Ever since Samhain last year—the festival that honors the ancestors & the spirits of the Otherworld—I have found myself on a deep initiatory healing journey.
I have worked with my ancestors for many years, and each time I find myself in a new spiral of initiation, I’m astounded to find new depths of healing.
To journey with the ancestors in intentional ways is truly a spiral path that spirals us deep into our inner landscapes, into the very coding of who we are. This path is one of initiation that repeats at different times of our lives, spiraling us deeper each time.
In Frank MacEowen’s book The Spiral of Memory and Belonging: A Celtic Path of Soul and Kinship, he identifies three important phases of initiation which can be expressed through the ancient symbol of the triskele which is found at Sí an Bhrú (Newgrange), an ancient burial mound in Co. Meath, Ireland:
From a feminine perspective, this is the Heroine’s Journey.
Whether we’ve consciously chosen to initiate ourselves or we find that we have no other choice, our journeys of initiation are what bring us into deep communion with who we truly are. They bring us into the darkness, into the void, where we are pulled apart so we can put ourselves back together again. This is the ultimate rebirthing process.
Over the past month, I’ve found myself in the Upward Spiral of my most recent initiation journey with the ancestors, and am therefore bringing up medicine that feels important to share with my community (you!).
Here are some of my reflections from this journey, which are intended to serve you on your healing journey.
When personal healing feels overwhelming…there’s a chance that you’re healing more than just you.
A few months ago, I found myself in the depths of some personal healing that felt incredibly overwhelming. Having done a large amount of personal healing over the years, I found myself wondering, “Why does this feel so hard?”
Then, I realized…
This healing is about more than just me.
It’s about my ancestors, too.
This shift in awareness brought a lot of spaciousness, like opening a window in a room that’s too hot. I could finally breathe again. And in bringing forth this awareness, I started to feel my ancestors around me. They started showing up in very obvious ways; through conversations with family, in my daily devotions, and in my spiritual practices.
It was like my ancestors were there the whole time, yelling for my attention, getting louder and louder until I finally noticed them. This acknowledgment created the opportunity for personal and ancestral healing to weave together, and bring forth the medicine most needed.
Ancestral healing is about deep, embodied acknowledgement.
Over the years, I have found that ancestral healing follows a similar map to the spirals of initiation that I shared above. I call this the Ancestral Medicine Map:
- Recognizing the shadows: The first step in healing ancestral pain and patterns is to recognize what happened in the lineage. For example, recognizing a pattern of addiction in your lineage.
- Embodied acknowledgement: The next step is to feel what happened in the lineage. In my experience, this is most effective when we are able to feel how we carry the pain and patterns in our own bodies. For example, feeling the pain of your own sexual trauma, and then feeling how others in the lineage have also experienced this pain. Inside of this embodied acknowledgement, you might also come to understand the pattern better, and perhaps even how the pattern began. For example, there might be a pattern of mental illness in your lineage, and you might come to understand through this process that those who were/are afflicted were victims of child abuse. This knowledge might arise from what you’ve been told about your lineage or your own intuition, or both.
- Conscious choice: Once you have the awareness, and have done the embodied acknowledgment, you have the power to make a different choice about how you carry this pattern forward. This is an opportunity to release ancestral burdens to create real and lasting change in your life.
While each of these spirals is important, the embodied acknowledgement is where the real magic happens. The deeper we go into the embodiment piece, the greater potential we have for transformation and change.
At the same time, however, it’s important not to get stuck in feeling the pain and patterns.
We have to keep moving forward, keep moving through, and stay focused on why we’re doing this sacred work. It’s also important to be resourced during this process, and to get the support we need.
Walking Forward with our Ancestral Medicine
On the other side of this initiation journey of personal and ancestral healing, there is a huge amount of medicine that can be unleashed.
Walking forward with this medicine is empowering at the most root level, and can have a ripple effect into so many areas of your life; your health, relationships, self esteem, and so much more. It also provides an opportunity to feel the blessings of the lineage, and for the blessings to outshine the burdens.
In recent years, there has been a swell of interest in ancestry, which is amazing! And I think it’s important to be realistic about the fact that this sacred work is deep and often challenging. We also can’t separate ancestral healing from our personal healing, because the two are woven together.
To complete this wisdom share, I really want to focus on the benefits of doing this work and embarking on these powerful journeys of initiation.
Here are some of the benefits that I’ve seen in my own life and the lives of women that I’ve mentored over the years:
- Knowing where you stand in the lineage brings a powerful sense of purpose and belonging
- Understanding your ancestral lineage brings a greater understanding of self, and empowers you to make more conscious choices in your life
- Healing intergenerational wounds builds inner strength and resilience
- This healing can greatly improve relationship with living family members and break the chain for future generations
- Releasing burdens from the lineage allows the ancestral blessings to SHINE and become more dominant
- Healing harmful patterns can greatly improve your health (for example, if you heal patterns of addiction or mental illness)
- Releasing personal and ancestral wounds in the body can help you to find more fulfillment your physical existence (for example, clearing blocks around experiencing pleasure will support you to experience more pleasure)
- Ancestral burdens can feel so heavy. Healing these burdens brings forward a lightness and ease in life that’s truly invaluable
Like with anything in life, we get the results we want from putting in the work, and not giving up when things are hard. This is why it’s beneficial to have community and support, because it keeps us motivated and focused, and most of all, it reminds us that we’re not alone.
Upcoming Free Event
A heartfelt journey to awaken your ancestral medicine for yourself & your matriarchal lineage.
Thursday March 30th
11am Pacific | 2pm Eastern | 7pm Ireland & the UK
This is a 2.5 hour online workshop
Recording available afterward
At this introductory workshop you will…
To Identify Some Of The Patriarchal Patterns In Your Lineage
With The Wise Grandmothers Of Your Lineage
To The Unique Ancestral Medicine That You Carry
I will also share my Ancestral Medicine Map in greater depth, and introduce you to my upcoming Matriarchal Medicine Carriers deep-dive online retreat.
Beloved, it’s time to walk with the Wise Grandmothers and awaken the ancestral medicine that lives inside of you: medicine that is unique to who you are and your sacred place in the lineage.
You are the one you’ve been waiting for.
Join this heartfelt journey with the Wise Grandmothers to awaken your ancestral medicine:
Sacred & wild blessings,