A Trancework Journey Recall
From Samhain Season 2017
The first time I met one of my ancestors, it was during a spontaneous Soul Retrieval Journey. At the time, we didn’t even know such things were possible.
I was lamenting to my partner that I didn’t know where my mother’s people came from and was wallowing a bit in despair that there was no way for me to ever know, given there were no records kept for those brought over as part of the slave trade. My mother didn’t even know her own grandmother’s first name.
Without warning and before I had experienced anything like it or knew it was possible, sparked by just a few words from my partner, suddenly I was Down South on a porch next to a swaying wheat field. I saw a grandmother there, creak-rocking on an old porch, but she wouldn’t look at me. I felt the anger she carried toward my mother leap from her body and accost me in my tiny 6-year-old form. She was disgusted at my “fast ass” mother for “gettin set up on her back” by my father. She took care of me every day, but she never looked at me.
As much as I wanted to ask her all my questions, I sensed a need to keep quiet there at her feet. I played without words and looked away to protect her from seeing me.
Just as soon as I resigned to the silence, my partner cued for me to go back further and I came-to somewhere else, somewhere completely different. It was night and warm and the air was thick and sticky. I was crouched behind a bush, some yards back from a fire in a ritual circle. A woman danced around with flames licking at her deep brown body in the darkness. Her form was undulation itself, not static and not moving. Waving in and out of existence and yet as solid as you and me at the same time. She pulsed against the night, her shape smooth and strong in its fluidity. She wore a loosely draped sash higher on one hip and a calabash as a crown.
I watched first, acclimating and unsure if I wanted to be seen just yet. I tried to lock eyes with hers to feel if it was safe to connect. I leaned in from the brush and saw that she, too, was trying to see me in the distance. But the more I tried to focus on her gaze, the more we seemed to look beyond each other.
I wanted to speak, to call out to her, but I realized that not only did I not know her name, I didn’t even have the slightest clue what her language might sound like! I felt the generations and dimensions and cultures between us and didn’t know how I could bridge through them.
Just as I started to think I wouldn’t be able to communicate with this woman either, I noticed a leopard stalking the perimeter of the ritual circle where my grandmother pulse-danced by the fire. The cat paced back and forth, marking its boundary, and unlike my grandmother, who struggled across the dimensions to see me, looked me dead steady in my eyes without wavering.
Chilled at first, my body locked tight in place so as not to inspire a pounce. But I quickly realized something else behind this feline’s eyes. Compassion. Love. Connection. It was as if this leopard saw for my grandmother, that she could connect with me through this form even across the generations removed.
The cat’s eyes told me to follow her and I would learn my Mother’s tongue, she would translate for us and I would Remember my roots in this way.
I embraced the leopard’s invitation and felt my womb suddenly begin throbbing and aching in ways I never experienced. I felt a loss, an emptiness beyond anything I’d imagined survivable. I felt generations of babies being raped into and ripped out of my womb and all the wombs of all my Mothers. It was an ocean of sorrow I could not contain within my human body or Western mind of privilege.
I cried out to the stars for all of our lost babies and I was suddenly compelled to embrace my own son, here and now in this plane. I ran out of my office and down the hall where I met him also running to me in response to my cries. I took him into my arms and then into my heart and then my womb. He held me and I worried for moments about scaring him, but I knew we were closing a cycle for our people and he was our reconciliation.
I held him for many moments here until he lightly placed his 8-year-old hand on my shoulder and looked me in my eyes. Invoking all the maturity of our eldest grandfather, he gently spoke to me, “It’s time to come back now” and I was instantly brought back to the present, with my son and my partner surrounding me, helping to facilitate this deep ancestral healing. We closed a chapter that day, ending a legacy of babies severed from their mothers, reconciling a wound centuries old as I pulled my son into my embrace to return him to our ancestral Wombspace.
As the days, weeks, months unfolded, I followed the leopard’s lead in my life and was presented with breadcrumbs that brought it all back to me and continues to nourish me as reintegrate my Mothers, my roots, my family tongue into my being, to know our spiritual roots, our language, our wisdom, our magic once again.
I created 13MOONS Magazine to resurrect the sacred feminine in Stories and Art. As a Seeress who’d worked directly with Oshun, Yemaya, Oya, and other earlier Goddesses, I noticed a stark difference in these energies and those of later iterations, such as Freya and Venus. It is like parts of these beings were stripped away. Whether to fit the fashion of culture or men, I’ll leave for you to decide, but this just didn’t sit right with my spirit. And so I dreamed of a platform which would amplify the real voice of the feminine – Stories and Art created by actual women from our perspective, without apology. And here we are.
I am called Astara, a name I received during meditation, meaning Little Sirius. I am here to draw down the energy of Ast, also known as Auset, Isis, and the latest: Mother Mary, truly just a hint of the Original anymore. I am here to Remember and to help Remind us of who we are as women, who we are beneath patriarchal whitewashing and power politics as religion. I am here to Remind us of the wisdom we hold within each of our cells which we have mistakenly (and blasphemously) called our meat suit. I am a Sensual Fluency Educator and Tranceworker, offering tools I’ve channeled from my own body to help you connect with yours. Reach out anytime if you’d like to hear more.