Root Down is a community of Practice for Cultivating Tools of Healing + Remembrance
Join fellow travelers over the course of 10 months as we go deep into what it means to nurture practices of resilience and regeneration that root us back into our humanity and wholeness.
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About Root down
Root Down is facilitated and guided by Rachel Liu along with a group of wisdom holders, bringing years of experience and training in their traditions. Together we will explore ways of healing and remembering in the following 4 areas: ancestor honoring, dreaming, somatics, and earth-honoring relationship and ritual.
We will nurture tools for healing and remembrance through:
- growing a circle of radical care, curiosity, trust and respect
- establishing and/or building upon connection to our ancestors through cultural and creative practices of ancestor honoring
- being in relationship with our dream time through active dreaming work
- exploring somatic movement, breath work and emotional release practices
- fostering an ever-deepening relationship to the land we live on while honoring and giving gratitude to the indigenous peoples who live and have lived here
- creative expression through art making and movement
- home practices though prompts for each area of focus
- monthly small groups to process and integrate
- and monthly whole group meetings for support and guidance with wisdom holders and each other
There will be two months devoted to each area of exploration. The first month will be reserved for wisdom keepers to teach, provide frameworks, share wisdom, and grow skills. The second month will be for group sharing and exploration based on the teachings of the wisdom keeper.
Our goal is to meet in person and we will adapt the plan, if needed, based on up to date recommendations.
This community of practice is open to any and all who wish to apply. All levels of experience or knowledge are welcomed. If this offering speaks to you on some level then it’s for you!
Root Down will start in September of 2021 and will end in June of 2022. The whole group will meet monthly for 10 months, with smaller groups meeting in between for processing, learning and support. Sessions will be held from 2:30pm-6pm on the monthly Sundays chosen below.
September 12th - Opening Circle
October 10th - Ancestor honoring with Enroue Halfkenny
November 7th - Group process and reflections
December 12th - Dreaming with Adelita Chirino
January 16th - Group process and reflections
February 13th - Somatics with Sadia Bruce
March 13th - Somatics with Angela Clinton
April 17th - Land honoring relationship and ritual with Koa Mikaela
May 22th - Group process and reflections
June 19th - Closing Circle
Small group meeting times will be decided by each group.
We will be gathering in both indoor and outdoor spaces, locations TBD.
Root Down is offered freely through the support of CEIO. There is no cost to attend this offering and it is open to anyone who would like to apply.
Applications are due by Thursday, July 15th
We have 12 spots available and will let folks know if they are accepted by Thursday, July 29th
The Story of Root down
"As an artist/photographer/mother/human/lover working at the intersection of social justice, expressive arts, and body liberation I am passionate about this idea that what we heal in ourselves is then healed in the world. Nearly two and a half years ago, I began offering photo sessions for people wanting to heal their relationship with their bodies. These sessions have shifted and evolved into what is now called Bloodroot Sessions. I have held individual photo sessions and retreats for over 100 people for the purpose of radical connection to self, each other and the land.
Bloodroot was birthed from a place deep in me, a place of homesickness, half-remembrance and stumbling along the path towards wholeness. The practices of ancestor honoring, relationship to dreaming, coming back into my body, and cultivating a deeply tender relationship to the Earth through ritual were vital touch points along the way. They have been practices that I hold onto as I shed harmful cultural stories, trying to remember the goodness of my skin, and attempting to be in contact with the power inside me that society wants me to forget.
Similar themes of relationship to ancestors, Earth elements, dreaming and somatic work began to emerge as I photographed people for Bloodroot. Each human brought versions of the stories they carry in their bodies and how they longed to heal them. They brought pictures of their ancestors, their children, their younger selves and set them on the altar to honor during their session. They used the elements of the Earth on their skin to ground them in remembrance, grief, and play. They moved their bodies with radical permission, shedding shame, lies, and generations of separation.
I have learned so much from the humans I’ve been blessed to photograph, namely that our bodies are the cradle of healing and liberation. Systems of oppression seek to cut us off from our bodies, our intuition, our deep knowing, and the Earth themself. It’s in our bodies that we can reclaim and remember who we are. But we can’t do it alone…"
-- Rachel Liu
Wisdom Holders & Facilitator
Babalawo Onigbonna Enroue Halfkenny
Enroue (he/him) has been a priest within the West African Orisa religion of the Yoruba for over 20 years. He is also a clinical social worker, a consultant, an artist and an activist. Enroue is a multiracial, black, cis-gendered, heterosexual man, a father of two, has been married for more than 21 years and has been sober for over 29 years. The weaving together of spiritual health, mental health and progressive social justice perspectives guide his life and his work. His skills support individual, community and organizational health, sustainable practices and the removal of obstacles in order to be as free as possible.
Adelita (she/her) has been a psychotherapist and spiritual counselor fascinated by dreaming for over 30 years. She began recording her dreams as a young woman and using them to guide her through life’s journey- past, present and future. Her passion for dreaming led to her to pursue formal training in Jungian and other dreaming modalities. She holds dreaming workshops with groups, individuals and organizations inviting people to get in contact with the dream time. She believes that, “Dreams are multi-faceted. They can hold a mirror up to our behaviors in waking life. They can alert us to possible future events, allow us access to our beloved departed and take us places that are as real as any physical location in waking life.”
Angela (she/her) is a fiercely loving organizer, coach, facilitator and body movement guide committed to large systemic and individual level change; to social justice movement building and deep healing; to justice and joy. Movement, dance and pleasure practices have cracked open for her a path to healing, self-love and individual and collective liberation. Her relationship with her body is deep, driven by both her love of expressive movement and her long-term experience with chronic pain. She guides vision and program alignment at Co-Creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations (CEIO) and is currently expanding her studies of somatic coaching at the Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality.
Sadia (she/her) is an embodiment expert, yoga educator, teacher trainer and cultural strategist. She offers an integrative and inquiry-driven approach informed by 20+ years of experience in the exploration of human movement and ritual. Her training has included direct studies with some of the foremost teachers and contributors to modern yoga, including the breath-centered tradition of Krishnamacharya as transmitted by T.K.V. Desikachar. Her yoga training is complemented by certifications in functional fitness, somatics, contemplative studies and trauma-informed teaching. She is in the practice of turning cultural boxes upside down and shaking them vigorously, offering students an immersive and creative learning environment that fosters the development of embodied stewardship. She's also deeply fond of absurdity, humor, singing and music.
Koa (she/her) is a third generation Latinx Medicine Woman of Indigenous Arawak Venezuelan and Taino Cuban ancestry currently living on occupied Lenapehoking land. Her teachings come from elders in the lineage of Curanderismo, Shamanism and Breathwork. She focuses her offerings on what she calls “Spirit Medicine” and believes that self healing is an act of radical activism. She combines her Arawak earth medicine roots with her studies of healing modalities from around the world to curate deep + beautiful healing ceremonies around the US.
Rachel (she/her) is an artist, photographer, former birth worker, and space holder working at the intersection of social justice, expressive arts and body liberation. She is particularly informed and inspired by queer, black, feminist thought, trauma informed everything, as well as those dreaming of abolitionist futures. She spends her time making messy art of all kinds, taking pictures of humans getting free in their bodies, spending time with her feet in the mud, and listening to plants and trees. She and her family practice connection to their Celtic, Chinese and West African ancestors through ritual, music, cultural celebration and food. She is forever in the practice of remembering how to be a whole human- mess, beauty, star dust and all.