Reclaiming Our Ancestral Knowledge, A Conversation With The Biz Bruja

Vanessa Codorniu, Ancestral Knowledge and Intuition BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Codorniu

For the longest time, we have subjected ourselves to keeping our beliefs limited. If something has always been a certain way in our family, we assume it should always continue to be that way. It is a kind of ancestral knowledge that is passed from generation to generation.

If our past family generations have had problems with relationships, we assume some kind of bad ancestral juju was put on us, and we will never achieve a successful and stable relationship with our own partners. 

We are simply not meant for love if our great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and mothers had problems in that area — but the truth is that that’s where we are wrong. We are strong Latinx women in control of our lives and our future — and we can do this by honoring and learning from our past and simultaneously moving past it. 

What kind of trauma and psychological restraints are we tiptoeing on? Why are we restricting ourselves and the potentials of our lives based on the past? Are we not the ones that hold our future in our hands? 

We recently talked to the Argentine-American Clinical hypnotherapist and founder of the School of The Healing Artes, Vanessa Codorniu, also known as the Biz Bruja, about the importance of reclaiming our ancestral gifts and how to trust our intuition to rewrite our stories. We got into the roots of getting past our limited beliefs, creating boundaries with loved ones as a healer/empath, and helping cope through this pandemic. Here’s what we can do to start rewriting our stories.

Tell us about your previous practices, for example, your work with therapy hypnosis and shamanic practicing? How do all these practices intertwine with ancestral knowledge and healing?

I went to the Hypnosis Institute of New York. There was not a lot of hypnosis training [at the time]. The whole link was that we have intuition; we have some beliefs in my family, but just because we have intuition and we know things, and just because we have ancestral knowledge and stories, doesn’t mean that we can heal. 

I saw that people were still suffering — they were intuitive, but they were suffering a lot. We can’t erase suffering because that’s part of being human; we can’t escape being ill or disappointments in life. 

So I studied clinical hypnosis and explored so much on that area to past life regression, which takes us back to a past life if there is one. So, in a past life session you don’t ask ‘go back to the 1800s when you were a soldier;’ you don’t do that — you ask if there’s a past life and if it is [for example] affecting someone in their love life, people start describing the streets or wherever they were during the heartbreak. When you bring people through it, they release it. 

In the hypnosis world, the hypnosis that is most respected and now getting more research and studies is clinical hypnosis, so that’s what I studied first. Hypnosis is the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action because you’re very relaxed — you’re not knocked out, you’re not in a trance. 

In general, everyday hypnosis is when you want a change, you hire an expert, and they’re working for you to help you tap into those inner resources and ancestral knowledge that already exist within you. During hypnosis, you’re in a really relaxed state and highly responsive to suggestions or directions. It is used as a therapy to uncover suppressed memories or change a modification by suggestion. What are the subconscious mindsets that we’ve inherited? It’s really amazing when clients release subconscious programming and bring in new ones and realize ‘I have the choice to change now’ to choose differently from their mother or grandmother or great-grandmother. This is a modern time! Hypnosis helps us get out the subconscious programming, do deep healing on the layers and then come out with this renewed, refreshed energy.

How does one reclaim these inner resources and spiritual guidance — and ultimately break the generational cycles of blockage patterns or trauma?

One of the first things is to begin to notice. Begin to notice those times when you feel something within you. It happens to all of us. We have to remember that we are a part of a colonized world where we’ve been taught not to listen to our inner selves for the most part. Begin to notice your own intuitive sense. Notice the times when you’ve overlooked your own knowledge, and you’ve suffered for it. Notice when you’ve listened to your inner knowing. 

Beyond noticing — how do you get that intuitive knowing? Is it a hearing? Is it a gut feeling? When you start to pay attention to your intuitive knowledge, the next point is to begin looking at your ancestral knowledge and pay attention to the stories swimming around your family and documenting it. Also, notice the fears. Some of these fears are ancestral protections that don’t work for us now. Getting back to your question: honor your intuition and begin to trust it, figure out your ancestral stories, write them down, and dream into the new stories. Rework those stories

The pandemic has been keeping us on edge, and it’s difficult not to feel the pain of what’s happening globally — how do you cope with this as an empath?

For me, I went back to the basics that I live on: my connection to my breath, my connection to being here present in my body. My altarsito. Those practices that a lot of us Latinxs have, or maybe we’ve seen our family do. Trusting that the way things are happening — even if I don’t like it at all and have any control over it — that there’s greater wisdom. I take baths to intentionally release what is mine and what is not mine. The advice that I give is to seek joy. Seek to play in positive ways. While we can’t go back to normal, I invite us to reach for the joy. Play games. Beyond that — come back to yourself — take that spiritual class that you’ve always wanted to take. Self-care and understand that we don’t have to be perpetually moving to be of value. 

How do you set boundaries with your loved ones as a healer?

The first thing that people need to recognize is that as an emotional intuitive — as an empath — we need to be happy as a healer. We can’t force ourselves to be happy. We need to make it a priority to do the things that make us happy because as an empath we are psychic sponges that pick up emotion everywhere. Empaths are reading people’s needs, and I want to say this to every empath reading this: it is not our job to save anyone. Is it not our job to listen to everyone or heal everyone because people heal themselves.

What we can do is hold space for their healing. I set my boundaries by creating a life with clear boundaries. I think once we get clear on what we need, it becomes easier to communicate it to others. The guilt is big for an empath, so I’d say to meditate. Breathe. Allow only your energy to come back.