Category Archives: Ancestors

A strong aspect of the work I do takes advantage of the growth I can get from my ancestors. These items are related to working with my ancestors.

Ancestors

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I frequently hear, “It feels like I am going in circles.” You go around and around, and you get frustrated when you see the same tree in the same space on each trip.  But have you noticed that each time you loop around and you see that tree again, you see a bit more about it, or see you more in the narrow field of view you have? Have you ever noticed that after you have seen that tree every day for months, it is almost as if you feel that tree.  You no longer need to be in front of that tree, to see it, but anywhere in your loop, you hold an awareness of the tree.

When I hear, “It feels like I am going in circles”, my first response is that you should consider how this ‘spiral’ is moving you.  I have posted before how nothing is EPIC, magic can be small.  Magic must be small.  This is a great illustration for me about how I work with ancestors, and some problems I see people encountering. Whether or not you see it, Change is constant.  Even when, like on this path, everything feels like it is a huge and drastic change… It really is a bunch of small changes that you put together at the same time, giving you are larger break-through.

Work with my ancestors has been a story of change.  But one thing remains constant.  And I would hazard a guess that this is true for MOST of you.  The one constant has been that my ancestors have a clear and strong will to support me as a human being.  No matter my beliefs, my actions, my dealings, they are a driving force in my ability to move forward.

I had an instance before where I was communicating with my maternal grandmother, and I got the impression that now that I had enough strength to carry on forward, she wanted to step back from aiding me.  This was crushing to me.  It felt like a withdrawal of support from who I was as a human being.  I instantly felt that she was not able to aid me because my path didn’t follow her faith, and that brought up all sorts of feelings of rejection from my catholic upbringing.  I was hurt, and I didn’t know how to respond.

While mulling over this vat of turmoil, I was listening to my mentor’s podcast (The Jaguar and the Owl). And while he and his co-host were speaking, it hit me like a ton of bricks… (Somehow, I frequently break down my own barriers when listening to them, whether or not the topic is directly related.)

My grandmother didn’t step away because she couldn’t accept my path, it was because I was unable to accept hers.  I realized that to bring her back to my alter, I needed to find a way to get over my bias, and learn from that mistake. I had to learn to not push people away, blaming them for my history.  Not projecting my fear on them. Not projecting my hurt on them.

And I learned.

She has returned to my alter, and we have had some wonderful conversations.  In fact, I now have a rosary on my alter, and a crucifix in my Misa. But it brings a very interesting point in regards to your alter.  Who is there to speak with you.  How do they treat you? And step back, and ask yourself honestly, if you had no history with them, if you were listening to them with no suggestion in your mind as to what their intentions are.  What would they be saying?

It could take, “How is your health?” from being a lifelong agony of your family pestering you about your weight, simply being carried into their afterlife, to being, You do not feel like yourself, is there something I can do to help you?

It is amazing how hard it is to hear what is said, and not what we listened for.

Go back to your alter.  Just another loop on your circle.  Speak, and Listen.  Really listen.  What do you hear. They are giving you a chance to grow, and hear who the new, and changed, you is in this moment.  Are you offering the same courtesy?

What do you see on this lap?  How has it changed?  When do you start seeing that your circle IS a spiral?

There are, of course, ancestors who really would still carry their old bad attitudes and prejudices with them. If you cannot hear anything but a negative from them that is not helpful to you.  Pick one or two ancestors.  Two leaders of your family, and ask them to help you.  Let them help to smooth the edges on ancestors that do not understand the truth and reality of now.  And know that you are willing to hear them… When it is not disruptive to you.

I find that this leads to an amazing set of relationships, where you can find joy, and not be weight down by old baggage.

Shamanism, is about forming, and holding relationships.

Shadows

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There are so many aspects of myself that I have spent years finding new ways to look around and avoid.  What I have learned so far on this path, can really be summed up to a single act.

Find, acknowledge, accept your own shadows.

What is a shadow?  The definitions are slightly varied here or there, but the core of it is this: A shadow is any aspect of yourself that you avoid.

Need examples?  Some of my shadows I have found are these…

  1. My cruelty
  2. My Ego
  3. My hatred
  4. My anger
  5. My Recklessness

These are aspects of myself that I had avoided for years.  And after spending some really difficult time sitting with those feelings, learning to accept them as part of me, and moving forward, I feel something important has shifted.  My understanding.

I have always run away from the aspect of myself that was cruelty.

But I realized that Cruelty is only one end of that spectrum  The other end is Generosity. And many problems in my life have fallen into line, by simply accepting the balance that swings between Generosity and Cruelty.  Remember, only acknowledging one of the two, leaves you without balance, and out of control.  Accepting the aspect that my value judgements dislike, I have found that the skill I have that makes me so efficient with my cruelty (my tongue, and ability to say exactly the right words to hurt someone) is actually a skill that is equally as strong with Generosity.  I learned that I also have the ability to say exactly the right words that someone needs to hear, to allow themselves to heal.

I have so many shadows. The 5 above are simply the ones that are the loudest, and somewhat more simple to deal with for it.  But there are so many other shadows that overshadow aspects of our lives.  And some are far more profound than others.

This past weekend, I did some hard extremely hard work, and encountered a shadow that I didn’t realize I was holding onto.  When I was 16, I moved out of my parents house.  And there was a physical altercation that was the trigger point for me leaving. The physical altercation did not actually cause this shadow.  It was the fact that while I was ‘facing-off’ with my step-father, my mom was standing over his shoulder, not doing anything.  I completely accept that she was probably terrified.  But that moment, told me that she didn’t care enough about me or my safety, to overcome her fear.  I realized that it put her in almost a paradox, where every direction she felt like she failed.  I left home, because of that.

It didn’t end there though. This past weekend, I re-encountered this experience, again.  This is not the first time I have looked at this shadow, and found a new dark spot.  I felt that deep sadness. It sat right over my heard Chakra, and was a black-hole density of sadness.  I let myself go into that feeling to work through the problem and I cannot tell you the challenge it held for me.  But I came through it.  And I saw things much more clearly.  I saw that I have the ability to cut my caring almost as clean as with a blade.  Just like I felt from my mother that day.  I found that I fear that my kids will one day see that I didn’t care, so I model myself after this “ideal” i have where my efforts can be so forced as to feel in-genuine.  That made me feel sick.  This insidious shadow snuck into the core of who I am, and could have possibly ruined my goal of having my kids remember our time together as happy, and knowing that we could be authentic and true with each other.  Realizing what that one shadow, thatI didn’t even realize I still carried, had such a profound affect on who I currently am.  And how holding on to that memory was such a strong item causing self-sabotage made me realize that I need to look so much deeper to clear the stigma of my shadow self, accept me for me, without the burden of those stigmas, and to grow.

I feel so much lighter, and I feel so ready for the challenge.