Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Places of Power

Where were you born?
Niagara Falls. This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.
Thank you to user Kgab who posted this photo (2007) onto Wikipedia Commons.
It is available for public use without restrictions.

I was born less than 2 miles from the Great Niagara Falls. To be in the presence of the sound, size and sheer natural force of it spilling over like a thunderous herd of water beasts is a humbling experience, whether you’re on the American or Canadian side, or whether you’re standing above it or touring the river on the Maid of the Mist at the base of it. There are rainbows at the bottom of its plunge that shimmer in mist that plumes when 4-6 million cubic feet of water (depending on height of flow) rushes down into river currents every minute.

I can look back through my life and smile at the realization that I have yet to live far from water. I grew up along the Erie Canal, attended college and lived the first years of my adult life on Lake Erie. I spent my summers in mountains among creeks and lakes, hiking through creekbeds and climbing behind waterfalls. My idea of heaven was working in the Smoky Mountains, surrounded by waterfalls of incomparable beauty while the clouds rolled through the town at dawn and dusk. My current house sits mere blocks away from the meeting point of two rivers. It is water that feeds and quiets me most.

Where do you live?

Ancestral Places of Power
Mountains, forests, streams, lakes, deserts, plains, meadows, savannahs, volcanoes, hot springs, oceans, caves, jungles and tundras. The land beneath us is made up of different elemental composites and we draw power from the land we live on. We can also draw power from the land of our ancestors.

What natural landscapes did your ancestor coax sustenance and nourishment from? It can be as general as knowing you have Irish heritage and as specific as knowing that your family lived in Derry before immigrating to New York City. With the information gathered from years of family collection and research, I can trace a loose image of the migration of my family lines.

From the shire of Invernesss at Lochaber to Aberffraw Castle in Wales, with time spent in Y, Somme of Normandie France, they moved, with generations spending time in Malltraeth and Powys, Wales and a few on the Isle of Man. There are multiple generations after in Eyton, Shropshire of the UK, followed by Dover, Kent before emigrating to Watertown, Massachusetts. Then there were settlements at Dedham, Medfield and Norfolk, and both Ashford and Tolland, Connecticut before ending in the farmlands of New York. One generation went into Riley, St. Clair and Port Huron in Michigan, with the next one coming back into the farmlands they left in New York.

From the southwestern woods of Austrian Silesia and Dieppe, France another line came to the colonies at New Amsterdam, New Netherlands and New Haarlem, before settling at Hackensack, New Jersey for a while. From Needingworth, Doddington and Chatteris, England they journeyed to Haverhill, Methuen and Andover, Massachusetts, moving into the farmlands and fresh waters of New York where these lines would eventually join.

From Tyrone Co., Ireland they came to Brimfield and Monson in Massachusetts for a number of generations before moving through Vermont into Western New York. Years after colonies had become settlements and then towns, my forebears came from Hesse Darmstadt, Germany into the farmlands of the Great Lake in New York.

While I dream about walking through a town foreign to me where my ancestors built a home and farmed land from the soil, the reality is that you don’t have to visit the homeland of your people to call on that land as a source of power. I do advise doing some research into what the landscape was like during the time your ancestors lived there, but that’s more for visual curiosity and focus than necessity.

Symbol Magick
Look at a world map and print yourself a copy. Plot out the locations you have. If you don’t have specifics, outline the country or county of the cultures you know exists in your DNA. From here it’s totally an artist’s discretion. You can leave them as plots and take out the map background, leaving a personal constellation for you to use as a magickal symbol. You could connect the dots marking their migration leading up to your home town. You could also use the place of your birth, or where you live now, as a center point, connecting the other locations to that first one, creating a sunburst effect that shows you energetic lines. Whatever method you apply, this symbol is specific to you and your family, and can be used as a visual aid in trying connecting to your ancestral dead.

1 comment:

  1. I strongly agree with you on the idea of the importance of where we're born and how it resonates throughout our lives. This is an idea that was introduced to me in Malidoma Patrice Somé's THE HEALING WISDOM OF AFRICA and has stuck with me ever since.


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