As I work on two of my books-in-progress, both of which have much to do with the psyche, psychology, the unconscious realm, and healing in those areas, I’ve realized that much of what I am really writing about is ancestral karma. One book is about my own healing journey, tentatively called The Journey of a Wounded Healer, and the other is about my sister and her mental illness, called In My Sister’s Mind, The Ups, Downs, and All-Arounds Within the Mind of a Schizophrenic. Because of and through my work on these two books, much to my surprise, I have assisted my own journey by embracing, healing, and releasing ancestral karma.
As those of you who followed along with my blog entries to my Butterfly Journal (all entries are here) last year know, I made a huge life change by closing up my successful healing practice, selling my home that I had completely transformed, and leaving behind my little farm of veggies, herbs, berries, and chickens, to move back to my hometown San Francisco. Consciously I did that because I could no longer take the constant cold and lack of sunshine. I was also conscious of what moving back into my family home of four generations meant and what I would potentially be getting myself into.
Though consciously I hoped for different, psychically I knew that I was entering into what would be a very difficult and major healing and transformation phase, and that it was necessary for my growth. I knowingly completely tore down one fully free, creative, independent, and self-sustaining life, and keeping only the bare essentials willingly entered into into a life of nearly complete dependancy and stagnancy. As much as I was dreading it, I also knew in the depths of my psyche and by listening to the messages from Spirit, that this had to be done, and that if I did not choose to enter this transformation, the Universe would do it for me.
Fittingly this two-year slow and limiting cycle of healing and growth all occurred within the time frame that Saturn, the slow and limiting planet of transformation, was transiting my fourth house of home, family, the tribe, ancestors, and past life karma. As the past two years progressed and as I understood more and more why I was called back to home, I could feel deep healing occurring both within myself on all levels and within the walls of the home itself.
On my mother’s side, there are four generations who have lived in this house, five generations in San Francisco, and at least seven generations in California. They came partly because of famine in Ireland, and partly for the Gold Rush. On my father’s side, his parents were immigrants. Both sides have their tragedies and traumas, their adventures, their mysteries, their triumphs, and their secrets. There are ancestors who fled from crime, unexplained deaths, multiple lost babies, hidden teenage pregnancies, destructive fires, and women widowed much too young with several children. Missing pages of pictures in old photo albums add more to the mysteries, as well as hyperbolic stories of royal ancestry.
Looking back over the past 2.5 years I understand and see the whole process much better. As I slowly began to embrace my role and my journey, I was able to fully answer the soul call of my ancestors, to assist healing to take place now in the present to release the past and clear the way for future generations. Even the house itself, which used to be filled with entities and energies (I grew up aware that it was a haunted house), feels lighter and brighter. Much has been freed to fly toward the light.
The hallways here are covered with ancestors’ photos. I can only ponder all that went on in their lives, but many stories have passed on through the generations. Here are a few:
Ancestral karma and wounds can be passed down for generations genetically, epigenetically, emotionally, and psychically. Though it is helpful to know or discover the history of what these may be, it is not always possible. Communicating with ancestors has come up in the last few astrology readings I have done, and two ways that I suggest to connect to ancestors is 1) talk or pray to those you have known, such as parents, grandparents, etc. and see what messages or signs come, and 2) ask them to come in your dreams, since this is our access to the unconscious and the easiest access we have to the spirit realm. Another way to spot if you have ancestral karma that needs healing is to see if there are patterns of abuse and addictions in your family. This may have started with some sort of family trauma or tragedy generations ago or just with your own parents (they are ancestors too), but by acknowledging and embracing it and through forgiveness and gratitude, you allow it/yourself to heal and release.
The greatest medicine for healing is love. And it is through forgiveness and gratitude that we allow ourselves to love. Though it may be hard to forgive an abusive parent or other ancestor, by releasing yourself of any anger and by finding compassion for their pain and suffering, forgiveness will come. Forgiveness does not justify an action. It’s not about whether someone’s actions were right or wrong, but about our willingness to let go. This opens the way for healing. Also, there is always something we can learn about ourselves from every experience, and for at least that we can find gratitude. Healing old wounds from this life or from family lines takes time, but it will come.
Footnote: As I began working on this post this morning, my brother, the family genealogist, walks in and hands me a box – an ancestry genetics test! Ah, synchronicity!