Ancestor story Session with lisa


about Ancestral Story Sessions

I inherited my love for photography from my great grandmother who was an avid photographer and model. I enjoy her presence to this day through the countless photographs she took. For the last year I ritually surrounded myself with her images. In these photographs she holds herself within a wild embodiment that would have been very tabu in the time and place she lived in.

The stories she left behind have helped me overcome my own fears around fully embodying the wild nature I clearly inherited. What I long for, what I am meant for, and where I come from all speak through these expressions of self she was brave enough to have captured.

Our female ancestors are much more than our place of origin, they are our safe space away from home whenever we venture into the deep unknown. They take us home to where we belong. Epigenetic’s is a fascinating field of research that supports the idea that we are the embodiment of our ancestor’s stories.

I believe, that my inviting our ancestors to express themselves within our bodies, we are creating genetic changes that rewrites old scripts, old patterns, old traumas. When invoked, our ancestors can guide us into our sacredness and show us how to heal the invisible wounds that we are carrying from lives no longer lived.

I am always drawn back to importance of photography- when we reveal ourselves fully, the images we create tell a Deep Time Story, a story that will live on for many generations. Courage and resilience are the currency of our times and it’s important to pass those stories onward.

Yet most of us do not know the names of our our great, great, great grandmothers, let alone their stories of courage and resilience. Thankfully, these stories live within our bodies and this is why I offer Ancestral Sessions.


On Samhain (the Sabbat of Ancestors of Wiccan's), I had the opportunity to do a session with a young woman who knew very little about her ancestors. She barely knew her grandparents, let alone where they came from.

The Ancestral Veil on the day of our session was feeling oh so thin. I lit a smudge stick of Rosemary, a bridge between the physical and spirit worlds. Rosemary's special smoke filled the crisp air as we stood looking out across the tidal bay.

The Ancestral spirits on this particular land are very potent or a regular day and came rushing to my own consciousness perception. Lisa's are further off and harder to reach but they are also present, especially as she stares into the burning Rosemary.

We slowly walked the land, each step a closer circling. An ancient awareness begins to surface. I can see it with every click of the shudder. As always, I do not know what She is showing Her are helping her to feel but when Lisa bares her breasts to the wind, an unspeakable power begins to shine through her.


The following photo’s are an embodiment of Lisa, as well as her ancestors.

When the dead return
they will come to you in dream
and in waking, will be the bird
knocking, knocking against glass, seeking
a way in, will masquerade
as the wind, its voice made audible
by the tongues of leaves, greedily
lapping, as the waves’ self-made fugue
is a turning and returning, the dead
will not then nor ever again
desert you, their unrest
will be the coat cloaking you,
the farther you journey
from them the more
that distance will maw in you,
time and place gulching
when the dead return to demand
accounting, wanting
and wanting and wanting
everything you have to give and nothing
will quench or unhunger them
as they take all you make as offering.
Then tell you to begin again.
— Shara McCallum
Jen Holden