2 June 2018 The Layers (Ancestral Trauma, Trauma in DNA, Intergenerational and Historic Trauma)

Hello to you.  How are you doing so far in your where and when?  I’m doing pretty well.  The subjects today are kind of heavy but hopefully this message is intended for more than just myself.

Recently I have been in discussion in an online support group about ancestral karma and it’s connection to mental illnesses.  I mentioned what I’ve noticed during my time at inpatient facilities is that people seem to be walking around with layers on top of them – like past selves.   As a sensitive person (Empath/HSP), I was deeply affected and reacted to these layers these troubled folks I was sharing time and space with were carrying around.  I know some of what was going on was the projecting of my past on to them – like seeing archetypes of family or friends in these people and reacting to them.  It was a very confusing experience!

2 June 2018 – my outdoor chalk drawing this morning. Thinking of the Layers theme.

I believe that our souls travel from one life to the next, one body to the next.  Who we are as people (how we think, how we act, what we are interested in, what we have an aptitude towards, how we express ourselves emotionally etc) is part of a complex weaving of DNA, blood, ingesting and assimilating into ourselves the elements from what we eat, what we drink, what we are exposed to via the senses day to day.

All of this tangible energy matter woven via particles around an intangible soul of energy…spirit.   It’s like we are comprised of layers very much like an onion if that make sense.  The ancestral/karmic layers unseen but like a cloak around us.  This cloak passed on through generation and generation to us to wear.  Some cloaks are very unpleasant and heavy to wear!  Sometimes made up of trauma, abuse, addiction, scarcity, loss and sorrow.

I have found through my experience with practicing and experiencing energy healing, that healing the inside first makes a space for the physical body to heal.   

Well back to the ancestral karma discussion.  In talking about “layers” in people, one of the group members shared this fascinating piece from PBS about the study of how trauma from past generations can affect the DNA of future ones:


http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365554485/ – (video you can watch if you go to link)

New research suggests that experiencing intense psychological trauma may have a genetic impact on a person’s future children.

A study examining the DNA of Holocaust survivors and their children found similar variations from the norm in both generations for the gene associated with depression and anxiety disorders. The findings imply that children of individuals who experience profound stress in life may be more likely to develop stress or anxiety disorders themselves.

The pattern — known as an epigenetic change because it affects the chemical marker for the gene rather than the gene itself — suggests that profound stress in the older generation translated into an adaptation that passed on to the next, said Dr. Rachel Yehuda, director of Mount Sinai’s Traumatic Stress Studies Division and leader of the study.

Scientists have long-known that parents pass genetic traits down to their children, but Yehuda’s research suggests that life experiences can also produce chemical effects in DNA. Similar research has been done into the effects of famine on later generations, as well as stress levels in the children of women who survived the September 11th attacks.

Although the study involved just 32 Holocaust survivors and their offspring, Yehuda said the findings provide proof of concept that could lead to more research into exactly how the changes occur.

The findings may provide an explanation for why people like Karen Sonneberg struggle with anxiety and stress disorders despite having never experienced trauma themselves. Sonneberg’s Jewish parents both suffered under Nazi oppression in Germany at a young age. She said many of her friends with similar backgrounds experienced similar struggles with anxiety.

“There were definitely challenges that quote unquote ‘American’ kids didn’t seem to have experienced,” Sonneberg said.

Reading this made me think about a subject I’ve shared about many times, Intergenerational Trauma:

https://saymber.com/2015/03/04/4-march-2015-intergenerational-and-historical-trauma-and-forgiveness/ – if you type intergenerational in the search window you’ll find all the other posts I’ve done on this subject

This article pertains to Native American and Alaskan Native Communities but if you look through history, this concept and study can apply to all walks of life on this earth at one point in history or another.    


The Impact of Historical and Intergenerational Trauma on American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

November 25, 2015 / SAMHSA / Tribal

By: Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W., Director, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Trauma not only effects those who directly experience it, but also those in the generations that follow. Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart describes historical trauma as the “cumulative emotional and psychological wounding across generations, including the lifespan, which emanates from massive group trauma.”

The span of one generation is not a long time. In fact, an American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) who is over the age of 30 is only one generation removed from the “boarding school era.” During this era, many AI/AN children were removed from their homes, families, and communities and forced to assimilate to the culture and practices of the majority population. These experiences caused a ripple effect of intergenerational trauma throughout Indian Country.

When discussing the effects of this historical trauma, many AI/ANs have been told to “get over it.” However, dismissing what happened does not help these communities move forward. To move forward, this history and its effects on AI/AN communities must be understood. This is not dwelling on the past, but ensuring a brighter future by addressing barriers and creating solutions.

As noted in the White House’s 2014 Native Youth Report, tribes, federal and state programs, and non-profit organizations are creating focused strategies to overcome historical trauma. There is a specific focus on Native youth and supporting their return to cultural traditions, practices, and language. Strengthening ties to community and culture have been successful in promoting behavioral health and supporting recovery.

One way tribes have started addressing historical and cultural trauma is by Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) and Gathering of Alaska Natives (GOAN). GONA and GOAN focus on the underlying reasons causing individuals, families and communities to become at risk for addictions and self-destructive behaviors while recognizing the importance of cultural values, traditions and spirituality in healing.

By reflecting the four levels of life’s teachings – belonging, mastery, interdependence and generosity – GONA and GOAN provide a structure for communities to address healing, and how to develop response plans and strategies. The GONA and GOAN are also important because they confront historical trauma in culturally sensitive and healthy ways that allow for critical prevention planning. More than just a one-time event, they are the start of continuous community efforts.

Access to the River: Community Capacity Building through the GONA Process



Ancestral Karma refers to the karma that has been accrued by our family, our ancestors, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and other relatives, Uncles, Aunts and so on. This Karma has built up within families for generations.


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