Mi Abuelo Muerto

25 grams of melatonin, three nonfiction chapters, a bowl of chicken soup, and four hours of tossing. Not much has changed since the second grade…

Too tired to sleep, I require a deep dive, bobbing for ghosts and ancestral hosts of these haunted homes…

Past lives and nightmares, if I’d learned this, then why here, the creak of the floorboard, awakening shadows…

Familiar tune in my glass, power, privilege, and caste, Abuelo, I ask, why?? “Mijo, it is meaningless….”

Unravel the lies, like American pie, white picket gallows, profit, property, I don’t want to be the king of hell…

“Walk away while you can, Mijo. You want me to make it rhyme? Why? Okay, I will try, when you die, you can fly, how am I doing? I am not a poet.”

That was perfect.

“In your heart you know what is important and what is bullshit. In your heart you know who you are. Te amo.”

Eulogy and Tree Dedication for Niki Franklin

Hello and thanks for being here.

My name is Kaika, but some of you remember me as Lu. I met Niki about 15 years ago, while we were in our early 20s. It was a memorable time.

It’s no secret, Niki was a party animal. It was the Pride festival, Freezone, GirlBar, and Nine Fine Irishmen, especially Nine Fine. We made any excuse to get drunk and hypomanic on the dance floor. She was like my cheerleader when it came to tearing it up.

Left to right: Niki, Kaika, Logan, Marissa @ the Las Vegas Pride Festival

She was the responsible one, though. I don’t know how many times she refused to let me drive, made me sleep in her guest room, not caring how jealous or controlling any of my girlfriends may have been, or whether or not I’d get broken up with the next day. She likely saved my life.

What I loved most about Niki was her passion. I can’t recall how many times she started a sentence with, “I want you to know that I care…” 

I remember how much she loved her students. Throughout the years she shared letters written by her children, drawings, reports. When there was a child who needed help, she shouldered their burdens and needed to talk about them. Although none of us minded, she would often say, “Okay this is the last thing I’m going to say about work. Okay, okay, I know I said that was the last thing, but this is really the last thing I’m going to say about work.”

I remember telling her how important she was to the children of this world. I told her that not all, but many of her students would grow up, look back and tell stories about Ms. Franklin, the teacher who believed in me, the teacher who stood up to my parents for me, the teacher who encouraged my obsession with Percy Jackson and Greek Mythology.

I remember thinking, man, I wish I had a teacher like that. Just one teacher like that would have changed my life.

Then I realized that Niki was my teacher. 

Yellowman concert @ the Hard Rock

Earlier this year, I deleted all my social media accounts because I realized that I didn’t know how to be a good friend. I confused likes and follows for love and loyalty. This is me at 38 years old. I wanted to know who my friends really were. I wanted to know who would take the time to text and FaceTime me, who would pour their love into me. I wanted to know who those true friends were and I wanted to learn to love them back.

Niki showed me what it means to be a good friend. She genuinely cared about how I was doing. She carved out time to text and talk. FaceTime was important. She gave thoughtful little gifts, cards, photos. She made it a point to express support of my transition. For a trans person, that support could be the difference between life and death. And she knew that. I know that I’m not a special one.

Niki made such efforts to accommodate all her friends, and I marveled at how how she was able to consistently put her love into practice for so many people, for so many years.

This past summer, her, Logan and I reconnected in a way we hadn’t in a long time. The last time I saw her face, just a few weeks ago. I was at a bar, FaceTiming with Niki and Logan, virtual happy hour, and we took a stroll down memory lane. I got to tell her how much I appreciated her friendship and why. We celebrated my wedding. I got to feel like I reciprocated her love. For the first time, I felt like I was on the path to being a good friend.

Now, class is over, I seem to have graduated, and it’s time for me to go out into the world and become the friend I want to be. Here is where I cherish the memory of my friend, teacher, and role model. 

If you’re reading this, it’s most likely because Niki has touched you somehow. You loved her, didn’t you?

When you go home tonight, whether you find yourself numb, drowning in tears, or trying to assign some sort of meaning to the fact that when the world needs people like Niki the most, she’s gone, or whether you’re desperately trying to make yourself personally responsible for her death, as I know I have, I want you to know that Niki cares about you.

And you’re not alone.

We may not be friends. We may not know each other. You may never hear from me again. Yet, through our love for Niki, we are connected. And anytime you grieve for her, we are here with you in this emotional space. I want you to know that Niki cares about you, and you are not alone.

Thank you, Niki, for sharing your life with us, your light, your love, and all your gifts. I pray that we learn to celebrate life with gratitude for our every breath. I pray for the peaceful journey of your beautiful soul. Please forgive us for our selfishness, for wanting you here in this crazy, chaotic world, when we know deep down that you’re in a much better place.

Amén, a’ho, blessed be.

Thank you for your time.

Today my wife and I planted a Chilean Mesquite named “Demeter,” dedicated to the memory of Niki Franklin.

Midnight Words

Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

The windstorm and the wild fires have stolen my rest, roused by the howling of the night sky, the forest creatures’ blackened faces pressed against my bedroom window, asking, “Do humans still have souls?”

An answer one might quest, lest I find myself caught up in some violent tempest, within, cobwebs and funnels, spun, like broken records, replay, nostalgic for smallness, this funeral, today…

How does the morning appear? Like an old newspaper, repeating historic nightmares, and fear, the far, natal stars charting fate, as the darkness fades, we believed, we obeyed, so naive, still dismayed, and prayed, our hearts blue, waiting for a savior (within you).

Then we worshiped with weapons, subjugated by paper and holy books, innocent blood for sacraments, shook and deceived, bent, kneeled, agreed, while demons in mirrors made pancakes for breakfast, and we demanded pig, too.

The dark ballad resounds through the space opera house, as the morning sunlight creeps in, enlightening, the lighting, we find reasons for living, and forgiving, the pink of a rose petal, the whimper of a pet.

The most precious of secrets are hidden in plain sight: the trees produce golden fruit, the clouds only speak truth, and empires are for sociopathic children.

Someone, please help them.

Yes, humans still have souls.

Poem: Marriages & Peace Treaties

The day I married my best friend.

I woke up in the East and spent my day playing with the Salmon fry, while the Lion crossed the Sky.

The ceremony, our hands tied, crowns switched, my wine and her chalice, like Alice, and one sip, just one bite, vegan cake, love, and my wife, and this life, well, it’s just beginning…

I went to my Father

to ask for a blessing.

She was baptized by Mother

creating, expressing.

The scientist’s cat who could be and not be.

Moonlighting portals to new realities.

The trees hum a lullaby for those who have ears.

The warm sun browns my skin,

I thank God for my melanin.

Time-tellers get lost in the River of Womb.

My best friend and I chase pink rabbits.

The war in your soul is over.



[echoes faintly]

I have signed the Peace Treaty.

So have I.

And I!

The war is over but hasn’t yet been won.

Suit up, Peaceful Warrior.

The darkness falls quickly on the lost sheep.

Ancestral Rage, Collective Pain, and the Strong Roots that weather big storms

One might think it might be easier to deal with current events without the connection to our ancestors, especially if they have been suffering for hundreds of years. When justice is medicine, it’s revolution or extinction.

Sure, it might seem easier if we didn’t have to feel this rage, if we were not tasked with healing our bloodlines and overthrowing corporate fascism. Then we could numb ourselves to the gravity of the situation with some form of escapism, and absolve ourselves of all guilt of apathy and mindlessness. No, we could not do that for that would be a degradation to powerless victimhood.

Instead, we gather the strength and resilience from our roots, like tree trunks for boot straps, running deep into the Earth. We are rooted by the stone wisdom accumulated over the millennia. We are nurtured by the thunder and rain. And as we root ourselves deep, deeper, we feel the ghosts of our bloodline’s past. Mistakes made. Evolution achieved. The never ending story of how I was made.

As the flames and floodwater remind us of broken trust, the conquistadors wage war against the indigenous, and I feel the bitter hate within my soul. Tears and blood stain the haunted red dirt with mass graves and desecrated temples.

The truth? A demonic illness consumed my ancestors, white men with white power, and oh the unspeakable things they did to my ancestors, the Taino, the Filipino, the African. O the people of Hawai’i.

I feel the war within me.

Are you strong enough to cry? Come, and sit. Let’s cry together.

I see you, Peaceful Warrior. It takes great courage to offer peace as your enemy raises his sword.

I see you, Medicine Person. It takes wisdom to die knowing death is just a lie.

I see you, Lover of Love. It takes faith, hope, and trust to create sparks of light out of the pitch dark of night.

I know you are tired. I feel your pain. Rest, heal, and know that you are not alone. Your careful words are not in vain. Your effort is witnessed by all of Heaven. Your ancestors would be proud.

With the support of our roots and all our relations, to the fortitude of our Lion hearts, the nature of Love as all that is –Justice, Peace, and Harmony, we shall prevail.

We shall prevail.

We are victorious.

Lunch Break with Dr. Seuss

I said I would write, even if my shit sucks, especially if no one reads it. Why? Because this is for me, no one else.

I’ve been processing fear in my dreams, apocalyptic nightmares, lava lakes appear, so near to my dear heart, waking up clear, and steer this chariot along the middle road because this soul is not for sale….

How to express with balanced emphasis, burning passionate hate, transmutate, for wide, is the gate, negate, contemplate, alchemists in stride, for faith and for fate, and single-file lines, chanting “I’m not my body, I’m not my mind.”

I call on holy purgatory flames, shame, blame, and childish games, for humans and their big brains, complain of the acid rain, ascertain, its the same game, for fame and billions in the bank, millions walking planks, military tanks, missing children, prison shanks, and big thanks, for thousands of years of genocide and oppression….

Bolt upright, sweaty chest, middle night, address distress, risk of flight, and I guess, I’m still breathing on purpose, for a purpose, ah, I digress….

Get back to work, Dr. Seuss!

Tonight’s Words: Shadow Work

I don’t know what I’m about to say, but I need to allow it to come to the surface, like shadow bubbles under thick tar, festering and moving, like bowels, removing shit I don’t want to see. Fears I do not wish to be conscious of.

Shadow work is daring to venture into the dark recesses of your mind, back in time, rewind, all the wounds never healed, and feel, the real, horror reels, and wheels, like pages, keep turning and burning, like starlight, I’m yearning, for adventure, and learning, the quest and the question, highest good, better, best, and the test, the quest, yes, introspect, while the light of your heart guides and protects you, yes? Do you trust your heart?

Aries and his spear, Sagittarius and the stratosphere, warrior parts and natal charts, I swear there’s no war here. It’s just a vacation, by-pass go, the train station, and onward to Leo, trine, Trinity, creation, Divine Incarnation, but I can’t stay here long. I mean I love Fire outer-space parties, and all. But I have to go back to Earth.

Learning to live in two worlds at once, Heaven and Earth, be the bridge, stars, and dirt, the Middle Way, night and day, silent, say, we can sway, the waves, spin the web, in my mind, everyday, honor life, celebrate death, I left, my old self behind….

Good night,

Kaikz ❤

Unity Consciousness, Social Justice, and My Moral Standards

It’s been a while since I’ve addressed the public, mostly because I need the space. I’ve been looking at my social media presence, noticing the dynamics which are now shifting into healthier more productive and interdependent spaces. I deleted all but my YouTube and LinkedIn accounts, but I will return to social media one day.

Some of the arguments made against my online presence was that I was causing division. It’s an interesting response to a call for social justice, being backed by spiritual principles, but ultimately founded in white supremacy. It’s astounding how New Age culture is aligned with the same patriarchal system it claims to oppose.

People of color are always welcome to white spaces, as long as one doesn’t point out social injustice or make others aware of their unconscious support of white supremacy. These whistle-blowers are shunned for being in victim mentality and causing division. When the oppressed are not only not heard, but silenced and shamed, that tends to feel kind of neo-nazi-ish. You know?

I’ve heard many New Age arguments that use spiritual talking points like “change starts within,” to defend white supremacy instead of actually standing on that very principle to look within the self and recognize the thought forms and behaviors that uphold white supremacy.

Cultural appropriation is an obvious one. How about commercial ambitions, making big profits on the sickness of others?

One of my favorite Ayahuasca curanderos went from charging $150 per ceremony to $5,000+. Of course, it included luxurious room, board, and food, so some say it is justified. The problem is that most Latin Americans cannot afford this. Ayahuasca is an indigenous medicine from Latin America. This practitioner has exploited the medicine, abandoned their people, and now only serves the privileged.

“Ikaika, you’re being judgmental and blocking abundance.”

Yes, I’m making judgments. The judgement of said judgment is also a judgment. LOL.

So how about rapists and murderers? Should we not judge them? Why is it wrong to judge capitalists who exploit the oppressed but totally fine to judge rapists and murderers? Could it be because some violations or sins are obviously wrong and others widely acceptable?

I’m not trying impose my sense of morality on others. I’m not in judgment of people who manifest abundance (albeit in a crooked economic system). I’m saying there are real problems which need resolution if we are going to manifest a world of peace and harmony. Instead of defending ones position and denying the complaints of others, I wish practitioners would stop a take a good look at themselves.

Unity consciousness without social and economic justice is just white supremacy in sheep’s clothing.

The “New Earth” will not be built on white supremacy, and until the New Age community makes that shift, there will be dissonance between the New Agers and the revolution for social justice.

Props to those holding the space in both circles.

My intention is not to divide. It is imperative that we come together, but not unconsciously. We can’t preach unity consciousness and then turn around and appropriate culture. We can’t say we care about the whole of humanity and then continue to build on the foundations of oppression. Those of us doing the work of decolonizing can differentiate a genuine apology from a defensive argument.

If you’re preaching unity consciousness, please do the work of decolonizing your mind. That means unraveling internalized power structures, unlearning white-superiority, and denouncing privileges that keep others in poverty. AND MUCH MORE!

That being said, let’s talk about unity consciousness. For real.

I think the most important thing is for us to be able to come to the table with an open heart and listen. To stop defending ourselves and really listen, especially when it feels like we are being unfairly accused. We need the courage to ask if our responses, especially when they are passionate, might be covering up deeper, more painful truths.

We should examine our language and ask ourselves how we can speak to each other in more efficient ways. Political correctness is good common ground, but it can also be a hinderance. We can’t expect people to learn political correctness if we aren’t allowing them to speak from the space they truly are.

While it’s necessary to hold others accountable, this should be balanced with acknowledging progress. If all we do is call out impurity, people not only don’t want to try, many go out of their way to be offensive. If we offered a child negative criticism to the exclusion of praise and acceptance, the child would become the very thing we criticized them for.

We need to listen deeply to which words are helpful and which are harmful, and when. We need the wisdom to know which conversations are worth our energy, and which should be ignored. We need to honor ourselves, even when preachy bloggers push us towards their agenda.

Haha. *laughs at Self*

I know we are all tired of the bullshit. Division won’t magically disappear by imagining unity. We have to build those bridges from the inside, to really look at how we might be contributing to the mess, make those shifts, and be willing to learn.

We don’t have to wait until we are healed to start taking action. We honestly don’t have time for that. We have to heal ourselves and the world at the same time. If you understand metaphysics, you know that’s how it works. Everything happens simultaneously.

These words are for me to live by. I am creating my own moral standard, one which I will spend my life trying (and failing) to live up to. It’s important that we allow ourselves and each other to be imperfect humans. This is the space in which we grow.

I don’t have time to revise this blog. So here it is, raw and unedited.

Blessings of clarity, grace, and deep inner peace ❤

Decolonizing Spirituality

I went to a school for neo-shamanism because I didn’t have access to medicine from my own lineage. I learned a lot of techniques that work, but I also learned things that were not congruent with my natural instincts or the ways of my ancestors. This can be damaging because neo-shamanism is essentially white shamanism. This means that the culture is taken and interpreted through a Western lens.

The problem with that is that Western ideas are not always sustainable, reverent, or even accurate. Western civilization has brought us to the brink of extinction. It poses its definition of sacred as superior to others, its sense of progress, its sense of “what is right.” So when people of color show up to these circles, they either get white-washed or they stand up for their lineage and get reprimanded and shamed for speaking up. This is why decolonizing spirituality is important.

Cultural appropriation hurts people of color.

That being said, the medicine I bring through my bloodlines and from past/other lives isn’t really aligned with any institutions. It comes from my roots and the convictions of my heart. It comes from the wisdom of past experiences. It comes from Creator.

I don’t believe that a certificate makes a medicine person. I believe medicine people are born with very challenging lives. They are initiated through great trauma(s), and every time they conquer another obstacle, they create medicine to share. This is experiential learning that accumulates in wisdom and humility. Creator chooses these people, not humans. Sometimes I wonder if these shamanic schools do more damage than good…. but who am I to say?

To be clear, I am grateful for my teachers and all the valuable lessons I have learned. I’m grateful for the beautiful people I’ve met. I bless the path I’ve walked and that others may be walking now. I’m letting this go now. I let my heart light the road and my soul lead the way. I pray for guidance….

Blessings of clarity, peace, and joy. 💙

Layered Truth, Balancing Realities, and Healing the World

I’m in the middle of a profound paradigm shift. I feel like I’ve demolished the old concrete sidewalk and a new one is being laid down to dry. In the process, I find dissonance where there was once resonance, and resonance where there was dissonance. It’s about balancing dualistic realities.

The Eagle’s eye is like a camera lens that allows us to see from great heights. It’s the Sagittarius mind that gives us the bigger picture, the higher truth. It allows us to be the observer and helps to raise our vibration when we get lost.

Then you have the Tiger’s eye. This lens gives us perspective from the ground, and allows us to see in the dark. The Tiger’s eye is more like the Capricorn mind, grounding us in this reality and showing us the practical steps it takes to accomplish our missions.

What is illusion to the higher mind is very real to the grounded mind. Truth is layered, not blanketed. As multidimensional beings, we can move through these layers in a way that allows for efficiency and grace.

We stop spiritual bypassing when we learn how and when to switch our lenses. Anyone who has taken a photography / cinematography class can tell you that it takes a little practice, some playing with the camera before you develop a feel for which lens to use in which conditions.

Looking back, I can see that I’ve used my Eagle lens in moments that required a more grounded and empathetic approach. Sometimes when we fly above our issues, and the issues that other people are going through, we bypass our very humanity, invoking spiritual cliche that comes across as cold and unfeeling, which is ironically contrary behavior to that of an enlightened being.

When we attempt to heal our wounds by seeing them as illusions, cutting away the trauma in our roots, trauma that gave us strength and fortitude, trauma that taught us invaluable lessons, trauma that balanced our karmic debt, cutting off our families, denying our history, turning away from the atrocities committed by our ancestors, while reciting our metaphysical philosophies like, “High vibes only,” we have not healed. We have repressed.

I healed my stories, not by cutting them off and labeling them illusion, but by honoring them, honoring their experiences, listening to the inner children cry, and hearing their dark tales. I stopped punishing my inner children for feeling sad or angry. I stopped neglecting them when they lowered my vibration. Instead I gave them compassion and grace. I cultivated peace and gratitude around my trauma, and harvested strength, courage, and so much power. 

Likewise, we can’t heal the world without being on the ground and honoring the suffering of the collective, turning oppression into empowerment. Media that was intended to cause division can be used to bring people together. Images that were meant to stir up fear and provoke war can be used to generate peace and oneness. But we can’t do that if we are too busy telling ourselves that what’s happening in the world is not our responsibility.

Needless to say, I’m guilty of keeping the Tiger’s lens on for too long sometimes, staying on the ground in survival mode, thrashing about and forgetting my higher purpose. It’s so easy to be angry when you’re down here. There’s so much to be angry about. I’ve got dragon fire for Capitol Hill, for the White House, for the Pentagon. I’ve got dragon fire for myself.

When I find myself feeling self-destructive, I know that I’ve been in the 3D for way too long.

I’m still working through this shift, still learning to be on the ground with the big cats, sniffing the path, watching the shadows in the dark, listening to the heartbeat of Mother Earth, and communing with my ancestors. I’m learning when it is appropriate to shape-shift into the big birds and fly with higher consciousness, remembering that I am an immortal child of the Divine, and there is nothing to fear or worry for.

If you are resonating with my journey and want more info, I recommend reading Grounded Spirituality by Jeff Brown and The Sacred Seven by Andrew Ecker. I’ve been reading these books in tandem, and they’re rocking my world. 

Aloha. Thanks for listening ❤