• Erin Levinthal

    February 20, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Thank you Lorie, your genuine warmth and gentle inquiry to understand me more fully is touching and I welcome your insights and input to help work with my prima materia with ritual.

    To answer your question of where these blockages emerged from it is all of the above. Ancestral losses on both paternal and maternal sides took root and pulsed through my my parent’s bloodlines unto me leading to developmental blockages and beliefs.

    My mother lost both of her parents within 6 months of each other when she was 4 years old initiating a trajectory of under-developed parental love and crippling low self worth for decades. The resulting arrested development continues to plague my mother’s inability to fully bond with others but the most heartbreaking cost was her inability to fully bond with her own children. Her malnourished Spirit led her to believe everyone one else knew better then she so she listened to the doctors and the employers and the husband and the scared voice in her head. In the mid 70s baby formula was making a splash alongside “cry-it-out” parental advice and before maternity leave was in place. Being born in mid August, just before teachers are expected to return to the classrooms, I was placed in daycare at 2 weeks old, on formula, and crying it out at night (my mom was a classroom teacher for 30 years). This truth still cuts to the wound of abandonment and always brings me to tears, because that was just the beginning of the instability and unfair asking for me to take care of myself from the beginning. My husband used to say I was raised by wolves until I pointed out that wolves are far more attentive and caring of their young.

    My father’s family immigrated from West Berlin fleeing the war when he was 3 years old. He suffered an unforgiving case of meningitis that spared his life but not his hearing. His mother was committed to ensuring he would not be cast off to the side in “schools for the dumb” (a terribly offensive term of his time). She was fastidious in her approach to ensure he could speak and read lips (not sign), attend public school and assured him that with determination and a relentless commitment to hard work he was just as capable as any hearing counter-part. When he was 16 years old she up and left the family without a trace and was never heard from again.

    My father grew to become a gifted architect and builder, a passionate skier and beautiful photographer. He unfortunately never fully accepted his inability to hear and was driven more by anger and desire to prove his worth more then enjoy his incredible accomplishments. He was a perfectionist who never saw the value of children before they could contribute to household chores, had violent tendencies, incredibly high standards and I was scared of his harsh voice and would cry on demand when he spoke for the first 6 months of my life. He never came when I cried or called out, could never pick up the phone and call me after my parents divorced, and never expressed any disappointment, or acknowledgment, of this severed communication with his children.

    In addition to never fully bonding with either parent my house was chaotic and unpredictable, especially after my mother separated from my father and raised her 4 dependents on a teacher’s salary. It’s important to also note that 2 of my siblings are adopted. Previous students of my mother’s (something that would never occur so casually in our current day) turned siblings. Without diving much deeper into the turbulent ocean of my childhood it is important to mention that my adopted siblings both suffered terrible abuse before joining our family which unsurprisingly rippled through our lives creating further personal instability, mental confusion, sexual abuse, and a lack of safety.

    This is a sketch of the blockages from childhood that led me into two decades of depression, addiction and a conviction that I would not live to see my 30s. However, life s full of magic and miracles and with a ton of therapy, plant medicine, flower essence, exercise, loyal friendships and an emersion of a dedication to my spiritual growth, and a quiet inner voice growing louder and louder advocating for my life, I find myself typing this at age 46 where I have been happily married for the past 17 years, experiencing a beautiful bond to my 9 year-old daughter (who is currently asking me to stop typing and come eat the pancakes she has made us) and a vision of my career working with teen girls struggling with their own mental health taking shape.

    I thank you Lorie for asking, witnessing, and carefully holding all the tender hearts sent your way and I humbly accept your insights on how I might infuse my prima materia with ritual.

    In gratitude,