By Quiana LaRae. Photography By Deun Ivory.
Sore throat…honey and lemon
Scraped knees and elbows…go break off a piece of the Aloe Vera plant and rub the pure aloe on the cut
Body odor detox, soothing a sunburn, and easing aches…apple cider vinegar
Saturday morning chores…Earth, Wind, and Fire playing on the stereo, windows and doors open, and incense burning throughout the house
Everything else…castor oil, water, and PRAYER
I was fortunate to have grown up with my grandmother. I call her “Nanny”. She grew up in a small country town in Alabama. She is from a time when you used what you had, out of tradition and necessity, to meet your day to day wellness needs. Of course, back then and in her world, this idea of “wellness” that’s so popular today, was a way of life. It was simply how she lived. It was what she taught my mother and what she taught me.
Scratching and irritable, one afternoon, while in the first grade, I came home with a few bumps on my body. My mother, sister, grandmother (Nanny), and I were staying with my great-grandmother and great-grandfather in a small town, Dothan, Alabama. It was around 1988. My great-grandparents at the time, lived in a small, white porch house that still had an “outhouse”. Yeah, I said it, an “outhouse”.
As soon as I walked in from school, my grandparents collectively took a look at me and diagnosed me with chickenpox. Immediately, my mother walked me down the street to my great-aunts house and sat me in the chicken coop. It is a folklore tradition, handed down from generation to generation to go into the chicken or hen house and let them fly over you to get rid of chickenpox.
I sometimes journey back to that time filled with nostalgia and memories to treat and heal my own children. Now, I haven't gone so far as to push them into a chicken coop, but you get the point.
If we were hurting or needing healing, the elders “laid hands”. You knew the weather was changing through how it felt in your body. You knew your period was coming based on your cycle. If you had a headache, it was time to drink a lot of water and rest.
As a young girl, it was all I knew.
And then there was a shift. We moved away from that quiet country town in Alabama back to the city.
It became more important to be efficient, rather than getting to the root of things. We began to move so fast that it was easier to pop a pill than to pause for a moment and rest.
Recently, as I’ve emerged from my spiritual closet to share more of my practices rooted in the lessons and rituals my grandmother taught me, it has been interesting to hear the questions and comments around practices that are so ancient.
The pendulum shifted from the ways of our ancestors, to very religious traditions, to young people completely breaking away from religion, to now a place where people are exploring a blend of spirituality that works well for their lifestyle and who they are at their core.
As a Spiritual Teacher and Reiki Practitioner, I use oracle cards, crystals, and essential oils. I rely on Mother God and the earth for healing just as much as I love a good glass of wine, ratchet music, making love, and moving my body for self-care. More and more, like many, I am learning to lean into my intuition by channeling Source and Spirit for answers and understanding. I access touch, frequency, and vibration to manifest and to heal.
Collectively, we are now journeying inward. The outer world and things external to us are no longer of service to us the way we knew them to be in the past. Every day we are waking up to the fact that everything we ever needed is being found and sourced from within us, from our core and being. We are returning to the earth, the traditions of our ancestors, and ourselves in ways we have never done so before.
And, I am so deeply inspired by it.
So, now, it’s your turn. What would it look like for you to explore older rituals, practices, and traditions and pull them forward in a practical way today?
For example, for healing, good vibes, and to enhance my experience, I do a walking meditation as I move through the house in the morning and in the shower while it is quiet. I take this time to tune into what my body and Spirit are telling me. I then, take what comes through to guide my day. I tuck a crystal in my bra and rub a little essential oil on my body like I would perfume, and head out the door.
Quiana LaRae is a writer, speaker, spiritual teacher and certified life coach living in Houston, TX with her two daughters, Anna and Abigail. Quiana creates sacred spaces for women to process, breathe and heal. Quiana’s life’s work and intention is to walk alongside women as a guide on their journey of personal transformation and healing. Quiana is also a certified reiki master. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @quianalarae. Her website can be found here.