Calling in help from our ancestors.
I went into the cemetery today and called in my ancestors.
That’s not originally what I went for. The cemetery is actually a lovey place to walk, run, meditate, and just be in nature.
And so after a couple tours around the periphery I made my way toward the center and found myself a spot in the sun. I could feel tears coming on as I walked inward, and I figured there was no better place to grieve past versions of myself than here.
I passed a tombstone and wondered what it’d be like to have a family who cared deeply for my remains, who kept my grave clean after I passed, who celebrated me centuries after I had gone, like Mexicans do on Dias de los Muertos.
We are so disconnected from our roots.
Eight years ago I moved to Denmark in what would be the greatest family joke of all time. My oppressed family members of a couple generations ago had successfully managed to escape Europe (Denmark and Northern Germany specifically) and here I was willingly going back for reasons I couldn’t even understand.
Sure there was “love” - a convenient story on the surface during a time where I hardly understood love.
But there was a deeper thing pulling me here, and beyond my wildest imagination I couldn’t possibly imagine what it was.
I sat down in the sun and allowed myself to be on the earth. The place we all come from and go back to. The thing I am made of and that gives me life. In the light of day I allowed myself to feel grief, vulnerability, insecurity, bewilderment, love.
And then I decided to call in my ancestors.
The last time I did this I was down on my knees in front of a dirt temple in Gabon facing out into the night’s darkness, mocking myself on the inside for how foolish I must be to think my ancestors could even hear me. Ties so deeply severed that it would take a thousand loud speakers operating at quantum frequencies for them to even know I was there.
Foolish indeed, but not for the reasons I had originally assumed. Foolish to think the veil was so thick that I could never access my own roots. Foolish to think that we are not all connected through the earth in a space that exists beyond our perception of time.
Suddenly — this time much faster than the first time — there they were. It was instantaneous. A presence we aren’t taught to feel for or to see, but if you’re willing to let go of what you think you know you’ll find yourself surrounded by them.
Right there in broad daylight at Assistens Kirkegård.
I lay in the sun and let myself feel them. An overwhelming presence surrounding me stronger than the warmth of the sun on my body, energy entering into my heart, a sort of divine space holding that gave me strength I didn’t even know I was missing.
Mine only come when I’m really humble. When I’ve actively cracked my heart open wider than I ever knew it could go. Before proof and evidence, this cracking open is my proverbial message to my higher forces. Only then do they show me they’re listening.
I meditated and journeyed there on the flat earth amidst a sea of tombstones. I let myself be held and I let them show me what I needed to know. I tried to not make sense of any of it, knowing that would be fruitless anyway. It’s not for me to understand now; it’s only for me to trust.
When I was done, I stood up and brushed myself off. As I was about to walk away, I noticed the tombstone directly behind me.
Here lies Valdemar Jensen and his wife, Helene Jensen.
My middle name, Elaine, comes from Helene, a family name.
My ancestors are definitely listening.