We’re painting eggs at my house today, and in case you are too, I thought I’d share a really easy way to infuse the tradition with a little more magic.
Painting eggs with ritually symbolic colors and symbols is an ancient tradition going back thousands of years. People from many cultures have a long history of ritually painting symbols on eggs and using them as part of magical practices including grinding up the shells, burying the eggs in the Earth to plant dreams and desires, burying eggs to ensure a good harvest, burying eggs with the dead to ensure life after death (lots of burying! Maybe that’s part of the reason we hunt for eggs on Easter– they’ve been hidden/buried).
To create your own magical Easter Egg ritual, gather up your usual egg dying supplies– whether you’re making your own plant dies, making your own colors with food coloring or you bought one of those kits with the colored tablets that fizz in the water.
Also remember to have a white crayon on hand to drawn symbols on the egg (the dye won’t color the part of the egg you colored on with the crayon because of the wax).
Now in all honesty, I will probably be doing all of this with alongside the hubbub and excitement of my children also coloring eggs. But if you can create a quiet space, light a candle, put on some music, all the more power to you.
How To Ritually Paint & Infuse An Egg
First, set an intention for Spring.
Next, using your intuition, choose the colors and designs or symbols that you feel support your intention.
Green – new life, new growth, hope
Red – passion, energy, transformation
White – purity, innocence, birth
Yellow – happiness, community, youth
Orange – strength, endurance, sexuality
Black – darkness, the void.
Blue – the heavens, air, peace and vision
Go about the business of painting and designing your eggs, allowing yourself to get lost to the creative flow. When your egg is done and dry, hold the egg up to your mouth and whisper or blow your prayers into it. If it feels right, wipe the egg all over your body/aura (or have a friend help). This is known as an egg limpia or an egg cleanse, as eggs can draw out dense or heavy energy and emotions from your body.
Finally, bury your egg in the Earth (make sure you have permission from the land!) and ask the Earth to receive your prayers, compost your heavy energy and nourish your dreams and desires
How To Cook The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg
Do you have an Instant Pot? Or other electric pressure cooker?
You can make perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs in minutes:
Make a single layer of eggs across the metal rack that came with your pot or a vegetable steamer basket. Add one cup of water to the pot and insert the rack/basket. Manually set the pressure cooker for 6 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release for another six minutes, then manually release the steam. Put the eggs in an ice bath for another 6 minutes, or run under cool water until no longer warm to the touch.
Perfectly easy to peel eggs and no gray or green rings around the yolk!
Spring has officially sprung in the Northern hemisphere. This weekend, the first full moon after the spring equinox, we’re getting set to celebrate Easter, a holy-day that has it’s roots in ancient cultures all over the world who celebrated the return of spring with eggs, rabbits and other fertility symbols.
Seeds are another symbol of spring. My ancestors once told me that life is like a seed. You plant a seed, you plant the kind of life you want to live. How you live each day, enjoy yourself moment-to-moment and handle the hard times, determines what kind of plant will grow from your seed.
I think it’s fitting that we celebrate the dead/the ancestors near the autumn equinox and we celebrate new life at the spring equinox. Of course, both are inseparable. The ancestors give us the seeds and the seeds become ancestors– no matter how you want to apply that metaphor.
To celebrate Spring and Easter, I’ve put together a link round up for you on all things woo about these topics:
Hot Cross Buns: Cakes For The Moon Goddess
The Ancient Symbolism In Painted Easter Eggs
The Curious History of Easter Eggs: From Birth to Burial
The Origins of the Easter Bunny
Why Do We Have Easter Egg Hunts?
How ever you do (or don’t) celebrate Easter, have a happy and fun weekend and enjoy the weather where ever you are in the world.
I grew up in a small white farming community in Northeastern Washington State. It’s the same town my mother and my father both grew up in, and where they both still live (though they are divorced).
It’s also my maternal ancestral homelands.
I am an enrolled member of the Okanagan Indian Band— a small band of First Nations peoples who are now headquartered in British Columbia, but whose traditional territory spanned central and eastern Washington and British Columbia. I am a U.S. Citizen but enrolled with a Canadian First Nations tribe. The border crossed us. On the Washington side, we’re known as the Colville and I have many Colville nation family members. And although I am a legal tribal member, although I grew up in my ancestral homelands (but not on a reservation), I sometimes have a hard time identifying myself as a tribal member.
Part of the reason is I don’t “look” the part— at least not all the time and not to all people.
I’m 1/4 First Nations/Indigenous/NDN/Native American. Phenotypically, I’m a racial chameleon. Most people don’t know where to box me in and I get a lot of “what are you?” questions, including one really awkward conversation with a security guard at my undergraduate school who asked me (with hope and nostalgia in his eyes) if my mother was from the Philippines . . . he new a woman there once when he was in the Army and I looked just like her.
Along with my racial ambiguity I can be, and have been, white passing. This means that I have also benefited from the privilege that comes with being perceived white. I’ve even had two ex-boyfriends, both white, male and vert privileged, encourage me to not identify as Native, and just consider myself white.
And then they wondered why I promptly broke up with them after they expressed those opinions.
Here’s Why I Found Their Remarks Offensive:
Not too long ago, being 1/4 or even 1/8 Native was enough to classify you as 100% Native— and be racially profiled and discriminated against because of it. When my grandmother was a young girl she was forced into the Indian Boarding School program— a program in the U.S. and Canada, that ran until the 1970’s, designed to “kill the Indian and save the man” inside every indigenous child. Her hair was cut. She was forbidden to speak her first language of what is now known as Interior Salish, and she was forbidden to speak to her own siblings, who were also in the school. And that’s not even the worst of what she was forced to give up and take on.
My grandmother later fell in love with a white man. I’m told they loved each other very much but they couldn’t get married for two reasons: 1) he had an estranged white wife and divorce wasn’t so easy or accepted in the 1950’s. 2) my grandmother was a Native woman and it was illegal for a white man to marry a woman of color.
However, they lived together, ran a ranch together and had four children together.
And then, when my mother was about 10 years old, her father died of a heart attack and his white wife and children came and took everything from my grandmother and her children. And they had every legal right to. They left a single Native woman without home, supplies or resources to raise her four children and the two nephews she had taken in so they wouldn’t die of neglect. To survive, my grandmother had to go through the shame of asking for welfare from the government and the government’s white male representatives.
And she was turned down.
The white man told her that her current situation was her fault and she needed to work harder and the government would not be helping her.
Her situation was her fault and the government would not be helping her.
She forced into assimilation. She couldn’t marry the man she loved because the government wouldn’t let her. She couldn’t protect her assets because the government wouldn’t let her. But it was her fault. Because she was an indigenous woman.
So no, I won’t be giving up my Okanagan identity, especially if a white man thinks I should.
And yet . . .
I didn’t grow up with the traditions or the language. First, the U.S./Canadian border was one hindrance. Second, we weren’t raised on a reservation, Third, my grandmother HAD to assimilate to survive. Preserving what little she remembered from the first six years of her life before she was taken into the boarding school, was not and could not be a priority.
And there’s something else.
I Don’t Fully Trust My Tribal Membership
A few years before I was born, the tribe was receiving a large monetary compensation from the Canadian government for land and resources they had lost.
The tribe disenrolled ALL THE WOMEN in the tribe so there would be less people to share the resources with. My mother and grandmother were disenrolled. For being women.
My mother told me this when I was young (aged 10 or so) and I felt the wind go out of my sails when she did. I felt the pride of being Okanagan lessen in my heart. And something else, that I couldn’t identify until recently— I felt the fear and uncertainty of being an Indigenous woman. The message was clear:
You are an indigenous woman and you are not safe, not even with your own tribe.
Unfortunately, my tribe was not the first nor the last tribe to do this to indigenous women. And a side note: this is one reason why I cringe when I hear white women/people far removed from a tribal identity, refer to their businesses as “tribes.” You. Have. No. Idea. What. The. Tribal. Experience. Is. Like. And it is mostly definitely not about 100% belonging, safety and security. The tribal system had it’s flaws long before Manifest Destiny came along too.
My ancestors are Okanagan, Nez Perce, and came from Sweden, Ireland and Germany. I’ve always felt like an insider-outsider. I’ve felt like an insider-outsider in the dominant culture and I’ve felt like an insider-outsider around other Natives, despite working in Native media for 10 years as a journalist and radio producer. Despite earning a Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication which helped me learn A LOT about how my different cultural identities inform who I am. And now, as an expat living in Costa Rica, my insider-outsider status is even more pronounced.
Where Ancestral Healing And Connection Comes In
Nearly two years ago, I was working 1-on-1 with a spiritual mentor and asked her to teach me how to do ancestral healing work. I had actually never seen the words “ancestral healing” before nor had known that it was possible to heal your ancestral wounds, stories and traumas. As part of learning how to heal my ancestors, my mentor, Mary Shutan, taught me how to connect with my ancestors in my body and how to create a spiritual practice around that connection.
The first time I connected with my ancestors, I sobbed. I sobbed with grief. I sobbed with love. I sobbed at the overwhelming sense of connection, deep love and belonging that I experienced in my own body.
A year after I had begun my ancestral spiritual journey, I was introduced to another ancestral healing modality and I jumped in immediately, it was such a full body YES.
Over the last six months I have deepened my connection and healing process with my ancestors in a profound way as part of my training as an Ancestral Lineage Healing practitioner. In fact, it was my ancestors who reminded me about the story my mother told me when I was a young girl about being disenrolled from the tribe. It was my ancestors who showed me that that story was underlying a lot of other stories and situations in my life where I wasn’t feeling safe and also wasn’t recognizing the feeling of being unsafe. And it was my ancestors who helped me begin to heal that story and begin to feel safe.
Why I’m Telling You This
All of this informs why a large part of my life’s work is to bring Ancestral Healing to you. It informs my experience of the Ancestors, of Spiritual Connection and of my place in this world. It informs my sympathies and my proclivities and it is informing a lot of the offerings and content I have in the chute for you. I want you to understand that Ancestral Healing isn’t just a spiritual healing modality flavor of the week for me— it’s something I’ve been searching for and engaging in for most of my life, and something I will continue to do for myself and now, for others, for the rest of life. I have personally and profoundly been affected by this work, for the better and I hold it in integrity and in all sacredness.
If you’re interested in learning how to both connect with your ancestors and to begin healing your lineages (and receiving the blessings of your lineages!) please check out my Ancestral Healing offerings here.
Healing and learning how to work with your ancestral lineages is a profound method for effecting change and bringing blessings into One’s life. In addition to sloughing off generations of trauma, guilt, illness and limiting beliefs, ancestral healing allows ancestral blessings and support to come down the line (literally and metaphorically) unimpeded.
Well that sounds all well and great, but what actually happens during an ancestral lineage healing session?
If you’re thinking about booking your first ancestral lineage healing session, you’ll want to book the Initial Ancestral Exploration Session. This session is 15-30 minutes longer than a typical session and you’ll only need to book this session once.
In an Initial Ancestral Exploration Session I will guide you into a deep meditative state– you will not leave your body or “journey” anywhere. Your ancestors are in your DNA and you do not need to go outside of your body to contact them. We will set up a ritual space inside this meditative state, including boundaries and protection. The idea is to allow you to “peek” in on your four main lineages (each of your grandparents– Mother’s Mother, Mother’s Father, Father’s Father and Father’s Mother) without drawing their attention– you want to be invisible to them at this point in a sense. And don’t worry, you needn’t know anything about your lineage(s) or even be in a good relationship with them to do this work– and both of those situations can actually make the work more healing and impactful.
Once we’ve set the ritual space up, I’ll guide you through the process of checking in on your four lines and gauging their health and well-being on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the healthiest and most vibrant. Once we’ve established a rating for each line, we’ll begin with the healthiest line and go through the process of establishing an ancestral guide along the line. This will be someone who is willing and able to be the guide and is also in good relationship with all of the ancestors before them– we often have to go pretty far back in time to find this guide. You’ll have time to sit with this guide and become familiar with him/her. Making contact with an ancestral guide and be an emotionally uplifting and spiritually important moment– I want you to revel in it. Throughout the entire process you’re invited to speak aloud what you are experiencing and feeling and I will take notes for you.
That is likely all we’ll have time for in the Initial Session. When you’re ready to proceed you’ll book an hour-long Ancestral Healing Session.
In an Ancestral Healing Session, we’ll again create the sacred and safe ritual space in a deep meditative state. We’ll pick up where we left off with the ancestral guide and ask for his/her help in healing the line. There are a few steps we will go through to initiate this healing, in addition to any steps the guide may suggest. Essentially the line between the guide and the most recent dead in that line will be held in a cocoon of prayer and healing, what happens next is up to the guide and is relevant to the culture of the lineage and the nature of their wounds. Sometimes the guide will allow you to witness this process and sometimes they will not.
When this healing is complete (and it may take awhile– it may not be completed in our session but it will continue to happen even when our session is complete), we will begin the process of being blessed by, and in turn blessing, the lineage and your living family members before moving on to the next best well line. (The idea here is that you will have three really well lines ready to support you when you come to the least well line).
After you’ve healed all four of your main lines, we can go through the process of harmonizing the lines (sort of like a marriage of lines), and of course your spiritual practice will be deepening and changing throughout the entire process based on the connection, blessings, healings and insights your ancestors give you.
That is a basic ancestral healing process. However, you really can take this as deeply as you want to. Once your four main lines are healed and harmonized, you can work on your next four lines, meaning the four great grandparents that weren’t included in the first tier– Mother’s Father’s Mother, Mother’s Mother’s Father, Father’s Mother’s Father’s and Father’s Father’s Mother). And then we can also move into healing larger cultural wounds around subjects such as sex/uality and gender, colonialism and racism, etc.
If you’d like to begin the process of healing your ancestral lineages you can learn more, and schedule your first session, by clicking the button below:
Learn More & Schedule
In love and sacred darkness,