This video triggered something very powerful within me, and I just started sobbing. This primal, vocal sound accompanied by the sorrowful string song took me somewhere else, to another time. A deep, ancient remembrance of a time before speech, and the ability to connect directly to something raw, especially with sound. This seems fitting today as I have contemplated my rune draw, Aos/Ansuz, earlier this morning, and later after I performed a very brief outdoor ritual at a tree to connect with the primal feminine. This force(s) scares me more than the masculine forces, by a long shot. My heart feels as if it has been split open, and all the pain and love in the world are leaking into and out of it. This may be what the Reindeer Goddess intended for me by sharing her heart with me: the heart that is open, cannot really be closed. It is learning to protect it with antlers, the way the mother reindeer protects her young. This will be a hard lesson, I think. In my last stav journey, Frigg and Freyja wrapped my heart in green silk after I asked for their guidance in regards to my empathy.

Jaime, the other teacher I have had one session with, discovered this energy flow right away. He said my heart center is just leaking, my empathy needs to be protected and I need to learn how to manage this leak. He advised that I set some intentions, and that I can call on any of my ancestors, named or The Unnamed ancestor, to assist with this. Some time ago, in one “conversation” with my deceased grampa (my dad’s dad), he told me he could help me work on some of my shadows, to try to integrate them into something beneficial to me. The particular shadow I was requesting assistance with was, if I recall correctly, my self-image. I asked him, “Why you?” because I was not particularly close with my dad’s side of the family (and they were very dysfunctional), and he replied, “Because I helped create it” and I was overcome with his own shame, images that he “shared” with my mind, memories of the nastiness that existed in that family, in my family. It was a dark feeling, and I immediately sent forgiveness to him for it.

Ancestor work, as I’ve mentioned, is very draining for me when I do a full-on thang, so I have started to try to make more subtle connections more regularly by lighting a candle in the bathroom before I shower. I invite them in, I whisper to the flame and offer its brilliance and smoke, my breath and my sound to them as an offering and to give them “nourishment”. I then speak to them as I let the water cleanse me, and I speak words to let it cleanse them, too. The tears still come, but it does not seem to be as earth-shakingly powerful (and asthma inducing) as my normal method that I perform at my altar. I have had some dark experiences with certain ancestors this way, but I feel the healing has at least begun to permeate to those forgotten. It is important that the dead are not forgotten. Even if you do not speak to your dead, or get into all the mega-woo that I’m talking about here, just know that by lighting a candle or pouring a glass of water or wine at your dinner table and speaking the name of the dead (or thinking about them) is a way to honor and feed their memory. We must remember that our ancestors made us. And our ancestors go back a very impossibly long way. They all go back to the primal mother. And it is she I weep for today. It is also she that I remember today. In remembrance is renewal, rebirth.

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