“Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”
Linda Hogan – Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World
When I start a Bone reading for a new client, I always mention that we may be hearing from our Ancestors, Angels and Guides – those who wish to impart information for the greatest and highest good of their beloved descendant. They have a vested interest in your happiness, as your family of origin. Moreover, we often hear from the Ancestors we have in common, for, if we chain it back far enough, we all come from the same predecessors at some point.
My Ancestral line has always fascinated me, though I don’t know much about it. I remember doing a genealogy project in school, and pressing my paternal grandmother (the only one of my grandparents who was alive when I was born) for information about our origins. She did tell me about the people she remembered, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t much (and, in hindsight, some of it was incorrect). My mother told me a few snippets about her parents’ families, but, again, her grandparents lived in other countries, so she didn’t know much about them. In the age before the internet, that was where my research ended.
Now that so many archives are available to us without even leaving the house, genealogical research is somewhat simpler. Lately I have been doing some preliminary queries, from free online sources, and found quite a few things I didn’t know; for example, my great grandparents’ names and countries of origin, my grandparents’ occupations and approximate ages (I found three different birth years for my grandfather, whom I resemble so strongly that once a complete stranger who knew him immediately recognized me at my workplace) and some interesting side information. I learned that my mother’s father, an anthracite coal miner who died young from lung disease, was injured when a stone fell on him as he was mining out the coal by hand. He was reported as “Charles,” a lazy anglicization of his actual name, “Cesare.” I also discovered that my mother’s grandparents (though Slovak) had likely fled to and were living in Austria, and spoke German! I had never heard anything about that before. I’m looking forward to what else I may find.
In my work I love connecting my clients with their Ancestors who have passed over. I even get to “know” the deceased family members of regular clients, and recognize them when they visit with us during a reading. My Bones contain a few shells that represent different generations – three Babylonia shells of different sizes representing parents, grandparents, and the great-grandparental generation, plus a tiny Cantharis shell representing babies and new beginnings. Then there is the one special shell – the Reticulated Cowrie – that represents the entire Ancestral line – the Ancestral Bone.
Most of us think of our families as our spouse or significant other, kids, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, etc. – those generations that are close enough for us to know their names and at least preliminary information about them. What we forget is that our Ancestors go back for not just centuries, but millennia. The fact is, our Ancestors throughout the ages don’t just fade away, forgetting about their children. They remain in our lives, and have a vested interest in who we are, how we live our lives, and the legacies we leave, which is of course their legacy as well.
The Ancestral Bone comes up when you need to be reminded of those thousands whose love resulted in you – the centuries and more of lovemaking that has brought you to this place and time, following in their footsteps and realizing ancestral aspirations. I like to think of it as a multiverse of intention in time and space in which the generations in that line continue to bring their unique qualities to the world, be they positive or not. Your Ancestors usually use this Bone to tell you that they’re watching over you, that they’re proud of you, and that you are exactly where you need to be to advance the family vision and purpose.
I believe that we choose the family into which we’re born, even though some of us may look around at a difficult childhood and wonder what on earth for. When recognizing our purpose in this time and place, we need to think beyond ourselves to whether we’re doing what our Ancestors would want for us. Perhaps our purpose is to continue a legacy of generosity to humanity. Perhaps it’s to right past wrongs, and live in a way that heals not only our own karma, but that of our Ancestors as well. Maybe it’s to amass as much personal wealth as possible, and test ourselves with the possibilities that stem therefrom. Perhaps we’re in a position of beginning a healing generational line of kindness replacing abuse and trauma – often just surviving adversity is a catalyst for change. We knew and agreed to this “contract” before entering this world – now it’s our responsibility to follow through. The challenge is to live our lives in such a way as to avoid leaving a karmic burden for those who follow us.
No pressure, right?? That’s where our Ancestors come in – they haven’t gone anywhere, and are ready and willing to answer your questions, your longings, your confusion, your worries, your fears, as long as you ask for it. Connect with them through meditation, through prayer, through getting to know who they are and how you may be alike or dissimilar. How do you fit in to the family line? How can you enhance their place in history? How can you carry on their intentions?
I often tell clients whose Ancestors show up in readings to try to connect by finding out more about the personal life and times of those who are communicating with them, if known. Did they look like you? Do you share a talent, profession or favorite pastime? Where did you get your piercing blue eyes, bubbly laugh, or short temper? Were you named after someone much beloved by others in your family? Finding out more will not only bring you closer to your Ancestral line, but may bring you closer to figuring out that age-old question – why am I here? Your Ancestors know, and can’t wait to tell you.