Sacred Thread Update: October New Moon 2023

Photo by Brad Meese

Hello Beautiful Relatives  –

This past Thursday, October 12, was my 54th birthday. Lately, I have been contemplating my ancestry. Not just the blood lines of those who gave me DNA and life but also those who have nourished me through milk lines and story lines. This can be a powerful practice and very healing as well, especially when sometimes our blood lines feel messy and not so easy to honor. I will share a little of my ancestry with you here and invite you to consider doing something similar…

In honor of my birth I honor my blood ancestors. Those who, through their persistence and grace, passed down their DNA and life blood to me. I honor my parents, Ann and Joe, and their parents…Elizabeth and Frank and Elizabeth and Fleming and each of their parents…Ula and Maurice, Mildred and Emmett, Vivia and Joseph and Margaret and Horace. I will stop there. When I take time to name these folks, I am reminded that although I don’t know most of their stories, and more than likely they were a mix of tragic pain and moments of sweetness, their presence and choices gave me this opportunity of life! Thank you!

But there are other ancestral lines I like to honor beyond blood lines. There are milk lines…those who have nourished and taught me that are not my blood relations. They are people, yes, but also places and more than human beings that have given me sustenance, support and life. Some are still living, some I have lost touch with and some have passed on. Here, I name just a few…Mary-O, Grandma Cedar, Bhasma and Chandra, Susan, Water, Dove and Hummingbird, Betty, Malidoma Somé and many more.

And there are the story lines…those whose stories and presence in the world has illuminated my own trajectory and helped me along the way. Again, they may be folks I knew personally of those or different ages and times as well as other than human beings. I honor some of those in my story lines…Mary Oliver, John O’Donahue, the little people, the Celts and Picts, Wise Women, Stone and Bone and many more.

*Note…an ancestor is one who has moved on and is no longer in a body. Above I have named a few beings that are still here in various forms, so although they are not technically an ancestor they are part of my lineage and I choose to honor them in different but still potent ways.

Our over-culture is so obsessed with moving forward and what is next that we forget that we are here because of who came before us. We forget the importance of witnessing and recognizing the places and people and beings who were part of our arrival here in this place at this moment in time. We get so pulled forward that we can literally lose the support of our spine under our heads and we have to hold our selves rigid in the front body to keep us upright. We forget our depth and our back body and what shaped and supports us. We are so much more than what we are expected to do in the next moment. We might actually find more ways to be in the moment and to move forward if we can allow ourselves to rest back and receive support! Imagine that!

My understanding is deepening around the potency and continued nourishment of recognizing and honoring where I come from and who and what has assisted me and to remember myself in a long line of lineage. I am part past and part future, right here and now. And perhaps one day I will be honored in someone’s milk or story line? How beautiful would that be.


May we find ways to honor those who give us life in various ways

May we remember ourselves by remembering those beings who feed us body, mind and soul

May we create spaces in our places to be reminded of those that nourish us

May we bring wild blessings and fierce love to all we encounter

Practice Prompts:

  • If you are so called, start to consider some of the beings that have nourished and supported you in life beyond your blood ancestors. Take some time to meditate and write and remember the teachers, the tenders, the ones who have helped shape you and your life. Perhaps even write one or two of them a letter of gratitude.
  • Become more aware of your back body, the part of you that you can’t see but that is necessary for your depth and multi-dimensionality. This part of you is often associated with ancestors and what has come prior. Can you move and live with a felt sene of your back body and all that delivers you to this moment? Can your movement forward in time and space be rooted in resting back and the support of the ancestors?
  • Practice breathing gently with the awareness that you are deeply embedded in life and although you are an individual you are actually part of a much larger whole without which you can not survive. What is it like to acknowledge that you are needed and you need everything else on this planet to live?
  • I offer one to one sessions, in person in Bend, Oregon, and virtually all over the world. I currently have a short waitlist but if you would like to learn more about my offerings please email me or schedule a free 20 minute Exploratory Session.

Live Streaming Practice Opportunities:

Inspirational Wisdom:

For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet

Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop.

Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.

Open the door, then close it behind you.

Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.

Give it back with gratitude.

If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and back.

Acknowledge this earth who has cared for you since you were a dream planting itself precisely within your parents’ desire.

Let your moccasin feet take you to the encampment of the guardians who have known you before time, who will be there after time. They sit before the fire that has been there without time.

Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters.

Be respectful of the small insects, birds and animal people who accompany you.

Ask their forgiveness for the harm we humans have brought down upon them.

Don’t worry.
The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises, interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars, and those who will despise you because they despise themselves.

The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year, a few years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the thieves of time.

Do not hold regrets.

When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.

You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.

Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.

Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet. Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.

Ask for forgiveness.

Call upon the help of those who love you. These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.

Call your spirit back. It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.

You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return.

Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.

Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.

Your spirit will need to sleep awhile after it is bathed and given clean clothes.

Now you can have a party. Invite everyone you know who loves and supports you. Keep room for those who have no place else to go.

Make a giveaway, and remember, keep the speeches short.

Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark. 

~ Joy Harjo


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