gathered on the morning of the 27th to prepare their bodies and minds. Moondrop said the sweat lodge that morning cleared their spirits as they cried and released, providing room for strength and prayer. Then 100 or so women and men trained on how to remain silent and signal to each other. Starhawk taught them to stay grounded in their center and to do so by imagining what they stand for here. Moondrop was amazed at how completely unmovable they became when they stood for what they believe in. They drilled on their formation to protect the indigenous leaders as they performed their ceremonies. Then it was time, and the women silently formed into a steam that would pass through the camps and onto the bridge. Moondrop said, “it was so powerful to feel the men so willing to step back and support us and stand behind us.” People silently joined them as they walked through both Rosebud and Oceti camps and the stream of women became a river. They met resistance from the council of young men who weren’t aware of what was happening, but Cheryl Angel had approval from the grandma elder, and ‘the feminine walked forth’, continuing. Another dam of male veterans resisted the woman again at the bridge, but they looked them silently in the eyes and conveyed that it was time to let the women lead, to trust them. LaDonna, the woman who started Standing Rock’s opposition to DAPL, joined at this time and Moondrop knew they were now unstoppable. The veterans acquiesced and helped by asking the Army Corps if the women could come to the front and do a ceremony. With thousands of people behind them in total silence, the elder women walked across the bridge through the former war zone, through broken glass, shells, dried blood and teargas-soaked clothing; to the edge of the razor wire where they knelt. They offered forgiveness, wept for the atrocities, wept for their ancestors, prayed for the hearts of the police, and begged for their compassion. “It was the most beautiful moment of my life to witness these women being so vulnerable in the face of armed guards with guns and tanks on the other side of a razor wire fence and to witness them so open and humble and weak, but so strong in their vulnerability. “It was like a radiative, thick blanket of peace washing over everything,” Moondrop recounted. A police officer offered to safely guide the elders down to the river to perform a water ceremony. It was the first time anyone had been allowed on the other side of the river. Afterwards, the supporting men back on the hill parted for the returning river of women who silently lead everyone back to camp. Moondrop felt like it was the rise of a matriarchy and the rise of women finding their voice and their power to create a peaceful outcome here. She could feel everyone’s thankfulness as they reentered camp. As she finished her story, I was struck by how much sense it makes to enact change in this peaceful, compassionate and feminine way. When fear is released, walls can come down and understanding can take place. I myself am extremely thankful to these women for leading the charge.