Hello Courageous Souls,

As we enter the Winter Solstice so too do we turn from the longest and darkest day of the year, toward the return of light. As always, the earth reflects our own true nature. We are reminded of what is possible both personally and collectively when we enter the darkness. We make ourselves available to become vessels of light, and to becoming carriers of dark wisdom.

Dark wisdom is hard won. It is the gold that emerges from lead at the end of an alchemical process. It is the capacity we develop as we transmute our pain. It is the gift we bring to the world, having sat in the sometimes heart-wrenching reality, of our ancestral wounds that live on in our bodies, minds and hearts.

What dark wisdom do you carry? What have you been courageous enough to face that has allowed you to become a wisdom carrier in that area?

When dark wisdom is grown through looking into our ancestral wounds, we become more consciously connected to a larger story. I have recently stepped deeper into this collective stream through discoveries I have made about my paternal family’s past.

It is said that we are born into a certain time and place for a reason, that our gifts are informed by the specifics of where and with whom we are placed by the great Mystery. I was planted in the soil of the United States. I was planted in the soil of a country in which the ghosts of slavery haunted me, and the pain of continued oppression cut to my core. I was born of European descent.

I felt crazy much of my life, wondering why I carried such unexplainable pain about slavery. From a young age I had a passion for justice, which seemed only logical. What I did not understand was why the ongoing repercussions of slavery, steeped in collective denial, screamed inside my every cell like nothing else.

I no longer feel crazy. After years of linear and non-linear research, I have discovered that my Portuguese ancestors were deeply involved in the slave trade in Brazil.

I now realize that my pain is their pain. My need for repair is their need for repair. These unexplainable thoughts and feelings are also theirs: The strange sense of taboo I felt in befriending African-Americans, the feeling that there was an abyss between us that could never be mended, the feeling of otherness that went beyond anything I was taught directly or indirectly, and the inability to have a friendship without feeling the entirety of the slave experience between us. I have walked with a confusing combination of racism and a passion for justice. I now walk with greater clarity as I respond to the call of my soul to participate in the repair of this particular world wound.

We are part of a continuum. We stand between the ancestors and the great-great grandchildren who will inherit the world we that leave for them. In the words of my maternal ancestors, we are each called in our own unique way to partake in the repair of the world, or in Hebrew, “Tikkun Olam.”

What ghosts haunt you? What aspect of the brokenness of the world finds a corresponding ache in your heart? What dark wisdom do you wish to grow?

Although our ancestors may be transmitters of pain, they also carry the potential for healing. They are the ones who know our wounds more intimately than anyone else. They are our allies, both personally and collectively.

It is important to remember that some of your pain may be their pain. Some of your longing for repair may also be theirs. Some of these experiences may never be provable, but that does not mean that they are not real.

Alice Walker once said, when speaking about the 1960s, that we fell short in our lack of inclusion of the ancestors. How can we each include the ancestors in our transformative journeys, whether they are personal and/or collective wounds that we are called to heal?

We are coming upon a new year. Is there a seed of intention that comes alive for you as you read this?
If so, consider taking that seed into the Ritual Recommendation below.

In closing, I want to let you know about what I will be offering in 2015:

If exploring your connection with ancestors, or turning toward that which you were born to embody are seeds awaiting your attention, I would be honored to support your journey in this coming year.

I will be offering my Clarity of Calling On-line again, starting on March 27th. We spend one of the seven weeks exploring ancestral wounds and gifts. This is a great starting point if this is a new area of inquiry for you. Registration is now open.

For deeper explorations, one on one work is available: Woman’s Clarity Process and Rituals for Change are powerful transformative containers if you are wish to explore your calling or if on a significant threshold of change.

Also, I have recently started working internationally, so if you don’t live in the Bay Area, phone sessions are a new option.

Ritual Recommendation:

  1. Feel into an intention for your ritual that was evoked by the questions raised in this newsletter: What ghosts haunt you? What aspect of the brokenness of the world finds a corresponding ache in your heart? What dark wisdom do you wish to grow?
    Sometimes it can helpful to focus on either releasing or calling in something, as a way to maintain a clear focus.
  2. Is there a place indoors or outdoors that feels especially suited to this ritual? Choose a place that mirrors your intention.
    If you want to bury something, you will need to be on the earth herself, if you need to burn something a fireplace or fire pit will do. Perhaps you need to cleanse, and will need water. What elements, and landscapes speak to your soul and to this issue?
  3. Carve out an amount of time that will allow you to drop in, unhindered by the pressures of everyday life.
  4. Let your metaphoric mind gather symbols that reflect your intention. This can be spontaneous or planned out ahead of time.
  5. Invoke the ancestors. Be clear in your invocation that you are only inviting the ones who are healthy, well and able to support you with this specific intention.
  6. As you enter your ritual with perhaps some structure or plan, stay awake to what wants to happen. When we invite the unseen world in we must leave the door open so that they may enter the ritual. That door is the unknown, and it is up to us to leave it ajar.
  7. After allowing your intention and the help of the ancestors to do their work, close in a way that feels honoring to the process.
  8. Give thanks (and offerings if that resonates with you) to the ancestors.
  9. Be gentle with yourself and continue to track the changes that arise over the next 21 days.

Feel free to let me know what your experience is with this ritual
by replying to this email, to commenting below if you are on my blog.
May 2015 be a year of personal and collective transformation.
May your actions align with your vision, and with what holds deepest meaning for you.

Blessings, Aninha