Ritual & Honey: Reaching back for ourselves


Some months ago I came to the realization that I’d been doing some unconscious excavation work, that my body and spirit were ready for this work and were diving right in- and neither felt the need to inform me about it.

Of course now I know- I can feel the digging up of bones I’d buried. Some must be left there, some weren’t even mine in the first place, and then there’s that other pile, the ones with just enough life left in them to haunt me.

That’s where I found her. Little old me from past years ago, in the pages of old journals jagged and cutting and burning up in her own rage. I thought I’d quieted her, all healed-and-healing me now, only to realize that she’d been screaming this whole time- I just now bothered to move the dirt from over her mouth.

Spirit energy both travels through Time and through linear time, so that there is no distance between space and time that it is unable to navigate. Thus linear time does not exist because energy simply does not obey the human idiom.
– M. Jacqui Alexander, Pedagogies of Crossing

In spiritual spaces, I think we have become at least somewhat conversant with the idea of Spirit Time. We are open to knowing that “Goddess works in mysterious ways” and that our sense of timeline and that of our guides, ancestors, deities may not always look or feel the same. We find it relatively easy to accept that ritual and ceremony hardly ever follows an agenda, ancestors care not that it is the middle of the night and we’d like to sleep, and spirits will whisper a profound joke to us while we’re in solemn space.

I hope that isn’t too strange a notion, the knowledge that I might hold a conversation with my years past self. That I now understand her wails and pain for what they were and whisper comforts and know that I’m heard, even if I was yet to be understood.

you are the future ancestor of your baby self, teenage self, & your self now also has a future ancestor self. i imagine & know that your future ancestral self has nothing but love for you, soft arms, hands eager to hold your precious face, & a heart made strong by you.
– Lettie Laughter, High Moon Femme

This travel between times is not just for ancestors, guides, and beings. This is our path as well- and while we move from day to day, we also move from day to days past to days coming. The firelight we ignite in ourselves today is the beacon that we once followed through the darkest parts of our shadow. I find sustenance in the sweet knowledge that the happiness I seek out and manifest, is the magic that kept me going once before I knew what it could be. That even now as our hearts break and spines bend, we always have that future ancestral self to call on and while we might not understand their words, they understand our hearts, know well our spirit, and are working to heal us.

Reaching Back for Ourselves, a suggestion for ritual

This is not simply magic of remembrance. Our past selves refuse to be put away in the dark, fading on a forgotten shelf, or crushed in an old shoebox.

This is not simply the magic of memory. We do this because we cannot forget ourselves-

-we do this because we are told to forget ourselves.

This is time travel.

This is the magic of recognition.

When you sit in stillness and listen to all the you’s in your spirit, which voice do you hear asking for you? Where is it in your past that you called out your name and cried out?

What is it that you ask of yourself?

She, the little old me, breaking open asked for light, love, and comfort.

I gathered crystal witnesses full of love, prayer, the six of cups, a candle, my tears turned to laughter I’d learned to make medicine of, and whispered I love yous, it’s okay, you are forgiven, you are growing, you are healing, you are filled with light even now. Here’s some to guide you forward. I love you (you are still learning what that means) and breathe, go ahead one more breath, breathe again again again, baby girl.

I cracked the spines of old journals filled with bleeding words and the scent of spent salt and left rose and marigold petals in their pages blessing the heart that spilled them forth.

With sweet oils and honey, I anointed all the places in my body that hurt the most, hurt her the most, hurt those who loved her most and began the lesson that her touch will always be the most tender, the source of her healing.

I return to her, in my dreams. Eyes closed, feeling for the tether and save a smile for her even as I lie with her in that dark room, blinds drawn, and despair filling up.

I return her to me, when she dreams, and teach her the vibration of rose quartz and the scent of rosemary knowing that when she finally opens herself up to the magic they will be her first refuge.

I kiss honey on her lips and laugh when she grimaces at the taste because she does not know yet the sweetness that will save her life.

Know that you contain within you the portal through time and space to connect all your spirits. Sit and allow the deep magic of being connected to your past and future selves to form the tether, linking the no longer disparate parts of you.

As always, my gentle reminder for you to take on this magic safely and with your own intuition at the forefront. We’ve all watched enough time travel shows to know that it is wondrous and also perilous. Add, modify, or subtract any part of this work to fit your spirit’s call.

23 comments

  1. Moona says:

    Thank you so much for that article! You have helped me to put in perspective a number of things and given me much needed self-compassion. Your writing came at the precise time. Thanks again!

    • Asali
      Asali says:

      I’m always happy to hear that it resonated! I wish you all blessings in the work you do and continue to be tenderly compassionate to you!

  2. la galesa says:

    This makes so much sense. Thank you. During the worst times I have often felt there is another me – somehow more ‘me’ than I am in that moment – holding & guiding me through. And the idea of consciously finding the younger, hurting me, and holding and guiding her, is powerful & healing.

    • Asali
      Asali says:

      I’m so happy to hear it makes sense! I hope that we can continue to find liberation and light with connecting with ourselves this way and if nothing else, pure hope. Thank you for your words and witnessing <3

  3. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for this. This time travel makes me feel connected to myself in new ways and also connected to something bigger than myself.

    • Asali
      Asali says:

      Absolutely! I’ve been working with that principle awhile now- and my elders integrate it into our practice. I’m glad that it felt familiar.

  4. Beth
    Beth says:

    This is the most beautiful thing I’ve read in a long time and it resonates deeply at a time when I feel quite lost. Thank you so much for sharing these words, these ideas and this ritual. <3

  5. Solstice says:

    Just reading this made me cry. Thank you SO MUCH. Reading this at the most perfect time, I can’t wait to integrate your wisdom into my own healing work. <3

  6. Nirmala Edelstein says:

    Gorgeous article, I really, really enjoyed this. I also adore that Six of Vessels card – which deck is it from?

  7. akaavis says:

    This is breathtaking — gorgeously written — so much pain and tenderness shared so poetically — I’m in total awe. Thank you for opening up. Thank you for creating this beautiful thing.
    These words also resonated with me because of an experience I had a few months ago — I had a guided meditation with a shaman where I re-visited my past self in a time that seemed to be the hardest, the lowest, and as I met again with myself in those moments that were the hardest I realized I’d already done so, because of course I was here doing it now, and in the past I recognized that in those moments I had felt my future self with me, giving me strength, only I hadn’t known then what that presence actually was, and that those times could have been even worse for me. I think there is great value to be found in re-visiting the worst times, the ones you want to bury, in the kind of intimate way you describe so gracefully here. Thank you again!

  8. Jade Davon says:

    Thank you so much. Today is not the first time that I’ve read this (it touched me once before). But I did a search on the six of cups looking for wisdom today and this post helped me to put together the pieces of a puzzle that has been slowly unraveling for over a year. Well before I started my tarot journey. Thank you so much again for sharing. It was truly right on time.

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