Becoming Kin ~ Ancestral Belonging Circle ~ Winter 2023-2024

In the summer of 2012 I had a dream that I was on a tiny paddle boat with a older woman in the middle of the ocean. Between us, there was a giant bag of dried herbs. The wind picked up, the waves were getting bigger and water splashed into the boat, dampening some of the herbs, which released a sweet scent. As soon as I smelled the perfume of the plants, the woman looked at me in my eyes and introduced herself: “My name is Theodosia. If you do not learn about your people, you will die.”

I had no idea who this woman was when I woke up. But this instruction held a sense of urgency, of necessity. About a week later, I learned that Theodosia was the name of my great-grandmother that I never met, even though I had never heard her name before. Everyone in my family called her by her nickname Nellie when I was growing up. But the dream remembered! 

Since having that dream, I have been in lengthy, rambilng, imaginative conversation with my ancestors: learning their stories, their plants, their folk practices, all which have become a part of me. For over seven years I taught a program called The Folk Medicine and Magic of Old Europe, where we covered a lot of ancestral remembrance work -- and I am happy to offer this work as Becoming Kin, a smaller learning circle. I first offered Becoming Kin online in 2022 to two groups of 8 -- and then developed a part two for those who wanted to continue on. I have combined and lengthened parts 1 & 2 to a comprehensive 5 month program that will take place over the winter months -- I can’t wait to dive in with you! 

I know many of you have been working with your ancestors way before Sap Rising or Tending The Hearth class. And I know that some of you have been taking what we have been learning in class and contextualizing it within your own ancestral frameworks. So wonderful! My prayer is that this work continues to root and offer belonging in all realms.  

What it is: 
A small circle of folks who are exploring who their ancestors of blood, ancestors of inspiration & ancestors of spirit are. These circles of Becoming are dedicated to cultivating relationships with our ancestors and remembering their medicines in many forms. This circle will be closed to a small group of eight to ten people who are committed to deepening this work together. 

The waters of this work include:
navigating remembrance work, Indigenous Science as taught to me by my teacher, Atava Garcia Swiecicki, grief and pain, deep genealogy, ethnoautobiography, dreaming with ancestors, storytelling, folktales as ancestral maps, the ancestral imagination, pilgrimage, unwell ancestors, working with plants, prayer, folk craft, the cult of the Saints, working with the Gods, devotional practice, remembering ceremonies & creating rituals, offerings and more. Our final classes will be presentations on our ancestral remembrance processes.

I want to acknowledge that all of the ancestral remembrance work is non-linear. You have already begun. The remembrance process will continue long after our time together has wrapped up. This is a stream that we step into, a never-ending well, a cauldron that continues to simmer. The class is called Becoming Kin because it is something that becomes a part of us; a part of our hearing and listening, a part of our speech, a part of our breathing, a part of our dreaming. 

I am speaking from my experience with my Slavic, Anglo-Saxon, Gaul and Southern Mediterranean ancestors. It is also important to note that a lot of this work is rooted in European folk magic traditions. With the rise of authoritarian/ nationalist/ fascist movements co-opting some symbols and traditions of European folk magic & culture, it is important to state that this work is offered from an anti-fascist and queer lens, which we will discuss further in class. This work is dedicated to the legacy of the commons: May the commons only continue to grow. You are invited to join this circle whether you know a lot or know nothing about your ancestors. This circle is about enhancing the relationship. We will start with beginning practices to root this work together. This container is about actively unlearning transphobia, ableism, racism, classism, homophobia and sexism. We will be diving into how Whiteness became the ancestral legacy for people of European descent. Please let me know if you have any questions to figure out if this work is right for you at this time!

If you are not able to attend the live sessions, this is not the right fit for you at this time. I want to hold space for those who are able to actively participate at this time. In considering your availability, please note that the homework for this class is both active research and experience. You will need to get your nose in the books and put our practices into actual practice! There will be a few hours of homework every week which will include reading, journaling, art making, conversation and research. 

Class Schedule:

We meet Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm EST.

The class dates are as follows:
November 1 
November 15
November 29
December 6
December 27
January 10
January 17
February 7
February 21
March 6
March 20
April 10 (final presentations - class is from 5-8 pm EST)

Class Office Hours: Fridays, 2-3 pm EST
November 24 
December 29
January 12
February 23
March 22

Office Hours:
30 minutes of co-working time where we are working on our research and then 30 minutes for questions and discussion. The office hours are not mandatory for attendance and will not be recorded.

Class Cost
The total class cost is $1,200. 
This includes a small parcel of four essences, a tincture and a tea blend from Liz in the mail to support this work. 
I ask for a $200 deposit to hold your spot.
Payment plans are available as follows: 2 payments of $500 due November 1 and February 7 or 4 payments of $250 due November 1, December 6, January 10, February 7. If you would like a payment plan, please note that you will have to fill out a payment agreement form before class begins. 

This program has space for up to 10 participants and will accept applicants on a rolling basis.