Learn more about “Wounds into Wisdom”
Each of us holds tremendous power to change the trajectory of our lives and the life of our world. We are born knowing that our lives are deliberate acts of creation. We are born with an impulse to discover the reasons why we have been given the gift of life. And yet, life is replete with challenges and obstacles that often result in the experience of trauma. The threads of trauma can go back generations in our life, getting passed down accidentally, unknowingly, and sometimes deliberately. When we understand our own trauma history and the challenging historical patterns in our family lineages, we begin a compassionate soul journey that releases enormous healing potential that can benefit ourselves and others. Untying intergenerational knots in our personal and ancestral histories frees and energizes us to be our wise, compassionate, and most impactful selves in a world that desperately needs us.
We gather as an online global community in this seminar amidst intense societal transformation and uncertainty, welcoming people of all backgrounds who are committed to personal and collective healing. Participants will enjoy a rich synthesis of teachings from the fields of depth psychology, neuroscience, and mythic Kabbalistic wisdom, and benefit from Rabbi Tirzah’s accrued wisdom as a Jungian psychotherapist, spiritual elder, and educator in the burgeoning field of Ancestral Healing. Along with the study of intergenerational trauma legacies, this intensive 6-week course will provide participants with embodied exercises, guided meditations, and ritual practices, with which to deepen their own spiritual connection and personal healing, and contribute to the well-being of family, community, and the world at large.
Objectives of Ancestral Healing
- To identify trauma patterns and other psychological tracks that have been laid down by earlier family members and ancestors and understand their effect upon our lives.
- To enlist wise and well ancestors and spiritual allies, along with the formidable power of the Unconscious, to show us keys that open doors to set us and future generations free of pathogenic influences caused by historical traumas, injustices, and family separations.
- To add our life force, skill, and wisdom to the ongoing healing and repair of our families, our communities, and the larger world.
Trauma and the Journey of the Soul
Can trauma legacies affect our spiritual evolution?
In the first session we study how trauma occurs biologically yet affects us at all levels of our being, and how, when left unmetabolized, the residue of wounds can be transmitted intergenerationally. Familiarizing ourselves with the hallmarks of trauma, we will see how trauma legacies of fear, shame, anxiety, and even spiritual resistance can be passed down through families, their residues landing in us, our children, and in larger societal patterns. And we will be uplifted by a spiritual framework to orient and help us navigate the tricky territory of trauma while accelerating our personal and family healing.
- Understand why intergenerational trauma healing is critical to the world now
- Study the four universal hallmarks of trauma
- Encounter the burgeoning field of Epigenetics
- Hear remarkable stories of trauma transmission
- Learn a grounding practice to calm and stabilize the nervous system
- Learn Plato’s parable of the acorn, and how it relates to the concept of “entelechy,” Jung’s latent and manifest self, and the healing power of aligning with our soul’s code, what the Kabbalists call, our personal “tikkun”
Mapping our Family Legacies
Do our ancestors’ lives really affect us?
We turn to study our own families, to view their trauma patterns in historical context so that we can better understand the influence of intergenerational ruptures upon our bloodlines. Applying skills of compassionate awareness, we begin to move past the control that our family patterns wield on us, and glean our family resources. A guided meditation initiates us into the unseen dimensions, where we begin to find and recruit our spiritual allies for assistance and guidance on our healing journey.
- Learn how to make and study a multi-generational map, a Genogram, of your family
- Understand your family history in a socio-historical context, applying “Mochin d’Gadlut” or “Big-Mind” and compassion
- Study your bloodlines for the cultural traumas, such as racism, religious oppression, colonization, and patriarchal abuses
- Practice The Waterfall breathing technique to release unwanted stress and purify the system
- Enter the Ancestral Halls in a guided meditation to begin cultivating relationships with your wise and well ancestors and spiritual allies
Intergenerational Trauma & Patriarchal Abuses
Can centuries of trauma caused by patriarchal domination ever be healed?
In this session we focus on the trauma legacies of girls and women, studying them considering trauma science and the global women’s movement committed to resistance and resilience. We apply special focus on the issue of shame, and the human tendency to reenact conditions that perpetuate cycles of injury on ourselves and others. We take hope from ancient teachings about the anima mundi, the feminine soul of the world, side by side with new research from the fields of neuroscience, Heartmath, and compassion training on how to interrupt intergenerational trauma cycles, composting harm and cultivating capacity for new ways of relating to each other across and beyond gender. We also look at the devastating impact patriarchy has had on men, and how gender-based violence impacts people across the gender spectrum, especially harming trans and nonbinary people.
- Study your genogram for legacies of healthy relationships as well as for history of patriarchal abuse
- Learn the difference between the personal, familial, and cultural layers of the Unconscious, and how humanity shares pain, truth, and healing across cultural lines
- Understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy shame, and how to face and transmute the unhealthy kind
- Discover how secrecy, silence, and self-judgment can foster shame and why a family’s loyalty to dark secrets can turn up in their progeny generations later as fear and anxiety
- Practice meditation techniques that interrupt the shame cycle and foster self-compassion
Our personal power rituals that help us to energetically secure the boundaries of our life. Among the most essential rituals that we must have in our life are those that help us support our health and healing. In this session we turn to a different dimension of learning and healing, through ritual and guided visualization into the hidden realms of the Ancestral Halls. There, with the protection and talismans of our wise and well ancestors, we will offer our bundles of shame and brokenness on the altar of the anima mundi, the divine feminine, and prepare to excavate the poison root beneath our individual family trees. This is the root of our family’s pathogenic patterns that requires full witnessing and handling to put an end to the destructive tendencies in our bloodlines. The ritual, guided with careful entry and gentle return, will unfold for each participant uniquely, in Jung’s tradition of active imagination. Time will be allotted for journaling, sharing, and integration of our experiences.
- Engage a powerful ritual for self-reflection and healing
- Learn self-protective techniques before traveling into the unseen realms
- Engage in Active Imagination to find and uproot that which is pathogenic in your lineage
- Be amazed at the wisdom of the Unconscious and what appears for you
- Feel the power of your own clairvoyant (clear vision) and clairsentient (clear sensing) capacities
The Alchemy of Healing
What do we do with our changing internal landscape?
In this pivotal module, we weave back to our ritual experience in the Ancestral Halls and use our new awareness to witness and bless our forebears for their socially-conditioned choices, releasing them from judgment, and honoring them for their lives. Here we learn the Seven Principles of Trauma Healing, derived from Rabbi Tirzah’s research with trauma survivors around the world, and what it means to consciously harness the power of our personal and familial pain, so as to convert its “heavy metals” into the light of consciousness and revitalized health for ourselves, and compassion for others.
- Explore the neuroscience of self-awareness called “interoception,” and learn how it can support freedom from unconscious trauma patterns reasserting themselves
- Learn four affirmations for the cultivation of self-compassion
- Learn the Seven Principles of Trauma Healing and hear remarkable stories of trauma survivors who transmuted their painful legacies wounds into moral leadership and a new vision of life
- Dream into a vision of your own life that incorporates a new sense of freedom and dignity
Becoming an Agent of Blessing
How can we keep our channels to wisdom open and clear, and continue to receive guidance from the unseen dimensions as we go forth?
In this closing session, we will review the arc of our course and harvest the most helpful practices for the journey ahead. Then we will tap ancient teachings from Jewish mysticism about the power of blessing, remembering Plato’s acorn parable and our own fully-flowering Self. We will be guided to visit our own ancient soul, whose head reaches into the heavens and branches stretch in all directions of our galaxy, nourished by the spheres of divinity and also nourishing them with our own unique gifts?
- Review our work together and pack your medicine bag with usable wisdom practices and tools for the journey ahead
- See through and beyond the outer husks of family patterns and unmetabolized trauma to the light within your ancestral lineage
- Learn the Kabbalistic practice to become an Agent of Blessing, based on expanded awareness and compassionate heart
- Receive blessings from your wise and well ancestors and understand the continuing work you will be asked to do
- Journey to see yourself as a fully flowered Tzaddik, a holy individual, and understand how you can best influence the current state of our world
About Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD, is an author, Jungian psychotherapist, leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement, and a renowned Jewish scholar and teacher. Widely known for her groundbreaking work on Kabbalah, depth psychology, and the re-integration of the feminine wisdom tradition within Judaism, Rabbi Tirzah lectures and teaches nationally about spiritual and ancient wisdom practices that are honed to assist us at this critical time in world history. Her latest work, Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma (Monkfish, 2019) is the recipient of the 2020 Nautilus Book Award Gold in Psychology and the Jewish Women’s Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology 2020 book award. New paperback edition with Reader’s Guide and Forward by Dr. Gabor Matè on bookshelves October, 2022.
Rabbi Firestone has been teaching ancestral healing practices in communities around the country, from San Quentin to our nation’s capital. She lives with her husband David in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. www.tirzahfirestone.com | @tirzahfire