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.

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.

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

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.


This piece was originally submitted to Little Red Tarot. You will find my most recent Ritual & Honey articles over there.