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 5, 2014

An Ancestral Labyrinth Meditation

There are a myriad of different meditations you can use to connect with your ancestral energy flow. The only limitation is in your imagination. There’s one meditation in particular that I use often that involves the use of a labyrinth. My favorite labyrinth is the Cretan, seven circuit labyrinth. It’s a visible representation for me of the Yoruban belief that if you do not know seven generations of your family line you cannot know who you are. It was that thought that prompted the start of my personal ancestor work more than a decade ago.
I like layers to magic and meditation. So when I walk the labyrinth, I am physically moving in spiraling patterns on a horizontal landscape. And at the same time as I walk, I pull my kundalini energy upward through my body on the vertical axis of the seven chakras. When I do this, I become the meeting point of these two planes. And where they meet in me, a doorway to my ancestors opens within my heart center, the mid-point of the chakras.
When I step into the labyrinth, taking my first turn into the track, my energy sits as the base of my spine, in my root chakra, the home of instinct. I think about my parents, both of whom are still living. They are the bridge between me and those who came before them. As I walk this first track, I fill my heart with gratitude for them, for breath, for body and bone.
I turn sharply onto the second track, aligning my sacral chakra of emotion, the house of intuition, with the memories of my grandparents. I acknowledge, first, those four who gave who gave me life. My next breath is for all those who married into the family after death or divorce, who were part of my life. As I walk this second longest track, I think about who they were to me, both good and bad. I accept their flaws and I leave behind what I don’t need.
On the third and longest track, riding the outer edge of the labyrinth, I open my solar plexus chakra, where energy and ego live. I open to my eight great-grandparents, one of whom I was fortunate to know in life. One step in front of another, I contemplate my mortality and the truth that my path will someday be ghost footprints across the earth. Just as most of my great-grandparents were unknown by me, someday I will be unknown to others. There is a breaking and a humbling in this track. One step in front of another, walking the edge of the labyrinth.
At the end of the track, I cross the short bridge that joins the solar and heart paths and turn, opening the compassion of my heart. I accept what it means to be alive. I accept what it means to live. I call forth to my sixteen 2x great-grandparents, who saw the effects of the Civil War and lived the turning into the 20th century. I am grateful for how many of their stories I know. They were people like me, with families of their own, wondering what the future held. Wondering what their ancestors were like.
The shortest path rides the edge of the center. This is the track of the throat chakra, an energy center which sees a lot of action in our everyday lives. I slow my steps and open to my 32 3x great-grandparents, ones who braved wild territory to start anew. I can feel the slip stream of time as ghost steps crowd the path behind me.
Together, we turn onto the sixth track. I pull my energy and breath up into the third eye chakra, just above and behind the eyes, where empathy lives. I invite my sixty-four 4x great-grandparents to join me, and I feel my thoughts sinking deeper into my bloodstream. The fact that I only exist because those sixty-four people lived and loved is overwhelming.
I walk the final turn of the labyrinth with my one hundred and twenty-five 5x great-grandparents. One hundred and twenty-five! I think about all of those people, and the children they had who were not my direct ancestors, and the children their children had… how many cousins might their be that I will never know or meet? For a moment, I imagine I can understand what eternity means, and what it means that we are all part of the same well of energy. I open the top of my crown chakra, prepared to meet them face to face.
When I enter the center of my meditation, I am standing in the center of the labyrinth with two hundred and fifty-four spirits. They are the collective spirits of the first seven generations of my family tree. I am two hundred and fifty-five. I am a pillar of energy. I am walking in ancestral fire. I sit in the center and open to whatever visitations might occur.

When I am ready, I return the way I came. There is only one path to the labyrinth and the ways in and out are the same. As I leave, I pull my energy back down through my body, pulling my awareness back until I am me, in my body, feet on the earth. I thank each generation for journeying with me, for their part in giving me life. I return humbled, deeply connected, and surprisingly sure-footed. 

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