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What I learned from my Ancestral DNA

What I learned from my Ancestral DNA

Did you know that your body is a 100 000 years old made up of the myriad of memories, beliefs, traumas and strength of your Ancestral DNA?

The beginnings of my love of DNA and Ancestral Inheritance

I have always been fascinated with inheritance, as a child noticing the little features that I had of my mother or father and what was similar between me and my brother. As I progressed in school and began learning the basics of genetic inheritance I was hooked. I loved filling out the genetic maps figuring out which genes were recessive and which were dominant and how each allele was passed down through meiosis aka reproductive cellular division. Through this seemingly simple process it is easy to see how our bodies are made up of hundreds of thousands of years of genetic material, way back to that first ancestor. But the depth of this understanding didn’t really occur to me until I began to study the more ancient and holistic forms of healing that are Shamanism and Chinese Medicine.

My awakening to all that my DNA held

I have such deep gratitude to my parents who were the first to bring me into the folds of Shamanism, They had spent many years doing personal and spiritual development work and it wasn’t till Shamanism that they truly found their path and it turned out it was my path as well. It was in my first series of ayahuasca ceremonies that I began to see and feel the deep connections that i had to my family line. In those ceremonies I witnessed the amazing oneness that we all are, the amazing web that connects all humanity to all things in the universe and how the light that we each emit communicates and feeds off of the light of all living things. It was the most beautiful of expereinces and when I can tap into that web I feel whole like in no other way.

Also in those same series of Ceremonies i asked to be shown my fears (I do not ever recommend doing this in your first plant medicine ceremonies) and boy was i taken down the rabbit hole. It was awful and painful and i saw these tendrils of pain and suffering that had come down the generations and now were woven into my body. At the time I did not realize that this glorious light filled web of love and beauty and the dark wicked tendrils were both apart of my soul’s evolution and key to my growth and development. Thankfully that second ceremony did not scare me away and i went back for another and many many more after and as i continued down the rabbit hole I discovered, learned and healed in ways I did not know possible at the time.

 

huichol ancestral DNA inheritance Trauma love

A Shamanic Perspective of Ancestral DNA

The most personally resonant explanation of inheritance and the spiritual evolution of humanity was given to me by my Shamanic teacher Jose Stevens. This explanation does not ony exist in Shamanism but is mirrored in many spiritual traditions. It says that at some point Spirit decided it wanted to feel, be and know something else and so it tore off pieces of itself and sent them to incarnate as different beings on earth, plants, animals and humans and when we initially incarnated we lost all memory of what we were and through lifetime after lifetime we slowly evolved, creating karmas and learning to play this game of human and as we grew and evolved much as we do from infancy to adulthood we began to remember what we were until we finally reached a point where we had healed and repaired our karmas and were able to step fully into the awareness that we are spirit and we are all one. 

Part of this game is also conducted behind the scenes and between lifetimes when we go back to spirit form our spirits decide what we need to learn next on our spiritual paths. This is where genetic inheritance and Ancestral trauma come in as each family line offer us a unique opporunity to step into a specific pattern of trauma, pain, and disease for us to navigate and ultimately heal, as well as a specific pattern of strength, resilience and power to support us on this journey. Just as I saw in my first ceremonies there was light and love as well as dark and pain that made up my connections with my family. 

Reflecting on your own Ancestral DNA

In order to begin or further your understanding of your own ancestral inheritance I offer you some questions to reflect on in order to bring to light the things you have come here to heal and gain strength in. 

1) What positive attributes is your family known for? What side of your family does this come from?

2) What are you most grateful for that you received from your family? What side of your family has this come from?

3) What physical illnesses are you aware of that exist in your family? (obesity, diabetes, cancer, dementia, ms, autoimmune, eczema, psoriasis, heart disease,…..) Which side of your family are on they on? Where can you trace it back to?

4) What mental patterns and behaviours exist in your family? (Anxiety, depression, bipolar, aggression, timidity,….) Which side of your family are they on? Where can you trace it back to?

5) What addictions exist in your family? (Alcohol, drugs, shopping, sugar, violence, extreme sports, sex,…) which side of your family is it on? Can you trace it back?

 

I hope this is helpful to you and helps you find more understanding and compassion for yourself and your family. If you would like to continue diving into this work my course on Transforming Ancestral Trauma begins on Sept 22nd and i would love to have you! You can also book a one on one shamanic healing or shamanic acupuncture session with me either in-person or distance. Book here 

Many Blessings

Spring Equinox, Finding Balance and Supporting the Liver

Spring Equinox, Finding Balance and Supporting the Liver

We find ourselves once again at the turning of the wheel, where light balances dark and we are called to see what it in and out of balance in our lives. The equinoxes are my favourite times of year, heralding a great change from yin to yang and yang to yin. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are blessed to be moving into spring and here on the West coast the world is singing with fertility and life. when I go on my morning walks, the birds are singing their merry tunes and the daffodils are waving hello, the cherry blossoms wave in the wind releasing their intoxicating scent. We are reminded that are that died away in the fall has given rise to this new life and so I hope for you that what you released in the fall has given rise to new and fresh dreams within you. 

For those of you who wish to take a little quite time and reflect at this powerful time. Find a quiet space and time, take a few deep breaths, light a candle and call on your guides and take some time to consider these questions:

  1. What has happened in your life since the fall equinox?
  2. What was revealed to you in that time?
  3. What feels out of balance in your life?
  4. How would you like to bring new balance to your life until the next equinox?

In Chinese Medicine we have fully entered into the season of wood. Wood is ruled by the Liver and the gallbladder and helps us to dream, plan and take action in our lives just like the little sprouts that are pushing up towards the sun. Wood is resilient when it is flexible, breakable when it is too rigid. It harnesses the deep nourishment of the stillness of winter and the water element to help guide its dreams and create change with loving kindness. You may find that if you wood element is excessive, you become dictatorial, forcing life to happen and raging when it doesn’t go the way you want it to causing your body to tighten and ache from the tension and if it is deficient, you may lack the drive to dream or plan, be stuck in a depression and feel lost in the world. 

    In order to support your wood element, I offer you hear some tips and tricks;

    • begin each morning with a room temperature glass of water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in to awaken your liver and continue it’s digestive processes
    • try not to eat any fat or protein rich foods until afternoon, instead eating fruits and salads (ensuring these are room temperature or even warm if its still cold where you are)
    • start to add in fresh spring greens; nettles (here is one of my favourite nettle recipes), dandelion, arugula, chickweed, wild mustard and other bitter foods
    • move your body daily (go for a walk, dance, do some yoga, or qi gong….) Here is one of my favourite qi gong sequences for the wood element.
    • take time to dream, plan, and create; make art, draw, do a vision board
    • apply some bergamot essential oil to the following acu points: Liver 3 and Gallbladder 13
    •                     

    For those of you who would like to go on a little journey to tap into the energies of spring and the medicine it has for you. Check out this Drum Journey I recorded last year. 

    I wish for you a spring filled with renewal, dreaming, planting and creation.

    Many Blessings to you and yours

    Lessons from the Dark

    Lessons from the Dark

    It has been a while since I have written I have been enjoying a much needed break from all the extras in life. After the wild ride 2020 has offered us up, I have been spending time with my family, friends and clients and in quiet contemplation and reflection as i truly believe this time of year is meant for. 

    This time to nourish myself and take care of my body has offered a great many lessons, including some deep transformations of family patterns and bodily manifestations of these patterns, which only seemed fitting after teaching a course on Ancestral healing and medicine. I am still working at it as we all are but I can feel the shifts with the eclipses and solstices.

    I know from speaking to many of you,  that either you or those you know are also experiencing such things. It may show up in an emotional pattern, a dis-ease, a traumatic accident. All of these things are coming up to help us shed the last vestiges of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn which as an earth sign is focused on the physical, our structures and habits and patterns. Each awakening of a pain, illness or broken bone is an opportunity for us to learn and shift. Bones and teeth particularly hold our oldest patterns from our ancestors and even our past lives. So though I know it can be hard and painful and seem so bleak when we initially discover experience these pains and traumas, remember that it is always darkest before the light and with some quiet reflection and the desire to learn from our situations we can begin to shine our own light on the darkness and discover the medicine that resides there. 

    So I invite you all to sit a little in the dark and get curious see what is there for you and with love and compassion begin to light your inner light on the situation asking what you need to learn from this and what support you need. If you are having trouble awakening your own light, you can try lighting a candle and asking the spirit of fire to enter into you heart and burn away the fear, and hucha there and once it is gone ask the fire to help grow your inner light, a bright clear light that is part of who you are as a person and what the world needs right now. 

    And of course if you need more support I am always here for a session to help you find out what it is the dark is trying to tell you and how you can awaken this light to help transform these pains into crystals. 

    With so much love and Gratitude,

    Honouring the Ancestors and Releasing the Baggage

    Honouring the Ancestors and Releasing the Baggage

    My favourite of the cross quarter festival is upon us. The last of the harvest festivals as nature prepares for her long slumber through the winter. It is a time of magic, mystery, ancestors and spirits. In many cultures this time of year was a time to honour our dead loved ones and release what no longer serves us preparing ourselves to rest and refuel our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits. As this was the final harvest festival it was the practice amongst those who celebrated Samhuinn to leave any remaining food in the fields and gardens to the spirit world. In that way creating balance and nourishment for all. 

    This year is an especially powerful year as we have a blue moon as well. A blue moon refers to the second full moon in a month and is a modern invention but this still has not occurred since 1944 and we only have a full moon on Samhuinn ever 19 years. The energy of the full moon adds to the power of our intentions to release what is no longer serving us.  Below you will find three rituals which you can do separately or together. The first is to help you release what you need to to prepare for your own dream time. This is best done in the window of the full moon in the next few days. the other two are rituals to connect with your ancestors and can be done in the next few weeks as the dates of Samhuinn would have been based on the harvest and the moon and not the Roman calendar. 

    Skeleton Dance

    The fall is such a powerful time for release, All around nature is releasing things and so deep within us we also feel this desire to release. On top of that as the moon begins to wane and shrink down it also encourages us to release. 

    I have affectionate called this practice the skeleton dance in remembrance of the old disney cartoons. It was taught to me by my teachers Lena and Jose Stevens and it originates from a Siberian practice. You will need room to move around and shake. I highly encourage you to give your all to it. The fiercer you can shake the more you will get from it. Shaking also happens to be a great reset of your body. 

    I have recorded an audio of it for you to listen to. You will find it below

    Dumb Supper

    This is one of the easiest ways to honour your ancestors and is such a great thing to do if you have kids. At Dinner time on Samhuinn, Halloween or Day of the Dead when you are setting the table you set an extra place for the ancestors and fill it with food. You then can eat your meal in silence thinking of those who have passed or you can share stories about them. When dinner is over you simply take the plate and put it outside to be offered to the nature beings who are connected to our ancestors. 

    Connecting to your Ancestors

    This simple ritual is something I do every year and since offering my course on Transforming Ancestral Trauma it has become a daily practice. All you will need is a candle and some memento that reminds you of your ancestors (a photo, keep sake, snack, drink,…)

    You begin by creating a little altar for your ancestor. Placing their photos and keepsakes around the candle.

    Take a moment to ground yourself with a few deep breaths.

    Light the candle and ask your ancestors to come and surround you.

    When you feel their presence you can ask them a question. Like what do I need to know? What do I need to release? How can I connect more with you?

    Then take as much time as needed in silence or you can do automatic writing allowing the messages of the ancestors come to you.

    When you feel complete thank your ancestors and blow out the candles and write down the messages you got.

    Much Love

    Summer Solstice Eclipse Ritual

    Summer Solstice Eclipse Ritual

    This weekend is the summer solstice, solar eclipse and New Moon in Cancer, Cancer and the moon are kindred energies they come from the same deep and holy place, enabling us to feel the feels and wrap ourselves up in the caring and compassion of our hearts. They bring us closer to the motherly energies we all possess and ask us to love ourselves completely and honour our own sacred lives, as well as all life. In Chinese Medicine, the heart is the empress. It oversees the work of all our other organs and houses our shen, the light of spirit that animates us, allowing us to know our true selves. The heart-mind speaks to us through our feelings and helps guide us on the truest path of spirit. The peak time of the heart is in the heat of the summer, a time of connection, play, laughter and energy. Just as the fire element drives the heart, we are driven by our inner fire that asks us to step out and dance amongst the other flames, to connect and create sparks of joy and love. Fire, like all elements is in a constant flux and keeping it from being extinguished or burning up is a practice we all take on each day of our lives.

    Through observing nature, ancient Taoist Sages recognized that the simple ways that fire was strengthened and weakened. In moderation, heat strengthens fire and cold soothes it, in excess heat may cause fire to burn up all the body fluids, while cold will freeze the body and no fire can start. The spirit of wood with its direction and healthy anger can reignite and replenish our fires and the soothing nature of water can calm an abundant fire. They also recognized that when we go through a traumatic experience, our inner shen will return to Shen and leave our hearts and bodies empty. In my shamanic training we referred to this as a susto and can result in delusion, anxiety, depression, confusion, despair, fear, panic, numbness or pain in an area of the body, sleeplessness, palpitations, difficulty breathing, digestive concerns, the list goes on. Depending on where the trauma happened and our natural areas of weakness. Sometimes these sensations can come up without an obvious experience of trauma  but from something witnessed, heard or felt that links to our ancestoral or past life traumas. 

    The solstice was a fire festival for most of our ancestors, being the longest day and shortest night of the year they would stay up with bonfires through the night asking for the blessings of the sun on their growing crops, relationships, babes and lives. Fire is a powerful transmuter of energy, burning away what no longer serves us and carrying our prayers out into the universe. 

     

    Here is a simple ritual for you to work with on this summer solstice, eclipse, new moon:

    If you have access to a place where you can safely have a fire that is ideal and you will need a piece of twine or cord, some tobacco, cornmeal or another offering and some twigs, If you don’t you can use a candle and very thin thread and paper along with an offering.

    1. Begin in the dark, sit comfortably and take three deep breaths centering yourself into your body
    2. Call in great spirit and your guides, allies, ancestors and angels to support you and hold you in your work
    3. Take some time to breath in the dark and find that place deep inside you that feels dark and unwanted
    4. invite it to be seen and share its medicine with you. 
    5. pick up your piece of twine or thread and begin to tie knots in it as each aspect of your shadow comes up. 
    6. Once you feel completed, light your fire and offer it some tobacco, cornmeal or other offering to thank the spirit of fire for its support
    7. Now place your twine in the fire and watch it burn away taking several deep breaths feeling it release from your mind and body
    8. Now pick up your sticks and begin to embrace the positive or opposite aspects of what you just released. Fill the sticks with it. If you are using a candle write it down on paper
    9. Once complete add those sticks to the fire or paper to the candle. Again take several breaths, breathing these qualities into your body.
    10. add more of your offering to the fire. Thanking the fire, guides, spirit, etc for there support and release them. 
    11. Sit and enjoy the light of the fire/candle on this the shortest night of the year. 

    Please let me know how it went and if you have any questions please reach out. 

    Healing the Divide: From Complacency to Embodied Action

    Healing the Divide: From Complacency to Embodied Action

    I am a firm believer that re-establishing the connection between spirit and our conscious, unconscious and bodies is the greatest work we can do and with these truly incredible times we are living in where we are being asked to rewrite the story of humanity centered on our connection with spirit. As I have mentioned in previous posts in Shamanism we believe that we are constantly dreaming our worlds into being. This is an incredibly empowering and scary concept that has truly been seen in our covid lockdown. How quickly have we changed our lives for something we can’t even see. Collectively we believe that it is worthwhile to protect the lives of those most vulnerable and have been willing to transform our lives for it. Now that this has been proven others are demanding this same respect and protection for black, indigenous and other people of colour. Are we willing to transform our lives even further and instead of governments telling us what to do, can we the people transform our governments ( who after all are supposed to be in place to support the collective voice of the people)

    As an empathic, white, straight, cis-gendered, able-bodied, educated, middle class Canadian woman who practices indigenous healing, I am deeply aware and grateful for the immense privilege I have in this life time. Not all of my life times have been like this, I have been slave and slave master, warrior and witch. The list goes on how long I don’t know some privileged and very brutal. In watching the Black lives matter movement roll out in front of me, I have deeply felt all the emotions rolling around in the world, the rage, grief, anger, sadness, powerlessness, despair, hope, fear, frustration,… dragged up from the depths of my own ancestoral lineage and my past lives that my spirit and bones still remember. I have had the privilege to be brought to my knees by them and am blessed with the time and space and knowledge of how to process them.

     

    My beliefs have all been challenged this week and no doubt yours have been too. It has been hard to witness my complacency and apathy in the systems that keep this world separated and segregated. Acknowledging that I am indeed apart of this collective dream. I can see the very real consequences of having the structures of our reality built on the backs of others and the degradation and exploitation of the earth and its people. The thought of dismantling it all seems so momentous and the huge changes that need to happen are rattling to the nervous system.

    But one truth I do know and feel at this time is that we are triggered when there is something that needs to be cleared and right now we are all being given the chance to do some incredible healing work. We each carry in our bodies and DNA the stories and traumas of our ancestors as well as of our past lives and these get passed down to each generation creating our realities. In order to make true change we must address our own traumas and the traumas of the world. Just as our DNA is marked by these stories, so are the systems we live under. The rules that govern us were created out of slavery, rape, pillaging, war, fear, hate but also out of love, inspiration, creativity and hope. We as a species have come through so much and together can create a new way forward.

    I would like to begin by acknowledging all the voices that have been raised to share their stories and stand up against a system that does not see or treat everyone as equals. It takes immense courage and a real ability to step beyond the traumatized places within us to create change. It is truly the first step in healing.

    So I have been asking myself how can I help dream a new world into being both in spiritual practice and lived action. A world that recognizes each person’s sovereignty, unique wounding and perspective, while remembering we are spiritual beings having a human experience that we have chosen.

    I begin at home by educating myself and having the uncomfortable discussions with my friends and family.

    I continue to learn about and work at transforming the trauma that I carry and my friends, family and patients carry.

    I am working on practicing Deep listening and honouring each humans unique experience, while remembering that they are spirit and perfect, whole and complete.

    I will be offering special sliding scale sessions for those who do not have the financial means but wish to do the powerful work of transforming trauma.

    I will donate 5% of my revenues to regenerative projects that are actively working to create resilient, flourishing and equitable systems that respond to the needs of society while respecting the integrity of nature.

     

    I offer my humble gratitude to all the voices that have been raised to share their stories and stand up against a system that does not see or treat everyone as equals. It takes immense courage and a real ability to step beyond the traumatized places within us to create change. If your are interested in doing this work here are some of the people I have found most helpful and transformative:

    Resmaa Menakam

    Rachel Rickett’s Spiritual activism course

    Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD Being an antiracist practitioner

    Jose Stevens PhD, Slavery, A closer Look

    The Ritual as justice School

    Light Watkins

    D’orjay The Singing Shaman

    Janaya Future Khan

    Tracy Stanlee

    Through all of this be gentle with yourself. Our egos love a good opportunity to make us feel guilt, shame and fear. They are our biggest slave owner and doing the work to recognize this and transform it is crucial to being able to make meaningful action in the world.

    So much love to you all

    Marika

     

     

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