Through Shamanic practice I have come to understand the huge impact our ancestors have on our lives.
In American “western” society this idea is foreign. We who have grown up in this environment have suckled on the bottle of belief that we are independent of all things. We are taught to believe that by our own will alone we can create whatever we want to. Those who came before or come after are irrelevant. This is an underlying belief that I have come to understand within myself, and see the effects in the world around me. It is the American Archetype, a tune that we have playing underneath political agendas, and business plans all across our beautiful country.
In spite of this denial of connection, the fact remains that we are fundamentally connected. We cannot exist without being connected to all things. We are intrinsically connected to all that is but on a more personal level we are connected to our ancestors and souls linage at a molecular level. Woven into the fabric of your DNA is the imprint of your ancestors. The vibration of their triumphs, and sorrows still ring within us. If they experienced starvation, loss of a child, loss of family, sexual abuse, murder (to name a few things that our DNA thinks worthy of recording ) the result is subconscious behaviors that will play what is written in our bones. This is true of the good stuff as well: talents, kindness, success, joys are also resounding in our bones. Our ancestors who lived well and died well provide tremendous support to our lives, on all levels and in ways we cannot even fathom.
We all have both. I assure you. You would not be here if this was not true.
Your linage is the most personal thing about you, and is endlessly fascinating to explore.
Another part of the American Archetype is that we came here from somewhere else. Before coming here our ancestors usually had a strong sense of familial pride. Often the reason for leaving was life threatening as in war, or starvation. When doing some work within my own linage I found a deep wounding and sadness when my family left Italy. Abandonment of family and home hurts even when the reason is starvation and war. My great great grandmother died with the sadness of never seeing her son again. This has informed me on a subconscious level my whole life. I never felt like I belonged where I was. This is a such a common sensation in our society that we believe it to be normal. It is not. We should be sourcing from the wisdom of the land and the wisdom of our ancestors. This is felt in the belly place and is completely lacking in most of us.
So... what do you do about that?
On the physical level honor your ancestors with shrines, and research on ancestor.com. This is fun, creative, and lets your mind have some fun.
On the energetic and spiritual levels use shamanic journey, and ceremony to meet your ancestors.
Consciously connect to where you live now. Asking the mountains, and waters of the earth to inform you. asking the ancestors of your current land to work with you in healing these hurts. Asking to be adopted by the place you now live.
Also when you can, make a pilgrimage to the land your ancestors did originate from and do honoring ceremony.
There are many ways to do this. Here are some links to sites that can give you ideas: Why Shamanism Now, Ancestral Medicine, or come to some workshops at the Harmony Hut.
I can tell you from experience this works. The sensation of belonging and support is one of those things that can be known but not told. I highly recommend it.
Know that these hurts can heal, and we have a duty to do the work it takes to make that happen.
If this has resonated for you and you feel you need some guidance and assistance in ancestral healing feel free to contact me for a session or if you have any questions.
Josephine Thomason is an artist, healer, teacher.