Where we come from is who we are but we choose every day who we become. . My family’s not perfect but they made me who I am and gave me chances they never had. My future, whatever it is, is their shared legacy.
From the film Hillbilly Elegy
This entry is part of the Returning Home series, which explores the various ways one can return to God or Source. This blog will be different in that I am not exploring a place or method outside of myself, but rather a dialogue with myself for the purpose of grounding, deeper embodiment, and increased inner peace. This more urgent pursuit has been triggered by the recent Lunar Eclipse on November 30th at 8°37 ′ Gemini conjunct my IC point at 5 Gemini and squaring my natal Pluto placement at 7 °50 ′ Virgo. This lunation dovetailed with my immersion in an Animist Psychology Course which addresses Gaia, Ancestors and Mental Health.
Over the past week or two, a steady stream of synchronicities have been appearing, all communicating the power of one’s lineage. One example is a recent online astrological lecture I attended by Helen Cierzo featuring Family Patterns in Astrology. I learned about how my family of origin has a Neptune pattern signaling enmeshment. I have known since forever about the enmeshment, but now astrology confirms it! Long time readers know that synchronicities are not new to me, but the veracity of synchs around ancestry and family dynamics has been fast and quite relentless. We do see what we believe and what I believe is my history is complicated.
Another important synch was deciding to view Hillbilly Elegy after initially discounting it. I was so involved in the storyline and felt very aware of the different characters. Part of it is understanding of the addictive process from my role as an addictions therapist, while most of it links to my own childhood memories. It was less about the details and more about the thoughts and emotions that came up, such as fear, being parentified, anger, over responsibility, abuse, and desire to rise above and transform.
While there is nothing in my lifetime that is similar to Appalachia, I have long held a profound curiosity about the people and the land. It is also ironic that I could see my maternal grandmother’s persona in that of Glenn Close’s character. Not the “crazed ” parts, but the bluntness and simplicity of being. While observing Close’s portrayal of Mamaw, I can access my own grandma playing cards like a master with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth! She was nothing like my prim and proper mother who stays in her lane. My grandma was an outlier, much like me, a wild card, who blended traditional roles of wife and mother with that of a rebel who did not care about people pleasing or “branding ” of an image. I wish I knew her better and what forces shaped her into being.
I struggle with so many questions while taking this Animist course. Such as why am I more in tune with cultures and imagery outside of my verified DNA? I know I am not adopted, but fantasized as an adolescent about finding my true family. Most of this can be attributed to my lightworker mission, but some of it is about being called to people’s outside my white middle class confines. Bluegrass music and Scots Irish folksongs gets me every time. When I visit the mountains ( The Catskills in New York, The Poconos in Pennsylvania, and or the beloved Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah Valley Virginia mostly) or watch media about Appalachia, the music grabs me and does not let go. The vibrations tug gently at first at my heartstrings but quickly escalate to a firm clutch on my soul, that words fail to convey. I have no clue why it has such a grip on me, similar to reggae rhythms and drum circle rituals. I have no historical frame of reference. Both my parents were very musical ( prominent Taurus and other Venusian placements) but their musical taste reflected the times they were born into, nothing more.
I have included several videos of both contemporary and classical Appalachian music from artists and movies that tear at my heart. I recommend you watch Cold Mountain and Songcatcher to bask in the glorious music and learn more about a people who have been underestimated or harshly judged. Also, here’s a shout out to Leigh who turned me on to ancestral trauma and healing and Jen, my first friend from Kentucky who is one of the most creative, strongest and wisest people I have some to know.
Please tell me in the comments about your heritage, or love of music, or affinity for a certain place or people.