There is a reason that those of European ancestry might be inspired or called to Native American or other indigenous spiritual and healing traditions.
In them, they feel the ancestral memory being stirred in remembrance of their own pre-conquest ancestral traditions that were wiped from history … or at least the history we learned in school.
“If you shut up truth, and bury it underground, it will but grow.” ~ Émile Zola
Knowing this, those of European ancestry might be inspired to remembrance by other traditions, but thus guided to research and remember their own ancestral traditions, even though the eradication campaigns happened (in most cases) longer ago than they did in what’s now known as the United States of America.
Americans, though, often have multiple ancestral lines and thus ancestral wisdom traditions, which can be its own challenge.
And yet the ancestors do call to be remembered and honored, to have vital memory restored as medicine for these times, and particularly in a culture that’s fallen badly out of balance and wholeness.
It can be most powerful, and even part of purpose or dharma during these times, to seek those wisdom traditions that are deep in the cellular or ancestral memory — literally, in our cells and bones.
When we follow the fragments and severed threads — the clues — of the European indigenous or ancestral traditions, we find worldviews that have much more in common with other indigenous-ancestral traditions throughout the world than we do with the later Roman-Christian traditions that were so focused on exterminating (often through exceedingly violent means) the pre-existing wisdom and Wise Ones adept in it.
For now, here’s just one example — the Anglo-Saxon ancestors and their concept of Haelu, from a work by the anthropologist Nigel Barley:
“Let’s just note the etymological relationship, still preserved in modern English, between the words heal, whole, health and holy.”
“These concepts were still intimately related for the Anglo-Saxons. “Haelu” was good fortune, material prosperity, health and salvation. It was mediated to Man by king, priest, or certain material objects.”
“Illness was a state of “unhāelu” where “un” signifies both a lack of “hāelu” and the presence of a negative “anti-hāelu”.”
“This then gives us a choice of remedies. Either the intrusive bad force can be removed or a transfusion of “hāelu” into the body can be given.
Both can, of course, be combined.”
~ Nigel Barley, University of Oxford, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, Vol.3:2 (1972), p. 69
Of course, thanks to the honest work of many, we know more and more that Haelu would have also been (and is) conveyed, mediated, removed, or transfused by the Wise Women (haegtessa), priestesses and seers (Filidh or Valeda), and Queens (who were perhaps trained in the Wise Women traditions, as is said of Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni). But this is a topic for a future entry — it’s on the list, so it’ll be coming up …stay tuned.
Even in the Anglo-Saxon concept of Haelu, though, I see the similarities with energy and Earth-connected traditions from other areas of the world that were based in connection rather than severance, in Lifeforce and living in harmony with Lifeforce rather than the conquering and enslaving of it as ‘fuel’ for the Machine.
As we remember, we come back into wisdom and harmony — inner and outer — both of which have gone sorely missing.
And so we are called to restore essential wisdom that’s been fragmented and buried away — to remember, reconnect, and reweave the ancestral wisdom whose clues can be found in our own cells and bones and ancestral memory.
As I’ve found and written from my own journey, the stronger and deeper our roots, the more skillfully and gracefully we navigate the storms as we live our path.
Image Credit: Photo of Pentre Ifan in South Wales is gratis The Heritage Journal.