I recently wrote about the importance of the mythic mind as a place where we lay claim to a larger sense of who we are as human beings. I’d like to take a moment to expand upon how ancestral work supports our connection to the mythic mind and vice versa.
The ancestral work I do is based on lineages. I can connect with individual ancestors on the lineage, but the main focus of the work is on the energy of the lineage. When I connect to my lineage is it like a flow of ancient wisdom, fed by the streams of energy of each incarnation along the line, but coming from a much more ancient source. The healing work I do helps to clarify the energy and tend to the streams, so that the waters of the ancient source run clean and true. That source energy is different from more modern and everyday consciousness. It is more mythic in nature.
When I tune into my mother’s mother line the lineage holds the wisdom of the land and the waters. It is the consciousness of the mountains, the valleys, the streams, rivers, ocean. It is a sense of relationship with these aspects of earth that is deeply intimate and profound.
My repair of this line came long before I actually started doing formal ancestral lineage work. It started as I began to reclaim my mythic mind through Akashic work, weaving my personal myth of my past lives. It deepened as I developed my own animist relationship with the land and the nature spirits. And then it emerged as I connected with my lineage and found that they too held a profound energy of land and water connection. Each layer of healing relied on my connection to the mythic mind and each layer brought me deeper not only into myself, but into the energy of my ancient lineage.
We are meant to weave these personal myths in ways that expand the possibilities for our soul path. This often requires us to be with and tend to difficult histories, but when done without clinging to labels of victim, perpetrator or rescuer, we can harvest a great wisdom of experience that informs new creation in our current moment. And the beautiful thing about the mythic mind is that it is not logical. We do not have to make sense of anything, but rather allow it to unfold mysteriously as we sit with the fullness of our being. From that place of open awareness and curiosity, so much beauty can unfold.
This is true ancestral healing. To recognize what has been and what is right now in a way so raw and bloody in its clarity that to still stand in the face of everything can only be called love.
My journey with ancestral healing actually started through plants. I was introduced to the idea that lineage was important by my shamanic aromatherapy teachers, Cathy Skipper and Florian Birkmayer. An insight they offered is that people who are called to ancestral work are often brought to this work by plants who hold the energy of lineage strongly in their beings. After their class I went on a mad ancestry.com research binge and tracked nine of my direct lines (mother's mothers, father's mothers, etc) back to being in the US before the revolutionary war. What I found was a pattern of Puritanism, colonization and enslavement... the founding wounds of the country where I reside. My ancestral work comes with this lens of tending the wounds that these lineages hold as well as inflicted. My ancestors were also burned at the stake and fled homelands for religious freedom. They were some of the original hunter gatherers in Europe and saw the change of their land and lives through farming, imperialism and capitalism. I hold the complexity of these histories with great compassion. I also believe that white people need to do some deep level reckoning, grieving, figuring out what their contribution to reconciliation is.
In 2020 I was gifted with the opportunity to participate in writing an essay for the book "Whiteness is Not An Ancestor: Essays on Life and Lineage by white Women". The final draft of this book was released to the 13 co-authors the day that Mr. George Floyd was murdered. This enraging event underlined the work that is needed to be done not only individually for white folks, but on the systems of oppression that we often unconsciously uphold.
To learn more about the book and get an idea of the kind of conversations that are needed in the white community, you can view a talk I participated in on the book: Youtube video can be found here.
My thoughts on the path of deep animist relationship