Storytelling keeps a family together

Have family tradition, ritual, and ceremony gone south with the wind?

Over the past few decades, the pews in our religious temples have emptied, children spend less than an hour a week in nature, and the definition of family has become diverse and complex. The married, two-parent with children household model of the twentieth century has been remodeled, and according to the Pew Research Center, “Four-in-ten births occur to woman who are single or living with a non-marital partner.”[i]

An African proverb states: “It takes a village.” Do you have a village of support? When the schools closed due to the global pandemic, it became apparent that overworked parents would need to double down on their efforts to raise healthy, happy, thriving children, becoming teachers as well as caregivers. Scheduling was completely rearranged. Time and energy reallotted. While I can’t provide you with extra childcare or deliver additional hours of sunlight, I believe simple shamanic wisdom can help parents succeed

Society has spent the past year and three quarters in a state of isolation and fear. Your family, just like all other families in the world, could use an energy boost and some healing work. Although ours, sadly, is the age when the human presence has created lasting, probably irreversible damage to the planet, with this knowledge at the forefront of our minds, let us be motivated to spend more time engaged in gratitude, ritual, ceremony, and walking on tree-lined paths together to establish new family and healthier systems and norms . The family is  the best place to begin making the shifts that will promote the healing of the planet.

 4- Great Family Activities to make the world a better place can be found in the full article on Medium Here

Family Activity #3: Honoring the North Wind with Family Storytelling and Communal Meals

Perhaps because their winter climate is so harsh and the corresponding chilly nights so long, the legends of many far-northern cultures speak of a hero who must defeat a monster in order to rescue a captive spring and return it to its rightful place among the people.

In the Scandinavian folktale “Saving Spring,” Old Man Winter who lives beyond the North Wind captures and imprisons spring. Oscar, a witty young man, volunteers to make a treacherous trek to rescue it, despite a warning that all his predecessors were transformed into wild animals. Oscar is lulled into a deep sleep by the bitter cold of Boreas. Upon waking, he realizes he has shape-shifted into a tiger. Driven by ravenous hunger, he forgets his original mission and pursues a rabbit, but then, during a moment of clarity, he wakes from the spell, remembers his mission, and recognizes the rabbit as his ally.

Families need to come together to defeat the external and internal monsters of being alive in this period. The message from the United Nations is that with awareness followed by right action we can make a difference. Acknowledge as a family that we have been facing hardships. Rather than allowing yourself to be lulled to sleep by distraction, consciously engage with the wind energies of the barren north again and again until you fully realize your family potential, which is to be of maximum service to each other. Only when Oscar overcame his fear of starvation was he able to return the vitality of spring to his village.

Chasing after the North Wind is a reminder of our frivolous human experiences. Most people chase one illusionary goal after another, and never achieve happiness. Reconciling with the cold north wind by spending time in ceremony with your family teaches you that the wind cannot be caught and contained. The goal is an invisible wind of peaceful service to those you love, your family, your village.

Invite the North Wind to stir your imagination towards the pursuit of spiritual excellence. Does your family have a common dream or vision you are pursuing together? Shorter days in winter provides opportunities for family retreat, rest, storytelling, dreaming, and warming yourself by a central fire.

During colder afternoons when you’re indoors and sheltered, consider making a family vision board.

The vision board process is a simple, creative process that can help you gather the wind in your sail to power your dreams.

There are detailed instructions on my website ( Make this process a family ritual. One year I made a vision board with my sister and her family. Months later my brother-in-law called to tell me how he got the dream job, explaining that everything they added to the board came into being.

Another practice for wintertime is to restore the family meal. Eat in a full group at least once a week. Make the meal fun and important. Take turns finding and cooking new recipes.

Continue Reading: 4-Great Family Activities can be found in the full article on Medium Here

Renee Baribeau, is The Practical Shaman, Wind Whistler, and Nautilus Award Winning  Hay House Author. Renee is well known for “Making the Mundane Magical”. Renee is an accomplished keynote speaker, mentor, a respected behavioral health  executive, dynamic spiritual teacher, and well-seasoned community organizer. She co-hosts a weekly podcast, The Shamans Cave with Sandra Ingerman.


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