“Once upon a time, the world held magic. In the dirt, hollows, mountains and river valleys magic sang forth. But over time, through force, through neglect, through fear and loss that magic became diminished. We became disconnected and the world became unenchanted. Now, we are hungering for that enchanted world. And if we’re seeking to cast new spells, we need to leave behind the old spells we grew up learning and return to what is common across all our ancestors: food, community, the altar of the body, the birthright of intuition. That’s what finding your folk magic is all about.“
This is the opening paragraph for my ebook, Finding Your Folk Magic. It speaks to something I regularly hear from my clients:
They want to feel connected to the magic of the world. They sense that there is magic out there in the world, that this life is suffused with the sacred. There’s a feeling of loss – they once had an idea of this magic, but now they don’t and their soul yearns to get that connection back. And at the same time as this mingling sense of loss and desire, a confusion as to how to get back to that sense of connection, magic, and enchantment.
In a world so where most people’s connection to the earth and to magic have been so thoroughly severed it’s no surprise that the idea of getting back into connection feels overwhelming and impossible. Whiteness, white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism are projects of abolishing connection for the purpose of accumulating power. That connection to the earth and to each other that you’re so hungry for as a human, was ripped up at the root by these systems. To repair that connection you need to repair it where it was severed: at the root. But, this connection wasn’t severed during your lifetime, or during your parent’s lifetimes despite all the handwringing that goes on in the media about the “good old days”. It was severed long ago.
So, if you seek connection and magic, if you seek to cast spells and re-enchant the world, but you don’t do the work to transcend this moment where disconnection reigns supreme you can’t heal the cause of the disconnection. You have got to heal the problem at the root, otherwise you will be building on this same foundation, which risks perpetuating the rot of disconnection, hamstringing your practice by leaving it rooted in this space of artificially limited imagination.
If you are seeking genuine connection, genuine magic…
If you want to be a part of a radical project to heal our collective connection to the earth by healing your connection to the earth…
Radical ancestor work is a key tool. Because your ancestors remember what it is to be in connection to the earth. Your ancestor remember what it is to be connected. Your ancestors remember magic and enchantment.
I specify radical ancestor work because ancestor work is often used to mean ancestor veneration. (I have especially found this to be true in spaces that cater to exclusively to white folks interested in working with their European ancestors.) To reverence is “to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference” or “to honor with a ritual act of devotion” (Merriam-Webster). If your recent ancestors are anything like mine, there might very well be many of them who you don’t think are particularly worthy of reverential respect or admiring deference. Radical ancestor work is not the work of spiritual by-passing, hagiography, or ego-challenging rectification-of-opposites “universal love” that asks you to offer respect & honor to those ancestors anyways. Ancestor veneration of this type perpetuates a hierarchical mindset that does nothing to heal the disempowering disconnection of this society.
When we look at the word veneration there’s something interesting in the etymology that actually points to a different way forward, a way that I center in my approach to ancestor work. The word veneration comes from the Latin word venus “beauty, love, desire” which has its root in a Proto-Indo-European root which means “to desire, strive for” (Etymonline). Venus is, of course, also the Roman god of beauty, love, and desire.
What happens when you approach your ancestor work in pursuit of beauty, love, and desire? What happens when your ancestor work is a vehicle through which you make the better world you dream of and strive for a little more possible? What if you approached ancestor work with love for all the possibility of human life and experience?
If you find yourself desiring a more beautiful world, a more just world, a world full of love and connection, and world full of enchantment and magic, ancestor work is a vehicle for that connection. Ancestor work, when approach from a radical perspective offers the ability to heal the root of disconnection and disenchantment.
Ready to go deeper into ancestor work? Stay tuned and make sure you know when the next ancestor work post drops by subscribing to the FREE Liminal Letters newsletter! Or if you can’t wait to get started download the FREE Journal Your Ancestor Journey journal prompts to help you get started establishing your practice! If you’re ready to jump right in book an ancestor tarot reading with me and get one-on-one guidance for beginning your ancestor work journey!
Other Posts in the Ancestor Work Series:
- Finding Magic and Healing Through Ancestor Work
- Ancestor Work Helps You Find Authentic Magic and Spiritual Practices
- Ancestor Work is Easy – 4 Steps to Building Community With Your
- How To Do Ancestor Work When Your Ancestors Were Assholes
- Destroying White Supremacy Through Ancestor Work: An Authentic Spirituality
- Finding Your Path Through the Spiritual New Age Bullshit
- Ancestor Work Will Heal The World
- Radical Ancestor Work is for the People – Including You!
- Ancestor Work When You Don’t Know Your Heritage