Roots and Writing Updates

I mentioned in February’s “Reclaiming Roots and a Writing Update” that my word for 2018 was “Roots,” and my focus was writing a book with a working title, The Metaphysics of Lyme. By “roots,” I meant both Root Chakra and exploring my Celtic roots/family heritage in much deeper ways. With just over two weeks left of 2018, it seems like a good time to take stock. How did I do?

Root Chakra and Writing

The Muladhara Chakra includes the colon, roots, and origins, as well as foundations, survival, finances, and structures. In those regards, 2018 was steeped in Muladhara! Early in the year, I did not one, but two, colon cleanses, and David and I spent this year laying firm foundations for our future. Despite my permaculture projects in Goshen, we never saw ourselves staying in Goshen, but we bought a house in Kalamazoo because we intend to stay here. David’s a Taurus, so he likes putting down roots, but with my Mercury and Gemini dominant chart, I have never imagined myself staying anywhere long term.

This new attitude shifted many things for me, including feeling a much more vested interest in would-be top-down Township Board decisions for our neighborhood. Um, nooooooo, excuse me, but that’s not how it works in my neighborhood! If I can’t easily just pull up stakes, then I very much become the guardian of our yard. Never one to do things halfway, I also found myself unofficially elected as one of two key guardians of our entire neighborhood. Summer 2018 took me from knowing just three acquaintances in our neighborhood to being recognized by almost everyone who lives here (around 90 people). I don’t just know my neighbors to nod hi. I know life stories, intimate health and financial details, favorite flowers, and their grandchildren.

I also know vulnerabilities of Board Members, as well as having my finger on the pulse of many Township going’s on — current, past and future. We forged an alliance with Public Works, and we’ve got communications and pioneer roots in areas as diverse as the Road Commission, fire department, and nearby churches. In short, I have never felt this connected to a neighborhood. Regardless of final outcomes still (still!) pending, I feel rooted in our immediate location in ways I have never felt before.

Now that we’ve set up our home in Kalamazoo for the long haul, David and I are dotting i’s and crossing t’s in all the legal, financial and business areas. After much consideration, I decided to rename my business and restructure things in preparation for releasing a bunch of books and products in 2019. This shift in focus delayed releasing The Metaphysics of Lyme; however, it has freed me for a January 2019 release of four books/guided journals that I’ve long wished someone would create.

It turns out, I’m that someone, and I have them ready to roll in January. Those people eagerly awaiting The Metaphysics of Lyme can rest easy that one of these items is a guided Lyme recovery workbook based on my 17+ years as a Medical Intuitive. I feel like the metaphysics book will benefit from this self-help foundation, as the workbook makes the concepts easier to understand in a personal and hands on way. Plus, separating the guided workbook portion into its own separate book has allowed me to deepen the focus of both books. Two of the other products will support anyone who’s taken Reiki 2 and/or Reiki Level 3, and I’ll keep the fourth as a surprise. I’m working on a fifth project, too, but I don’t know if I’ll have that one finished by January. We shall see.

If I were a tree, I’d say that prioritizing “Roots” has made me aware of a need for stronger, deeper, wider roots, which will ultimately allow for a much taller, broader, healthier canopy.

Ancestral Roots

My surprise, formalized astrology mentorship with Ann Kreilkamp led me to explore not just my own but also my entire family’s astrological charts. I now have a much more comprehensive picture of the why’s and how’s of my family of origin. I’ve delved into the astrological roots of my own values, quirks and gifts, and I took twelve years of armchair astrology very deep, very fast. Studying astrology came so easily to me that it felt like its own reclamation of earlier lifetimes. Astrology also provides a nice “left brain” confirmation to my wildest intuitions: “Yep. There it is!” or “Ohhhhhhh, that’s why I sense that potential.”

Embracing my Celtic roots (25% Irish and 24% British Isles, including Scotland and Wales), I signed up for Dr. Sharon Blackie’s year long Celtic Studies course. I appreciate her scholarly approach, as I wanted to learn authentic traditions, not New Age fluff with a Celtic veneer. We just started Module 9, so I won’t finish that course in 2018. I definitely have Celtic blood coursing through my veins and values. No doubt about that. I even learned that the 8% Iberian Peninsula expressed in my DNA is Celtic, since that seaboard shared much more trade and culture with the Celtic nations than with mainland Europe. My 11% Scandinavian (that shows up in my love of Runes and Norse mythology) likely springs from invasions of the British Isles. All of which makes me very much a Celt. No surprise there, but the course brought a lot of aha moments.

Some of my reactions to the course surprised me, though. The more I studied, the more I realized that a love of storytelling is one of the most Celtic parts of me. Trying to nail down Celtic history is a bit of a fool’s errand, as the Celts riff and spin mythology in and around whatever order tries to assert itself. I learned that most of Irish religious history is spurious at best. Due to the oral nature of Druids and other sects, we can only surmise from documents transcribed by Christian monks or invading generals.

The Celtic Revival of the 19th and 20th centuries was extremely creative. Read “highly romanticized” or “invented whole cloth.” While that might deflate some people, I found it liberating. Getting back my Celtic Roots doesn’t mean pining after traditions long past. Every time I tell a tale, I honor my Ancestors. Each time I address the urge to beautify something or make it more interesting, I honor my Ancestors. When I recognize the Divine speaking through all of life, I honor those same Ancestors.

I also finally owned my American roots, which go way back. I am a Daughter of the American Revolution via my grandmothers lineage on both sides of the family. Their blood and their values run through me, too. Very much so. Not knowing my family’s connections to the Revolutionary War until my twenties, I find it fascinating that I spent much of my youth and college years researching revolutions and early American History. Having delved into these generational roots, I feel much more grounded in the present, both time and place. That’s no small thing for someone who hops timelines and does past life readings as much as I do!

Another ironic thing to come from my Celtic Studies course is a greater appreciation for my Eastern European Roots, since those are much more recent than the Celtic ones. My paternal grandfather was born in Eastern Europe — an area called “Galatia” that became part of many countries, including modern day Ukraine and Russia. I’ve always felt strong connections to Russia and even visited there for two weeks between junior and senior year of high school. For some reason, though, I never did much with the culture.

As poor, illiterate, farm immigrants to Hawaii, my dad’s paternal side of the family kept its history swathed in mystery. Until my DNA test confirmed 25% Eastern European and <1% Jewish, I wondered if they had fled due to WW2. Was my dad’s dad’s family Jewish? Nazi’s? Why the secrecy? An uncle speculated that the Derbenwick’s were Dutch, with the “original” name more like a place name. I didn’t find that credible, but who knew? When I got my Ancestry DNA test in 2016, I shared the results with my aunt (his wife) who does genealogy as a hobby. I said that the test confirmed exactly one quarter of me was Eastern European and I had less than 2% Western European. “I don’t think the Derbenwick’s were Dutch.”

She exchanged information she had learned, and we pieced together that my grandfather’s family came over much earlier than I thought, long before WW2, even way before WW1. The refusal to discuss heritage apparently came from poverty and illiteracy, since my grandfather’s sisters proudly paid for his education all the way to a Stanford PhD in Chemical Engineering. His sisters also became teachers, but they stayed in Hawaii. Through Ancestry DNA, I have since received many documents and newspaper articles from the late 19th and early 20th century that fill in gaps of family history. It seems my family had its own Eastern European “Twilight” in which hazy details became even hazier, all in the name of education and white collar work. Unbeknownst to me, all that permaculture/urban farming I did in Goshen was reclaiming my father’s and paternal grandfather’s roots, too.

Despite all this mystery — or perhaps because of it — I loved my Grandpa Frank above anyone else. He was my very best friend, taught me how to draw, told me stories, and made me laugh. I have vivid memories of him, even though he died when I was three. He visited me in spirit form all through childhood, finding a lost hat, helping me with art projects. I didn’t know that talking with the dead was weird, because Grandpa Frank was such good company!

I mention all this because I noticed something curious in recent photos. I look more Eastern European!

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David took this at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, because apparently, my “Roots” also made me blend into the artwork. True, the lighting makes my reddish hair look dark brown, but this photo and the one below remind me of so many pictures I took of locals on my trip to Russia.

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In any case, I would say that 2018 manifested the intention of reclaiming “Roots,” even roots I didn’t realize I needed to reclaim. I’m curious if any of you chose a word for 2018. If so, how did that play out? Feel free to share in the comments below, if you feel so led.

12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eliza Ayres on December 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, now that you mention it – a word came to mind that I have been working on for the past week πŸ™‚ ENTHUSIASM ! So that will be my 2019 word ! Thanks Laura! JD

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  3. Reblogged this on Illuminations Now!!.

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  4. Posted by Anthony on December 14, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    The word would be, COMETS!!

    Um, well, actually maybe KNOWLEDGE. I’ve added quite a few books to my collection this year, and I’m doing my best to memorize most of them just in case…well, fires.

    Great on getting in with your township! I hope that things continue to go your way there. But I have a question: how does one get 24% when it comes to heredity?? And what is the other 51%? Would that be majority…fairy?!! Inquiring leprechaun minds want to know!

    I got a shock recently on my own racial background. I had always thought I was a Heinz 57 of European stock, with half Portuguese/Italian; but my mom did some genealogy like you and discovered some paperwork that showed her grandmother was 100% IRISH, but emigrated to the US and was adopted by a German family at the age of ten!! She never told my grandfather that; he just assumed his grandparents were really his mom’s parents!! So I’m 25% stealth Irish. And my mom’s mother was 100% British, as she was a Brewster – one of the families that came over on the Mayflower.

    Celtic studies: hey, have you ever read the book, “Uriel’s Machine?” It is a great history book which deals with the ancient history of the henges that were built all around the world; the “Grooved Ware” people of the northern British Isles who made them. The science that they could derive from those stone monuments is simply amazing, and also very simple in execution. The book also goes into why the Romans felt the need to exterminate the druids/Celts, as they built “Hadrian’s wall” specifically right along the latitude line that the druids built many of their henges purposefully to destroy them.

    One other interesting tidbit about the “Grooved Ware” people: they built the Newgrange stone monument in Ireland, which was designed to allow the light of Venus to enter a very specific window built into the design exactly *once* every eight years – and during that time they held – um, “fertility” parties in there, and they did so with the bones of their elders present – because they believed that conceiving under the light of Venus, and NOT the moon, allowed their children to be born with their past-life memories intact!! No wonder the Romans saw them as such a threat…

    SO yeah, I’ve been digging into my own ancient past, too!!

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  5. Very interesting, Anthony!

    Well, I’ve accounted for much more than 50%. There’s 24% + 25% = 49% Irish and British Isles, then 8% Iberian Peninsula, 11% Scandinavian and 25% Eastern European, so that’s 93% accounted for. No doubt, the 7% is mostly Faery. LOL, but not. πŸ˜‰ Most Irish people have some Faery heritage anyway, so you probably are part Leprechaun, just as advertised.

    What I find so fascinating is that even siblings from the same parents can have up to 50% different expressions of DNA. I wish my brother and sister would do the test, as I am certain theirs will look quite a bit different than mine. The 25% Eastern European was a confirmation for me, though, as that wasn’t coming from anywhere besides my dad’s dad’s side of the family. Then the newspaper articles and boat manifests, etc., confirmed the confirmation. πŸ™‚

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  6. That sounds like a great word, Jan! πŸ™‚

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  7. hello cutie eastern european faery! hehe! it’s been a very successful and enriching year for you! no surprise on the russian energies, since my name is of russian origin πŸ˜‰ such great momentum and anchoring you’ve done! celebrating with you!

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  8. Yes, Titania! Mine is, too. I was named for both Laura Ingalls Wilder and Lara in Dr. Zhivago. I spell it like the first and say it like the second. πŸ™‚ It has been quite the eventful year, for sure. So much processing and changing, but ultimately, yes, it feels successful and enriching, as I know for you, too! ❀

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  9. […] « Roots and Writing Updates […]

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  10. I didn’t choose a word for 2018, but if I did, in retrospect, it would have been FAITH. If I were to choose a word for 2019, it would be GRACE. As in God’s grace upon me and my life. I will strive to deepen the faith of Orthodoxy which I discovered this year and make it more and more a part of my everyday waking consciousness. May it transform me inside and out in my thoughts, words, and deeds.

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  11. Beautiful, Sky! Thank you for sharing that here. I have had some friends, both Russian and Eastern Orthodox. There is a real beauty and grounding to Orthodoxy when approached in a mystical way.

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  12. I am definitely approaching Orthodoxy in a mystical way! Glad you picked up on and understand that! I discovered Orthodoxy and the Desert Fathers while researching the practices of mystics.

    Lke you, I, too, am of Russian background. Who knew?!

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