Something has ended. Something new can begin.

4th of July our clan gathers to scatter my Mom’s ashes at the Jersey shore. Going back to the shore is always bittersweet for me…and leaves me full. Memories. When Mom went in and out of hospitals, and then at her passing my beloved ancestors were right there with me, holding and loving me, and welcoming her HOME.

The Ancestors bring a perspective from the past to help us move forward in the Great Work. This New Moon in Cancer asks “What legacy am I creating?”

If your past is the prologue contemplate your legacy at this lunation. Where do I come from? Where do I belong? What am I leaving behind?

Legacy is handed to us heart-to-heart from ancestor-to-ancestor in so many ways. Our collective connection to the compassionate helping ancestors is what’s going to help ‘shepherd’ us through the next couple of years.

It’s not about Aunt Sally Sue you had issues with…no I am talking about the Ancestors-the caretakers who love us and the Earth, who tend the energies betwixt and between. They are loving, helpful and ready to guide you but in our culture they are hardly discussed and pretty much ignored. That’s just so sad. Cancer’s energy brings up this Ancestral legacy because it’s the archetypal presence of home and roots. So this Big Mama energy is working and learning me this week as I say good-bye.

Looking back in the archives last week I found this post from the Summer of 2005 at the Cancer New Moon….

I am at the Jersey shore on vacation with my family, sisters and parents visiting places of my childhood, my ancestors and the home of my shamanic teacher from long ago who lived here in the 1600’s. I see and feel the ancient woods, the salt marshes and the great Delaware Bay.

One of the highlights is a day trip around South Jersey- Ocean City to Millville through Tuckahoe to Bridgeton moving onto Cedarville, Cohansey River, Fortescue, Gandy’s Beach and Jones’s Beach all on the Delaware Bay.

We travel past Bear Swamp where my father’s family logged for timber. Bear Swamp’s home to an old-growth forest with trees dating back as much as 600 years. Thankfully this rare forest is by federal and state authorities as one of the most important unprotected habitats in the country. Legacy for future generations.

My tour guides on this road trip are my Aunt Olive (83 years young) and my feisty mother Barbara Ann (age of 74). Today I hear stories of sibling rivalry, weddings, celebrations and how things ‘used to be’ and ‘remember when’. Gosh I love listening to their stories. How my Great Aunt Madge crossed the marshes (she laid out wooden planks so the people wouldn’t sink) with her Sunday school group to picnic on the Bay. Madge was always fun.

Traveling miles down a rutted one-way dirt road, I stop to rescue a turtle moving slowly across the way. It brings us to the bay…as I stand on the banks of the Delaware water quietly lapping, I drink in the magnificence of it all. I am full. Legacy.

Next stop back to Cedarville where we tour the grounds and the interior of my great grandparent’s Victorian home-still known as “the Bateman place” that inspired both my interior design and shamanic work.

Once upon a time playing on the porch of my great grandparents house we’d pretend to grind corn in this ancient carved out rock sitting by Grandma B’s front door. Years later on a shamanic journey to the spirit of the land and ancient times I visit this Jersey place, the salt marshes and people where I come from. My shamanic teacher shares “we left a clue for you”, and then she shows me the rock.

An ancient stone mortar carved long ago hauled from the Delaware Bay by my great grandfather. The Lenni Lanape lived in this area and ground corn in this vessel Today I can feel myself walking in both worlds, connected to the past and the ancestors, the spirit of the land and ancient ways. I feel safe, grateful, grounded and connected at the same time. I honor the journey to this sweet moment.

It takes a strong commitment and intention to cross the threshold to spiritual maturity, and it can be a difficult undertaking as we move through the phases of awakening. Our fears and defenses, once acknowledged, will stay in the background, and attributes of courage and bravery will begin to enter, giving us the new found relationship to inspiration and creativity. – Angeles Arrien

The Sheppard cousins get together on the last night at my aunts house. One family leaving and another family coming o the shore. We’re laughing and sharing stories just like those who came before us connecting and celebrating. Suddenly my cousin Robin looks at all us in an aha moment ‘we have become the elders of the family.’

Part of the surrender process is to know what has heart and meaning and be open to the outcome, not be attached to the outcome (Arrien, 1991). I am remembering what healing stories do I want to leave as a way to say I was here?  I wish you well at this New Moon.