Seed Memory
arrow icon

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Audio clip © John Jairo Valencia

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Audio clip © John Jairo Valencia

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Seed Memory, read by John Jairo Valencia

Audio clip © John Jairo Valencia

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Seed Memory, read by John Jairo Valencia

Audio clip © John Jairo Valencia

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Seed Memory, read by John Jairo Valencia

Audio clip © John Jairo Valencia

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Sean Guerra's art
"RELEASE + SET FREE" © Sean Guerra.

RELEASE + SET FREE

I felt a heavy weight, but also the levity of letting go the cargas that were not meant for me to hold any longer. At the same time, I heard about relatives and close friends losing loved ones dear to them. Having lost two cousins in the past three years, I could empathize with the grief from the loss of a family member and wanted to give the intention of a soulful prayer for our collective journey of healing.

Sean Guerra's art
"SEEING + GUIDING TEMPLES" © Sean Guerra.

SEEING + GUIDING TEMPLES

I felt lost but still connected, searching for guidance. On a jog, I looked up and saw sprawling branches illuminated by a street lamp. It felt as if even though the world around me was falling apart, staying in tune with the senses and looking within for guidance and ancestral wisdom could lead me out of the darkness.

Sean Guerra's art
"REVELATIONS: 20/20" © Sean Guerra.

REVELATIONS: 20/20

This piece came about after looking in the mirror, accepting the mistakes I had made, and throwing my past selves through the portal in the hopes that I could shift and leave the baggage behind by cultivating self-acceptance.

I had also learned about the mythical land of “Fusang,” which some believe is an ancient Asian depiction of Mesoamerica, with references to the maguey plant. It helped me embrace nuanced perspectives of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, shedding the tired tropes of Aztlán and European “discovery,” for in truth it is possible that tri-continental migration and cross-cultural solidarity were already happening before European colonizers came. My introduction to Mesoamerica was by way of the Mixtec Codex Zouche-Nuttall, which documents the history and royal genealogies of the pueblo de la lluvia, so I was also accepting the path of reading symbols and following the rain god, Dzahui.

Sean Guerra's art
"THIS IS MESOAMERICA: JAGUARS IN THE SKY" © Sean Guerra.

THIS IS MESOAMERICA: JAGUARS IN THE SKY

This piece was inspired by a 2017 article called “The Roar of the Rain: A Late Preclassic Jaguar Pedestal Sculpture from Southern Mesoamerica,” by Andrew D. Turner, which draws the connection between Mesoamerican rain gods and jaguars.

Turner states, “The Olmecs, who produced the earliest monumental artwork in Mesoamerica, associated the jaguar with rain and, by extension, agricultural fertility. The famed artist and scholar Miguel Covarrubias first noted that the Olmec rain god, which was the precursor to the major rain deities of ancient Mesoamerica—Chahk of the Maya, Cocijo of the Zapotecs, [Dzahui of the Mixtecs], and Tlaloc of Central Mexico—was based on a jaguar prototype.”

Since I had been aligning myself with the Mixtec codices following Dzahui, I found this to be a revelation that in turn helped me to flip the Eurocentric history of settler colonialism on its head and offer a liberated pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, symbolized by the maguey plant, in its place.

Sean Guerra's art
"BRIDGES ARE TEMPLES: WE ARE THE SKY" © Sean Guerra.

BRIDGES ARE TEMPLES: WE ARE THE SKY

This piece was inspired by a print by Leopoldo Méndez of the Taller de Gráfica Popular titled “León de La Barra, the White President” (1947), in which Zapata soldiers are in the clouds pointing their rifles and bayonets downwards like lightning bolts upon the bourgeoisie.

The symbolism and title was also inspired by the revelatory writings of “third world women of color” in This Bridge Called My Back (1981), along with the moment and movement of artistic solidarity shown between the Black Panther Party and the Zapatistas of Chiapas as described in Zapantera Negra (2017), and the mural entitled “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” in Chicano Park, San Diego. Rain has been associated with jaguars and feminine energy since the first Mesoamerican civilization of the Olmecs, and African and Indigenous resistance has been at the forefront of social justice movements.

Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


Seed Memory

"Shedding" © John Jairo Valencia.

the wise benevolent ancestors gently take my hands and kiss my throbbing forehead, subtle whispers from  the world beyond this one.

as my palms lay on top of each other, they place in them seven seeds of corn… the rising sun, awaiting the spring, gently smiling, and directing me towards a piece of earth who bore  harvest several seasons ago.  

with tears in my eyes, old stories shed away as i look through the smoking mirror of long winter nights. with seeds in my hands, i wait, hopeful, faithful, that their moment to birth us back to life will come. with my pulsating heart, my breath, the aches in my gut, i remember that divine light always reemerges from the depths.  

"Las Comadres" © John Jairo Valencia.

the seeds in my palms carry dreams, transmuted light into matter, celestial DNA embedded into each kernel’s memory. with my palms, now shaking, i remember who i am, a child of the corn, the sun, and the  cosmos. as the days become warmer, my achy heart says a prayer for beauty, and the world responds with the ringing melodies of hummingbird chirps.  

with my nails i crack the crust of the earth and place my seeds, one by one, in the east, the west, north, and south, and 3 in the center, setting prayers of gratitude for the above, below, and myself. and as the seasons continue to shift, i learn that with intention, prayer, and healing comes work, responsibility, and consistency.

as the seeds shed their shells, as seedlings begin to emerge, and as the sprouts turn into stalks, i too begin to heal, learn, grow, and transform. the cycles continue, we continue, and the seeds of our prayers, intentions, and love continue to move through the hands of generations to come.

"Tree of Life" © John Jairo Valencia.


The Practice of Intention

1

If possible, play music that inspires you to be calm. This is the time to look inward. Turn off any external distractions; silence your phone.

2

Close your eyes, taking a moment to “feel” how different and peaceful it is to have the eyes closed.

3

Take three very slow and deep breaths, trying to fill out the bottom of your lungs. Inhale and exhale slowly.

4

With either hand, take a little bit of tobacco or some dry herbs—like lavender, sage, rosemary, basil, rose petals, a combination of all of them, or imagine them, if you don’t have any. In the Curanderismo tradition, it is believed that these plants have energy that can help us communicate more deeply with the spirit realm, and focus with concentration and a sense of calm.

5

Place your hand with the herbs at the center of your chest. That is the area known as the heart chakra. Take another deep and slow breath.

6

Very slowly, start directing your attention to one or more of the emotions mentioned before: love, gratitude, happiness, and peace.

7

Then, also very slowly, start your prayer, being careful that you genuinely mean what you are saying. If you are reciting a prayer in another language, make sure you say it first in your native language and then in the other language.

8

At the end of each sentence from your prayer, add a vibration of any of the emotions. Once you feel the emotions, move them throughout your body until it is vibrating. This is a very important step because this vibration is creating electromagnetic energy that will help you manifest what you are asking for.

9

Carry on with your prayer until you are done. Remember not to rush. By the end, your body should be vibrating, and from there you are going to send gratitude to the Universe, to the spirits, to your ancestors, to everyone for hearing your prayer and making it happen.

10

If you are conducting a ceremony or ritual, empowering a place or a spiritual tool, asking for healing, or something similar, you can cup your hands and transfer all of these beautiful energies into your hands and into the mixture of herbs. Then you can offer these herbs by placing them on your altar (if you have one), placing your hands on the part of the body that you want to heal, or offering the herbs to Mother Earth.

11

Finish by staying still for a moment, just feeling this beautiful energy that you have created.

Audio clip © John Jairo Valencia
Image of a handout with Paloma's practice instructions

Take Paloma’s teachings with you.

Sign up for our email newsletter below, and receive a link to download a printable copy of Paloma's intention practice. It's designed so you can fold it in three and take it with you.

Products from this story

No items found.

Continue Reading

All Issue Contents
Call for Submissions

Issue 02: Nepantla

Themes of "between," mutability, shapeshifting, boundaries and borders, springtime, changing seasons, spring equinox + your ideas. Surprise us. Share your essays, practices, art/multimedia, plantcestor profiles, and more. Submission deadline: March 7, 2021.

Like the content? Support the work.

Image of tees and hoodies with John Jairo Valencia's art on the front of each

Wear the Art

Tees and hoodies designed by Ofrenda contributors

Decorative image of three book covers

Buy Books

Find books by Ofrenda contributors and more

Donate

Make a tax-deductible donation through Fractured Atlas