September 10, 2012

Connect With Your Ancestors

I have no roots in this land. I am a member of settler culture, and my ancestors came here in the great wave of colonization. Only a few scattered generations, bereft of their traditions, lie in the ground here. I have no stories of the land, no means of communicating with the spirits of those who came before, no long-nurtured relationship with the rivers and winds and land to inherit.

This is no excuse for cultural appropriation. I have no right to steal parts of other cultures and spiritualities, nor do I deserve pity for being part of a culture that severed it's humanity in order to gain riches. What I do have the responsibility to do is regain a connection with my roots.

My ancestors came from several regions - Norway, Ukraine, Portugal. I want to regain some of the biocentric traditions of my culture, the ancient ways developed over long years immersed in a living, breathing world, a world alive with intention, with spirits and cold flowing waters, with great winds and bright starshine.

For me, the first steps involve learning the history of my people. How did they become colonized? When? What came before? What came after? In these questions, and in beginning to regain connection to our ancestors, we may be able to gain some of their wisdom and once again learn to live as connected peoples.

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