At a recent Grandfather Fire audience, a woman voiced a question that I had been scared to ask.
She said that she was feeling so sad lately and spoke of a recent move. In Grandfather’s loving way, he spoke of the dangers of our culture’s tendency to spend a lot of time indoors, and then began to speak of living in a certain perspective of always knowing that life is moving forward into a future, and how when we lose this vision of continuity and future, we can get stuck in the hopelessness of a depression.
This was just what I needed to hear. With the birth of my second child just two months prior, I had spiraled quickly into postpartum depression. Initiated into womanhood through Sacred Fire LifeWays and initiated as a Nahua granicera (weather worker) shortly after, my spirituality stood strong and my internal compass was pointed north, and yet I found myself faced with the despair, utter hopelessness and the suicidal thoughts that often accompany depression.
Grandfather’s wisdom lifted me up and gave me the courage I needed to face my reality. I began spending more time outdoors daily and began to look at life a bit differently, trying to stay focused on the idea that while facing a challenging time in my life, I was working toward a greater goal: raising my children. Moving with the awareness that there is a future inspired me to look deeper at my depression and make some serious changes in my life. I began to dive more deeply into my repressed emotions and began sorting out and resolving trauma from the past so that I could make positive changes to my life in the future.
While it can be easy to get stuck in the past while healing these old wounds, Grandfather’s wisdom has helped me to stay grounded in the present with the knowledge that things will get better in the future if I make the effort today. He has given me the courage to face my own pain and helped me know that I am responsible for my life, and while Divine is here to guide me every step of the way, it’s up to me, with the help of my community, to make the changes I want to see in my world.
Cassandra Starks is a mother of two. She has been spending time with sacred fire for six years.