Many modern humans have internalized, often unconsciously, the painful confusion that we are somehow separate from the rest of the ‘natural world’ or ‘nature’. This illusory split brings 1,001 devastating implications for our political and legal systems, our relationships and psychological health, and for the ways we relate with our other-than-human kin. This confusion also shows up in how folks who are drawn to earth-honouring spirituality find their way back into ritual.
After 25 years of immersion in diverse indigenous, animist, shamanic, pagan, and otherwise dirt-worshipping systems, I’ve often seen well-meaning ritualists undervalue the role human ancestors play in the sacred ecology of a place (as if humans are not part of the land). I’ve come to see this as a function of both the settler/colonizer historical amnesia prevalent in North America and the confused idea that relating with land does not include relating with other humans (be they incarnate or in spirit).
PLACE: We’ll gather on PKOLS (Mount Douglas) in the unceded territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. The Tsawout Traditional Land Use team has been contacted about this event.
INTENT: The gathering will be an inclusive, heart-centered gesture of ritual acknowledgment to the human ancestors of place. All are welcome to join provided you’re good with the mile or less of walking and the two and a half hours of outdoor ritual tending (we’ll cancel if there’s substantial rain). Emphasis will be on learning (by practicing) basic etiquette for respectfully introducing you and your ancestors to the earlier ancestors of a place.
COST: All participants who are not indigenous to this Coast Salish land are invited to make a donation (you decide the amount) directly to RAVEN, Surrounded by Cedar, or another reputable organization serving local First Nation communities. Doing this before we gather supports the ritual intent and afterwards is good too.
Daniel Foor, PhD, is a licensed psychotherapist and a doctor of psychology. He has led ancestral and family healing intensives throughout the United States since 2005, and has been blessed to live as a student of culture in the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, and Nigeria. Daniel is an initiate in the Ifá/Òrìṣà tradition of Yoruba-speaking West Africa and has trained with teachers of Mahayana Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and different indigenous paths, including the older ways of his European ancestors.