In some ways, I think I was an unlikely person to do ancestral work. There was a lot of unmetabolized grief in my family growing up and I got out of there as fast as I could. I spent most of my 20s abroad creating space from my family to figure myself out.
If someone would have asked me if I wanted to do ancestor work, I probably would not have welcomed the opportunity to engage with more people I was blood related to.
But when I was 30 and pregnant with our first child, my ancient maternal grandmothers began visiting me in dreams. At first, I didn’t even know they were ancestors.They were a group of tight-knit women living in the jungle and in my dreams, I found myself becoming part of their community from the everyday work of cooking and taking care of children to doing rituals in caves.
At some point, I came to understand them as family, which helped me realize that they were in fact ancestors. As they continued appearing in my dreams, I could feel a growing intuition to connect with them in my waking life, but I had no idea how to do that.
A couple of weeks later, a friend and I went to go see the astrologer Chani Nicholas speak in Chicago. My friend brought her friend, who seemed to have some kind of spiritual practice. While having tea after the event, I told my friend’s friend about my dreams and she asked if I had ever heard of Ancestral Medicine.
The next week, I enrolled in Ancestral Medicine’s first online course, and I began relating directly with my grandmothers in ritual space. I remember our first journey. They covered me with a cloak of stars. I could feel their deep love for me.
Through the ancestral lineage healing approach through Ancestral Medicine, I began relating with the all of my grandmothers on this lineage, eventually working with the more recently deceased on this lineage whose names we know… including my grandmother Nelida, her mother Josefina and her mother Petronila.
As this lineage healed, I noticed that my relationship with my mother, aunties and wider family also began to change. We still have differences and disagreements, but the thing that’s changed is that the love that my grandmothers have for my mother, my aunties, etc… it inspires me to love them the way our ancestors do.
My heart beams with pride for my ancestors, and these grandmothers are one of my greatest sources of strength for me as I navigate motherhood and my healing arts practice. I hope that who I am and how I live my life continue to make them proud, until I return to them in spirit.
Pagdayan sa mga katigulagan. Praise to our ancestors.