About

follow us on Instagram @swana.ancestral. share our HUB!

you can also follow and include your SWANA ancestral re-memberance with us by using the hashtag #hub4hub

moved by this work?? make a monthly or one-time donation to support our growth here: paypal.me/riverrose or via venmo @plantcestral. international donations can be made here. please include “ancestor hub donation” in the description of your payment. thank you.

 

* SWANA stands for SouthWest Asia & North Africa. It is a less colonial way to address the diverse geographical region commonly referred to as “the Middle East & North Africa”. For more context about what this means and who is included, please see the post at the bottom of this page.


in arabic, hub means love. this is our ancestor hub, our ancestor love.

it is through this love that we re-member ourselves home. we. a multi-ethnic group of SWANA* folks in diaspora and motherland, re-collecting ancestral stories, memories, and wisdoms alive in our bones. waking up. thawing out. {remembering}: returning to a knowing from our past – the very essence and origin of us, and of life itself and {re-membering}: gathering the fragments of severed things back together- to unity, wholeness. mending the broken. relocating the displaced, forgotten, and left-behind. reclaiming the forcibly taken, erased, violated, and lost. restoring the integrity of our relationships and relatedness. we affirm the stories and memories that live within the stars, plants, sands, waters, winds, and all sentient beings. the life-affirming medicines of our earthly and cosmic origins. we soften ourselves to them – let them merge with us. teach and re-member us.

this HUB is our space to share & cross-pollinate pieces of our SWANA re-memberance with you, across our diasporas and homelands and beyond.

if you find yourself here, it is not by accident.

we are SWANA* folks co-creating, dreaming, and collaborating to revive roadmaps of ancestral inheritance so we may contribute our part to a more free and dignified world. this practice is our ritual of re-memberance. our breath of new life into the ancient places that made/make us, towards a more wise and powerful future. our efforts to rise from the ashes of an era characterized by trauma, severance, and the desecration of life, towards renewal, community-determination, connection, joy, and love. towards dignity and integrity for all living beings. towards alignment with the rhythms of creation, reverence for its wisdom and mysteries, and a restoration of its ultimate justice and wholeness across both earthly and invisible realms.

we walk in kinship to and affirmation of our Indigenous cousins and life-tending village folk across the global south. we see you, we acknowledge you, we center and uplift you in our movements towards an ancient future we are weaving together. that our collective re-memberance may honor all the ancestors ahead and behind us and the places we each tend as home.

when you support this work, you support our ability to return what was lost + stolen and the resilience we weave throughout our region / in the diaspora. you support us to restore, protect, and reclaim our part of what is sacred and crucial for us *all* to survive and flourish in integrity with this earth.

“guest” posts are welcome on this HUB. in fact, they are not GUEST posts! This HUB is FOR the SWANA community and we are always honored to welcome new authors interested in engaging with the ancestral themes noted below. if you are a SWANA* descendant person {of any gender, racial, or ethnic representation native to the SWANA region} who would like to uplift this work by contributing your voice to this space, please email us at SWANA.ancestral@gmail.com with your proposed post or column. you can see below for more insight on what kind of posts we invite. you can also see our checklist/guidelines for contributors here.

***

this space is an extension of the نجمع جذورنا | (re)Gather our Ancestors project hosted by River Rose Apothecary. a program dedicated to the re-membrance, resurrection, and reclamation of ancestral wisdoms and baladi (Indigenous + local) medicines and paradigms of practice from South West Asia and North Africa. we work in a way that emphasizes relationship and strives to honor and re-centralize the wisdom and memory alive in our own blood, bones, and hearts to uncover/recover “lost” or forgotten ancestral knowledge. you can find more info about our Plantcestral re-Memberance courses and other offerings at this link.

 

you can make a monthly or one-time donation to our work here: paypal.me/riverrose or via venmo @plantcestral. international donations can be made here. please include “ancestor hub donation” in the description of your payment. thank you.

 


HUB OBJECTIVES:

  • To share and archive our stories and the stories of our families, and all the wisdom that lives inside them. To engage in a collective/mutual re-memberance through reflecting our own embodied experiences and processes thru this sharing. To support one another, encourage, and deepen in the work of ancestral re-memberance and the recovery of our ancestral knowledge, original ways, and wholeness in ways that are authentic, embodied, restorative, life-affirming, and possible despite the limitations that this contemporary moment and colonial conditions pose.
    • As lost and fragmented as things may feel sometimes, our ancestors are alive in our bones and their resilience, wisdom, and stories play out in our day-to-day lives and experiences, our dreams, our creative practices, our bodies, and all the most subtle details of who we ourselves are. Our ancestors have been story tellers, poets, dancers, singers, garderners, and cooks for AGES, and we honor these deeply relational embodied WAYS of sharing, cultivating, re-membering and exchanging knowledge as deeply precious and valuable.
    • So, we *especially* encourage community members to reflect on, share, and express the ancestral re-memberings that come through (y)our own embodied experiences and personal narrations, stories, and/or creative reflections or works that demonstrate or express how you personally reconnect homeward and navigate ancestral re-membering in your own personal journey. Be they moments that have been particularly profound for you in this process, or creative works that have demonstrated your own connection to your ancestors or their stories in deep-felt ways, etc.
    • We welcome and encourage SWANA community folk to contribute beyond just intellectual and linear streams of ancestral knowing and into more personal and heart felt expressions, explorations, and moments that have moved you in and towards this ancestral re-membrance work in embodied, personal, creative, and intuitive ways as well, and value sharing with our community the possibilities that live in these other ways of re-membring through embodiment and the whispers of ancestral wisdom that come thru following our very own hearts.
    • Songs, artwork, poems, short stories, personal anecdotes, or recipes that resonate this for you are all welcome.
    • Reflection pieces about the heartfelt processes and questions that ancestral healing and re-memberance brings up in your journey, etc. Heart-to-heart, personal reflection and story sharing is always welcome and encouraged in the spirit of this sharing and re-membering together as our ancestors did- the very heart and essence of this HUB and the project that houses it.
  • To document, collect, and exchange wisdom about plant, animal, and mineral/stone medicines and other earth medicines and traditional, ceremonial, medicinal practices used ancestrally and presently across the SWANA region, as well as archive the discoveries and knowledge acquired through  نجمع جذورنا – (re)Gathering our Ancestors workshops as it pertains to this.  We will be essentially (re)creating/archiving Ancestral Materia Medica to include both energetic/spiritual/folk and bio-physiological medicinal properties as utilized by our communities, and realized in our own personal and collective experiences. All SWANA community members are welcome to engage in the creation of this archive, regardless of location, language, ethnic, racial, gender or sexual identity and other factors.
  • To collaboratively document, collect, and exchange wisdom about the native traditions, oral histories, ancestral practices, folk wisdoms and proverbs, sacred forms, dances, traditional songs, dream & divination practices, original language, earth-based understanding, cosmologies, rites of passage, and cultures originally practiced throughout the SWANA region and in our families, villages, our own bodies, musings, and diasporas.  This can be shared and expressed freely in whatever form of knowledge you have to offer, ie. by way of personal family and village stories, historical research, proverbs, creative explorations, or other forms of embodied and intuitive knowing and curiosities.

Please also note our guidelines/checklist for contributing here.  ALL these components must be fulfilled in order for a post to be accepted to the HUB. Send your posts and inquiries to swana.ancestral@gmail.com.

want to support us with your skills???

Do you have tech/web-design skills?!? We would like to build a more interactive and comprehensive web-based archival platform for more inclusive collaboration, cross-pollination, and communal re-collection of this work across our homelands and diasporas. If you are able to help us with this or have technological skills that could be supportive, PLEASE REACH OUT!

Do you write and read in Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, Assyrian, Kurdish, Nubian, Turkish, or any other SWANA languages? We would like to translate and exchange in more languages common to the SWANA region and our diasporas, so please feel welcome to submit in other languages. We would also like to translate this “About” page into Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, Turkish, and French to reach and be accessible to more of our community. If you would like to help us translate, please let us know at swana.ancestral@gmail.com.

 

A note on the expansiveness and diversity of the SWANA region…

While acknowledging that region is incredibly diverse and varying, broad and expansive, the exploration of these diverse wisdoms and their intersections are welcome here, and will be critical towards the work of unearthing our own deep memories and discoveries pertaining to these knowledges. The SWANA region was one of much exchange and travel, and much colonization including between and upon one another.  While we each have our own particular traditions and practices, depending on our specific region, family, geography, ethnic, racial, class, and religious make up and affiliation, etc, appreciating both the intersections and the diversities, the depth and the ethics within each story, still offers necessary knowledge and extremely potent possibilities for deepened understanding of ourselves and the region’s influence on who we are and our relationships to one another and the rest of the world.  The practice of sharing stories is deeply ancestral, jogging our memories from a bone-deep place, and creating a space for the resurrection of knowledge that is still alive in our deepest consciousness.  It is necessary that we hold space for one another in allowing this to resurface to life, and trust whatever form it may naturally choose to express and unfold itself within.

That being said, please note that Zionist, anti-Black, homophobic and otherwise derogatory sentiments will not be welcomed here.

 

May our most supportive ancestors, and the integrity of our own hub (love), protect and guide our collaborative discoveries- towards deepened unity, self-determination, and wellbeing for the lands, lineages, and fundamental state of wholeness that we actually originate from…that we may return to a way of life that instills and upholds LIFE for us and all our relations. Ameen.

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{Join @swana.ancestral for more.} #SWANA is multiple. Straddling continents, encompassing peoples of many languages, races + ethnicities, religious + cultural practices. It’s hard to map because borders are so false + shifting, and deeply political. Where “SWANA” exactly ends + begins is a bit subjective. • Some folks take controversy with acknowledging this as a unified region at all. But beyond colonial borders + current circumstances, the ancestral peoples across these regions have been in close relationship + migrations, exchanging culture, genes + customs in significant capacities over the past few thousands of years. Really, encompassing a lot of East Africa + the Mediterranean too ancestrally (geopolitically that varies and is part of why we are grouped this way contemporarily). Local histories affirm this too • Some of these exchanges + migrations were forced + violent, full of exploitation, enslavements, genocides + forced exiles, and some were as natural + harmonious as the geography itself. As fluid as the plantcestors + birds + animal routes, humans no less a moving part of these ecologies. • My ancestors personally come from all parts of the SWANA region+Mediterranean and have been migrating throughout for thousands of years according to my maternal DNA 🧬 100%. Even I was shocked when I learned this + certainly affirmed in some of the legitimacy of “SWANA” as a group. • SWANA starts to #decolonize language around “Middle East” that positions Europe as center, as well as the Arab nationalism that tends to take center stage in how we classify this area. We are + have been a lot of things besides (+including) Arab, all of which deserve acknowledgement + regard. We are also Shami, Kurdish, Yazidi, Nubian, Assyrian, Amazigh, Armenian + the list goes on n on. I do not want to participate in the erasure of the incredible multiplicity of our region, nor subscribe to the dominating hegemonies that insist political unity + security can only exist if we are homogenous. I uplift the tribal and indigenous origins + peoples of our region, and strive to acknowledge ALL of my #ancestors + expand space for those living indigenously still. We are diverse but woven.

A post shared by ليلى فغالي | layla k feghali (@riverroseapothecary) on

One thought on “About

  1. Hello,
    I found 3 of your essence at Osana and i would like to know where rhe rest are sold please.

    Also, is their a contact number u can provide me with please.

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