In my own research and personal healing journey, a link between genetics and ancestral karma has revealed itself.
Epigenetics is the study of the changes in your gene expressions caused by an interaction with the environment rather than your DNA itself changing. The human body is made up of DNA. Remember that talking DNA strand in Jurassic Park? That DNA strand holds the instruction manual for our cells. Embedded in the DNA are our genes. Our genes give the instructions to our body to make all of its essential proteins. Imagine that genes are chapters within the manual focused on specific categories. Proteins do most of the work in your cells from the cell’s formation to the job it does.
As a fetus develops inside the womb, it is epigenetics that determine a cell’s specialization, for example, a hair cell or a blood cell. For this article, we will refer to these aspects as nature. When we are born and begin to interact with the world, our environment impacts our genes, causing them to turn on or off. We will refer to these effects as nurture. Interactions can result in chemical modifications to our genes. They may be switched on or off and subsequently lead to an unhealthy state that can result in illnesses, such as cancer or dementia.
In recent years, the study of epigenetics has been pushed to the forefront due to expanded interest in the MTHFR mutation or SNP (pronounced “snip”). What is a SNP? Cells copy themselves to create new cells. A cell may make a mistake during this process and create a SNP or Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. SNPs may then modify the instructions in our manual. This could affect and even change our appearance, how our immune system functions, our predispositions to disease, etc. DNA is passed down through our parents and ancestors, so we inherit SNPs through our family tree.
In Dirty Genes, a prominent book on Epigenetics, Dr. Ben Lynch states that “our genes are not our destiny.” Remember that genes can turn on or off based on environment, diet, water quality, etc. Dr. Ben Lynch’s book encourages you to “clean your genes” by eating the right foods, living in the right environment, etc. Making these changes in your life can reverse or even eliminate health issues.
What is Karma?
In Buddhism, karma is defined as the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as defining their future states of existence. Until recently I thought karma was something that was “meant to be” (i.e., fate or destiny). Karma, bad or good, was something you could not control or eliminate and was part of your path or journey. Karma often is misunderstood as a reward or a punishment reaped from some other lifetime or experience. Instead, we must take responsibility, as we are creating karma even at this very moment. Any and all action creates karma. Positive actions create positive karma or life experiences and can purify negative karma. The opposite, of course, also is true.
Ancestral karma is the idea that actions taken by our ancestors affect us today. A more extreme example would be your great great uncle shot a man and now that karma has been passed down. It’s more likely that you might have multiple generations of men or women who struggled with abusive relationships and you, too, are repeating the same pattern. These patterns of addiction, abuse, trauma and fear can be passed down through generations. A parent may have instilled behaviors in you that came from their parent(s), and so on. These behaviors are learned, and therefore a continuation is observed through the lineage.
Epigenetics and Ancestral Karma
Now, I’d like to talk about SNPs and how they might interact with ancestral karma. One may have a genetic SNP that predisposes addiction. This is passed through the family tree just like the behavior. Perhaps a grandfather was an alcoholic and a mother was an addict and now a person struggles with some kind of addiction. The SNP was there, creating the predisposition, but the environment and the behaviors create the karma. By uncovering genetic SNPs, one comes to understand that addiction struggles are likely. Learning this information may generate profound healing with respect to the guilt and shame in current behavior. It may even allow for forgiveness of parents and enablers by understanding the influencer in choices that may have felt out of control. This release of energy can be the catalyst to begin a journey of healing and beginning to recover from personal struggle.
How do I heal my ancestral karma? It is easy to become overwhelmed as you begin to think of your own family behaviors and the potential of your genetic analysis. You may know that you want to heal your family, but you are not sure where to begin.
In the Kundalini Yoga practice of ancestral healing, it is believed that one soul’s healing can liberate seven generations forward and seven generations back. This occurred in my own journey. By coming to understand my genetics in order to heal from illness, my own mother, niece, sister and brother were led to uncover their own genetic information and have experienced profound changes in their life. As a medium, I have been able to connect with generations of women in my family and not only come to understand their own challenges but help them move forward even as they have passed on. Lastly, children in my family now have the potential to experience a better quality of life simply because we have the information to support their genetic predispositions.
I have broken down my own lineage healing journey into two parts — the physical and the spiritual:
• Healing through Physical Practice — The physical practice is about obtaining information about your genetics and taking action. I strongly encourage conducting a Genome Analysis. The analysis will identify your SNPs and uncover your predispositions. This includes information that will support health and vitality through diet and environment. I recommend connecting with a professional through Dr. Ben Lynch’s website www.dirtygenes.com. I also recommend an epigenetics professional that is helpful and accessible.
• Healing through Spiritual Practice — To begin lineage work, write down names in your family lineage. If you have it documented in a website, (e.g., www.ancestry.com), print out the information. You can post your family tree above an altar or in a sacred space, or write the names down in a journal. I started by writing full names and years of birth and death for seven generations of women preceding my mother. Now open the Akashic Records and ask for healing for your lineage.
With your family names visible repeat the prayer below:
“I pray and ask my ancestors to join me in this healing circle. You are blood of my blood. I am root of your root. I honor you. At this time I choose to create an opening in the Akashic Records for the ______ Family Ancestry to be revealed and healed. I ask the Divine Spirit to release all the negative patterns and for the side-effects from negative karma to be cleared. I ask this for the highest good of all in my family and all sentient beings. And so it is.”
Use this practice each time you are healing your ancestral karma. Your family lineage grows exponentially each generation you go back. Set a reminder to review this practice periodically so you can continue to move through your family tree. I also recommend honoring your ancestors by placing photos of them around your home and maybe even honoring them with a candle or flowers.
I will end the article with some comments on mediumship. Over several years of mediumship events throughout the country, I learned there is more to the event than helping the living move through grief. I discovered there is potentially a powerful healing for the ancestor speaking through me. I am honored that my work as a medium can result in ancestral healing when those passed communicate to those living. In other words, an entire family can heal from one message. This is a profound opportunity.
The combination of epigenetics, the wisdom of knowing your own DNA structure, and your learning about your family history can bring profound healing to you and your family. For me this healing has resulted in healthy relationships versus toxic ones, the loss of 100 pounds and curing health conditions that were thought to impact me for a lifetime.