Secrets of Magic 20: Remember your Ancestors

Each of us has a physical mother and a physical father. Even if we do not know them, they have provided us with our physical bodies. Their mothers and fathers in turn gave birth to them, which was necessary for us to come into the world. Biologically, we all have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, thirty-two great-great-great-grandparents, branching ever more broadly as we reach back in time. These multitudes of forebears are our ancestors, all of whom contributed to making our lives possible.

We know that traits that run in families. There are physical characteristics, medical conditions, life expectencies. We look at these people and know we are linked to them. Our relationship goes beyond the physical. Families have cultures, preserve memories, share histories, but our affiliation goes beyond that too. Even if we have been separated from them for much of our lives, when we meet our blood relatives, we experience a connection with them that goes beyond the accident of birth.

In some places in the world families are large, living close to one another geographically, sometimes confined and sometimes supported by the network of relationship. In other places in the world, families have shrunk, narrowing to just our immediate parents and siblings, or one parent, or no parents at all. Many of us form intentional families, seeking kinship with others who are not in our immediate biological kin set. These are real families, providing the human support and connection which we all need to survive.

We may live among or visit people sharing our ethnic heritage. Walking the streets of the country where our grandparents lived, we can see some of the same physical traits in the people around us. It is as if the whole country is made up of our relatives. Those who have been adopted sometimes discover their ethnic heritage through travel.

Meditating on the branching of our ancestral tree, we begin to realize that we have many biological relatives in the world. We share degrees of kinship with all the descendants of our thirty-two great-great-great grandparents. If we go back far enough in time, we all descend from a few ancestors. Some scientists believe that all humans share one ancient ancestral mother. Everyone around us is ultimately related to us. Our intentional families may be biologically distant from us, but none of us are strangers.

Whether we live among hundreds of biological relatives, or have never known any member of our birth family, we have inherited a fundamental part of our life force from our parents and our ancestors. It is the energic framework that animates us, like chicken wire under plaster. When we recognize this and acknowledge it, we touch an important source of our life energy.


I remember my ancestors.

Practice: Thanking the ancestors

Write a journal entry about your family. Think about the physical traits you share. What energy do you sense that you share?

If you have pictures of your biological parents and grandparents, get them out and look at them. If you do not have pictures of them or do not know them, look at pictures with people who share your ethnic heritage, or imagine people who look like you. Think about the generations of people who preceded you. Take a moment to thank them for your physical life and for the energy of the family which created you.

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