Ritual Expressions

Deeper Roots


The fourth annual


Deeper Roots –


Feeding our Ancestors


Saturday October 21 from 9:30 am -9 pm


In Petersham MA


Facilitated by Katja Esser and Laney Goodman

Registration deadline October 18 as there is quite some prep involved for each participant
We approach the season of the year where the growing cycle comes to a completion and the outward form begins to fall away. It is at this time that our connection to our ancestors becomes most palpable as the veil between the dead and the living begins to thin. According to the Dagara People of West Africa we are now in a fire year. Fire, in many traditions, is connected to the spirit world, because of the energy, light, warmth, alchemy, and the capacity to purify anything. Fire, in the tradition of the Dagara people is connected to the ancestors, a community begins to thrive when it is endorsed by a community of ancestors. The beauty of working with ancestors is that it goes beyond our cultural and religious beliefs because we all have ancestors, if you know them or not. They live through us in the legacy and patterns they imprinted upon us which has not always been to our advantage. Every unresolved dysfunction, trauma, and suffering as well as the strength, resilience, and kindness has been passed on into our being leaving us very confused at times as to what belongs to us versus what belongs to them. It is for this reason that working with ancestors becomes vital in how we move forward. They need us to complete which was not possible in their life time. They need to know what belongs to them. We cannot cast them away as they are part of our make-up, we can only transform the energy so they can work on behalf of us. It is essential that we become aware of our ancestral memories, our deeper roots, to be able to fully embody our lives and heal the issues that surface in our lives.
Are you someone who knows little about your ancestors and would like to find a way to deepen your connection with them? Are you someone who struggles with what you know about your ancestors because it was difficult and full of hardship? Do you feel that you do not really know how to relate to them and feel alienated from that part of your heritage? Are you looking to come into peace with them and begin to appreciate them for who they were and forgive? Do you want to keep their stories alive? Are you missing your beloved ancestors and are looking for a way to honor and celebrate your relationship with them in a meaningful and heartfelt way? Or are you ready to bring them in as allies guiding you through life? Do you feel restricted in the expression of you because of what you carry from your lineage?
Close to the day of the dead, which is observed on November second, we come together in a daylong ceremony/workshop in remembrance of our ancestors and deepen our relationship with them. With our ancestors we move collectively through a deep process of story, transformational healing work, forgiveness, reset of the story, shrine building, various feeding of the ancestors rituals, and complete with a sacred fire. It is a dive into a container of the ancestors where we get touched by the beauty that unfolds as we express what lives in our heart through our creativity, prayers, and journeys. Each birth is a death of form; how we move forward has a lot to do with how we complete our endings.
This is a very powerful day in which the presence of the ancestors is palpable. Katja Esser and Laney Goodman, each gifted ceremonialists, come together to facilitate you through this process of feeding the ancestors and healing our relationships with them. Expect to come away with a deeper connection as the ancestors are eager to assist us and reach out to us.

The Sacred Questions:

What strength, challenges, or stories of your Ancestors have had a strong impact on the course of your life? And what joy did they bring into your life? More profoundly we can ask what issues in your life keep surfacing that have their deeper roots into the life changing experiences our ancestors had. What resilience and gifts, and what suffering and limitation came through these experiences that shaped the future of those who followed that now has landed in your lap?


The preparation:

Make 2 little ancestor dolls by taking a y – shaped green stick having the length from you elbow to your fingers and a shorter straight stick that you tie across the y – stick to create a stick doll. ( to eliminate confusion put the Y upside down and the put the straight stick across the top part and a stick figure emerges) The first doll you wrap in colored yarn and acknowledge with each turn every single appreciation you have for your ancestors. You have the choice to work with a single ancestor or with your lineage as a whole. You can use one or more colors. On the second doll you carve multiple incisions with a thank you for each challenge you encountered with them or what has been passed down the lineage. Save the carved slivers on your shrine at home.


What to bring for ceremonyceiba tree underneath the roots

– The two stick dolls, one carved and one wrapped in yarn

– Bring a 10 inch square piece of cloth of natural material (cotton, silk etc.) that is either connected to your ancestors, express some colors they wore, or has some other emotional meaning to you related to your Ancestors.

– Bring some food that your ancestors made or liked if you remember that and bring a little ancestor cup and dish.

– Bring an unscented candle in a safe holder

– A small red shrine cloth, images of your ancestors if you have them and or items that belonged to them

– Extra natural yarn (cotton, wool, silk etc.)

– Flowers and a natural feather

– Journal

– Flashlight

– Extra warm clothing

– A carved pumpkin

– Your potluck dish (see below for details)


Cost for the day $75

We will each bring a potluck dish to cover our meals.



You can contact Katja at katjacreates@ritualexpressions.com Or Laney at laney@womenonair.com


Please, send a deposit of $25 or the full amount to hold your space as it is limited to 13 participants. Checks are made payable to Katja Esser, 73 Glasheen Rd, Petersham MA 01366


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received before October 17 will be refunded minus $5 for processing and handling fee. October 17 and after will be partially refunded, the day before or the day of the event will not be refunded. Thank you for your understanding.

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