: Rhythm / Devotion : is a series of interviews intended to illuminate the connection to ritual & rhythm in our daily lives. This series explores the intimacy of routine, the magic of the ordinary, & how these small acts of devotion set the stage for larger workings in the world ~
What is your name & where are you in the world?
My name is Katrina Elizabeth Hohowski. I currently live in a house made of stone beside a bog surrounded by forest in a small rural Midcoast Maine town on unceded Wabanaki land. Here, I live with my sweetheart Stefan and our two cats Maude and Sven.
How do you define your self & your work?
I suppose I feel my work is to be a bridge between the seen and the unseen. I am a communicator of truths with an arrow aimed towards balance, spiritual healing and transformation. “Creative visionary initiator” are words which came to me through the dream realm in describing my work. I am also the co-creator of Ancestral Thread.
Will you walk us through what a day in your life looks like? Begin with how you greet the morning & guide us until you close off the day in the eve ~
These late Autumnal mornings have a distinct feel and chill in the air. I have been allowing myself extra time in the dreamworld this season, rising a bit later than usual. Most mornings I am awakened by my cat Maude, crows cawing, and a faint rooster call. Once risen from bed, I pull on a cozy sweater and head to our tiny kitchen where I boil water for tea. As the water boils, I scan our tinctures and dose my current herbal remedies. After my tea is poured I climb the creaky wooden stairs to my meditation room and sit quietly greeting the energy of the day. I often record my dreams in a notebook, pull a single Rune and whisper or sing prayers to my ancestors at the seasonal altar I have created for them. After a light stretching routine I head outside, offering a splash of tea to the dooryard Hemlocks before returning to the kitchen to prepare a breakfast of muesli with apple butter.
Since I work from home with my partner Stefan, we check in with each other & plan our day’s work. We may print some garments for Ancestral Thread, sketch and discuss ideas, or work on the website. It varies from day to day depending on moods, energy, personal needs and the needs of Ancestral Thread as well. This season I am finding my movements rather slow and deliberate, working in my own time, worrying less and trusting more. Which is very welcome as I am somewhat of a recovering “workaholic.”
We break for lunch around 1 and go for a walk down the dirt road to visit the bog wearing blaze orange caps as we are in the midst of hunting season now. There is a lovely view with no houses in sight and a path which hugs the water through the woods. We may see Loons, Ducks, Muskrats, an Eagle or Heron.
Upon returning home we warm up with herbal tea, lately it's been Chaga Chai. We often work on separate projects at this point of the day. I have been researching how to become a Death Doula lately as I feel called to this work and want to learn more. (If anyone reading this has experience, feel free to contact me.)
Around 6 one of us prepares a meal for dinner, usually consisting of legumes, rice and a salad. I have been purchasing large quantities of dried bulk items, like rice, oats and beans, to limit my grocery store visits. I feel a sense of satisfaction and preparedness filling up large glass canisters and arranging them in our pantry when I can.
In the evenings, we have been unwinding with a film from the Criterion Collection website often with a huge bowl of popcorn. I tend to retire around 9:00pm and read in bed.
The next day it all happens again, but a little bit differently. Maybe I will go to the post office, or the local food co-op, maybe I will meet someone new, or visit the waterfall near our home, but mostly you will find me at home these days.
You are a talismanic clothing creator ~ how do you prepare yourself &/or your space to enter into this practice?
My preparation techniques vary and are intuitive depending on what I am presently working on. I receive many of my ideas and visions through dreams, trance states, or from sitting quietly in Nature and listening. From that open space I receive knowings, images or messages and record them as drawings or poetry. The more I work this way, I am finding that I am just interpreting the messages I hear from Mother Earth. Those images and messages often translate into our talismanic designs for Ancestral Thread.
What do you do/not do if you are feeling stuck around your work?
Water is calming, so I visit any natural water source and just let myself be. I might cry, probably sing a little intuitive song, probably not in any discernible language. Or I will have a shower if going outside feels impractical. Something inside usually needs to be released, be it a false narrative about myself or whatever it is something I cannot mentally fix or analyze too much.
Do you have a movement practice?
Yes. I love to dance! I would like to be more consistent with this practice since it is so helpful in being fully embodied, transmuting emotional responses & just super fun & playful. I love to dance outdoors without music & allow the energy of my surroundings to guide my moves. The upswell of the wind, the wavelike motion of the Pine boughs, the Cicadas’ droning hum, all have a signature I like to feel & play with. On sunny days I sometimes play with my shadow to observe the motions & gestures I am creating. I should mention, my home is mostly surrounded by trees with little risk of being seen, so I tend to really go for it!
What does structure mean to you, or what is your philosophy around ritual/routine?
I feel that I have some structure around the business aspects of my life, but have always been more of a spontaneous creator. There is a delicate balance of chaos and order I seem to be navigating throughout my life.
I have learned over the years that working in partnership with others who understand me is very helpful in grounding & focusing my energies in order to manifest my visions. If set to my own devices, I am very day dreamy, fantasizing of becoming an eternal wanderer with no material possessions. I have learned through experience that I need a home base, solid relationships, & structure for my mental health and to make tangible my creativity.
What are you listening to, reading, or watching these days?
I have been watching films from the Criterion Collection website in the evenings. Some I enjoyed are an Italian film “The Tree of Wooden Clogs” by Ermanno Olmi, which portrays the reality of peasant life & family in the feudal Italian countryside during 1898.
“Where is This Friend’s House?” by Abbas Kiarostami was endearing & so sweet, taking place in a beautiful small Iranian village. About a boy who gets into some situations trying to return a notebook to his classmate.
And a Danish film “Babette’s Feast” by Gabriela Axel, 19th century, remote coastal Protestant village. Amazing costumes & plot. I cried…
Any last words of wisdom?
My favorite t-shirt as a teenager was a thrift store find with a quote from Chief Seattle on the back which changed the way I perceived life…that and perhaps some mycelium friends as well…
“Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
How can we find your work? Website https://ancestralthread.com
I am so honored to be a part of your creation Chanelle, thank you for having me.
Thank you so much, Katrina, for your beautiful work in this world & for sharing your rhythm devotion with us ~
I connect the glass essence of Obsidian as a beautiful companion to Katrina Elizabeth & her work in the world.
I made my Obsidian essence on the eve of a new moon in Aries on 27.March, 2017 until the following morning in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The piece of Obsidian I have mysteriously arrived to me, & I still have no idea where it came from or how it ended up in my possession, which feels like a testament to some of its shadowy medicine. Obsidian is a natural form of glass that is created when lava, rich with silica, cools too quickly thus inhibiting the formation of a crystal structure, & it can range in color from dark green to black. Obsidian is often the glass you will find that scrying mirrors are made from.
Obsidian essence is helpful for surrendering into the dark—for going through the looking glass, so to speak. Obsidian's inky appearance draws us into it's mystery & into our own mysteries. Like stepping behind the curtains of ourselves, Obsidian is very quiet & protective. It allows for us to feel that protection while doing the inner, contemplative work that many of us are drawn towards doing but may feel inhibited from engaging in for reasons personal or otherwise.
Being made of silica & lava, Obsidian is very old ~ connecting us to the ancient mysteries of the Earth & its formation. Because of this, Obsidian can help us to understand our very own ancient mysteries & how we have come into form ~ how we have become who we are. Obsidian gifts us the chance to reflect & to look at our formation from the inside out. Many insights can occur from working with Obsidian for this very reason. Due to its grounding energy, there is a strong element of feeling supported & having a foundation even as we traverse the deep.
Through the looking glass of Obsidian, we are guided to dance with & face our shadows for what they are: aspects & forms of our past that trail behind us with the rich inky depths of our existence. With Obsidian, we get to see in & into the dark. We are able to move easily into & out of the underworld of ourselves & one another. This fluidity gives us a greater sense of balance & understanding of complexity in the world. It also aids us as we align with our most authentic/truest selves, with our purpose. Obsidian encourages us to bring ourselves out & into the light, pulling the curtains aside when we are ready to, not before or because we feel we must. Work with Obsidian to honor your private life, your complex depths, & those of others.
Find a bottle of Obsidian essence for yourself or a loved one here ~