Our ancestral fields - family trees are numerous and diverse. There is no way for us to know all of our ancestors, some are lucky to have quite a detailed and long family history available and for some even the closest ancestors are a mystery. No matter what we know in our conscious awareness, on a level of our soul and our epigenetics and genetics we are always connected to that field ‘behind’ us. We carry their stories in our bodies; we follow in their steps, make their mistakes and continue what they have started. We inherit their trauma and we inherit their wisdom and strength. We receive their blessings and curses, we entangle with their destinies. We do this out of love and deep loyalties to our tribe, to those who gave us life and who gave us this chance on earth, who was instrumental in our survival.
In all those centuries of ancestors everything that could have been has already happened. All sorrows and happiness, all loss and love. Every family has a history of pain but it also holds and treasurers stories of success, love and tenderness.
When we are faced with a question or an issue that bugs us and prevents us from good night sleep, when we don’t know what to do, how to do it, what is the right step – we can connect with Those who know. Those who came before us, experienced life and found a way out, found an answer, found right solution.
A simple meditation is to set up three or four (or as you are guided) stones to represent ‘Those who know’ and one for ‘you’. First take a place of ‘you’, allow yourself to drop into your body, take a deep breath, notice what is going on inside of you, hold your question in your awareness but focus on your body. Look at ‘Those who know’ in front of you and notice what changes in you when you know they are there. Introduce yourself as their descendant and present them with your question. Notice what happens in your body, when you do that.
Step out of your place and chose one of the ‘Those who know’ place to step in to. As you take a place of representing ‘Those who know’, take time to listen to your body. Notice what happens as you represent an ancient one. Look at your descendant who is asking a question from 2019, notice how it feels. As you focus on your body allow an answer to emerge from deep within you. It could be a subtle knowing, or a sensation or a word or a full-formed answer. It could be just a confirmation of support whatever happens, or a feeling of being on the right path. It will happen in your own way. Offer it to your descendant in a short, concise, kind wording. It always helps to speak out loud even when you are on your own. Vibration of words is as important as their meaning.
Step out of ‘Those who know’ and back into ‘you’. Allow yourself to hear the answer and to fully receive it. Thank them for their support. Take a deep breath in and out and finish this meditation.
Representing your family tree is a great practice to connect with your place in your family, to visualise all these lives lived before you, to see patterns and get insights. It might be of use especially when feeling unsupported and lonely. Spending some time with this field, maybe turning your back to it to feel all of them behind you can be quite healing and grounding. There is no need in any major interventions, just being there, paying attention is enough. In some South African traditions they have regular ceremonies with ancestors either asking for something or giving thanks depending on the need and time of day. They use special poetic language, bring offerings and burn herbs. It is a beautiful ceremony of connections with all those who came before, their support and blessings. I believe we don't have to have it in our cultures to be able to connect with ancestral blessings and support, we just need to be present, give our attention and say - 'Thank you for my life'.
I am fascinated by the Systemic Family Constellations work and everything shamanic. I study it, practice it, research it. Here, I am sharing what I learn and hope it can be of use to somebody interested in healing their families, communities and lives.
In 2019 I published some of my poetry inspired by systemic work in this journal. It is available as PDF, Kindle or printed at the link above.