Creating Our Own Traditions

My children and I have gotten into the practice of creating and cultivating our own traditions over the years. We have our annual fall feast, our summer trips, our weekly movie nights, and the sometimes dreaded family meetings.

One new tradition that I am happy to be able to share with my daughters is being adorned with waistbeads. In my family, being adorned with Afrikan waistbeads is not for fashion- it is highly spiritual and sacred. In ancient times, young women of a certain age were adorned as she matured into pubescence and beyond. My family and I follow a similar tradition.

I had the honor of creating and adorning my oldest daughter today. Each bead color was carefully selected and threaded- white for purity, blue for protection, pink and rose quartz for love. She was so happy to receive her first strand today.

As I tied them on her tiny waist, I felt I had somehow done this before- as if every action I  had taken was a repeat of those from long past. I do sincerely believe that we are our ancestors- that we follow similar ways of being once we have tuned into the frequency of those who came and lived before.

As I gave offerings of food at my ancestor altar this evening, I felt my inner self beam with pride because I know the ancestral mothers see me and all that I am doing to keep my Tribe connected to the old ways. It is so important that as we move forward in our lives, that we pay reverence to those who are responsible for us being here now.

Ase’ to the ancestors always!

 

Peace,

Ashaki

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Revisiting The Past

Several weeks ago I went to SC to attend one of my younger cousin’s baby shower. It was a beautiful event but, I felt a strong urge to stop someplace on my way back to Charlotte. I had been through the area a million times, never quite sure of where I was truly going, definitely not feeling strong enough to go there. But, on this day, spirit was pulling on me to finally go back there.

I went back to the place that my grandmother lost her life. As we drove up to the abandoned facility, I immediately felt heavy- so heavy and dark and sad. And even though I felt so heavy, I knew that spirit led me there and I had to go through it.

As I stood at the gate, I peered at the lonesome building , going back to the last time I visited my grandmother there. It was just as dark when residents lived there- a deeply saddening space that housed elderly people. They were not treated well- the workers were cold, giving patients medications without water, not properly treating their wounds, allowing patients to sit in their excrement and urine for hours. And this information I saw with my own 2 eyes. I remember wanting to get my grandmother out of there. I remember the pain in her eyes that last Christmas that I saw her; the apologies for past “transgressions”, the shifts in emotions from extreme joy to severe despair.

I stood at the gate for a few moments, recalling the words of the administrator “We have an open gate policy”. I shake my head at their attempt to blame shift at their negligence. I then got back into the car and drove down the street, “watching” my grandmother, in my mind’s eye, take her last walk that February 2001.

When I reached the railroad tracks, I felt the most intense sorrow that I have felt since the day after her death. I had not been back to this area since her death and standing on the track, walking the path I had walked 18 years ago brought back a flood of emotions and I could feel the remnants of her there. The fear, the pain, the sorrow, the intense sadness that was left at that place all flooded and permeated my being at that time.

I felt stuck, I felt the bondage, I felt a wailing deep within myself. And the tears just flowed from my heart and soul. I grasped a few of the rocks from the tracks- the same tracks that my grandmother had been dragged across those years before. I could not move. But, then I felt this cool breeze blow across my face and heard grandma say “Child you have to go”.

I came back to myself, called my spirit back to myself, and felt a renewed sense of purpose. There is a divine reason that I could not return until this time. I am rooted and grounded in the love and security of ancestral connection. I am ready to work. There is heaviness in that area. souls that need healing, love, and light. I have been chosen to do what is not done by anyone in that area- to bring my whole, Afrikan, spiritual self and cleanse and sing and chant and set them free. My grandmother and others are waiting for those songs, that smudging, that light. I am strong now. I am prepared. I am ready.

Wednesday, June 12th is my grandmother’s bEarthday. She would have been 81 years old. She was taken from us too soon. But, in her years on this earth , she gave so much, she gave all of herself for those who she loved. I am eternally grateful that I am of her lineage. She continues to walk with me every day. Ase’ to her spirit and to the spirits of all of my ancestors. May I continue to walk into my destiny and path that they have lighted for me.

 

Peace,

Ashaki