Depth Genealogy: Retrieving Your Ancestors
"To give birth to the ancient in a new time is creation."
~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 311
Retrieval does *not* mean "going back in time" but, rather,
remembering what we've forgotten. Yes, that is a re-naissance.
As humans, we still live live in a Tree -- the ancient World Tree of our ancestors. We can use archeomythology to retrieve the ancestors, our lost soul, and the Feminine. Deeply buried in the layers of our cellular memory are the myths and stories of the Great Goddess; therein lies a connection to the very source of healing that we so desperately seek.
If we are lucky, and not too dissociated, we can feel our pain. Pain becomes a portal into deep awakening, and when we are truly blessed we can hear the faint and distant echo of the voice of the Mother calling to us through our pain, as she calls to us now. It is her blessing of love that fills our hearts and souls with the moisture of life, as we soak it up like land parched by drought, welcoming a long awaited rain.
Mystical Marriage & Groundwork
The Mystical Marriage, the union of self and the divine, soul and spirit, is a process of being reborn on multiple levels of Ascent and Descent. Genealogy is the groundwork of our reclamation project. which leads downward toward the dark center of our individual selves and into the fruitful mysteries of nature and ancestral lines already etched somewhere within us.
When we encounter the soul we are more likely to say we has uncovered our unique gifts, destiny, life purpose, or personal meaning. Through soul encounter, we learns why spirit and nature gave birth to our exceptional individuality and particular way of belonging to the world.
The soul path is often associated with the setting sun (and thus the direction of west), the descent to our earthy roots, into the wildness of the soil and the soul, a journey into the underworld, a voyage into darkness or shadow. We may have been taught that the downward direction is a turn away from the sacred, toward evil and wickedness, toward “hell.” Then, entering the underworld is sinful, suicidal, or a one-way trip reserved for those who have been particularly bad.
Likewise, nature has been rendered as evil. Pan, the Greek’s horned god of the forest, was transformed into the devil of Christian mythology. Most Western cultures have feared wild nature and have thought of it as unruly, a realm whose laws clash with society’s. We have, in short, been led to believe that nature and soul are not merely wild but inherently dangerous, forbidden, tainted, or evil.
This journey of descent prepares us to live in the world with its harsh need to change us, and shows us where and how to make our stand on solid groundwork, firmly and uniquely. On this half of the spiritual journey, we do not rise toward heaven but fall toward the center of our longing. Although equally sacred and perhaps even more ancient than the journey of ascent, this second spiritual realm may be unfamiliar.
The concept of soul embraces the essence of our particular individuality while spirit is universal. Spirit and soul are both sacred; they imbue life with meaning, beauty, and mystery. Spirit and soul are both spiritual or transpersonal—they exist beyond the personal, beyond the conventional mind or personality. They might each be referred to as the “sacred Other.”
Thomas Moore, in Care of the Soul says whereas in spirit, "we reach for consciousness, awareness, and the highest values," soul "has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart and personal substance."
Spirit wants to go toward beyond every unseen horizon; soul wants to remain in the world and its complexity, to stay within. Spirit wants transcendence; soul wants immanence. Spirit would leave all worldliness behind to escape to heaven, while soul wants to find heaven on earth and in all the earth's messiness.
The inseparable roots systems of the genealogical discipline are mystical practices and healing traditions, providing direct experience of the numinous, heartful healing, and an embodied awakening, summoning the soul toward a return, a reunion with the origin and the eternal.
The descent into our genealogical roots in the 'land of the dead' has its own rewards both independent of the ascent and in conjunction with it. As Rilke wrote:
"If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees."
The rooting (of trees, of our selves) is as important and as necessary as the rising. We have the opportunity to sink roots into soul and rise up with branches in heaven.
"If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could root down ascendant, like trees." Our spiritual growth is meant to go toward the fertile darkness and the glorious light, each of us having the opportunity to bridge earth and heaven—the underworld and the upperworld—through the trunks of our middleworld lives. Rilke saw the intrinsic value of darkness: "You darkness from which I come, I love you more than all the fires that fence out the world, for the fire makes a circle for everyone so that no one sees you anymore."
Heirosgamos is a mystic marriage or union. Symbolized in alchemy by the coniunctio, it stands for conjunction of conscious and unconscious. Mysterium Coniunctionis ("mysterious conjunction") is the final alchemical synthesis (for Jung, of ego and unconscious, matter and spirit, male and female) that brings forth the Philosopher's Stone (the Self). Its highest aspect, as for alchemist Gerard Dorn, was the unus mundus, a unification of the Stone with body, soul, and spirit.
Moore says neither spirit nor soul can work without the other. In fact, they need to be married to each other:
"Spirit tends to shoot off on its own in ambition, fanaticism, fundamentalism, and perfectionism. Soul gets stuck in its soupy moods, impossible relationships, and obsessive preoccupations. For the marriage to take place, each has to learn to appreciate the other and to be affected by the other--spirit's loftiness tempered by the soul's lowly limitations, soul's unconsciousness stirred by ideas and imagination."
Transcendence must remember its immanent context, and immanence must remember its transcendent implications. However, this marriage isn't just a metaphor. According to Jungian psychology, spirit and soul have definite masculine and feminine correspondences, respectively. The archetype of spirit is what Jungians call the animus, defined as the archetype of masculine being, whereas soul corresponds to the anima as the archetype of primordial femininity. This association deeper than any superficial definition of gender.
In his book Anima: An Anatomy of a Personified Notion, James Hillman talks about the way in which the animus or spirit always appears alongside the anima or soul, and vice versa, whether we like it or not:
"At the very moment of a new psychological move, we hear animus voices, driving us from it by spiritualizing the experience into abstractions, extracting its meaning, carrying it into actions, dogmatizing it into general principles, or using it to prove something. Where anima is vivid, animus enters. Similarly, when at work intellectually, or in spiritual meditation, or where courage is screwed to the sticking place, then anima invades with images and fears, with distractions of attachments and connections, telephoning, natural urges, suicidal despairs, or disturbing with ever deeper questions and puzzling unknowns. Moved by a new idea or spiritual impetus, anima is right there, wanting to make it personal, asking 'How does it relate?' and 'What about me?'
The anima--as soul, relatedness, immanence, the "thick of things"--always appears together with the transcendent animus. You can't separate them even if you tried.
We all share the same connection, as is revealed by the presence of our umbilicus. We cannot split from this source and expect to maintain a quality of life and love in the world. The Sacred Feminine has many names: Kali, Tara, Isis, Asherah, Yemaya, Guanyin, Coatlique, White Buffalo Woman, Hecate, Demeter, Persephone, to name a few. She inspired the names of lands, such as Asia, Africa, Europe and Russia, is calling to us to re-member Her and to re-member ourselves, and re-member our Family Tree.
The thresholds of creativity we behold when we retrieve the Sacred Feminine for ourselves exist in the internal landscapes of our deep inner being. There we uncover the sacred well of the Goddess, where we can drink freely of Her nurturing waters and feel cleansed of our suffering, shedding like the snake, the ancient symbol of the Goddess, our outworn skins of despair. She is the elixir of life, the fountain of youth. Her youth lies not in an eternally youthful appearance, but in Her powers of regeneration, well-known by our ancestors.
In soul retrieval power is restored to the individual who has experienced soul loss. Soul loss is a shamanic term used to describe the loss of vital life force experienced in trauma, often linked to family of origin trauma. Lack of conscious connection to this source cuts us off from that which births and sustains us. We become detached and dissociated, losing our soul connection to the Sacred Feminine.
We must do the re-membering in order for the ancestors to inform our lives and to drink from the deep well within. Our approach includes many disciplines: archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, genetics, history, mythology,
comparative religions, psychology, poetry, and the visual arts.
Ancestor retrieval is information retrieval. Like alchemists of old, we become miners of data, trying to turn raw information and literature narratives into meaningful 'gold'. Extraction of characteristics from text is one of the main tasks in text mining. Family relationships is a special type of person relationships. It is an important step in linking persons across different genealogical documents and sources.