I am excited to talk about magick: the resistance work, not the aesthetic; the accessible, not the hierarchical; the broke bitch version, not the capitalist one; the ancestral connection, not the dogma.

We pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. You are the ones who laid the first stones to direct our paths, offering the knowledge needed to continue the construction of that path at all perceived dead ends. You shield us in your light. You hold us in the dark. Give thanks for your guidance. Ase.

Each Solstice, when the earth below our feet is cycling through its most lush and abundant time, we traditionally celebrate because we know that it is these harvests that will get us through the winter. As we put care into the earth, so too does the earth take care of us. It is this earth that will support the health of our fruits, veggies, medicines, livestock and bodies, ensuring that we may stay fed and grounded through the cold season.

We praise the sun, in gratitude, for its stimulating heat and generous light, simultaneously offering prayers and delicious treats to our ancestors for their guidance, asking for abundant and healthy waters.

Solstice time is one for gratitude and celebration, especially to yourself. Gratitude for all of the work you put in to see your harvest, in all of its glory – flourishing, yet struggling – growing, yet pushing. This is a time to celebrate your healing cycles, the not-so-exciting self-care victories and the deeply impactful self-affirmations.

Your work in its entirety is not going unrecognized. Your efforts, long-term, are appreciated. The reward that the end of harvest reaps is one that can carry you through lifetimes. This is healing in its seasons, this is the cyclical nature of our human existence. We give praise at the turn of spring to summer as it reminds us that our work is not without purpose or reward.

This is a time to celebrate your healing cycles, the not-so-exciting self-care victories and the deeply impactful self-actualizations.

What does healing look like to you? Healing practices are imperfect. Traditional rituals get confused and can feel incorrect. Methods may have to be altered and augmented to suit changing needs many times in one year. Medicines may change too – how we take them and what we use them for shifts as we shift.

Much like the moon, we grow in phases – not to be forgotten or dismissed, but learned from and strengthened through. Healing work in and of itself, is a learning. It is a learning of self and of spirit. It is a trial-and-error existence – but when the trial succeeds, there are few things that vibrate higher.

Healing looks different for each person. This is an actual fact. Intersectionality (whether you stand by it politically or not) is a raw truth that we have to begin addressing in every avenue of our healing structures. We have to acknowledge the sociopolitical realities of individuals living within the whole.

Much like the moon, we grow in phases – not to be forgotten or dismissed, but learned from and strengthened through.

We have to acknowledge the very real issue of systemic anti-Indigeneity and anti-blackness in our healing institutions. We have to be accountable to the ancestors and name the knowledge and where we got it from. We have to check our privilege in healing spaces. We have to acknowledge that when we address the needs of 2 Spirit, Trans & QPOC folk, and prioritize these voices, we are inherently addressing the healing needs of the whole community.

This piece is the first of a new column meant to uplift and reclaim our healing practices: the underreported and misunderstood methods; the herbal methods as a support for the multiple valid plans and rituals; the indigenous and afro-diasporic methods as resistance to the intentional silencing of their legitimacy when employed by POC bodies.

I am excited to talk about magick: the resistance work, not the aesthetic; the accessible, not the hierarchical; the broke bitch version, not the capitalist one; the ancestral connection, not the dogma.

Though we will talk about ritual in this column, I am not here to offer you religion. I am here to offer displaced and disconnected folks of color – like myself – a way to find connection to ancestry through herbs, roots and magick; a way to validate our her-stories and methodologies to deal with things as they are right now. As I have found healing, I am purposed to offer it. Knowledge and truth is always to be shared, so please never hesitate to share yours with me.

We do not need to be defined by our resilience; I refuse to have my existence as a queer black womyn defined by my ability to survive oppression and pain. And I refuse to have the healing practices my ancestors laid out for me, sold back to me, unfamiliar and inaccessible. I instead seek to remember healing as something FOR me, and discover thriving as a REALITY for my day-to-day.

To love and to thrive.

It is our birthright.

It is our cycle.

It is our communal path. Ase, O!

 

 

 

Featured Image: Jocelyn Reynolds