by Cathy Skipper
We cannot be from more than one clan. It would be too confusing. Nature is infinitely wise in a way that sometimes eludes us.
One of the main aspects of my own ancestral work and the work I share with others is about reconnecting with our indigenous clans, the people in our lineage that honored the earth. Every culture had their Goddess archetypes. Archeologist Marija Gimbutas shed a lot of light on the ancient Goddess cultures in her work. In Europe the earth-mother symbolized in the numerous Venus figures found there date back 22,000 years BC (the current estimate of the age of the Venus of Willendorf) although there is evidence that ‘the primordial human has long history of venerated Goddesses from long before the appearance of the Venus of Willendorf.’ (1)
I believe that this is a political and ecological necessity. We all come from people who at some time lived close to the earth and depending on our lineage, our last ancestors that lived in close relationship to nature and the earth can be close to us or further back in time.
In the ancestral healing work that I offer, it does not matter how far away in time your earth-based ancestors lived, you can still connect with them. In my experience, the journey can be harder if these ancestors lived many, many generations ago. One of the legacies that these ancestors left their descendants was a long journey home.
In my work that is guided by my own ancestors, I believe that it is through the mother line that we are connected to our clan physically. What do I mean by this?
The feminine aspect in the world, i.e. the feminine in both men and women resonates with embodiment, the earth, the cycles of life and our ancestral clans. The great mother that was honored in ancient civilizations has been lost in modern religions and the values of the modern world. I believe, this resonance that is the containing, connecting maternal energy is passed down to us through our mitochondrial DNA. This thread of living embodied energy is our maternal bloodline that leads us back to our clans.
Elinor W. Gadon, an American cultural historian said,
“In the late twentieth century there is a growing awareness that we are doomed as a species and planet unless we have a radical change of consciousness. The re-emergence of the Goddess is becoming the symbol and metaphor for this transformation of culture. With the return of the Goddess, the new power of the feminine is being expressed in all areas of life.”
I agree with her and I believe that the feminine is rising through our maternal bloodlines. Mitochondrial DNA is different from the majority of our DNA that is in the nucleus of our cells. It is a small circular piece of DNA (called a plasmid) that is only passed down through the maternal line.
Jungian, analytical psychologist Erich Neumann observed that the earliest form of creation in myths is that of the circle, the Great Round, or the sphere, the womb of the Great Mother goddess as the universal vessel of the world. I love that the mtDNA echoes this circular feminine archetypal form.
Our nuclear DNA is like shuffling the cards from both our mother and father resulting in each person having a unique nuclear DNA. As the mtDNA only comes from our mothers it remains unchanged as it passes down through the generations. There is an embodied part of each of us in each energy center of the cell that is the same in our mothers, our grandmothers, our great-grandmothers, our great-great grandmothers at infinitum. It is also in our brothers, our mother’s brothers, our grandmother’s brothers etc as the mtDNA is passed down to our sons but they do not pass it on. This means that men belong to their mother’s clan and will never leave it, this is their connection to the feminine.
This adds an interesting angle to parenting children which is also echoed in many ancient civilizations that functioned with matrilineal descent. Brothers have an important role in the upbringing of their sister’s children as they share the same clan resonance or mtDNA. This does not mean father’s do not influence their children from a place of clan, they do, but differently. As their children have the mtDNA of the mother, they belong to the mother’s ancestral clan, the father’s role is to share the healthy connection to his clan with his children through spirit, through the eyes as he plays with and educates his children. The feminine comes through the mother in an embodied form and through the father in spirit.
So back to the feminine rising. This continual line of unbroken resonance through the mother line is no longer being honored in many modern societies as colonization, industrialization, wars and religion over time has led us to believing we are separated from this innate ancestral connection. We are always connected but we have forgotten it, it has been educated out of us. And this is what is rising from within with a great strength and force. This is where, in my opinion the feminine is rising from in today’s world.
That is why in an ideal world, we would only be responsible for working with and keeping our mother line’s healthy. Our other lineages would be looked after by those that had the same mtDNA, it is logical really. We are influenced of course by the ancestors of our other lines as we share nuclear DNA with them (although only partly as I said before everyone’s nuclear DNA is unique) but we are not of the same clan as we don’t not share the unchanged mtDNA with them.
So, in my opinion if you want to reconnect with your clan and help them clean up the line by beholding them, you need to do this through the mother line. Once this connection is made and time and effort are put into building a healthy relationship with them, the time will come where a space can be opened up within where you can behold their work of repartition of the wounded dead. This, however is more advanced work and for another video.
To summarize, the feminine is rising through our maternal bloodlines. Even after centuries of repression, the feminine cannot be held down for ever. In unison with the earth, the ancient feminine aspect is surging up from within us, through the generations. It’s time to listen to her calling. This I believe is why there is a resurgence of interest in ancestral research and ancestral healing. People are unconsciously responding to this call.
If you are interested in going deeper with this work and learning how to connect and build relationship with your clan, with your people, with the deep feminine then I invite you to check out our live-online class “Shadow Soul Soil – Healing the Motherline.” For those of you who want to dig even deeper or prefer a more private setting, we offer individual consultations, in-person and online. To find out more about scheduling an individual consultation, click here.
(1) The Re-emergence of the Great Mother Goddess by Louis Lagana (University of Malta)