February 16, 2022
OF THE PSYCHEDELIC LEADERSHIP PODCAST
Ancestral Healing for the Leaders of Our Time
with Torie Feldman
Laura Dawn drops in with Ancestral Healing Guide Tori Feldman about the importance of healing our lineage and cultivating a relationship with our ancestors, especially for the leaders of this new era.
About This Episode:
Have you ever considered that the relationship you have with your ancestors quite literally shapes all aspects of your life? Ancestral Healing Guide Torie Feldman makes a strong case for how our relationship to our ancestral lineage impacts your relationship to money, to your body, to your spouse and family and influences the way you live and lead.
In this episode Torie shares her remarkable story that initiated her journey of ancestral healing and awakening, and we dive into what it means to connect with your ancestors, and how to cultivate a relationship with them. Torie shares her perspective on what we can do if we don’t feel a strong resonance with our own lineage and how to navigate honoring the ancestry of cultures of a different bloodline.
We look at this conversation through the lens of leadership and explore why it’s imperative for the leaders of our time to heal their lineage.
Explored in this episode:
Episode #43: Torie Feldman Psychedelic Leadership Podcast.
Laura Dawn: I am so excited for you to tune into this really powerful conversation with ancestral healing guide, Torie Feldman.
Song: As I dance on the spiral, through the passage of these rights, with the wisdom of the cycle and the mother-blood that gives me life and waking of her daughters and the burying of these bones, to the birthing waters where I find myself reborn, I honor my lineage, lineage, as I honor my lineage, lineage.
Torie Feldman: Hello.
Laura Dawn: Hi, gorgeous.
Torie Feldman: I love it. Oh, I’m so excited, thank you so much for having me.
Laura Dawn: Oh my goodness girl, it is my absolute pleasure. I am so excited for this conversation and just so grateful to have this time with you and to be able to learn more about you and your story, and I was thinking that’s exactly where I’d love to start. I’d love to know how you got to where you’re at today and how did your ancestral healing journey begin.
Torie Feldman: So, I grew up Jewish and growing up as a white woman in Los Angeles, growing up Jewish, I actually wasn’t introduced to any of the spirituality, any of the deep ancestral spiritual traditions. I was just told, this is the tradition, and we do this because we do this and you get Bat Mitzvahed to make your parents and your grandparents proud. And so, I grew up feeling very disconnected and I didn’t even know what I was disconnected from; I didn’t grow up with any spiritual mentors, my parents weren’t spiritual at all, and so that caused me to go on a journey of finding something that filled that sense of mystical longing that I always felt inside of me that I didn’t have words for.
And through my travels, I was really blessed to have parents who loved to travel, we would go to beautiful places all over the world and I always felt since I was really young, a deep calling to go to the ruins and to connect with the ancient cultures and all of the traditions. And whenever we had a tour guide, I would obsessively ask as many questions as I possibly could, specifically about death and the afterlife and what life was like in ancient times.
And through that journey, I became really, really obsessed with looking at indigenous ways of being indigenous cultures and the wisdom that they carried, and so when I went to college, I studied cultural anthropology and I specified my studies on indigenous rights, indigenous wisdom and cultural revitalization. And after graduating, I went and I worked and volunteered on a reservation, the Tohono O’odham Reservation, and after a year there working with elders and youth, our goal was to pass on the language and the culture to the next generations.
I realized that as a white woman, who was very deeply disconnected from my own ancestors, I felt this deep, deep, deep, deep passion for the elders to pass on their wisdom and their knowledge, but it was actually coming from a deep wound within myself. I realized that I was so passionate about this happening for this culture that hadn’t yet been lost or forgotten that I decided to go and look at my own wound of separation from my ancestors and to find the stories in my lineage and as a Jewish woman to do the intergenerational ancestral healing that my ancestors have been through. And that guided me on a whole other deep journey, but that was just the beginning.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, do you want to unpack, what was the whole other journey, let’s get into it?
Torie Feldman: Yeah. So, I, after living and working around this reservation, felt the deep call to go to Peru, I had two friends who invited me and within a week of them inviting me, I flew down, and when I flew down to Peru, I had no idea what was going to happen. I felt like I was about to die, I had all of this fear about getting on the plane and going there, and I’d flown so many times in my life, it was just this deep mystery like I was being hurled into the void, I had no idea what was happening.
I had just shaved half of my head, I was kind of going through an identity crisis, and when I landed in Peru, I ended up staying there for three months in Peru and Bolivia and worked with shamans and with the medicine there, and I remember in one of my journeys, all I could do was lay back, I couldn’t even sit up, and my intention for that ceremony was, show me who I am. I really want to know who I am, and what the medicine showed me, was everything that I’m not, I came face-to-face with all of the times in my life that I had been inauthentic with myself, all of the times that I had been wearing a mask, all of the times that I was putting on a front of who I thought that I should be or who I thought that I was, that wasn’t really deeply authentic to me.
And so, after a deep journey in the jungle, I decided to visit my ancestral homelands to learn who I was, now that I saw who I wasn’t; and through my experiences, I went to Prague and I also went to Israel, these are two places that my ancestors are from. I had a full-body ancestral awakening, specifically in Israel, and I had this moment where I saw The Kotel, the Western Wall, or the Whaling Wall from the temple of Jerusalem and every single cell in my body started resonating with this sense of I’m home, and this is what my ancestors have been praying for, for me, for their descendant to return to this land after so long not being there.
No one in my memory or in conscious memory in my lineage has been to Israel in at least the last five or six generations, and maybe even longer, it may have been hundreds of years, who knows. And so, for me to be there, every cell in my body felt this awakening, and I felt this sense of the part of me that was so deeply wanting to find belonging in indigenous cultures or in all of these other spiritual lineages, finally, finally, finally felt this sense of full-body belonging that was beyond what my mind could understand being there on the lands of my ancestors.
And so, that was one of my deepest ancestral healing moments and was a part of the birth of sacred ancestry coming into being, so that I can help other people feel that sense of connection, even if they’re not on their ancestral homelands.
Laura Dawn: That is such a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing that. I recently heard you say that our relationship with our ancestors affects every aspect of our lives, and I was like, whoa, that’s a big statement; from your perspective, can we unpack that a little bit? I’m like, wow, is that true?
Torie Feldman: Yeah, thank you. So, it’s wild to think about because our ancestors are literally the reason that we’re here physically, in our bodies, on this planet, during this time, in the lineage that we’re in, in the time that we’re in, in this reality that we’re in. And so, if we are in any way feeling disconnected from our ancestors or even ashamed towards our ancestors or resistant towards our ancestors, we’re in some way not embracing the depth of this lifetime fully, and we’re not embracing the journey of embodiment fully. If our ancestors gave us our body and we’re pushing away our ancestors on some level energetically or subtly, or even within our consciousness, we aren’t going to be able to fully embody our soul into our body.
And I believe that a part of the ancestral healing journey is feeling safe in our bodies because the stories of our ancestors live in every cell of our bodies, this is proven by the scientific study of epigenetics, and of course, so many different indigenous cultures all around the world have talked about how we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, it’s just a fact. And so, if we don’t feel safe in our bodies and in our nervous systems, a part of that is a sense of not feeling safe within our lineage, not feeling safe on the shoulders that we’re standing on, not feeling safe with the trauma or the gifts that are stored in every single cell of our body that sometimes are running unconsciously and sometimes have this energy that we haven’t quite claimed; a lot of them are spiritual gifts that we haven’t claimed.
And so, as we heal our relationship to our ancestors, it allows for our soul to feel safe to come into our body, to fully inhabit our body, and when we do that, it allows for our souls’ gifts to embody fully on this planet and to be used so that we can be vessels for healing the world, for healing ourselves, and for healing our lineages and bringing our deep spiritual soul wisdom from other lifetimes, even beyond our actual ancestral blood lineage. We can bring all of that wisdom of our soul and of our spirit into this body, into this life, and use it as a force for healing our lineages and ourselves and the earth.
And so, that’s just the spiritual perspective, the embodiment perspective, and then there’s also all of the other layers, such as our relationships because so many of our relationship patterns in love and in friendship and in community and with the sisterhood wound and with all of these other patterns are inherited from our ancestors. And so, oftentimes the stories, the patterns of our ancestors, whether we’re consciously aware of them or not, even if you don’t know anything about your ancestors, even if you don’t know the stories of your ancestors, those stories are running on repeat within our energetic systems, within our nervous systems within our bodies.
And so, when we do that deep ancestral healing work to clear those pathways to release those patterns, it re-patterns all of our relationships in our life, and of course, this applies to everything, it applies to our health, it applies to our relationship with money and career and life purpose, and the list goes on and on forever, it’s literally every single part of our lives.
Laura Dawn: That is so profound, and from an intuitive perspective, it makes sense, we literally came out of another human’s body, we were created within another body, which is actually really mind-blowing to even just consider that and that body came out of another body. So, the creation of ourselves was birthed through another body, so, okay, on a very profound level and intuitively that makes sense, and yet, for understanding that we carry unconscious codes and patterns that have been dictating our lives, it’s actually quite a lot to grapple with mentally and emotionally, especially because so much of it has been unconscious.
Even just the fact of, wow, there’s a narrative around like, so much of our imprinting happens in the first seven years of our lives, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to undo those first seven years. And now I’m like, wow, now I have to go back generations and generations, and so where’s the entry point here, and how do we even start to become aware of something that’s in the shadow or in the unconscious?
Torie Feldman: So beautifully said and such a beautiful question. When it comes to, for example, healing the first seven years, as you named, a big part of that is looking at how our childhood wounds and our childhood patterns are actually also ancestral. Because our parents are raising us based on how they were probably raised and the ways that they probably haven’t healed their inner child is what’s going to be reflected in our inner child and what we later need to heal.
So, a part of looking at inner child healing, which goes hand-in-hand with ancestral healing is seeing that what we experienced as children is actually part of a long chain of what our ancestors also experienced as children. And so, a part of the entry point, I think that there are many, part of the entry point is looking at our childhood, looking at the beliefs that we have from our parents, and you can do this by looking at different areas of your life and starting to see the patterns. You can do this also by looking at healing your time in your mother’s womb, and this is a part of the work that I do, actually, in my course, The Honeyed Womb, is our patterns didn’t just start once we opened our eyes and we took our first breath.
A lot of, as you were saying, a lot of the patterns come from when we are in our mother’s womb and understanding that she was also in her mother’s womb and on a cellular level, all of our lives actually began in the womb of our grandmother because when our grandmother has our mother in her womb when she’s pregnant with our mother, our mother has all of the eggs that she will ever have in her lifetime, in her womb.
So, you can imagine the grandmother’s womb and within that is the mother’s womb and within that is the egg that gave birth to you, and so there is this red thread from womb-to-womb, to, womb-to-womb connecting all of the women, especially in our maternal line, especially as women, back, back, back, back, back to hundreds, thousands, even millions of ancestors back to ancient times. And so, a part of the work is looking at what did we inherit while we were in our mother’s womb, and a part of this is looking at if you can ask your mother or your loved ones, what happened while you were in your mother’s womb?
Were there any relationship shifts? Were there any traumas that she experienced? And if so, how many months old were you in the womb and looking at those stories consciously, and then there’s the level of what if you can’t ask those questions and not only to our mother, but what if we don’t have a connection to our elders or our ancestors, or what if we’re adopted, or what if it’s simply toxic to talk to family members? Or what if there are secrets, many grandparents have stories and secrets that they just don’t want to tell because they think that that’s a form of protecting the lineage, they don’t want to tell stories of trauma because they don’t want to pass it on.
But actually, within that, it’s telling the story that then the pattern can begin to be transmuted, then the shame can begin to be released, and then the energy can begin to move. And so, many of us don’t have the opportunity to ask these questions and that’s where the deep inner work and connecting to our ancestors comes in, which for me in my work is the mythic memory method. And so, as I shared, the memories of our ancestors live in every single cell of our bodies, even if we don’t consciously know what happened, our bodies remember, our bodies are these ancient libraries, not only from the past several generations but for thousands and thousands and thousands of years.
And so, in my work, what I do is I guide women to go in and we create a safe ceremonial space and to connect with their wise and well-healed ancestors, which all of us have, sometimes you need to travel thousands of years back to find a time before your lineage experienced a core wound or a rupture, but we all have healed wise and well ancestors. So, we create a space to connect in, with the pure heart of our lineage, a time before there was trauma to remember, just like all of us have a crystalline purity to our soul and layers of trauma and conditioning or covering, as the healing happens, we begin to peel away those layers and reveal the purity of our soul, your soul can never be broken, it can never be tarnished, it can never be touched.
Even if it feels broken, that’s actually just layers of trauma around the purity. So, through ancestral healing and connecting in with our healed, wise and well ancestors, we begin to see, oh, my lineage also has a crystalline heart, my lineage cannot be broken or touched or tarnished. My lineage is actually from sacred ancestry, we are divine, we are here from a reason, our ultimate ancestors, our mother, father, God, our source, we come from source.
And so, reclaiming the purity of the heart of your lineage and then meeting an ancestral guide who can take you back to a time that a core wound happened in your lineage, and that’s where we facilitate ancestral healing, that’s where we see the stories of, oh, this is the original wound that happened, and sometimes it’s thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago. But what I’ve seen time after time, is through creating this safe space, through connecting to our healed, wise and well ancestors, these memories just start flooding back for people.
And in my work it’s never necessarily me telling someone, this is what I’m seeing, I’m actually not a channel or a medium in that sense, I don’t apply that gift to the work, I ask questions like, what are you noticing now? What are you feeling in your body? What emotions are arising for you? And just through the codex, the ancestral codex that each of us holds in ourselves, the memories pour through, the tears start flowing, and when we do that work to reclaim those memories and do that ancestral healing at the root, at the core.
Then that healing can ripple through our lineages, through generations and generations and generations until we reach the present moment, and then we allow for it to also flow into future generations and to be offered to the earth. And so, there is a gift in realizing that we actually don’t need to look outside of us, we don’t necessarily need to do the research, although it can help, it can support, it can be supplementary, but each of us is able to go within and find those memories within ourselves to reclaim them for our lineage.
Laura Dawn: Hallelujah.
Torie Feldman: Hallelujah.
Laura Dawn: Okay, random side note. Are you familiar with Tami Simon, Insights at the Edge?
Torie Feldman: Yes.
Laura Dawn: I love her interviewing style; I’m going to channel Tami here for a second. She would be like, Torie, for all the people listening who feel like that is way too radical, and is it possible that we could go through this ceremony with you, and it could just all be made up as a story in the mind? Can I imagine, oh, that thousands of years ago there was someone in my lineage that had this pure core and I’ll imagine it in my mind and I’ll create a narrative around it, and is that just as effective as whether it’s actually being remembered or imagined?
Torie Feldman: Yeah, such a good question. There are several different parts of the answer here, and the first is, if someone’s asking, was that real or was that my imagination? The answer is, yes. Both and. And through the mythic memory method, essentially, it’s looking at how just like in dreams or through visualization when we’re imagining something, our bodies, and our minds, our brain actually doesn’t know the difference of whether we’re imagining it or whether it’s real. And so, in that sense, there’s that layer of whatever you’re seeing, whatever you’re feeling is really changing and shifting something in the brain as well as evoking real emotions in the body.
And sometimes the mind will try to make sense of what the body is feeling, and so it’s really interesting, this is, I think, where the work also can weave in with the past life memories. For example, I’ve had one client, this doesn’t happen that often, but one client who, when I guided her through this process, she doesn’t have Egyptian blood, but her visions were all happening in ancient Egypt. But at the same time, what came through for her was even if you don’t have Egyptian blood, the mind sometimes will take something that feels familiar to you, she may have had past lives in Egypt or maybe she grew up and actually was interested in ancient Egypt as a child.
And so, the same dynamics between her ancestors may just be playing out in this Egyptian kind of setting so that her mind can in some way understand it or envision it when she doesn’t have any point of reference of what her ancestors’ life actually looked like thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago, so there’s that level to it. And then at the end of some sessions with clients, what I’ve realized is a lot of them are actually like, wow, there’s this part of my brain that I just want to ask, was that all my imagination, but my body knows that it wasn’t, their experiences are so real.
The tears streaming down their face, parts of their body vibrating or shaking, or pain happens as emotions are moving through and then are released, and then the pain shifts and it’s this huge, huge just release and re-setting, after going through something like that and experiencing the depth of actually meeting a healed ancestor and feeling that you’re doing healing for the land that your ancestors stood on or where there was a slaughter in ancient times. Even if their mind is trying to wonder, was that in my imagination, deep down in their body and in their soul and somatically and on a cellular level, they know that was real, and so sometimes there’s that disconnect with the mind and the body, but ultimately the body is what holds the wisdom.
Laura Dawn: I love that, I love it. And I’ve had this conversation actually with Dennis McKenna around, well, when you’re on a psychedelic journey and you see something or you have this experience, is it real? Or is it a hallucination? And the answer is kind of like, it doesn’t matter, you’re experiencing something, and so in life, you’re also just interpreting data coming in and that still affects your body and the way that you interpret information, so it’s like, if you’re experiencing it, then it’s quote-unquote, real.
And we can’t even really define reality anyway, for as advanced as we are technologically, humans, we don’t have an actual working definition for what reality is or what consciousness is, you know? So, it’s like, well, I guess then we get to play with it and shape it and mold it, and then that shaping actually shapes us.
Torie Feldman: Yeah. And so much of the experience too, when it comes to ancestral healing and also working with psychedelics is learning to trust our intuition again, learning to reclaim that feminine wisdom that lives within all of us, regardless of gender. And looking at the witch wound, which is also a big part of my work is how through the centuries, through millennia, the intuition has been silenced, it’s been trained out of us, and so a part of this work ancestral and working with psychedelics as well is retraining our natural sense of trust in ourselves, our natural sense of inner sovereignty, our inner queendom or kingdom, our inner sense of our inner knowing and authority.
And I feel through shifting our relationship with the intuition, through healing, the witch wound in the ways that that has been silenced or stamped out or burned out of our lineages, what we’re doing is we’re reclaiming so much more than just for ourselves and our relationship to reality, our relationship to how we process information and how we are creating our lives. But it’s also healing for all of our ancestors who weren’t able to trust their intuition, for all of the women who were told that they were too much or too crazy for their emotion, for their feminine wisdom, for their intuition, and for the ways of being that they held in their bodies that were in some way demonized.
So, I feel it’s really big, reclaiming everything that you just shared and that Dennis McKenna shared is just, I am so on board for that, and also the ancestral healing implications are infinite.
Laura Dawn: I want to share with you just a really brief story that I just feel is so pertinent, and I shared it a little bit in season one. I had this really profound medicine journey and this was after years and years and years of working with medicine and noticing a pattern really, really surface in my life and really being like, okay, I cannot deny this pattern keeps playing out anymore. And I was on a journey and I saw an experience being in the womb of basically being given up, and the next day I asked my mother about it, my mother and I are super close my whole life, and this was only a couple of years ago and I asked her about it and she immediately started crying.
I said, tell me what happened while I was in your womb and she just started crying, and then she said that it was a really hard time, she had already had three other kids, I was the fourth. It was a difficult time, I was unexpected and she actually went to the abortion clinic to give me up, and then in the chair, she decided, and she said to me, I gave my three other children a chance at this life, so I knew you had to come through. And I actually experienced the experience of that in the medicine journey, it was on, I have full goosebumps right now, so it was full healing in that journey, and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to then do a very deep forgiveness practice with my mom, actually.
And we did that live on season one with a Hawaiian elder who teaches ho’oponopono, and we did it live together where we were really offering each other forgiveness. Now, I feel so grateful that I had that opportunity to say, I forgive you for that experience and for her to forgive me too, for actually coming into her life unexpectedly in that way, what about the people, all the people who don’t have that connection, who have these experiences, who feel very disconnected from their lineages to find healing there.
Torie Feldman: Oh my gosh, Laura, thank you so much for sharing that, I’m just going to take a deep breath to receive that because it’s so sacred. Ah, it’s so powerful too, that that’s on your podcast so people can listen to that and experience that through you, I’m sure that in itself is a healing for so many people who aren’t able to experience that directly with a family member. So, I believe that for some of us, it’s actually an act of ancestral healing to hold boundaries and to not speak to a relative who was abusive, and so at first, I want to speak specifically to anyone who isn’t in touch with a parent or a grandparent or someone who they want to heal that wound around that sense of disconnection or betrayal or hurt or pain who isn’t able to speak with them.
And I think that this can also relate to anyone who, for whatever reason, can’t speak to a loved one even if you are in touch with them, we are able, as Laura just shared, to experience deep ancestral healing and to heal a relationship with that person, even without them necessarily knowing about it. And a part of that is through deep forgiveness work, just as you named, a part of that is through feeling all of the emotions and going to the center of the wound and looking at how it’s not just a core wound in your life that started with that parent or that grandparent.
But it’s something that has likely been living in your lineage and been cycling through your lineage for generations and generations and generations and generations and generations and generations, as we shared beyond our conscious memory. And so, through feeling into and identifying what is the core wound, for example, looking at a situation in your life and asking yourself, what is the core of this? Is this a feeling of betrayal? Is this a feeling of abandonment of rejection of unworthiness?
What exactly is it? And really boiling it down and a part of how we do this is by asking the body, by staying in tune with our body, by tracking somatically, what’s happening in the body. By giving that part of our body a voice, a part of the work is somatically feeling where an emotion’s living in the body, and this is a part of what many people teach I believe and what even therapists do in their work, and beyond that, what I would say, and this is a part of my method as well, is feeling into where is it living in the body?
And if it had a voice, if that thing had a voice, if it had a shape, a size, a temperature, a texture, a color, an energy to it, let’s give it a voice too. What would it say? And oftentimes what we find is this emotion that’s been living in our body that is in some way that we think is just caused by something that our mother did or something that our grandfather did, is actually much, much, much, much more ancient. And by giving it a voice and by compassionately holding space for it to share its story and be witnessed in it, we are able to uncover what emotion is actually at the core that maybe has been hiding under layers of resistance or resentment or secrecy or just a protection that’s been holding us back from feeling the trauma.
Because oftentimes we have these protective spirits or protective layers that are also living in our nervous systems that are really just trying to keep us from feeling this trauma over and over and over again because if we did, then we honestly wouldn’t be able to survive. Some of these things would just stop us from living fully or even taking care of ourselves, and so when we give that ancient emotion a voice, when we realize that it’s not just an emotion, but it oftentimes is a whole consciousness in itself, then we’re able to begin to compassionately have a conversation with it.
And for those of you who this might sound new, or even for some of you, it might sound familiar, it’s just like inner child healing, which is I think a more popular way of doing this, where you’re holding your inner child, you’re asking, what do you need? You’re asking yourself, what does this inner child need to hear in order to receive healing? It’s a similar kind of process, but with the consciousness of an ancient emotion that’s been stored in the body and a part of this is dropping beyond the stories of the mind, of what we think this was caused by, dropping beyond this is something between me and my mother and dropping into the body and giving it a voice and feeling the emotion in a safe trauma-informed, sacred container.
So, that then the story can be liberated, so it’s no longer in secrecy, the emotion can be released, and then we can actually thank that emotion, we can thank that consciousness or thank that protector, that’s been actually protecting our lineage for so long. And we can say, thank you, I receive your message, I receive the wisdom that you are here to bring me in my lineage, and then just like the messenger came to deliver a message, once the message is delivered, the messenger can go.
And so and when you say, thank you, I’ve received this message, and I thank you for everything you’ve done to actually serve my lineage and protect my lineage for generations so that I can be here. I owe so much to you, I release you with love, your work here is complete, then it can shift; and so after this shift, just like this is working on healing a core wound, way, way back in our lineage, then it actually shifts our relationship to that relative that we thought it was just about a dynamic between us and them.
It not only shifts our relationship with that relative because now we are operating from a new space and believe it or not, they actually are too, even if they don’t consciously know that you did this healing work, it’s also going far beyond and it’s impacting your ancestors and it’s impacting the future generations to come as well.
Laura Dawn: I know, I wonder if people really get the magnitude of what you just said there, it’s healing through all space and all time, it’s really quite a lot, actually. I’ve had journeys, totally had that experience where I, and I don’t want to share this particular moment because I want to keep that private in terms of what transpired between my parents as a child. But there was a moment where I went into a very deep experience where I witnessed trauma transpiring and how that affected me and transmuted that, and actually healed that in the ceremony and my face looked different coming out of the journey, the structure of my face looked different and I had that full experience of, wow, I just went back in time healed that, literally influenced the course of my life and changed my physical experience in the here and now. No biggie.
Torie Feldman: Yes, yes. That’s something that I’ve seen within myself and also friends and sisters and clients on the journey, is oftentimes when something is released, we literally look different, and sometimes it’s like this fog comes over our face and it’s temporary and it’s around for a week or two, and we look at ourselves in the mirror and we’re like, that doesn’t look like me, something is off. And then we go through a release and we’re like, oh, there I am again, or this is a new layer of me, I’ve never seen this part of my face before, but it’s also understanding the subtle energetics and how those are stored in our muscles, in our tissues.
And also how our face is in so many ways, the embodiment of our emotion and what we’re feeling, it’s the place that expresses our emotion in a way that’s most easily tangibly seen, I believe our whole body can express our emotion, but our face, of course, has our expressions. And so, when we do emotional healing work and trauma healing work, it can release muscle memory from the face that has been holding certain emotions, and there are also many different ancient practices that read the face and that can literally read what traumas have you experienced in your life or in past lifetimes by looking at the wrinkles in your face, by looking at the musculature form of your face.
And so, it’s really interesting that even ancient cultures have looked at how our face can tell our traumas and our stories and by releasing the traumas by releasing the stories, of course, it makes sense that our face is going to shift as well, so that’s so powerful that you experienced that.
Laura Dawn: Oh my gosh, I really like this dynamic because I’m dropping tidbits of experiences and you’re just riffing off them, I really like this dynamic, I’m going to share one more. I thought I knew who most of my ancestry was until my first Iboga journey, where I had my first full-on open eye hallucination, and I’m talking full hallucination. I don’t even know actually if I want to use that word hallucination, and again, my mom’s been tracking my journey for two-plus decades, ever since I was younger working with Psilocybin, so I’m just so deeply grateful for all of her support over all of these years.
And yeah, the next day I called her and I said, I had a vision of this little indigenous grandmother and my mom’s like, oh yeah; your great-great-grandmother was First Nations Canadian. And I was like, what? You’ve never told me that before ever in my life, and she actually found the papers because when you are First Nations, they give you papers for a variety of reasons, which is so bonkers on a certain level. And yeah, and so I started understanding and learning from visions, basically, and so other people might be listening to this and I’ve never had that experience, I don’t have that experience that you shared Torie about going and having this ancestral awakening.
What’s cultivating a relationship with your ancestors 101 look like for the person who’s listening to this being like, I haven’t had a hallucination or I’m not ever going to go back to my land and which land I have six different cultural lineages? How do we, where do we start here?
Torie Feldman: Yeah. It’s actually the most simple thing in the world and anyone can do it. There are infinite ways to connect with our ancestors and many of our own ancestral cultures have traditions and rituals and ways of connecting. And so, that’s one of the things that someone can do if they’re wanting specifically to draw upon the ritual and tradition and lineage of their own ancestors, is if you happen to know what country or what lands some of your ancestors are from, even if you have, you shared six different lineages or places in the world, just choose one or two and go down a rabbit hole on Google, keep it simple.
Or buy a book that’s written by someone who was raised in that tradition, who has wisdom to share about it, and so you can look at what are the holidays that your ancestors celebrated? How did they celebrate those holidays? How did they have a relationship with the earth? What are some of their styles of prayer? What are some of the songs that they would sing? What are some of the herbs that they worked with? What are some of their beliefs around the spiritual world and around family even, and start to dive in and see what of those traditions you feel called to explore or mirror or work with and then add your own layer of your intuition guiding you, how to take it deeper.
So, that’s one of the most basic things that you can do that includes research, and I’ll also share something that you can do that doesn’t include research, which is during any part of your day, it could be first thing in the morning, it could be before every meal, it could be late at night, it could be when you’re on a walk, any part of the day with no exception, take a moment and invite in your wise and well-healed ancestors. And as I shared, we all have them, so even if you don’t know what they look like, even if you haven’t had a profound vision, just invite them in, invite them in, take a moment, take a breath with them.
And during that breath, you can see if you notice anything shifting, you can even close your eyes if you feel called to, not necessary, but you can if you want to take it deeper, and just notice. You can even open up each one of your senses and take a breath as you open up your inner sight and just notice are you feeling or sensing or seeing any presences coming in from a certain direction, are you sensing or seeing that there’s a circle of white, glowing beings surrounding you; you might even see the eyes of an ancestor or sense this feeling of love in your heart.
So, there are infinite ways that you can do that and you can go through each sense, take a breath for each sense, open up your inner sight with a breath, open up your inner hearing, listening if there are any messages that want to come through, taking a breath to open up your sense of smell, which is the sense that’s most closely associated with memory. See if there are any smells that you can pick up on spiritually in the space, take a breath for your sense of taste, are there any flavors?
This is also a deep way to connect with our ancestors is through food, through flavors, even if you can taste the flavor of dirt, there are so many sacred ways that our intuition and our body can speak to us through our senses and then taking a deep breath for your sense of sensation. If you call in your healed ancestors and you breathe through all of these senses, you might feel like, oh, I actually feel hands that are being placed on my back right now, oh my God, I’ve never felt that before, or you might feel an activation or even a constriction in my solar plexus.
Huh? I wonder what that could be, and then taking a breath for the intuition, just opening up even beyond your five senses into the infinite other senses that we call the intuition and just beginning to build that relationship with them. So, you can do this, literally, just by calling them in and then you can go about your day or you can call them in and then take just five or six breaths to listen for them, and to form that connection with them, you can also invite your healed, wise and well ancestors to visit you in your dreams.
There are so many different ways that you can do it and it doesn’t need to look complicated, it can be so simple and anyone can dive in; you can do it right now. You who’s listening, I invite you to just take a deep breath and call upon your wise and well-healed ancestors. You can do this using your voice, you can just feel the intention radiating from your heart like a desire, you can speak to your ancestors. If there’s anything that you could speak to your ancestors right now from your heart if there is anything your heart wanted to share with them, what would you say?
Taking this moment to just be with them, to let them know that you’re here, to let them know that you’re open if there’s anything you even say, sorry for if there’s anything you want to clear, and then taking a moment to listen, to feel through all of your senses, how are they wanting to communicate with you right now, even if it’s subtle? So, if you’d like to take more time with this, you can press pause, but that’s just a little example of what you can do to connect with them anytime, anywhere.
Laura Dawn: Thank you. I’ve also had deep experiences in the medicine space, of knowing that I lived during ancient Egyptian times, and I’m curious about your thoughts on this because we live in an interesting time, where appropriation is becoming more and more understood and brought to the surface. Because on one level, I hear what you’re saying, where you’re like, find what resonates for you, and in some ways, there are some parts of my lineage I genuinely don’t resonate with that, and what if on a soul karmic level, I resonate with an indigenous tradition that is actually not, quote-unquote, my bloodline. How do you rectify that in your own mind and heart?
Torie Feldman: That is such a huge, very important question. And I feel there are many, many people who can teach on this, and one, I just want to name her in this space is Yeye Luisah Teish; so for those of you who may not be familiar with this incredible woman’s work, I invite you to look into her body of work and she has a book called Jambalaya, that’s all about ancestral connection. So, I just want to name her as an elder and as a source and everything that you’re speaking to right here, Laura, is something that we can think of in terms of we have many different kinds of ancestry; one of them is blood lineage, we also have ancestors of path.
These are ancestors who we may not be related to by blood, but who have in some way paved the way for our work to be here today, for you, perhaps one of those people might be Terrence McKenna, et cetera. So, looking at who are the ancestors whose shoulders we’re standing on in the sacred work that we’re doing, or in people who have been spiritual teachers for us on our path. And then we also have ancestors of nurturance, which are ancestors who we may have been raised by who aren’t actual blood, for example, my granny is not a blood grandmother, but she was always raised to be my granny, and for some of us, these are aunties or uncles, or our mom’s best friend or someone who in some way raised us.
And then there are also ancestors of soul lineage, which is very similar to what you’re talking about right now, of our soul has been through many lifetimes, and as our soul has passed through many lifetimes and many different cultures and many different embodiments, those are all in some way a part of our soul lineage. And so, how we spoke of the red thread connecting us through our blood lineage, the soul lineage, some would call the white thread.
And so as we are deepening into remembrance of our soul lineage and looking at what we resonate with and looking at our past lives, a deep part of that work is, I believe on some level, and this is my personal opinion, choosing to from the very beginning, be in right relationship with that culture or with those people or with this ancient knowledge that’s flowing through. And so, for some of us, it actually wouldn’t be beneficial or in right relation to come out and say, I’ve had past lives as a native American, so I can do this because that obviously is going to be appropriation, but there is a way to be in right relationship with those cultures, and so looking at, is there a way that you can give back to those cultures?
Is there a way that you can study them, but keep them safe and sacred and in your heart and not necessarily need to externally show the world or tell the world or do something that could be offensive? And is there a way that you can go and build relationships with those actual lineages, be of service to those communities, show up, chop wood and carry water with them and for them and not doing this from a place of exchange like if I do this, it means I can take this?
It’s not at all that way, but entering into a relationship of true reciprocity and cultural appreciation, and so beginning to learn the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation and understanding that, especially for those of us who are in white skin bodies in this lifetime, that the most important thing is to be humble and to listen deeply to the voices of people of color. And especially if we’re diving into a certain spiritual tradition, even if we feel a deep, deep resonance with it, to listen to what those in the tradition who carry that culture in their blood have to say about how to be in right relation with it.
And so, I don’t think it’s a one size fits all answer, but these are just a couple of the things that we can do to start our journey of being in right relation with it, and then hopefully those who are carriers of that tradition in their bloodline can be guides on the next steps. And then we can pay homage to them as a teacher and name the lineage that we feel a resonance with, so if it in some way is weaving into our work in the world or the way that we’re showing up in the world, we always give credit to where it came from, and then we can also share homage to our teachers.
Laura Dawn: I love that, I love that so much. And it’s the distinguishing factor hereof, we don’t necessarily need to proclaim to the world that we feel in resonance with that, that it actually could just be held in a practice that’s just between you and spirit and that lineage in the spirit realm. I’m curious, what would you say to people who are listening to this who are like, I genuinely don’t feel a resonance with any of my lineages?
Torie Feldman: When we don’t feel a resonance with any of our lineages, I would question what’s wanting to be healed. What is present in your relationship with your ancestors that’s making you feel a sense of resistance? Even if you wouldn’t call it resistance, this is in some way, shape, or form, actually an ancestral wound of separation of not seeing a deep sense of magic and spirituality and wisdom that lives in those lineages, and so many of us actually think that we don’t resonate with a lineage, just like how I grew up feeling I didn’t resonate with Judaism.
But later I came to find that there’s a deep, ancient, mystical, spiritual tradition in Judaism that I just didn’t know about before, and when we look at all cultures, when we travel back in those cultures and actually look at the folk cultures and look at the roots and look at the traditions, so many of them, I believe all of them, hold a deep sense of spirituality, of connection to the earth, of connection to the spirit realm and the realms of the ancestors. And there’s a magic there that’s waiting to be reclaimed, and so I think it’s actually a very exciting position to be in if you feel you don’t resonate with any of your lineages because that’s showing you that you actually have a direct line, direct guidance of where to put your healing work towards right now.
That is literally every cell in your body that’s feeling that resistance is actually a deep yearning beneath that is just based on a wound of disconnection or separation or even a misunderstanding, and so you can begin by, as I shared earlier, going into researching, you can also just start calling in your healed, wise and well ancestors. And what I’ve come to find is when you call in your healed, wise and well ancestors in almost all of the journeys that I’ve ever facilitated, oftentimes there are ancestors from thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago from ancient times that are literally shamans and medicine women from ancient villages that, for example, let’s say, German.
If you have German ancestors, which I do as well, you might not see them as looking German or acting German, but they’re from an ancient, ancient, ancient time that then that culture evolved into what is known as the country today as Germany or into ancient German cultures as well. And so, oftentimes the healed, wise and well ancestors are literally an amination of the magic that we’ve been longing to feel, and then when we can feel the magic and we can feel the ancient wisdom and the healing and the mystics and the prophets and the midwives and the grandmothers and all of that in our lineage from ancient times.
And we begin to say, oh, wow, there is magic in my lineages, and then you can also look at historically what happened often through the process of colonization, which happened even for people of white skin in the past, there was usually, Catholicism came in and stamped out the pagan religions, et cetera, looking at how all of our lineages at some point experienced a wound that then pushed away the magic or silenced the magic because it was no longer safe to express that magic.
And then there were certain people in the lineage who were holding the flame, the candle of that magic alive, and then over time it may have died out or it may have just been kept a secret, and now it’s alive in you here waiting to be rekindled, waiting to be remembered. And so, a part of the ancestral healing work for those of us, especially who have resistance towards our lineages and where we come from is mending that spirit bridge, if you feel a deeply magical being or an intuitive being, or someone who’s wanting to do this ancestral healing and reclamation work, realizing that you’re not the first one in your lineage, who’s ever done this work before.
And you can mend that spirit bridge to the other side with an ancient healed, wise, and well ancestor who holds that magic, and then you can begin to weave that magic and that spirituality and that deep sense of connection through the lineages so that you no longer feel disconnected or separate from them.
Laura Dawn: I love it. Okay, can we just name the sheer magnitude of shame and guilt that a lot of people feel, it seems like there’s this big hump that a lot of people have to get over in their recent lineages to go back further because there’s a huge category of people who their ancestors are not so popular in our culture right now.
Torie Feldman: Yeah. Shame is one of the biggest blockages I would say that stops us from feeling we can even connect with our ancestors, and I know that we’ve been talking about this, but I think it’s really important, but being in white skin, a lot of this is looking at how many of our ancestors were harmful, were colonizers, were oppressors or were silent when all of this was happening, which in some way is also an act of oppression.
And so, just to focus in on this for an instance, and not saying that ancestral shame is only within the lineages of those with white skin, but looking at how can we begin to rectify whatever caused our ancestors or us to feel that shame and how can we begin to clean up spiritually what has happened in our lineages and what is in still way happening on the other side? And this is something that, there’s this amazing Instagram account, it’s Haus of Hoodoo, this beautiful black woman who lives New Orleans, who’s a deep witch, she teaches about this, and this is totally just going to be paraphrasing.
But what she has shared is that what has happened in the past in our lineages, let’s just focus on the oppressors for those of us who have white skin, what has happened in those lineages in the past, if it isn’t rectified is in some way still happening in the spirit world on the other side. And so, just because it happened in our lineages, we can’t just say the past is in the past, we actually need to turn towards those ancestors who are causing us to feel that shame now and put them in their place and put them in line and say to them, this ends with me, I’m here to clean this up, I’m devoted to doing this work.
And so, this can also be applied to anything that’s causing shame in your lineage, looking at what exactly is it, can I name it? Can I speak its story? You can even create a ceremonial container that’s just for yourself, or if you want to be witnessed, inviting in a trusted friend or an ally or a mentor or a guide, and speaking the stories that have kept you feeling shame. Speaking the shame that you feel towards your ancestors and towards where you come from or towards the actions of your ancestors, and beginning to release the stories by sharing them and releasing the emotion that’s underneath it and shame on this whole ladder of the emotions and on the frequency of the emotions is at the very, very bottom.
And so, it can feel like the most dense and like the biggest mountain to climb and like the thing that will always be there no matter how much healing work you do, it’s really tied to the core wound of unworthiness, beneath that core wound of unworthiness is often a shame. So, when you heal that relationship with the shame, when you heal that relationship with your ancestors, it allows for you to start moving up that vibrational emotional ladder beyond the shame and into other emotions, such as anger, which can then lead to acceptance and then lead into joy and then lead into love, and so a part of the healing work around shame is facing it.
And a part of how we can do that in a safe space, as I’ve shared, is connecting to our wise and well-healed ancestors, and remembering that at the core of our lineage, it is crystalline in its purity and that the shame is just a layer around that, it’s not the truth of your lineage. It’s something that happened, it’s an energetic that’s been in place maybe for generations, but you don’t have to hold onto it, and your lineage doesn’t either. So, we’re all empowered to do that releasing work, and sometimes it’s one of the biggest steps that we can do in actually reclaiming the purity of our lineage and healing ourselves as well.
Laura Dawn: And I just don’t think it’s a coincidence that at this moment in time, we’re also seeing this just proliferation of interest in sacred plant medicines and psychedelics, and I do think such a big aspect of that is to help us really clear that Karmic past, that ancestral lineage so that we don’t keep perpetuating trauma for the generations to come.
Torie Feldman: I feel that so deeply as well, it’s so powerful, and it’s interesting too because many of these medicines are coming from other cultures as well, so I love that there’s been this thread through this whole conversation on how do we respect those lineages? How are we in right relationship with them? And for those of you who, if you’re following Laura’s podcast, you probably know all about this already, but for those of us who are wanting to deepen into ancestral healing work and also working with plant medicines, one or the other, or both, one of the core essential practices that I recommend doing is paying homage and deep gratitude and respect to the ancestors of the land that you are on.
And so, maybe you are on your ancestral homelands, paying homage to them, but for example, right now, I live in Topanga California, I’m on the land of the Chumash people and the Tongva people. And I believe a deep part of creating space for this generational healing to happen with, or without plant medicines, is paying homage to where those medicines come from, where the medicine of the land that you’re living on right now. So, I just wanted to name that into the space as well, it feels like an important part of the picture.
Laura Dawn: I appreciate that so much. I want to put a lens of leadership on this conversation and how, and why is this so important, especially for leaders of our time to be doing this work?
Torie Feldman: Aw, this is one of my favorite topics, thank you. So, I believe that a big part of what we have the power to do in this lifetime is to look at our impact, but beyond that, our intergenerational impact. And so, as leaders, as those of us who are here to bring healing to ourselves and to the world and to those that we work with, it’s like each of us is leading a movement of some kind, and whether your movement is just healing yourself and your family, or whether your movement is passing on healing to clients, or you have a sacred mission in the world.
Allowing yourself to understand that you are literally a vessel for the divine to work through, there is a movement that’s wanting to move through you in your sacred work, in the world, and in doing so, you’re a leader for your household or your family or your community or the world, or whoever is in resonance with your sacred work for this movement that’s moving through you. And in being that vessel and stepping into our sacred leadership and saying, yes, God, I’m available. Use me, move through me, I’m here for it, I’m showing up, I invite your healing to flow through me for the highest good of all.
What we’re doing is we’re not just in the weeds of how this is impacting the one person that we’re talking to at the moment, but it’s actually allowing us to zoom out and see, oh, my leadership in the way that I show up, my healing and this work that I’m doing is not only impacting myself and my relationships here and now, it’s rippling out to touch the ancestors and it’s creating a better world and future for the generations to come. And that’s not only the generations to come through us in our individual blood lineages, it’s for all the future generations of the earth, we are shifting a cultural paradigm through doing this work.
We are birthing a new earth through doing this work, and it’s going to create a new culture for generations to come, and so looking at through our leadership in this work, it’s actually creating an intergenerational impact. And so, this I think is blowing the top off of the typical way of thinking here in Western society of individualism and everything that you do is just here and now, and time is linear, it goes from birth to death and that’s it.
And looking at how we’re a part of this vast tapestry that’s been woven for so many thousands of years before us, and will continue to be woven for thousands of generations after us, and for those of us who are here to weave a new way into that tapestry, I envision that we’re this golden thread where we’re looking at the patterns that have been woven before us, and we can choose to re-pattern the pattern of anything that’s happened in trauma or in anything that’s wanting to be healed.
We can shift that pattern in this lifetime and change the template for generations to come, and we can also look at the wisdom of the ancestors and the gifts of the ancestors, and we can say, oh my gosh, this pattern is so beautiful, I’m going to keep weaving it, and I’m going to add my essence to it, I’m going to add my soul into it so that I’m a part of this chain of ancestors who will someday be called upon by future generations. I’m one of those ancestors that future generations will turn to and thank for the work that I did in this lifetime, and that’s all in our leadership, it’s how we lead within ourselves first, it’s how we lead in our families by awakening the healer within every household, within every village.
It’s also in how our leadership is showing up in the world, for those of us who have a movement or a message or a sacred work that we’re sharing.
Laura Dawn: I so appreciate that. And I want to ask you, especially for women leading, and a lot of women are afraid to step out and lead, especially in the psychedelic space. And so, yeah, just in terms of the capacity to be able to show up and fully embody emotions, and it’s really the template for openhearted living and yet we’re, I think inherently afraid of showing up as women in our fullness, in the full expression of what it means to be alive because, oh, I don’t want to be seen in this way or fear of judgment or fear of stepping out.
And so, I’m kind of curious just to anchor in a transmission around just the importance of embodying the balance of masculine and feminine within ourselves and permission to feel at all. Actually as a key that unlocks the doorway to very effective leadership, that it’s actually rewriting the old narratives and the old sort of, quote-unquote, rules of leadership, and that as women, we almost have this extra sense of responsibility to help re-template what leadership actually is.
Because in this time right now where everything is so accelerated, everything is so fast, it actually takes an enormous amount of courage to say, you know what, I’m going to slow down and I’m going to pause, I’m going to breathe, I’m going to listen. That’s a different, and it actually takes a certain level of discipline and courage to do that within our current construct, the structures that hold us currently that are outdated, they’re built for another time, and I’m sure you have something to say about that girl, I just know it.
Torie Feldman: Well, first of all, that was so beautiful, and I am in such resonance and deep agreement with everything that you shared. I believe that during this time on our planet, women are more able to express our gifts, our spiritual gifts, our gifts of leadership than literally any time before in the last several thousand years, and there’s so much happening within this movement of just within our grandmother’s lifetimes, they weren’t able to open their own bank account or have their own credit card or build their own credit.
And so, looking at how during this time on our planet right now, especially with the rise of the internet and social media, our voices can be heard more than ever; we have the ability to share our gifts more than ever. And because of the work of the women who have come before us, we’re able to express our full range of emotion and step into our power and step into our leadership more than ever. And so, first I just want to give a deep thank you to all the generations of women who came before us, those rebels, who were rebelling in a time when rebellion wasn’t even cool when it was like, you’re actually the black sheep, you are actually excluded from the community, you are actually judged.
And the work that those women had to do in order to pave the way for us to show up here right now able to share our gifts on this level, and I believe that it’s a sacred responsibility for those of us who can use our voice and who can express ourselves fully to show up and feel everything that we need to feel in order to shine and share our gifts with the world. It’s a sacred responsibility to pay respects to those who have come before us to pave the path, and it’s also a sacred responsibility for the generations to come, as well as for all the places in the world where women actually aren’t free right now.
For all of the women in the world, whether they’re in another country or even just in our own backyard, in our own community and we don’t even know it, who are being silenced, who don’t feel safe to speak their truth because they actually aren’t safe to speak their truth. And this also goes for the LGBTQIA communities, and for people of color, those of us who have the ability, the privilege to use our voice and to share our gifts, especially as women, we are shifting an entire culture.
I believe that right now we’re in a cultural renaissance of more and more and more women stepping into leadership, of more and more and more women showing the world, this is feminine wisdom, this is emotional expression, this is the voice of the goddess, this is the voice of the earth, this is the voice of the feminine ancestors and we will not be silenced anymore. And through opening ourselves as vessels and channels and understanding that it’s not just for us, and it’s not just for our blood lineages, that it’s literally a part of the new paradigm being birthed on this planet.
It really brings a sense of gravity and also a sense of support so that we know that when we speak our truth, when we share our gifts, when we step into leadership, even if our voice is shaking, even if our body is trembling, that we’re doing it for a greater purpose, and that we’re not alone, that the ancestors are supporting us, that mother earth is supporting us, that we are channeling through so much more than for just ourselves.
And during this time on our planet, I believe that we’re in a deathing of old systems and we’re also in a rebirthing of new templates, just as you said, new feminine templates that are birthing through us, and so, there’s this simultaneous death and rebirth that’s happening at the same time. And so, as women, I believe a part of our wisdom is being able to be death doulas for what’s crumbling within ourselves and within our culture and within our communities, holding space for the grief, for the rage, for all of the emotions that want to be released so that we can give an honorable death to the old ways of being that have held us back.
And on top of being death doulas for ourselves and for each other and for a culture, we’re also midwives for a new way, we’re also midwifing each other in community, in sisterhood, we’re midwifing ourselves. We’re learning how to hold ourselves through rebirthing into a new chapter and into a new way on our planet, and I feel that the key to all of this is being a deep feeler, the key to allowing the old ways to die, and the new ways to be born is literally being so open that we’re letting the energies of grief and rage and sadness and despair and anger and shame and all of those dark things.
We’re actually turning to face them as a part of the sacred deathing ritual so that when we are stepping into this new chapter we’re not doing so from a place of un-integrated shadow, we’re doing so from a place of deep feeling and allowing for the deep feeling to clear our channel so that we can feel the new way that’s birthing through us all
Laura Dawn: Aho that was a powerful transmission. When you face your own fears and really wherever people are at on this path, there’s still the coming to your edge, there’s no arriving, there’s always that moment of, oh, I’m at the edge and this is expansion. And this is how I have to train my nervous system to stay regulated and in balance as I step beyond the edge and literally expand the boundaries of what I believe is possible, and then actually rise to the occasion, and embody the inner vision of the woman I’m becoming.
It’s really a codification of transformation on a certain level, and so I’m curious from your perspective and experience, and from mine, it’s a deep attunement, it’s a deep attunement to truth and to authentic express, and it’s facing a fear and requiring a lot of courage. So, I’m kind of curious about how do you relate to this process of attuning to your own truth and your own authenticity? And how often are you facing your own fears as you’re expanding? It’s like every time we launch a program or do the thing, it’s like, oh, can I do this, it’s an opportunity to bring up all of our stuff, so I’m kind of curious, how do you relate to that on a very deeply personal level as a female leader in the space?
Torie Feldman: Thank you. Yeah, I’m terrified quite a lot, and I think that this is the typical truth that many women who are in positions of leadership will share is, we are leaning into our edge so often when it comes to sharing our voice, sharing our gifts, sharing our truth with the world. And I think a part of that is first coming to terms within ourselves of knowing that, as I shared earlier, this isn’t just for us, that’s a part of what holds me in those moments when I’m feeling fear.
Yes, nervous system regulation, yes, calling on support from the divine and the ancestors, and also understanding that this is in the name of collective healing, and in me taking an action, even if it’s terrifying, even if I’m shaking as I say the thing, that it’s literally healing all of the women before me who weren’t able to do that. When I speak my truth, it’s healing all of my ancestors who had their voices silenced, when I listen to my intuition or I share my intuitive gifts with the world, it’s healing all of the women before me who were called witches or burned or outcast or thrown away from their villages and out there to fend for themselves in a world that probably didn’t care for them, and they may have ended up dying without belonging in a tribe community.
And so, through this process, it can feel so deeply personal because of living and growing up in a culture where it has been challenging for women to reclaim our voices and understanding that each time you do it, it gets a little easier, and understanding that a part of this is actually that we are healing the witch wound and that we are healing our ancestors, we’re healing that part of us. The witch wound is basically the part of us that’s afraid to speak our truth or be seen in our magic or to shine in our femininity or even our sensuality or our sexuality, who has been shamed or who has been burned on some level, whether in this lifetime or past lifetimes or in the cultural narrative or somewhere in our lineages who has been shamed or silenced or burned for expressing the divine through our bodies, through our voices, through our hearts.
And it’s an act of reclamation, and so the more that you can see that every time a fear comes up, it’s actually a healing that’s waiting to happen or a healing that is in its alchemy, and it might be in its uncomfortable boiling point at the moment, and it’s literally just a part of the healing of the earth, a part of the healing of ourselves, a part of the healing of our lineages. And so, when I personally put it into that perspective of, okay, I know that I’m being guided by God right now to do this thing, to say this thing, to be this thing in the world, and I know that if I clog the channel and if I don’t share it, that I’m actually going to suffer more and go through more pain, and I’m going to be perpetuating old patterns in my lineage and in the world.
And so, I don’t say this from a place of, the pressure’s on you better do this for the collective, not at all, but rather from a place of, it’s an act of deep liberation and alchemy and healing to just keep saying, yes, to the divine guidance and keep saying, yes, to what’s wanting to flow through you, because it’s actually going to create more pain or separation without doing that thing. And so, that’s a part of the courage, is feeling the fear and doing it anyway because courage is definitely not the lack of fear, so the more that we can welcome fear as an ally and see that fear is actually pointing us in the direction of this is what you can work on, or this is what you’re here to heal, then the more empowered we are through walking through that doorway.
Laura Dawn: I so deeply resonate with that, it’s such a core part of the teachings, as a very similar core essence, I’m so in resonance with you on such a deep level, I love it. And I’ve also experienced that of the, you said it earlier in the conversation, the too-muchness, I’ve had that reflected back to me when that was like, my channel was open, I was channeling some serious energy, and it was like, whoa, I felt so connected to spirit. And then there was a reflecting of, whoa, that’s a lot that’s too much, and then it was like, oh my God, immediate shutdown, that’s not okay, I can’t connect to that level of energy, abort mission, you know?
And then having to process that, and then also learning the discernment and how to channel energy in an effective way and where to channel it and time and place and how to work with that. You know that actually leading on a big level isn’t necessarily, oh, just fully go for it, it’s actually a deep training, it’s a deep training of the mind, it’s a deep training of the body, it’s a deep training of the heart, of learning how to actually walk the path and not just energy all over the place, but, whew, here I can hold it.
Torie Feldman: That is so on point. There’s so much I feel I could say on that topic and just to drop two things in here, one is, there’s a difference between wielding the sort of truth and hurting people with it because you have it and you want to use it. And wielding the sort of truth as a true initiated priestess who knows when to use it and how to use it, and also that it can be a double-edged sword and there can be complexity in wielding it in this world and standing with that in deep sovereignty and honor and deep responsibility of how we utilize that sort of truth.
And so, that’s something that I’ve noticed for many women, especially on the journey of reclaiming their voice, is first it might be a huge explosion that can actually cause some harm and they can say it’s in the name of love, but it can also really actually perpetuate a wounding within themselves and within their sister relationships. And then there’s the difference between the woman who’s become integrated with her truth, who understands that her silence and her being is also a form of her most sacred expression and who has trained that muscle of discernment into knowing how to use it when to use it and to use it responsibly, and so that’s one of the things I want to drop in.
And then the second that I want to drop in, is I have had such a journey with being a channel, it’s a gift that I actually opened up hugely when I was in Peru, and I had already been an open channel for 23 years before that, but I didn’t know how to close my gates responsibly and open my gates on command, I hadn’t trained that muscle yet. And so, for most of my life, I was just this wide-open channel with energies moving through me, I channel complex ancient languages and songs and spirits, and that’s just a part of my gift of what I can do, but through that entire experience, I then realized that I actually wasn’t trained to discern what was moving through me.
And so, there’s the discernment of when to open and when to close, and there’s also the discernment of what am I actually channeling. And so, for myself on my journey, this is a big part of my story is, I actually chose to stop channeling completely and to pause that gift from flowing through me so that I could go directly to source and clear my channel, I realized that I had been putting spirit guides between me and God. I love the word God personally, but replace it with whatever you like, source, love, energy, et cetera. And so, I decided instead of having a middle man of spirit guides or spirits that I was channeling or messages that were coming through spirits, to literally purify my channel.
And so, for years, and years and years, I actually went straight to source and I chose not to channel in order to purify my channel so that I could return to it from a deeply integrated place so that I could actually know with full confidence in every cell of my body, how to discern between what is pure love from source and what is not. And so, I just wanted to up that here into this conversation as well on the topic of channeling, it feels very important to do so responsibly, whether we’re channeling our own truth or whether we’re channeling something that’s beyond us.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, I love it. I knew that I loved you, Torie, but now that we get to drop in, in real-time, I was like, you’re such a badass, I love it. And it’s also the holding of the paradox, so it’s like, yes, this is actually a time of self-permission, but with self-permission comes an enormous amount of self-responsibility. So, we have to hold both of that, it’s a both, and, yes, you can channel massive amounts of grief and that grief can swallow you whole and derail your entire life if you’re not working with it in that alchemical transmutation of holding grief and joy, grief and gratitude, Martin Prechtel, grief and praise.
Torie Feldman: Yes.
Laura Dawn: And so, there’s also, the feminine leadership to me is also this deep process of embodying both and the yin and the yang, the paradox of what it means to be alive right now, the sorrow, and also the irony and the humor in what it means to be alive and healing right now, and be able to connect to that humor channel and laugh in the face of it all. I was joking with a sister the other day, I’m like, wow, you go through so many journeys where you just peer into the depth of the abyss and you’re like, you face it all over and over and over again, and then it’s like, you have those profound moments, and then you’re like, I guess I’m going to get up and make some tea now.
I guess so, next moment, and it’s also holding the paradox, we are here in this living embodied form, and yet, very soon we will not be here except as the ancestral lineage for generations to come if we make it that long, you were speaking very confidently that there will be hundreds of generations after us, I don’t know if I hold that same narrative, but I like the hope and the optimism there.
Torie Feldman: Yeah, thank you so much for bringing that in, an essential practice on this journey that I’m so glad you dropped this into this space, is when we’re feeling all of the feelings, for example, you named grief and how grief can swallow you whole, that we’re doing so in a trauma-informed way that actually lends to deeper healing rather than cycling within the wound. So, understanding how to work with that, for example, with techniques such as pendulation or titration, which are just very basic building blocks of how to work with deep emotions and core wounds in a trauma-informed way.
And so, I just briefly want to touch for those of you who are maybe not familiar with pendulation and titration, on how you can apply these, and I won’t go into too much detail, I do this in my courses, but pendulation is essentially the practice of pendulating between feeling the thing very deeply, and then feeling the divine support holding you in it. So, the way that I love to do this the most is I place one hand on my heart and my left hand over my womb space, and as I’m feeling into the depths of an emotion, such as grief, I’m also feeling the pressure of my hands and my body and setting the intention that my hands and my body are actually beaming divine love light into me, that I’m held by the divine.
You can also imagine the hands on your body being the hands of a healed, wise, and well ancestor, you can imagine the hands on your body are your inner wise woman, the part of your soul that is just so beyond wise, and here to hold you through it all and everything you’re experiencing in your human experience. And so, pendulation is feeling the grief and the joy or the pain and the holding, the absolutely infinite unfuckwithable deep holding, so that’s pendulation.
And then titration is actually a term that’s borrowed from chemistry, where you take one drop of a solution and put it into another solution, just one drop at a time, and so you don’t always have to feel grief at level 100, you can feel grief at just 1%, even if you know you have a hundred in your body, you can just say, spirit, all I can hold right now, all I want to feel right now is just 1%. I’m here to chip something small away from this block today, I don’t want to go into the full trauma story and maybe go into a trauma response that could last several days, for some of us there’s so much emotion there that it’s not responsible to go all the way into feeling the depths of it.
And so, you can go 1%, you could put it to 5%, 10%, 20%, whatever feels like your nervous system can and actually hold it, you don’t need to do all of the work all at once in one day. And so, I love that you brought that into the space just to drop in a little more trauma-informed container.
Laura Dawn: I think that’s so necessary, especially in this time, and I liked how you say you can just circle around the grief rather than actually catalyze it towards healing. I’ve had that experience where I’ve just gone through cycles of just deep, deep grief, and then realizing, having this moment of, oh, wow, I’m about to go into this cycle of grief again, and my mind and my body being like, actually, no, I think I’m good on that right now, I think I don’t really actually need to fully go there. And at what point is it the narrative in the mind that’s just kicking the wheel of suffering and perpetuating more trauma.
Torie Feldman: Yeah, that’s so true. And I feel after a certain point, when we’ve gone into the thing over and over and over again, a part of the gift of the mind is deciding, you know what, I’m going to call that enough for right now. And this is actually something that came as a deep realization to me a few years ago, and for some people, it may not feel true, but for me at the time and in my heart, I know that it can actually be used as a tool of empowerment. I actually had this realization where I decided, what if I’m healed enough? What if I don’t need to heal more in order to be worthy to show up in leadership?
What if I don’t need to heal more in order to be happy in my life? What if I don’t need to heal more in order to prove my worthiness to the sister that I look up to who I really want to be closer with? And so, I ask myself that question, what if I’m healed enough? And that’s a part of the power of the conscious mind is, as you shared, when you’re going through these cycles of grief, and when the grief is coming up again, you can actually decide, you know what, I am good for now. That grief can continue to work its way through when it’s time, but I’m going to decide that this is done, for now, I’m going to put a bookend on it and I’m going to enter into a new chapter.
And for some of us, we may think that that’s spiritual bypassing, but when it feels like a truth in the body and a conscious, empowering decision, it can actually be what helps to catalyze and shift the energy. And I love that you brought in grief and praise and grief and joy because I believe that bringing in the joy and bringing in those periods of deep love and bliss is actually a part of what helps to integrate the deep work of the deep feeling of the pain that we’ve been working out in our systems and in our lineages.
I believe that if we’re just working through the pain all the time, and we’re not bringing in the love and the joy, it’s actually not going to integrate and it can keep cycling, and so joy and fun and pleasure are actually essential on the journey of integration and also to bring levity in, you brought in the laughter. We need a sense of levity in order for the channel to actually stay open and for hope and love to continue to flow through and actually touch those places that are in the grief, so bringing in the love, bringing in the joy to touch and hold the grief on the journey so that we can actually bring some lightness into our human experience, it doesn’t have to be so heavy all the time.
Laura Dawn: I love this, and this is getting really sort of advanced and nuanced because it’s the shadow side of healing, there’s also this sort of chasing of healing from a place of, I’m not worthy, I’m not whole, I’m going to keep chasing these experiences, whether it’s the ceremonies or all of that. And I was actually having this incredibly profound conversation with a group of people a couple of weeks ago, where we were talking about the shadow side of daily practice and how, if you’re sort of high on the neuroticism scale, that you can actually very subtly be using and not necessarily just neuroticism, which is again, it’s one of the big five personality traits.
But whatever you’re working with, whatever you’re sort of neurosis, you could be using your daily practice as a very subconscious way of continuing repression or the narrative of not good enough, I have to get on my meditation cushion to practice because I’m not there yet, and I’m not healed and I’m not good enough. And so, it’s really looking deep into the shadow and the intention and the embodiment of complete wholeness now, here, I don’t need to keep chasing healing, healing happens, and we can have these profound experiences, but it’s almost like we need a collective reworking of the narrative around healing in our culture right now.
Torie Feldman: Yes, oh my gosh. In such deep agreement and understanding that one size does not fit all, that healing work isn’t necessarily prescriptive for an entire populace of the world all at once, and what for one person might be a sacred form of discipline that’s actually helping them heal, as you shared, for another might actually be perpetuating a wound and even a form of spiritual bypassing.
And what for one person might feel like, I’m good on that, I’m going to decide that I’m healed enough, for another person might actually be spiritual bypassing, and so understanding within our bodies and understanding within ourselves through deep honesty and self-reflection, we can come to find our very own pathway of healing that doesn’t need to look like what everyone else is doing. And so, that’s a huge part of awakening the intuition and our inner knowing and building that deep relationship with our guides and with our ancestors and with the divine, is stepping into our own sovereignty and our own soul’s blueprint for healing that’s meant to unfold in this life.
And even if it doesn’t necessarily mirror others, even others that we look up to or mentors that we’ve had, we know that we’re in deep alignment and deep authenticity and integrity with our soul.
Laura Dawn: Okay, this conversation just got better and better the whole way through, just amazing. I was thinking we could end by inviting you to share a prayer for ancestral healing.
Torie Feldman: It’s my favorite thing to do in the world, I’d love to.
Torie Feldman is an Ancestral Healing Guide and Women’s Spiritual Mentor. She guides women through ancestral connection practices to heal their lineages so they can embody the wisdom of their ancestors and tap into their unique feminine magic. After immersing in countless spiritual paths and lineages, Torie experienced a radical awakening that changed her life forever when she visited her ancestral homelands. Ancestral connection brought her the embodiment and healing she had been searching for her entire life. Torie specializes in the intersection of ancestral healing and feminine embodiment — and she is passionate about helping women to connect to their ancestors, trust their magic, and embody their full-spectrum spiritual gifts.
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I am absolutely hooked on this Podcast. Laura Dawn presents her topics and guests in a stunningly beautiful, heart centered format while weaving in the most relevant topics in psychedelics today.
Laura Dawn rocks her Psychedelic Leadership Podcast with so much style and grace! Her guests are innovative thought leaders and she asks them the most illuminating questions. She shares a wealth of knowledge and inquiry as well as her passion for the arts and music. I always appreciate how LD conducts herself.
Each time I tune into an episode I get chills all over my body! This podcast is my personal new favourite, I’ve expanded my awareness around these topics so much just tuning into these conversations, from each episode I walk away with a new teaching! Im also deeply appreciative of the way Laura Dawn structures her episodes and interviews.
The psychedelic leadership podcast is blowing my default mode network!!! Episodes include revolutionary science, as well as practical steps we can all take to creatively make change to help heal the planet and ourselves. Laura Dawn is an amazing speaker, and most definitely a thought leader.
Laura Dawn’s experience and service to the healing journey is a recipe for humanity, through modern science, plant medicine and ancient wisdom is amazing. She attracts the best of the best leaders in the space of science, psychedelics and spirituality, I love every one of her podcasts. Thank you LD!
Wow what a powerful lineup of speakers and guests sharing profound experiences and wisdom. So relevant to our times and not just with plant medicines and psychedelics but with just being a human being in these changing, evolving times. May we all grow together. Thank you Laura D 😉 Be-elowan
I’m obsessed with this podcast and I’ve listened to every episode. This is the kind of podcast that has the potential to change humanity if we all listen to these interviews and Laura’s wisdom.
About Laura Dawn
Through her signature Mastermind Programs and Plant Medicine Retreats, Laura Dawn weaves together science with ancient wisdom. She teaches business and thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals how to mindfully explore psychedelics and sacred plant medicines as powerful visionary tools for inner transformation, fostering emotional resiliency and unlocking new depths to our creative potential.