A dream inspired journey to ancestral lands

“Although surrendering to our sacred longings can sometimes be quite a painful soul-stretching and soul-tempting process…our longing, with its unique quality and energy, is also a magical state to befriend, for it is a trustworthy guide.” – Frank MacEowen, The Mist-Filled Path

The sacred longing Frank MacEowen speaks of is what led me to embark on a six-month journey to reconnect with my ancestors and their lands. I can say from firsthand experience that MacEowen is absolutely correct: this longing is indeed a trustworthy guide. I followed it to some of the most profound experiences of my life.

My longing to go on this particular journey came through in a dream I had earlier this year. In it, my husband tells me he’s leaving me and I am shocked. How will I make it alone? I wonder. And he replies, “Haven’t you always wanted to see exotic places?” In the dream I remember I’ve always wanted to travel to Iceland. And so, in waking life I did.

Sacred longing comes from deep within; it’s in my bones, my DNA. Many of my ancestors were forced from their lands because of their spiritual or religious beliefs or because of war. They suffered immense trauma.  And their grief lives within me: the grief of being separated from their homeland, the grief of losing loved ones, the grief of having to hide who they really were.

I went to Europe for myself, but I also went there for my ancestors.

I didn’t know specific cities or counties where my ancestors were from. My decision to visit certain places was based on limited family knowledge and intuition, and this information led me to northern Scotland, the Inner Hebrides, western Wales, northern and southern England, coastal Norway, inland Sweden, and Iceland (not sure if I definitely have Icelandic ancestry, but I certainly felt at home there).

The longing of my ancestors showed me the way. And in each place, I was transformed.

Scotland opened my heart and helped me love myself more. There, the land and the ancestors prepared me for what was to come.

In England I came to terms with my divorce while sitting under an old tree in Meanwood Park in Leeds. I also had my first ancestral dream of the trip in Leeds, which I shared in this post. Surely, my Scottish and English ancestors suffered heartbreak and their longing led me to work on mending my own heart while in their lands.

From there I went to Norway where I experienced a true homecoming. From the moment the plane flew over the fjords and snow-capped mountains, I felt an intense sensation of belonging to the land.

It was clear my Norwegian ancestors felt a deep love for the fjords, mountains, and valleys there and their love for the land lived in me. When it came time to go I didn’t want to leave, and I stayed an extra three weeks. When I sat down on the train to Oslo on my final day, tears streamed down my face as I watched the hills and fjord disappear from view.

After Norway I traveled through Switzerland and Belgium, neither of them ancestral lands. During my time in these countries, although I was with friends and in new, exciting places, I felt a sense of disconnection for the first time. I felt unmoored. It wasn’t until I returned to Sweden that I once again had the sensation of homecoming.

Sweden provided a respite for me; I’d been traveling for three-and-a-half months and I needed a break. It was here I re-ignited my relationship with the ancestors and began asking them again in earnest for guidance. At that point, I wasn’t sure where I’d go next.

They led me back to England. There I incubated a dream about my next steps and I received one of the most powerful dreams of my trip, one that guided me to return to my birthplace, Colorado.

I had major family healing to do there, and sacred longing brought be back to my most familiar homeland to begin the process. I came full circle, leaving my ancestors’ homelands to return to my own homeland. The ancestors asked me to become a catalyst for healing the familial line. I accepted the call.

Are you ready to honor your sacred longing? If you are, hold on tight. You might be in for quite a ride.

About the Author:

Katrina's work involves illuminating the soul and reconnecting with nature through her artistry with a camera, talent with words, expertise in dreamwork, compassionate teaching style, and ability as a clairvoyant. Visit her here: KatrinaDreamer.com

5 Comments

  1. Alice Finnamore December 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Hello, Katrina. I am writing from Canada, but I have had the same intense longing for Ireland. In 1998, I followed my roots there, for a couple of weeks with my ancestors. I too did not want to leave. I cried.

    This summer, I was again in Ireland, briefly, with a Princess Cruise. As I took my first step onto Irish soil, my heart flooded with unshed tears once again. Our time there was short, only two days of bus tours, with little opportunity to rest with the land. Finally I had my chance.

    At Giant’s Causeway, I sent my husband on ahead, and sat on a patch of grass, connecting, letting my Irish roots nestle deeply into the soil. So many of us have that deep longing of the ancestors in our blood, to return home, to lands taken or lost, long ago. What could I do about the huge sadness I felt?

    As soon as I asked the question, I knew what I needed to do. As I meditated there on the shore, I pulled all the lost bits, the left behind bits, of myself and my ancestors, into my heart. None of it needed to stay there. I could bring Ireland back with me. I was filled with joy, and was able to leave Ireland this time, with a happy heart. Somehow it feels like I brought this home for other Irish souls as well, that somehow all of our longing is now eased.

    I expect I will again visit Ireland, as there are so many places I would like to share with my husband. But I no longer feel an aching need to return. I brought Home home with me. Ireland is no longer far away.

  2. Katrina December 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Alice,

    I am moved by your story and I thank you for sharing it here. I love how you gathered all the lost parts and put them in your heart where they are finally home. Gives me chills. And gives me ideas about what I might do the next time I find myself in Norway and Scotland, the two locations from this trip that still regularly call to me.

  3. Jamie January 15, 2012 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Katrina,
    Thanks for sharing Frank’s quote and your own experience of traveling to ancestral lands.

    His book reacquainted me with that ancestral longing, and the legacy of those ancestors being displaced from their homelands, where they had such soul-connection with the energies of place.

    We’ve all inherited that longing for home, and the legacies of the trauma of that ‘eviction’, if you will. It seems these legacies are coming up for so many of us for healing.

    By sharing your own stories of your journey of reclamation, you’re contributing to that healing!

    Blessings,
    Jamie

    • Katrina January 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your feedback and kind words, Jamie.

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