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Bringing OLD back: Seeking knowledge from Ancient Wisdom

I never stop learning. When I finished school at IHA (Institute of Healing Arts), I questioned myself on what is next. I have always been drawn to healing practices of spiritual wisdom, drawn from ancient folklore and mythology as a clue to what the cultures long forgotten once knew. I will admit, I've never been particularly drawn to Norse mythology or practices. I preferred Greek or Egyptian stories, especially as archologists have found evidence of pre-patriarchy institutions before RA and Zeus that painted a much more balanced energy with the Divine Feminine. The original story of Persephone and Demeter, for example, that didn't include accounts of rape or any mention of Hades.

It was discovered that before the sweep of Patriarchal religions and values in Egypt, Rome, and Greece, there was great respect paid to the Goddesses. Priestesses and Wise Women were revered in society alongside the priests. There was great honor in conducting healing practices, knowledge of midwifery and herbs. The prayers and blessings from the women were often praised as even more potent and sacred than from the male hierarchy. In Egypt, the most enlightened beings were those that identified as both man and woman and had ascended to a level of balance between those energies. I ate up these stories with gleaming stars in my eyes! Could there be a place for me here?

Then, I started learning more about the folklore and traditions of my own ancestry in Northern Europe. The pagan religions, pre-Christianity, is where I find a deep seeded connection with spirit, land, and community. My family line comes from the areas where Celtic and Nordic traditions would have been practiced and that is where my journey takes me. I am Danish, English, Scottish, and Irish. I can embrace what was once great about the indigenous peoples of a land I can not call home.

In my search for community and understanding, because much of their practices were oral traditions lost over time, I found the NOURISHING KIN. My friend Channing Parker and Womb Circle's Bergen started a group that would meet at events around the Wheel of the Year to celebrate and learn together what our ancestors may have done in Northern Europe. We started by acknowledging the grief that we feel at the loss of our homeland, that as decedents of American immigrants we have always felt we've had one foot on the boat. We acknowledge the devastation of the people indigenous to this land, and the damages of colonization from our more recent ancestors has had on those people, the land, and us.

As a whole, attending these events over the past year has given me a newfound appreciation for where I come from and where I am going. I have carried what they've taught home to my own family's traditions. I want to include RUNES in my divination practice and I've set up an ancestor alter for my home and children during Thanksgiving time.

We cannot know all the things our ancestors did, and we need to decolonize ourselves to do the work of reversing the effects colonization of this land has had on it's resources and people. I am sure there is a lot more to learn and rituals to adjust, but the more I know the more I can do better. I can take what is known and move it forward into practices that will help my fellow man in my healing work.

So, I am studying Shamanism of the Nordic and Celtic peoples and adapting it to the modern times and place. I do this in an effort not to appropriate the healing practices of cultures that I don't stake a claim to. I know that some of the knowledge of energy and the body (Chakras for example) has been opened for the world as scientific research has proven the energy wheels of the body and the energy force in the ether space around living things (aura). This knowledge was spread, much like our paleolithic ancestors spread, throughout Africa, Asia, and to Europe and has become a part of each of us as our DNA connects us to common ancestors as far back as you can go.

In my own spiritual journey, and as a spiritual healer, I practice cleansing Chakras and Auras and spaces with a particular method of Shamanism taken from the wisdom of these Northern European Shamans. I hope to be able to call myself a Shaman someday (although I believe a formal anointing might be in need for that). I practice Seidr and Galdr as forms of meditation and chanting. I call on the energies of the Goddesses of Freya, Frigg, or Danu (although I have particular affinity to Isis). I use drumming and chanting to go into trance and when I journey, I journey through Yggdrasill. I practice smoke cleansing with my own bundles of pine, lavender, and other plants that were native to my homeland (but might be a bit intrusive here locally). In every kraft I learn, I feel a deeper sense of reconnecting to my purpose and calling in healing myself and helping others heal themselves. There is a lot to be said for reconnecting to your roots and letting the music, sounds, smells, foods, and visuals of your people guide you.

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