by Sonia Fernández LeBlanc
Originally published in New Earth Almanac on November 21. 20
I am a Medicinal Storyteller. For me, that means that our lineage stories can be curative elixirs that offer us personal and ancestral healing within. When we truly know ourselves through unearthing our micro-personal and our macro-societal ancestral lineage stories, we begin to transform into the elders that this vastly changing world needs and deserves. We are the bridge generations who will hold space for and support our living and future descendants at the end of an era we neither ushered forth, nor will be able to rectify in this lifetime.
My daily spiritual work is rooted in, first and foremost, supporting my ancestral and descendant lineage healing, and secondly, offering insights to those who feel called to connect as we reframe the world to come in the balance of personal freedom, collective responsibility, community care and restorative reciprocity. There is no better time to center our ancestral shadow stories than during this liminal time, as autumn sheds its visible life, the Earth darkens, and we turn within. This is the time when I drop deep into my own intuitive knowing and draw upon my beloved ancestors to guide me in ensuring my personal spiritual practices are aligning with my current DNA embodiment, and that I am mindfully respecting practices of the historically oppressed. Here are some contemplations on my journey to mindful spiritual sovereignty:
I’m a big proponent of personal freedom, so much so that I created an actual 501(c)(3) religious organization founded on the principle that all humans should have the freedom to create their own path for learning that does not require complying with any government or institutional hierarchy. I did this in order to found a school that did not have to jump through the hoops of governmental educational compliance or the requirements of any organized religious institutions. I believe fiercely in the freedom to live one’s life as one sees fit outside of the conditioning of an over-culture steeped in societal compliance through a fear and scarcity mindset.
BUT AND ALSO with freedom comes responsibility.
As the elders we need in this “now” moment, we are healing our ancestral lines, which means we are creating our own spiritual practices through our intuitive knowing and releasing fear and scarcity that has historically held spirituality hostage. In my freedom to create my own path to connect with Source, I have a sacred responsibility to acknowledge harms of the past and face them in the present so that we will never repeat spiritual harm in this paradigm into which we are collectively shifting. Meggan Watterson, author of Mary Magdalene Revealed: The First Apostle, Her Feminist Gospel & the Christianity We Haven’t Tried Yet has a quote that speaks directly to my soul and offers me a space to realign whenever I find myself at the spiritual intersection of personal freedom and collective responsibility. She says, “Unless my spirituality is intersectional, it’s just oppression dressed in light.”
We all come from different lineages and histories, but most of us in North America can agree that we live on stolen sacred land, that for thousands of years before colonization, was cared for through the Indigenous ideals of reciprocity, the democracy of species, and the honorable harvest. These practices are the core of both spiritual and social thriving in the New Earth. For a deeper connection to these beautiful practices, I recommend reading Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Reading it is a sacred act of listening to lineage with prompts to do better because of the love that spills from every page.
I cannot honor my own spiritual freedom without taking responsibility for the actions of my ancestors, who’s own spiritual identity was steeped in fear, scarcity, and power-over rather than collective power among. They may not have known better. But to heal myself, my ancestors, and my descendants in alignment with the New Earth, I do know better and therefore I am doing better. That is healing my line forward and backward.
My personal spirituality is steeped in listening deeply to those who have been historically marginalized, and have on a societal level been treated as less human than my European ancestors, when they remind us of the lessons that are not lost but often ignored. In a Center for Humans and Nature article from October 1, 2013, Robin Wall Kimmerer defines restorative reciprocity as an act where “the Earth asks us to turn our gifts to healing the damage we have done.”
My spiritual practices, especially the tools that I use, respect the indigenous people whose land I now live on, while incorporating the ancient wisdom and tools that comes from my own DNA lineage, based in the Insular Celtic isles, the Iberian peninsula, and the Canary Islands off the coast of North Africa. I have created a deeply personal practice that supports my own connection to Source and thereby offers a path to fully honor my embodied divinity. The journey I have been on to listen to my lineage and create spiritual practices that support it, while honoring those whose lineages have been marginalized, has been one of the most moving and sacred experiences of my life.
Intersectional Spiritual Practices and Tools
- Get to know your family’s lineage and where they came from. Talking to older generations from the areas your family hails from might offer a thread leading to a tapestry full of tools and practices.
- An ancestral DNA test will give you so much definitive information to direct your path.
- Learn about the general history of your ancestral lands. There are books, podcasts, and courses everywhere. Wondrium (formerly Great Courses Plus) is a perfect resource to get started on historical and cultural practices connected to your line.
- The origins of last names in your family are rabbit holes unto themselves.
- Although it takes a bit of extra effort, ensuring that the tools easily accessible to us are actually for us is a living example of practicing intersectional spirituality.
- I do not use white sage nor do I use the term “smudging” because I listen closely to Native Americans upon whose unceded land I live to ensure I am honoring their practices. I then researched “smoke cleansing” in the Celtic world, where my family is from, and found practices to integrate that are intuitively correct for my lineage and which I feel respect the land upon which I live. If you are interested in delving more deeply into understanding more about the smoke cleansing practices around the world as well as information on practices for protecting white sage for those whom it is ancestrally sacred, I recommend this article onSmoke Cleansing Around the World by Mountain Rose Herbs to get started.
There is deep spiritual connectivity in balancing our personal freedom with community care, restorative reciprocity, and collective responsibility. May your journey into discovery and incorporation of your own ancient practices be restorative for you personally and generationally healing for the New Earth which we are co-creating!