Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ancestors - Part Two


Ancestral Karma and Tasks

As individuals, we are a combination of our biological genetic ancestry, our personal spiritual ancestry, and our individual soul’s path of learning—shaped by the land on which we live and the times in which we live.

Because of our biological inheritance from our ancestors, we also carry what I’ve come to call “family karma.”

It may be that not every member of every family is working on family “karma.” And certainly not all that are doing so are conscious of doing so, which is a good thing, actually. But some of us do feel our own pieces of it—at certain times in our life more than at other times. In my own case, I feel strongly that some of the lines I carry simply had to make it to the west coast of the American continent. I am still not completely sure why and am working on figuring it out. But I know I am right where I am supposed to be—about as close to the Pacific Ocean as I can be without being in it!

When I met my Texas cousin I became very aware that certain of us had to stay on the sacred soil of Texas. The geomantic influences of the land we live on shape us. The spirit beings—nature spirits, plant and tree spirits, faeries, land dragons—of each of area have subtle differences, and affect us in subtly different ways. I think this is one of the ways in which our personal karma intersects with our ancestral karma.

Historically speaking, Texas represented a new start for several of my southern families after the Civil War. Moving from the war-torn south to a new land allowed these desperate and torn families to continue. The same may be said about the original journey from Europe to North America.

This is because families renew themselves, just as do individual humans. This renewal is physical and spiritual, and mental and emotional as well. Just as individuals may feel strongly that they must stay put and deepen where they reside, or, move on to greener pastures and new possibilities, so too do families. However, in the case of families, there are many individuals, so various scenarios may be played out simultaneously, for the good of the entire family blood-group.

I have no proof of this; it is just something I feel strongly. I feel the family as a blood-group is, in a sense, evolving, learning, and growing, even though its individual members may not be aware of it. Patterns are played out, things are learned, and information is transmitted—via some deep spiritual-biological mechanism of genetic communication of which I am only dimly aware from my own experiences with it.

About a year after meeting that distant cousin I found myself with an unexpected opportunity to attend a workshop in Georgia. At first my focus was preparing for the workshop itself. But then it slowly began to dawn on me that some of the ancestors (ones I shared with this woman) were from Georgia, and nearby Tennessee and North Carolina as well. These ancestors were both European and Native American. An eerie feeling crept over me as I realized I was being called back to the ancestral lands. I knew there was something there for me, and I knew I had to take a gift. Shortly before I left I happened upon a produce stand which sold Indian corn of various colors. I found they had jars of dried corn as well. I purchased a pound of so of this corn of many colors, and made a necklace of it to take along to gift to the land.

After the workshop I rented a car and took a whirlwind 3 day tour of my ancestral lands. At one point, while driving across the Great Smokey mountains, I felt compelled to pull off to the side of the road and get out. I followed this instinct, and soon was wandering deep into the woods by the road. I came upon a dip in the ground that contained a small pool; the pool turned out to be a tiny creek that flowed deeper into the woods. I stood by this pool and knew this was the spot. As I held the corn necklace and prepared to offer it to the land and the water, something rose up in me and I began to weep. Feelings and memories were flowing through me. But it was a curious feeling, because although they were flowing through me and I was reacting to them, I didn’t feel as personally connected to them as I had with past life memories I’d previously experienced. And yet there was a connection; this I could tell. In less time than it takes to read this I realized I was experiencing DNA memories. My blood and bones were crying out in both joy and sorrow with all the memories they carried about this land. That part of me was very glad to be there, and even happier when I finally dropped the necklace into the pool of water, with love and prayers. Gradually my tears subsided, and something within me felt complete, and ready to move on.

Later, as I continued my drive through the mountains, this experience led me to think of the land as “Mother,” and how it feels to move away from Mother and individuate. There is much wrapped up in this concept of Mother and Motherland. Our relationship with the land beings, and indeed, the Original Instructions given us long ago as tribal people about how to live life and relate to the land, are all tied up in this.


River of Blood, River of Tears

In ancestor work we often refer to the River of Blood and the River of Tears. The River of Blood is all the blood of all the life upon the earth; including, quite obviously, the blood we inherit from our ancestors—our DNA, and all that it carries.

The River of Tears is the river of all the tears shed in all the lives ever lived. These can be tears of joy, of relief, of fear, pain, or sorrow. The River of Tears is the emotional energy carried in DNA. We contribute to it when we cry and grieve for something, as well as when we cry tears of joy. We partake of it when we allow ourselves to be cleansed by the tears, since this River can be clearing and cleansing as well as a place of sadness.

The River of Blood and the River of Tears are both salty, as is the sea.

Salt is a crystal and its geometric structure is the very stable, four-sided cube shape. Because it is four-sided, it is magically representative of the element of Earth whose number is four; this “fourness” includes the four elements and directions. Because crystal holds and stores energy, one may speculate that the microscopic salt crystals in blood may act as a form of compact memory storage.

Our salty blood and salty tears show our connection to the earthy realm of the Underworld Goddess. Hers is the realm of life, death, and memory, and the Rivers of Blood and Tears flow through it.

Working with these Rivers can bring us the wisdom of our ancestors, but it is up to us to receive what is given and work with it, and “make it wisdom” for ourselves and our children. This may involve the cleansing and healing of old wounds, and the breaking down of old patterns and creation of healthy new ones, so that the outgrown damaging ones are no longer passed down through the family. This work is not easy, and not everyone is called to it. But it can have a powerful effect on future generations.

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