Find the storyteller

Usually one person in every family keeps the stories, one who knows the family line. Find that person. Learn everything you can. On my father’s side, that person was my dad. He began working on the family tree once I developed an interest in ancestor work in my mid-20s. Although he never would have articulated... Continue Reading →

Consequences of ancestor work

Our ancestors' world was not always one of romance, heroism, and honor. If you start the work, be ready for some disappointment & shame. Of course, there were valiant soldiers and hardworking women struggling to withstand economic, political, and social pressures, but just as today, there were people who I’d want in my inner circle... Continue Reading →

Stop. Look. Listen.

Portals into the ancestral world are everywhere. Stop. Look. Listen. There is no right or wrong way. At the simplest level, a song can remind me of a person or time in my life. If it’s that easy to travel back in time, why can’t I perfect the adventure with a little practice? I’m old enough... Continue Reading →

Everything is Ancestor

If we revere our ancestors, we must revere the land. If we revere the land, we must revere our ancestors. They are one and the same. I am encouraged by the recent designation of Himalayan glaciers as “living entities” for protection purposes despite the fact that the US and Canada are still struggling with similar... Continue Reading →

Converging paths

I've always been an introvert, especially hesitant to share my belief system, but lately I've been opening up to a select few about my path and practice. Yesterday, I gave my first tarot reading to a stranger. He isn't a complete stranger, but he's a young man whom I'd only met twice before. To open... Continue Reading →

Keys to the Castle

As part of navigating my own path, I have developed a personal vocabulary that applies to my ancestor work. These are a some of the words and phrases that I use when describing what I do.  Affirmation – Lines repeated to oneself that reinforce previously known or unknown personal knowledge. Stronger if the lines rhyme,... Continue Reading →

Godless heathen

It took years of agnosticism before I could use the word “atheist” in front of my father, a man who couldn’t have cared less about religion until he began to face his own mortality. He was horrified at first, mostly (I think) because he was nearing the end of his life and couldn’t stand the... Continue Reading →

Sacred Space

I bought my house twenty years ago as a retreat from the world. I was single, shy, introverted, and felt no need to wait for a man to put down roots. I needed a place to return at the end of the day and refill my well of energy. I stocked the rooms with family... Continue Reading →


I was born, baptized, and confirmed Episcopalian in an extended family that includes Baptists, Catholics, and Jews. However, a few in my immediate family called themselves “Chreasters,” those who turned up at church only at Christmas and Easter. As a result, I had no strong ties to one particular denomination or dogma. At the same... Continue Reading →

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