Blood + Belonging is a unique journey of storytelling, ritual, + magic to deepen connection with the ancestors.
It begins with body then land, and then through the gut and the hands. It is non-linear time healing. It is a collective space to learn how to better human ourselves. It’s a journey of reclaiming roots, restoring relations, and reclaiming mysteries.
We’ll practice ancestral arts for tending, remembering, and being with what (and who) has been lost. We will lean into what it means to rematriate as so-called Europeans on stolen land.
It’s spellwork. It’s dreamwork. It's being with the land, for the land, in repair. It’s grief and celebration. It's a journey that takes us through cultural anchors and allows us to move down into them. It’s stories told by, and through, you. We can all have a powerful, connective, healing, collective magical belonging. We can all be taken by the longing, together.
Blood and Belonging is a vessel to be with your own personal —yet essentially collective—ancestral healing and wisdom.
A journey of personal reconnection and reclamation.
Through ancestral storytelling, this 6-month experience unearths what has been composted in the ancestral dirt.
We will learn, explore, and embrace practices, stories, and the innate magic of your ancient, and not so ancient, people.
We will sit with harder, historical ancestral truths that each of us carries and dig deeper until we unveil the stories that need to be told and give them voice.
WE will NOT bypass the non-consensual, and consensual assimilation, colonization, and trauma our bloodlines hold and have caused. We will sit with this and acknowledge a cultural body that was traded in for whiteness. We will not ignore our grief or our longing. They are the portals to enter through.
Guided by our ancestors, we will reclaim a better, more whole, more wild way of being alive through our senses, our hands, our guts, our arts, our magic, our medicine.
Due to the nature of this specific program, I recommend this for people who feel called to examine the deeply complex and challenging truths of any part of their so-called European* ancestral histories and racialized whiteness, as this is my personal experience and what I have had to work with.
This journey is open and designed for participants of any ancestral magic, memory, and heritage, biological or not. This program is designed for all genders.
There is room for you - you will be held with love. Please come as you are, who you are, as messy and unsettled/settled and wild as you are.
I invite you into the collective spell. I invite you to be with grief and dance in joy. I invite you to remember.
Throughout the 6 month journey, we weave these threads through our unschooling:
- Storytelling - stories help us remember so we practice writing them throughout the entirety to tap in, get clear, receive information, and leave something to give.
- Somatic practices - we spend time with our bodies, our ancestral bodies, and the earth body. -- we use very accessible and simple practices over and over that communicate with our endocrine and nervous systems, so deeper work can be done with more ease and less taxing on our bodies.
- Rituals - Through ritual we materialize, together. This is collective work.
- Oracle/tarot Cards - The cards will guide us. Our ancestors used oracle to lead the way. So will we. Once a month we have a specific oracle gathering to learn, unlearn, and practice being with becoming oracles.
- Ancestral arts - as my friend Rachael says, “we learn to dismantle through making.” We’ll craft ancestral folk arts. Plant medicines, protective amulets, breads that are spells, sauces that are songs. We’ll make what our ancestors are craving to make through us.
- Animism - Constantly remembering and practicing there is life and spirit and being-ness in all things.
Things to expect:
Over the 6 months there will be 3-5 live teaching/integration/question answer/around the fire calls with MaryBeth. (once registration closes, these call dates and times will be shared. All calls will be recorded)
These calls will be as long as needed (typically 2 hour depending on who shows up). These calls are for holding space to process the month's content. They will be towards the end of each month. Again, times and dates will be announced after registration closes.
There will also be "pop up" calls, that come more spontaneous - with tarot, song, random storytelling sessions that come through in the moment.
This cohort will be held differently than in the past years of Blood + Belonging — in all transparency — I am holding many things at once at the moment. So the best way I could still offer Blood and Belonging this year was to shorten it (to 6 months) and to shift the many monthly calls that were held by me and others, to holding 3-5 full and present calls (I give a range so I can be in the moment of what is needed). This also makes it more financially accessible, which is a goal of mine.
There will also be monthly making/storytelling/processing calls that you, as a village will hold (I will be at some of them, but some I cannot make). You will be guided on how to hold these calls. Part of Blood and Belonging has always been: how will you show up for each other? How can we learn to be in village together?
- Video content every week. There are a lot of videos!
- Hands-on rituals, recipes, arts, creating
- Storytelling processing and making/crafting calls held by the group once a month
- Community space for questions, sharing, resources.
- Incredible guest teacher recordings.
- A digital and fillable PDF every week to guide you and to prompt you/ help you process the week's content. A place to record in and save and pass on.
Pre-game: the art of simple altar-building inside and outside + creating a practice of offering.
- January We begin with our body, our ancestral bodies, and a constant practice of knowing we belong to ourselves, but also we are our ancestors, as well.
- February: We move down into the land, ancestral land, our place on colonized lands, and our connection/practices with plants as an ancestral guide.
- March: A beautiful way to deeply enter into ancestral stories is our food. This month we look at food as an ancestor. As a holy feeding for your ancestors. A a holy feeding for the self, the family, and each other.
- April: Dreaming with Ancestors. Incubating for ancestral messages while asleep. Becoming the oracle while we rest. Devotion to our ancestral sleep deities.
- May: Collective Protection: spells, curse removal, amulets and prayers and Grief + Death rituals (personal, cultural, systemic). Communing with the Chthonic as both grief holding and protection spelling. Protection + Grief are intertwined.
- June: Storytelling | ancestral record-keeping and lineage prose. Here we practice giving voice to what you have learned, forgotten, and long to remember. We get to retell the stories, record them, to pass them on.
I do not guide with any kind of hierarchy. Everything we do, we do together. That said, I hold a tight, brave, integral, compassionate, and truthful circle so we feel liberated to get free within it and push hard against it and soften deeply into it.
You will be held accountable by me (in the most loving, real ways).
You will be honored.
You will be trusted that you are doing the work your ancestors are asking of you.
You will have the space to grapple and thrash.
You will have opportunities to work with people who can support you in more logistic ancestral research if needed.
You will show up for this journey practicing being fully guided by the dead.
You will come away from it with a new way of passing on culture, magic, and ancestral ways of being.
You will have new practices and medicines and wisdom to use every day.
This program is open and designed for participants of any ancestral magic, memory, and heritage, biological or not. There is room for you and you will be held.
You will practice tending to ancestral wounds and honoring ancestral resilience.
I will be guiding this journey through the lens of my personal Mediterranean-American, Euro-American, Southern Italian, Sicilian, + Polish cultural lenses & will be using my tried and true ancestral tool basket to guide you (ie. it’s going to be Sicilian as fuck because that is who I am and also I am beyond that, into deep time and deep ancient ancestry).
“Blood and belonging answers the sweeping call to return--to body, to land, to each other. It is about reverence, grief, ancestry, connection. It is a container that is able to hold the deepest of dives, the Big Questions, the messy and confused, the sacred unknown. It is not a space to evade, bypass, or stay in the strictly solar ways of being and knowing many of us have been taught, but that clearly are limited in scope and potential. It is an incredible tool that says "yes, I will meet you" to the current moment of complex, multilayered liminality. Blood and belonging is an opportunity to tune in at the cellular level, to feel in your body what it means to belong, as in to BE in a constant state of LONGing and remembering. There will be no neatly packaged present at the end, but, if pursued consistently, softly, and intentionally, it will offer endless opportunities for presence, and steady whispers of where we are going and where we've been."
- Kendra, 2021
A little about me:
Blood + Belonging is a culmination of over 25 years of my own intentional practices of reclaiming and healing my own Italian and Sicilian American ancestral stories through earth-based, body-based, magical ways.
It comes from a lifetime of lived experiences and familial teachings. It comes from decades of research, writing, and curating a body of work that I am ready and greatly honored to offer up to you for your own magical cultural reclamation — and to do so with integrity.
I am a mother, writer, drummer, and artist. I have studied plants, prayers, movement, birth, music, and ancestral healing with some of the most incredible teachers, including Alessandra Belloni, Barbara Cresimanno, Dare Sohei, Whapio, Nadaar Shagagi, Maya Corrine, Kohenet YA, Lisa Fazio, Kara Wood, Jen Lemen. My children, my daughters. So many elders in Sicilia. My holy dead. Saint Anthony. Saint Agata. The land where I live as well as my ancestral lands. The Hawthorn tree. The golden eagle. Nettles. Among many other teachers, my list is too long to name. Also every single person who has every studied/learned with me, have taught me so much. You can read my whole “about” here.
May we create a healing incubator that uses our folkways to come undone together.
May each who feel called to join this community come prepared to worship mystery, to lean into hard lessons, to be in deep practice of magic in togetherness.
May we witness each other change and evolve.
May each of our visions and life paths on earth get clear and potent. May our ancestors guide us closer to our purpose in this world, now.
May our well ancestors join forces, together, to support us.
May we focus on cultural healing. May we focus on remembering our intact roots.
May we notice signs and alignments. May we pay attention to symbols and sounds.
May we create loving and powerful relationships with our ancestors.
May we get real about how our everyday lives are already folk wisdom schools.
May we honor our bodies as ancestral bodies.
May we sit with the nervous system and endocrine system in practice to help us to gently unravel trauma history and create space for radical healing and magic to flow freely within.
May this hard work be a path we devote ourselves to.
May we create a stunning, powerful ancestral revolution, within, without, below, above.
May we open up to a new and ancient world, a just and restored world, that is waiting for us.