** This hub is a project of River Rose Apothecary‘s نجمع جذورنا – (re)Gathering our Ancestors: Re-membering our Indigeneity, Reclaiming our Original Medicines program. This is a program dedicated to the re-membrance, resurrection, and reclamation of ancestral medicine and the original traditions of South West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) through re-embodiment and other workshops geared to awaken internal memory and bone old wisdom. (A note on terms: SWANA is a less Euro-centric description of the region commonly known as the Middle East and North Africa.)**
Welcome to his collective hub, dedicated to archiving, collecting, and re-membering bodies of traditional knowledge and ancestral medicine originating from throughout the SWANA region. “Hub” is a gathering place for us to collect with one another, and it is also the Arabic word for “love”. May our re-collection be always guided by this love for our selves, each other, and the lineages and lands we come from.
“Guest” posts are welcome. In fact, they are not GUEST posts! This HUB is FOR the SWANA community and we are always happy to welcome new authors interested in engaging with the themes noted below. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your proposed posting or column. I am looking forward to our co-creative discoveries.
* 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, 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- and even 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 medicines and 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, or gender 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.
ALSO: We would like to establish a more directly interactive web-based platform for more inclusive collaboration of the above things and that allow for more interactive exchange and connection with one another in our respective corners of the globe. If you are able to help us with this or have technological skills that could be supportive, PLEASE REACH OUT!
We would ALSO 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 or offer translation skills to any prior posts, if you feel so inclined.
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.
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.