Reiki Blog: Recognizing and Healing Our Generational Shadow

I posted this on my Facebook page last weekend:

“Absolutely nothing exists in a vacuum.  Think about this…

Every decision that you ever made in your life was because of circumstances that you were in at that time. Which might have been due to circumstances that your parents were in, which educated you on your decision. Your parents decision was based on what they were educated in by their parents and so on and so on…

You don’t exist in a vacuum…You base your decisions off of circumstances that you were in at the time.”

This same principle applies to everyone living their daily lives.  This same principle applies to governments and their laws.

Some refer to this as a “Trauma Legacy” or “Ancestral Trauma” or “Transgenerational effects of trauma” (like the article from 2019 linked below).  This is a relatively new field of study and it was first documented in 1966 among Holocaust survivors.  The body and the mind take on the deep hurt and loss of community, of family and there is a painful longing of what used to be – and this can be passed down through the generations.  In Twenty-One Days of Reiki Adam Sartwell talks of this in the chapter titled “Healing Inheritance Patterns”.  He says “We are intrinsically linked to (our family) through both our blood and our education and through our family karma…the karma of our ancestors.  All of these patterns passed to us can be changed and improved.”  I would also say that the karma of our ancestors is not just our family but that of our community and our nation.

As healers, we are not in charge of saving the world.  We can’t heal something like this in one fell swoop.  If we could it would already be done.  We can only heal ourselves and sometimes that is only a little at a time.  By healing ourselves, we can not only heal the present self but we can heal the past self.  We can dig deep and meditate for when there was a time in our past that needed healing and send Reiki there through time through the Reiki symbols or creating a symbol of that healing and sending it there.  We can also help facilitate the healing of others by asking their higher self to engage, help us to heal what is needed, then follow up with real world action.  For example, I know people who experienced abuse as children.  Some of them decided to never have children and have broken that generation cycle.  Others have had children and have made sure that they do not perpetuate what happened to them to their own children – which also breaks the cycle and brings healing to the ancestral line.

I ask you today,  what do you need to heal on that ancestral level to bring healing to the world right now?  And I know that is an uncomfortable question.  I am a white, cis-gendered, straight woman.  I have benefitted from privilege my whole life and my country has made sure that not all their sins were part of my education.  I had to find these things out by listening to my Queer friends, by listening to Black voices.  Now that I know where to look, I have had my eyes opened and I am learning things I didn’t know before.  This knowledge can shock you and make you angry and sad.  Sometimes when this happens you listen and walk away knowing it will not affect you in the long run.  Sometimes when this happens you realize you can’t be quiet anymore and you have to take some kind of stand.  Sometimes when this happens you need to sit and digest it and find a new way forward.  All of this is a part of the healing that is needed so we can move forward together as a nation.

Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. We seek little victories and try to push forward towards equality and compassion for all.  We do what we can with what we have in our homes, our towns, and this translates to forward action in our countries and the world.

How can we change the “it’s always been this way” mindset?  The “change is scary” mindset?  It isn’t easy.  There must be acceptance and acknowledgement and then there must be active work to heal, to change and to grow.  Reiki works with us and can guide us in this healing.

May we all heal, change and grow so we can make a better tomorrow for every generation to come.

Blessed Be

Dawn Marie Costorf is a Mystery School student and a Pisces Deputy Minister.  She co-leads the Virgo Ministry Reiki Share at the Temple of Witchcraft once a month.  The Reiki share has moved online!  If you would like to be a part of the Reiki Share, please send an email to register at [email protected].

For more information on Trauma Legacy

Temple of Witchcraft