Who Is Zanele Chisholm?
I am a Spirit Gude, an Incarnation Guide. I believe in the power of the physical, and the metaphysical recognizing they are one and the same. As we move deeper into a connection with the spiritual state, I am here to ground us in the truth of our bodies. Yes, you are a spiritual being. Yes, your life has value and purpose. No, you do not need to earn your natural inheritance of love, joy, peace, and empowerment. As Spirit courses within you, the body holds their expression. I am here to remind you through the love and life of our Earth, how much magic and incredible joy blooms from within you.
I am a child of the diaspora, a child of the cosmos, a child of rebellion. My ancestors curved my tongue into a weapon for liberation. I use storytelling through writing, tarot and oracle reading, and healing circles as a form of resistance.
My Beliefs About Healing
Community Power Is the Answer
I believe that part of stepping into our power and ascending to the next stage with our Mother Earth means connecting with the communities around us.
Our Ancestors Can Guide Us
We are blessed by the presence of Ancestors who love and protect us. Let us use their wisdom and honor their lives by connecting with our lineage to create a more loving and healing environment for our descendants.
You Are Powerful and the Creator of Change
Every single being on this planet and in the universe has power, including you. Not only do you have the power to change your own life but you have the power to break generation patterns, free yourself and your loved ones, and shift the energy of the universe just by recognizing how deserving you are of peace, joy, pleasure, and love.
The Movement: Awakening Ekhaya
The first stage of Awakening Ekhaya is a Movement Towards Black Ancestral Healing for Black descendants of enslaved Ancestors.
This is a protected and safe space open to all Black folks whose ancestors are survivors of slavery. We seek restorative justice through personal healing practices, community gatherings, storytelling, and eventually larger-scale organizing. Long-term, we advocate for diverse forms of reparations, provided and funded through the systems of government that benefited from our people's enslavement. We seek reparation and healing that brings honor, truth, humanity, and liberation to our ancestors as well as ourselves and our future descendants. We seek restorative justice that brings our ancestors home, wherever home might be. Ultimately, we call for revolution from the ways of life that continue to oppress and commit violence against Black people around the world and the specific intersections within our communities such as Black women, Black Queer people, Black disabled folks, and all else we may be forgetting about.
This community group grows out of my own desires to seek retribution and restorative justice for my ancestors. I come from a cross-continental heritage of South African lineage from my mother and Jamaican lineage from my father. Being able to hear the family stories passed down through generations, hear the names, see the faces, and know the truths of my South African ancestors' lives only deepened the well I held inside for my other half. A s a child of the diaspora now living disconnected from both homelands, the importance of knowing and honoring my family and our histories/herstories/theirstories has only grown. I’ve always felt a deep longing to know, understand, and restore my personal relationships to my Jamaican ancestry. It took me a while to even recognize the ways in which I avoided this side of me for fear of being consumed with anger, guilt, and sorrow for just how much of their lives we’ll never know with the current resources and academia we’ve been provided as a people. With so much real-world knowledge being cut off through the violence of slavery, I’ve been on a journey of finding ways to reconnect and affirm my Ancestors’ humanity through storytelling, spirituality, and the intangible forms of knowledge we can receive in this life.
Up until this point, I’ve been on this journey alone and truthfully with sporadic energy being dedicated to the task. But, recently I’ve felt called to search for community among other Black folks looking for the same healing and reconnection. I believe that in order for many of us to truly heal and experience liberation in all forms, we have to bring justice to the histories that continue to cast shadows over Black people's joy and freedom. I want to honor our ancestors and rediscover them and their stories through empowering and loving practice based on celebration, positive intentions, healing, creativity, and community. The narrative that Black folks of the diaspora, those whose ancestors are survivors, are somehow eternally disconnected and stranded from their roots is a powerful lie written by the same institutions that attempted to cut the chords of our legacies and histories through genocide, erasure, segregation and all other forms of systemic abuse. But, it isn’t true. Our ancestors are here, all around us and they continue to live on in our daily breath. The resilience of Blackness that astounds us all is a resilience born out of generations of Ancestors that could not be erased. As Black people, we do not need suffering in order to understand our own strength. Our power is innate.
In learning to accept death as yet another doorway to complex forms of existence, I’ve been liberated from only knowing my Ancestors in association with cruel endings and infinite sufferings. I know the truth. And the truth is that the ancestors carried and continue to carry in them what they also passed down through centuries of resistance to us, revolution.
We are on the cusp of great change. As Mother Earth continues to teach us the consequence of abandoning our responsibility of gratitude and service for the life around us, we come face to face with more endings. As oppressive, cold systems of capitalism and white supremacy rage across our globe, we meet with unrest. And as people around the world begin to move away from the power of the individual to a balance with the collective, we meet with the battle cry of an uprising, uprooting, and the birth of a new age that centers the collective good and collective care rather than individual power.
Healing ourselves and our ancestral bonds is at the core of our successful revolution. If you feel called to work our collective power to ensure justice through collaboration and community, just as many of our Ancestors did decades and centuries ago, then, please join us.
We welcome all Black folks who are descendants of ancestors who were enslaved to our closed ancestral healing circles.
And we welcome all Black allies and all non-Black supporters to uplift our cause in a diverse range of activism.