The Medicine Path: The Transformative Power of Matrescence with Rachael Haggund
Rachael Hagglund, a medicine woman who specializes in supporting pregnant and new parents through healing ceremony, shares the transformative power of her personal motherhood rite-of-passage.
Our conversation explores:
- how matrescence, the transition into mothering, transformed her life and work
- why her children are her greatest healers and teachers, and why she doesn’t identify as a mother
- how each of her births opened her to greater consciousness and healing capacities
- why she became such a fierce defender of lineage after losing her own, and
- the necessity of reckoning with your ancestors to establish relationship with ancestors of land
Rachael is a medicine woman upholding and protecting sacred lineages and healing traditions. She is a Mesa Carrier and has been initiated into the lineage of the Q’ero Paqo and shaman Don Alejandro Apaza. Her introduction to the healing arts began as a child when her family lived at the Satchidananda Ashram where she was given the name Rashmi, which means Divine Light, by Swami Satchidananda. As a teenager, she trained as a yoga instructor with Vimala Fields and later in her twenties, she served as a birth doula. She claims her place as a birth keeper in the community, protecting the sacred rite for families through supporting pregnant and new parents in her healing practice. Her work weaves her own intuitive wisdom and the earth-based teachings of the Q’ero to create offerings that are rich in womb healing, ancestral mending and healing through reconnecting to the rhythms of nature. She also loves self-studying herbalism and wild crafting plant remedies. Rachael is the mother of two children and along with her husband, Mattias, loves parenting from the heart and supporting their children’s rich connection with Mother Nature. Her own births were wild initiations and she views her children as her greatest healers and teachers. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Rachael is offering 15% off a 60 or 90 minute Healing Ceremony for listeners with code MOTHERING15 valid through Dec 31 2021
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This week I’m talking with Rachael Hagglund. She’s a medicine woman upholding and protecting sacred lineages and healing traditions. She’s a Mesa Carrier and has been initiated into the lineage of the Q’ero Paqo and shaman Don Alejandro Apaza.
Her introduction to the healing arts began as a child when her family lived at the Satchidananda Ashram where she was given the name Rashmi, which means Divine Light, by Swami Satchidananda. As a teenager, she trained as a yoga instructor with Vimala Fields and later in her twenties, she served as a birth doula. She claims her place as a birth keeper in the community protecting the sacred right for families through supporting pregnant and new parents in her healing practice. Her work, some of what she calls the medicine path weaves her own intuitive wisdom and the earth based teachings of the Q’ero to create offerings that are rich in womb healing, ancestral mending, and healing through reconnecting to the rhythms of nature. Rachel is the mother of two children and along with her husband, Mateus loves parenting from the heart and supporting their children’s rich connection with Mother Nature. Her own births are wild initiations that we’re going to talk about. And we’re also going to touch on how she views her children as her greatest healers and teachers.
The future lies on the wellness of mothers.
Welcome to rewild mothering, a weekly podcast for soulful mothers to help us mother from our deepest wisdom, our vital energy and our most authentic natures. Each week, in just about 15 minutes, we weave together modern research and ancient wisdom to channel the transformative power of mature essence, the developmental transition of motherhood. I’m your host, Allie Davis, maternal wellness therapist and a mother walking this path with you. Thank you for being here. And let’s dig in.
Welcome here today, you know, thank you for being here and sharing your gifts with listeners and and just in general, the work you do. I wanted to start our conversation by talking about your mother essence or your growth into mothering and reflecting on who you are as a mother now and maybe even who you’re becoming. So my own journey as a mother was, it was really wild and intense. I am the mother of two children. I have one son who’s five and one son who’s almost two, well, almost five, almost two. And
before I was a mother, I worked as a birth doula. So I was really familiar with that really intimate passage from womb to world. And my first birth was really, really hard. I, at one point, I left my body and came back in. And after I came back in, he was born. And
I started suddenly seeing like, seeing all of these colors, seeing all of these, what I understand now is being able to read energy. But at the time, I’d never felt it so deeply and intensely. And so I was like what is going on, I just got split open. And now
I can feel and see so much. I felt like my body was as big as the room that I was in.
And everyone was in inside of my energy field.
as I understand and know my child Now, I understand and I feel how
it happens. As I grew into the mother of my first child, I was really, my body was able to expand my range was able to expand, to be able to sense more of those like those cosmic those celestial energies. And I really had to integrate and learn to work with it and expand, it really expanded the amount that I was able to sense and feel. And as I had my second child, when I became pregnant with him, I
suddenly felt so much the opposite, where I was really able to.
From the time that I was pregnant with him, I felt like a really deep sense of peace and a really deep sense of being able to connect to the earth in a much more rich and much more whole way. And as he was born and because I had those because my capacity and my energetic capacity had been expanded my by my first child. I was able to see all of the spirits that brought him to the
Couple, like the week before I went into labor with him, I saw everyone who was bringing him down. And it was just really beautiful, really,
I was just stilled, and
I was able to see and feel so much more of the Celeste deal, presence. And as he was born, and in the months after, because he was so earthy, he’s so watery, I was able to connect more deeply with the elements and the physical,
the physical became much more alive to me here. And much more I was, I feel like I was able to connect more deeply with the spirits of nature, and connect more deeply with our actual living Earth, and the spirits that animate it. So I feel like each of my children has really been a gift in allowing me to have the capacity to experience and feel and tune into the subtle realms. And I feel like as a mother, now, I understand my, I understand, for me that mothering is a role, but it’s not an identity. Like I fill the role of mother to them, I, I support them. But as I,
if I see myself, holding the identity of mother, it limits my children to having the identity of a child. And although they are my children, I see them as being really big, complete full spirits, who I have the gift of shepherding and protecting through this lifetime. And even though I am the one who is
the adult, and even though I am the one that brought them here, they are teaching me as much as I’m teaching them, and I see it as a relationship of reciprocity and respect. Yeah, totally.
I love your process oriented approach to mother work, instead of the kind of stagnant identity like, you know, identify and it’s done, this is me, but instead that this is ongoing work, relational work,
for the, for our own good, and our, our greater good. And that kind of gets me to this question that’s coming up about, but how did the transition into mothering help you connect with ancestors of the land and, and blood and lineage and maybe even vocation through the material world of, of nature and, and body.
So by the time my second son was born, we had already been forest schooling, my first child. So when I wasn’t working, and seeing clients, we were primarily in nature. That’s a lot of time spent, encompassed in a living biome. And through being present with the spirits of nature,
I think that really helped shape and called on my second child, if you meet him, and you see him, you can understand how deepest connection is to the earth. And that wasn’t a connection that I had capacity for it before he was born. And it wasn’t something that I could have understood or could have felt so deeply. And he, through coming through the power of coming through me, it’s like my capacity just changed, where now I can feel a much deeper presence, when I’m in nature and my connection to nature. And even though I recognize that I may never have the capacity that he has, it really anchored me more into my physical body and a sense of that I am nature.
And as I began to understand myself as nature, I began to look around. And as I looked around me, I realized that because of colonization, and because of my family, and the moves that they’ve made around the world, I am incredibly dislocated from my ancestors. And I would say primarily due to colonization, the stories and the healing lineages, the folk remedies are lost. And so I spent some time digging, a lot of time digging a lot of time talking to my elders. And I understood and had to mourn the fact that what belongs to To me is now lost forever.
And it was really hard for me to accept that because it shouldn’t be that way.
It shouldn’t be that my great grandmother’s folk remedies are erased, or that they ever I can’t, you know, as someone who feel such a deep connection to plants I can’t imagine. Or I mean, I can’t imagine because I am in it. But I have a hard time understanding how those remedies where there was ever a time where they were not valued, or not, not able to be practiced. And through my understanding of myself as not an orphan but someone who wasn’t able to be held by their own lineage, I was actually able to be held by another lineage with Don Alejandro upazila. And that’s been, you know, it’s not the lineage of my blood. But it is a lineage that goes back for generations.
And it is a gift to be held in a way, where she’s a teacher who says, Well, my father did this, my grandfather did this, my sister does this. It’s not a medicine that’s held From the ego, it’s a medicine that’s held from the heart where you recognize that, you know, everything around us is like you have to everything around us, has the capacity to offer healing. And it’s our job as humans to be able to drop in and connect and experience the Divinity in everything that’s alive, that’s around us.
Beautiful, can you tell me what that thinking looked like and, and how you found that lineage and how you knew it was, it was, you know, heart centered and right for you.
I actually had known about him for a while. And it had been something before my second child that I knew that I had wanted to do, but I never did it. I never contacted him, I never, it was, you know, it’s like you have a browser tab open on your phone, you never you can, you’re like, I’m going to do that one day, and you think one day will probably never happen. And for me, I had to come into relationship with my own ancestors to be able to recognize that to be able to recognize the value, not in terms of quantifiable value, but the sacredness of what it is that he’s passing down. And I had to really come into a place where I didn’t identify as the medicine, I was able to identify as a conduit or someone who has the ability to presence to it.
And that was really big, because it shifted it for me from being something where it was ego based, something that was really much, much more deeply aligned with my soul.
And for me, the digging meant I on a physical in the physical realm, it meant I FaceTime my grandmother a lot. I would ask her lots of questions. I would read any book about the Filipino shamans that I could get my hands on. I did a lot of internet searching. I emailed people, and I really came to a lot of mostly dead ends where the medicine is not. And I could be a no, I could be very wrong. It could be that maybe they’ll they will be a time where it will open up for me. But I was never able to find a way for me to be held within that lineage. And so I just kind of gave up.
And I was like, Okay, well, this is just the way it is. This is how it just thought this is how it is this is how it has to be. Like I felt very upset that some people were born into lineages that had been held and preserved. And Why wasn’t I like this is all that I wanted. And like why me and I realized now that I would never have understood the value. I would have never been such a fierce protector of lineage had I not lost my own.
And so now when I receive teachings from Don Alejandro I, I feel how deeply I must protect them. Because it’s not like something you know, this isn’t fast food, spirituality. These are the lessons I’m going to be, this is my path for my lifetime. These are the lessons that I passed on to my children, my children know how to make offerings to the land, in the way that he makes offerings. So this isn’t something that’s contained within my professional practice. But this is a lineage that supports my life. This lineage that supports my mothering, it supports, it supports my children, it’s not something that I take lightly. And I think that through the loss of my own healing traditions, I was able to come into a place of deep gratitude for the ones that are left.
I think, I think that touching because I think the grief, the loss, the anger, the rage, you know, around this path, you’ve transmuted it, and it’s so helpful, it was so helpful for me, and I hope for others, that we can craft a belonging that is based in our bodies, our own wisdom, and also creative, you know, because, you know, DNA and things like that aren’t linear. And we are these really unique, beautiful collections of, of past. And so what are your thoughts about crafting a belonging or weaving together a belonging out of our, our bodies in the living Earth, when we’ve lost our traditional ways of being held.
So my, my first, I have two ways that I think about that. The first step is to go outside and presence yourself in nature, as you do this, really is ground in and begin to tune into the subtle rhythms, the energy field there, feel your body grounding, feel yourself being held in this living biome. And I think that, as people develop a capacity to experience that so many natural teachings will unfold.
And the second is that you’ve got to reckon with your ancestors. You know, it’s not, ancestral healing is the kind of thing where Yes, it can be beautiful, yes, it can be portrayed in this beautiful way. But it’s really deep, heavy stuff. And, you know, we all, if you live in America, you live on stolen land, How have your ancestors been complicit? And not? And how can you have a connection to the land
without first, working through that, and working to make repairs for what it is that your ancestors have done? I think it’s really important to not, well, it’s very difficult because we’re in a state, most people today are in a state where we are all in need of such deep healing, we’re in need of being held. And before we can get to the healing, well, you know, as we know, we need the healing, because of things that we feel in our bodies that we can’t identify, but they’re all products of the life ways that we’ve been complicit in or been born into. And that have been harmful to nature and harmful to other people. And, or that had been harmful to us. And
as we reckon with that, we’re able to come into relationship, this isn’t something that you can bypass, you can’t bypass a you can’t bypass your ancestry, and just be in nature and be happy, because that’s not offering yourself any true healing. We have to reckon with the what it is that our, the generations before us, you know, the ways that they created harm, and the ways that they were harmed in order to come into a place where we’re not carrying that anymore in our bodies. And as we move that through our bodies, you’re able to have a much deeper connection to nature because your body is open, there’s room for your spirit and soul to live through you. There’s room for you to experience and feel more than the echoes of trauma that you experience as maybe shoulder pain or something like that.
And I think that you know, it could be really, really difficult, but it’s really necessary.And through reckoning with the ancestors, you’re able to move into a space where you can feel nature, you can hear nature, you can receive, like when I go into the forest, I feel the trees
There are a couple of special places that I that I visit where I know when I go there, the spirits there will really hold space for me, they’ll really support me. And I really feel a deep love. And I think that the reason that I feel that now is because I have moved so much to my body. I have reckoned with my ancestors, I reckoned with the harm. And I reckoned withwhat my ancestors have needed to reclaim.But they weren’t able to
such an amazing conversation with Rachel, I hope you’ll come back next week where we’re going to talk more about how to remember and interact and reckon with your ancestors in responsible ways.
Thank you for joining us, I hope you found support guidance and inspiration for your mothering journey. To help you on your path I’ve created a free mindful outdoor experience to help you restore deep connection and belonging in your life as you root into the wisdom of Mother Nature. To download go to rewild mothering.com slash Mother Nature and I’ll link to that in our show notes. May her wisdom be with you this weekend. Always talk soon.