This year my education brought me into alignment with the turning season and my ancestors.
In my Sacred Lineages class we were drawn through exploration of our mother line, our maternal ancestors. What I found in my line was power, daring women who strained against the confines of convention.
I also found tremendous grief, legions of untended dead. And so began a project to honor our collective ancestry and preserve stories that would otherwise be lost:
The Shrine for the Motherline
Only the stories of my ancestors are present as yet, but I'm opening the door for you to share the stories of your ancestors, too. Because when we know where we come from, we have context. We can begin to make sense of who we are.
This work saturates me, in a good way. And it brings me back to center, to the practices and wisdom that nourish fully.
One of these that I return to is choosing qualities to embody at this sacred, All Hallowed time. This is in many traditions the start of a new year, and here in the Pacific Northwest, just past the full moon, the rains fall, the leaves fall. Things end. The seeds are sheltered in the dark of earth. It is a moment edging to a pause. To stillness, to quiet, dreams, reflection.
What will you be in the year to come? Where do you live? Where do you come from? What are your roots, literal, figurative, metamorphic?
As Ophelia says, "Lord, we know what we are, but we know not what we may be."
Over and over culturally, in my reading and my work I see quite the opposite. We don't know what we are. We cast about for present-tense self-knowledge because our continuity has been broken. Our ancestry, our earth-based connections, our spiritual selves, shattered. We grasp the fragments and look outside for self- knowledge. Partners, friends, teachers, gurus all become a substitute for innate knowing.
What qualities are you embodying for the dark northern time, the light southern time, the time of cycle?
A year ago I posted about my Halloween costume practice. I was considering Baba Yaga and Vasalisa the Brave as role models. The sacred stories have so many forms that fulfill us with their rootedness. Even if we cannot identify our own biological ancestry, the stories are our lineage.
What mythic models are you finding in your life this year?
What sacred stories, fairy tales or myths are showing you the way?
Right now I'm studying the story of Demeter and Persephone, the descent and ascent, separation and reunion, the unity of light and dark. Who are we in the story? Everyone. We are all in divinity. Who we are is free.
Sending wishes for invention, creation, integration.