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Ancestral Intelligence (AI – the organic kind)

Wide-open wings caught the rays of the sun
as a red-tailed hawk soared from the sky
landed with grace in a juniper tree 
just a few steps ahead
on my hike in the desert mesas

Wonder filled the spaciousness between us
hawk and me
magic rippled through the crossing of our paths
on this sunny afternoon
fathers’ day
twelve years after my dad’s death

Because these winged ones were carriers
of messages from the spirit world
from my dad
still as funny as he was in his living
offering reassurance that he was here
listening, protecting, watching over

A brown and white feather
floated on a breeze 
slow dancing toward the earth
coming to rest
like a gentle breath 
on the ground near my feet

How is it that ancestors
know where we are
can touch our hearts
shape our paths 
guide us back home
in ordinary moments
in our earth-based lives?

What is this intelligence
this magical nature of nature
that weaves everything together
through time and space
through countless generations
between wildly diverse beings
on our earth and beyond?

I’m not sure why so much energy, resources, and time
is getting invested in artificial intelligence
something fake, unnatural and pretend
when Ancient Intelligence
Ancestral Intelligences
are right here
within us and surrounding us
capable, creative, interconnected, ingenious and aware

Ancestral knowledge is in the sacred geometry of bee hives
in the architectural brilliance of beavers building their homes
in songs of dolphins and whales
in underground communication among trees
in the flow of river currents and ocean tides
in the rhythm of beating hearts
in herds and flocks and groves and pods and packs
in how a seed decides to grow
in seasons of change set in motion by our sun and moon
in lava surfacing to shape new lands
in crystals who may or may not want to be unearthed
in how and when and who pollinators pollinate
in colors, shapes, and scents of cactus blooms
in elephants’ migratory paths to salt caves
in purposeful patterns in the feathers of hawks
in ancient traditions and stories of human beings living in balance on earth

Ancestors are calling to us
whispering in the winds
booming in thunderstorms
speaking not so much in human-language words
giving gifts
nudging us
showing us
guiding us
to wake up and remember
the creative brilliance and beauty in life itself

So we make ourselves whole again as humans
giving and receiving lovingness and respect
honoring everyone’s birthright to be free

So we contribute to wholeness and well-being
in the web of life on earth and beyond
this immense, intricate, extraordinary weaving
in which we naturally belong
in which we have an essential part
our genuine human offerings and gifts
nurturing the continuance of life
like all the other species
like everybody else

Ancient intelligence
ancestral knowings
of our genuine human nature
are always within reach
ready and waiting to be remembered
just a breath away


Ancestors &Raquo; Img 1766 1024X768 1

Originally Published on

JoAnne Dodgson Ceremonial Healing

JoAnne Dodgson’s life is centered in the lineage of Ka Ta See and the path of the kala keh nah seh ~  medicine storyteller, weaver of webs of balance, healer, teacher, and ceremonial guide. She offers ceremonial healing, apprenticeships, and retreats to remember our belonging and weave harmony in our relationships with ourselves, each other, our earth, and web of life.

JoAnne has been learning, living, and sharing the ways of the kala keh nah seh for over twenty years. She has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Holistic Health. As a therapist and community activist, she worked in trauma healing centers and college counseling centers. She has been on the faculty in Transpersonal Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Holistic Health programs. Earlier in her career, JoAnne was a teacher in public schools and residential programs for adolescents. She also served as the director of a women’s shelter.

To share her passion for the healing medicine of stories, JoAnne has written several books including Spirit of Chocolate: A Woman’s Journey to the Rainforest in Search of Her Dreams and UnLeashing Love. She lives in the enchanted desert mesas of New Mexico.

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