It’s episode 70 and I’m chatting with Aysen Farag, an indigenous medicine person of Egyptian-Amazigh (Berber), Moinjaang (Dinka), and Kuku-Bari heritage.
Born in Egypt, she moved with her family to Ontario Canada at an early age, where she currently resides on the Ancestral Traditional Territories of the Ojibway, the Anishnabe and, in particular, the Mississauga’s of the New Credit.
Over the last decade, Aysen has focused on working with plant medicines from her ancestral lineage, while also developing a relationship to the land of her current residence in Ontario, Canada.
Aysen knows well the plight of indigenous peoples around the world, and the sense of urgency there is to use our gifts and knowledge to bring healing to the Earth and all of its human and non-human people alike. She has been working diligently to revive her ancestors old traditions and sacred ceremonies that were lost due to colonialism, and offers support and mentorship to others wanting to deepen into their own ancestral traditions.
She loves speaking to plants and dancing in water, she remembers what it feels like for her spirit to merge with air and flow in unison with the changes of the Earth’s energies. She sees her connection to the Stars and knows how to move through different realms to retrieve information and healing.
We had a rich and conversation, talking about grief, sorrow, and deep and profound love. We talked about the synchronicities that led to Aysen being called, often, Isis, and how much she resonates with the myth of Isis and Osiris. We discussed going through deep initiations, wanting security in life, but being led to leave it behind, and learning there is safety in loving humans.
We talked about anger, jealousy, fear and lack as well as devotional love, and devotion in the body.
Aysen shared her experiences as a woman of colour, of having experienced physical and sexual violence and ancestral wounding around being exiled from homelands. She shared the experiences that made her feel destitute, ugly, weak and fearful, and the long hard road with her body, of getting to be in her body.
And, too, she shared the experiences of feeling so much joy. Of water and love and the changes after becoming pregnant with her child. On studying art and being creative in dancing, writing, painting and photography. Of feeling the emotion in paintings and experiencing them as records of energy. Of learning how to not edit herself, feeling sorrow and loneliness and becoming more connected to her wisdom self than her wounded self.
Aysen also shares about writing two books, one a fiction exploring grief, and the other a non-fiction exploring colonial histories and the grief of loss of land, language, belief systems and plant medicines.
Aysen shares all of this in service of remembering who we are.
Aysen holds an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts and Art History, and has studied both western herbalism and the herbalism of her ancestors. She is a mother and has spent many years as an art teacher to elementary aged children before choosing to focus on her medicine practice and writing full time. In her free time she enjoys painting, darkroom photography, dancing and writing. She is a storyteller at heart, and loves how all of these intersecting mediums can be used as different ways of communicating.
Her greatest gift is in dreaming and visioning, where she receives most of her insight about life and inspiration for creation. Her dreams are the source of her healing, and where she is shown how to heal others. She loves the mysteries of dreams, and one of her favourite past times is dream recall and interpretation.
Aysen’s greatest waking dream is to redefine the narratives of African Indigenous and Diasporic people with the beauty, wisdom, and grace that they deserve, by dismantling the outdated narratives that have pervaded for generations that perpetuates an image of lack of intelligence, harshness, and ugliness. She believes that the root of reclaiming ones power is through understanding the true power of language and storytelling, and giving voice to your deepest truth.
It was such a lush, gentle and gorgeous experience to connect so deeply with Aysen, and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy listening in.
Enjoy our ramble through the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris as well as Aysen’s relationship with her body and creativity.