4 Reasons why we love living like our ancestors
Podcast Preview: The Power of Ancestral Living
Imagine a stack of 400 coins, which symbolizes our human history of the past 100,000 years.
The 400th coin represents everything that’s happened since the American Revolution. Before 1776, we lived without electricity, and were plugged into Mother Nature.
Life may have had its difficulties, most of which were acute such as being attacked by a bear, having our village raided, or starving.
Today our societies have become more complex, and our illnesses more complicated as result.
Degenerative diseases - heart attacks, cancer, stroke, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s - have replaced infectious diseases as the major enemy of life.
Why do we love ancestral living?
We’re grateful for what our grandparents, and previous generations had to go through to get us to this point in history. All of the war, famine, as well as the songs of laughter and lessons of communal medicine are woven into the fabric of our DNA. We are the survivors of those very same survivors.
As children, we used to sit around our grandparents’ table at Easter, and felt forced to eat that “weird” Ukrainian food. I can say that now being in our forties, and learning how to cook nourishing meals for ourselves, that we truly appreciate how much love and energy goes into preparing something as “simple” as a pot of borscht, rolling out and stuffing vereneky (the Ukrainian version of pierogies) or fermenting a jar of beet kvaas.
Part of being grateful for one’s past includes challenging the future as well. Our grandparents came to North America and believed it was the promised land. In some respects it was, however the wolf in sheep’s clothing-of-progress lurked evermore, in the grocery aisle of instant gratification.
2. Food as medicine.
Although we were raised surrounded by beets, whole milk, and hearty potatoes, we also grew up on the Western 1980s and 90s diet of sugar, microwaved TV dinners and low-fat ice cream (or is it creamy ice?). Once Bohdanna and I hit our twenties, our childhood saturation of junk would catch up with our livers, and eventually our minds.
We both struggled with depression in our thirties, and eventually learned that the remedy was through cultivating a healthy environment. This environment didn’t just include the healthy bacteria in our gut, but also became a habitat of nourishing thoughts and beneficial relationships that challenged us as individuals.
In order to honor the memory of our ancestors, we eventually defied even our grandparents as well, who had become indoctrinated by the false prophet-eers of margarine and processed sugar.
We learned that sugar not only did not have to be a preservative when canning our fruit preserves, but that other types of jam are actually even more flavorful without the sugar, such as St. Dalfour.
We were also told by our elders that “Tylenol is good for headaches,” only to find out decades of pills later that Tylenol can actually make our headaches worse. A 2019 study funded by the NIH has even suggested a potential link to autism for pregnant mothers who’ve taken Tylenol.123
We began taking white willow bark for our pain instead, just as our ancestors would have done thousands of years ago. Even though white willow bark is not close chemically to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin, we’ve found that it’s still a very effective pain-reliever, especially when taken with a little lemon water and magnesium, which helps increase absorption.*
*We are not medically-licensed professionals and do not make any medical claims.
3. Simplify life.
Living closer to the Earth takes work, but we’ve been rewarded with more simplicity in our lives. Growing food in our garden isn’t an easy task, especially in today’s harsh climate of aerial chemicals and insects that are dying off due to advances in technology.4
However knowing that you can just go to your backyard and pull out a blood-cleansing beet or liver-detoxifying carrot is a beautiful thing.
Learning from our ancestors has also helped us distill what we truly value in life: good food, solid relationships, and purposeful reconnection with our primal Self.
We used to shop around and buy all kind of seasonings and ingredients. We’ve learned that most meals only need some superior sea salt, black pepper, and a slab of quality butter.
Note: Grassfed butter helps regenerate our brain as well.
Now that’s the kind of regenerative agriculture we need!
4. History is our favorite community.
Before we can adopt traditions and apply them to a community, we believe that we first must understand why they exist, and the meaning behind their symbolism. For instance, eggs represent the Divine Feminine and fertility.
The symbol of the Cosmic World Egg was worshipped by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Proto-Indo European civilizations of antiquity, and embodies the Universe coming into existence by "hatching" from the egg.
Geometric shapes such as those on the glass in the picture below are found all throughout different cultures, some of which include Native American, sub-Saharan African, Nordic and Slavic. Egyptians would even use shapes to form geometric, medicinal “power spots” in their societies.5
The glass above contains triangles. In ancient belief, the triangle symbolized the narrow gate that leads to eternal life, and represented unity of the three worlds: the Earth, the Underworld and the Heavens.
The triangle also represents the three elements – Water, Fire and Air, the three levels of being and the Holy Trinity (in later Christian belief).
The triangle has long been associated mainly with Fire, recognized by some as the creative aspect of the Divine Masculine.
From Euromaiden Press:
Triangles, whose tips touch each other, call to mind an hourglass, symbolizing the World and Anti-world. The meeting or touching point symbolizes the place of transition from one world to another. 6
My last name Diduch “Дідух” translates as “forefather” in Ukrainian.
During Christmas, the Дідух is a sheaf of wheat put in a place of honor in the family home, and commemorates the family's ancestors.
I guess I’ve always been in touch with mine.
We understand that we’re at a crossroads of worlds.
We stand at the brink of a certain, “safe” future of robotic disempowerment.
We must be brave enough to gaze into an unknown abyss of a not-so-distant dream, where we can all come together and walk through the Primordial Fire of our past.
Are we saying we want to go life in a cave?
No. (Although I think Roman secretly wants to).
We don’t want to give up the printing press, the Wheel, or our coffee grinder. Chocolate too- although that’s not a technology.
We believe that by understanding where we came from, only then will we know where we are going.
Want to learn more about how we practice ancestral living in our daily lives?
Join us on our podcast this Friday!
In Love & Light,&
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Baker BH, Lugo-Candelas C, Wu H, et al. Association of Prenatal Acetaminophen Exposure Measured in Meconium With Risk of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Mediated by Frontoparietal Network Brain Connectivity. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(11):1073–1081. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3080