Friday, October 30, 2015

Dreaming with the Ancestors

Often I do an Ancestor Speaking ceremony at this time of year- the time when many of the meaning-making stories of some cultures say the veil between the worlds of the living & the dead is the thinnest. I call on the ancestors who love me (always a good qualifier :-) ) to speak to me and guide me, offering gratitude for their lives and for their presence now. This year I am going to focus on the Grandmother I did not know about for most of my life.

Years ago, I sat with and learned from a Midewin elder. The second time we met she looked at me and said, "You are one hand from the full-blood in your family." Honestly I thought maybe she just could not believe that the blonde blue-eyed young woman in front of her was willing to spend so much time alone fasting and praying in the bush. But I was wrong.

A few months later my mother (unprompted) said, "Maybe you do all this weird native stuff because Grandpa was native."

Yep, turned out the racism in the family had buried the story that my mother's grandfather's mother was First Nations.That would make her and I one hand- or five generations- apart. I went back to the elder and told her. She just smiled and nodded.

Lately my thoughts have turned toward this Grandmother, wondering who she was and what she might have to teach me now. So this weekend I will ask to dream with her, to learn from her, to know how to honour this heritage by supporting First Nations people here, now in my own country in their quest for justice and self-determination..

May your weekend be filled with the joy of connection- whether with ancestors who love you or with trick-or-treaters. ~Oriah

(Love this picture from Karen Davis at​ - makes me think of the crack between the worlds where we can meet and dream with those who came before us)


  1. Oriah, I am posting this on your Blog rather than on Facebook, because I deem our relationship to be private...funny is it not. Regardless, I am again writing to thank you. I often drift so far from my truth, from the truth, and then there you are your words of wisdom pop up to remind me. I get caught up in my drama, my story, when really my story does not belong to me, but to us, it is part of the tapestry that creates our reality, as all of our stories are. My story is fiction, ours, the planets, the peoples is real. I read your name, your poetry and I am brought back to center. I am sorry I have drifted so far away from myself, from what matters to me. I believe it may just be from a stagnancy in my soul over these last three years. Possibly some physic interference. Funnily enough the interference is probably from souls I would do just about anything for. I am digressing. I just again wanted to thank you, for your struggles, and your gifts, for your ability to share it all in such a way that reminds me I am not alone, ever! Thank You! May we heal, may your days be filled with less pain, and your pen still flow and fill my heart with hope.

    1. Olivia, thank you for this- beautifully written. I suspect you, like me, write yourself back to centre when wandering has occurred. Blessings, xo

  2. Adding my voice to the chorus of "thank-yous" that surround you, Oriah.

    Your work (including this wonderful blog) touches so many of us.

    May you feel our gratitude. May it comfort and lift you in trying and tiring times.

    I cherish you and your words.

    Thank you.
    Bless you.

    May you dream strong tonight.

    go easy ~p