I "Walk the Lines"
By Iona Miller, 2016
By "walking the lines" backward of each of the branches of our family tree, we can study the layers of multidimensional superimposed imagery, which emerge from each couple, and their own respective networked lines.
'Walking the lines' is a ritual situated in the imaginal landscape suggested by our ancestral lines which lead into our collective ancestral past. Along the path, or circuits of ancestral energies, the secret meaning of life is discovered. Your ancient path of pilgrimage is rich with meaning, and is a powerful tool -- seeking soul and spirit in a movement toward transcendence.
Tracing the Path
Like the shamans of old who ascended and descended the archetypal World Tree, genealogists can "walk the tree" -- "The Big Tree" or the "World Family Tree" -- from one end to the other, or "up" toward the past and then back "down" to the present on another line. Within this tree, people are either connected by "bloodlines" or through marriage. Bloodlines can include adoptions and illegitimacy, either acknowledged or unacknowledged.
Long lines, about 13 generations back lead into medieval times. "Walking the path" means you MUST visit every profile in both paths, no shortcuts. We find ourselves walking the lines and paths around and up to legendary figures, and further back, purely mythic characters -- liminal entities.
Treading the Path
Walking a path is symbolically a spiritual practice, a pilgrimage, like walking or tracing a labyrinth -- a spiritual exercise of contemplative walking a sacred path. We turn back to our center, to our origin, by a devotional path. A walk through the World Tree or a walk in the labyrinth is a cosmic journey through the heavens.
There is no right or wrong way; we have to enter and follow a path with presence. Our attitudes, focus, experience, consolation, and reflection may shift each time, or as we follow path. Traversing the labyrinth brings us into wholeness with all parts of our being. When we walk the labyrinth it recreates a very ancient expression of thanks and remembrance of the divine in all things. So does the family tree, expressing our completeness outwardly.
Like labyrinth, your genealogy has one way in and one way out -- you. Such an initiation, shifting perspectives, awakens the knowledge encoded within. Walking the labyrinth and walking our lines share a spirit. The circuits of the labyrinth pattern and genealogy share the same meaning -- a maze of ancestors, and a way to meander through them -- spiritual umbilical cords.
We walk a labyrinth by stepping into the entrance and putting one foot in front of the other. After traveling through all the paths and windings, the walker comes into the center - the six - petal rosette - the rose line, a symbol of the Holy Grail. Like walking the labyrinth, genealogy can be an exercise in self-healing. Both are journeys to the center and back out again to the ordinary world.
Seeking the Ancestors
Our genealogy is a sensorium of multisensory informational content. Relationship paths connect you to closest blood relationships via a given ancestor through several families, via either parent, male or female, or combinations thereof. There can be many relationship paths to the same ancestors.
Collapsing the space between us, each ancestor, or avatar of our descent, touches us with an imaginal poem that is a product of their embedding in our ancestral history - layer after emerging layer of our augmented reality. They begin to talk to us in many ways: ambiance, serendipity, synchronicity, personal, contextual, instructively and artistically.