Before I begin this post, I want to first apologize for the lengthy absence I’ve taken from the blog. It’s all been for a reason (aside from being highly focused on creating art and jewelry and general laziness, of course). You see, I’ve been neck-deep in research for the past several months — research surrounding DNA testing, genealogy, ghosts and ancestral magic (just to name a few topics). I’ve relentlessly pestered my family members with questions about our known ancestral past, and have uncovered some surprises along the way in my recent adventures. The following post may seem a bit boastful at times — as anyone who knows me knows that I’m critical of people who brag about bloodlines and ancestral “gifts” — but don’t be fooled. I’m hoping to illustrate points that should not only inspire others to dig deeper into their ancestral pasts, but to also inspire them to dig in to their beliefs in the supernatural.
Do you believe in ghosts?
I’m sure a lot of people say ‘yes’ to that question without much hesitation, but I’m among those who do hesitate. In fact, I have an absolutely difficult time even answering that question. Hopefully I’m not alone with that. I’m not saying I’ve never experienced anything that I couldn’t explain, I’ve just always had a hard time running straight to “hauntings” as an explanation for those things. Nonetheless, I want to believe.
When people talk about hauntings, they usually focus on deceased loved ones, people who are somehow tied to a specific location through tragedy, or people who have passed on with unfinished business. I have a variety of theories, personally, but right now I want to entertain the idea of actual spirits of the deceased — something I’ve always struggled with accepting logically. To go a step further, I want to focus on ancestors — which is where family tree research comes in to play.
Family trees and ghost research
One of my theories is that — if ghosts do indeed exist — you’re more likely to communicate with them if they’re an ancestor or if they’ve left behind what I refer to as “residual energy” through some kind of important event. In the beginning, my brilliant idea was that I’d just simply search relatives who died tragically or who contributed to historically high-impact events — but, that was no easy task. I was led down several rabbit holes — through which I keep traveling. I found far more than I bargained for, and even ended up taking a DNA test through AncestryDNA. This, of course, uncovered some surprising information — which also led me down some more rabbit holes. In fact, it led me completely off track from my original research. (I recommend jumping on the DNA bandwagon, btw — and you won’t be able to change my mind on that.)
It took me a while to confirm what I’ve gathered — and I’m still in the process of octuple-checking my work — but when I sought out to find tragedy and prominence, I was not disappointed. Well, I was disappointed by quite a lot, but what I mean is that I found a wealth of information to enrich my ghost research. To sum it up, I’m the descendant of Plantagenets, Salem witch trial victims, Mayflower Pilgrims, slave owners and at least one Creole slave and his (supposedly) Cherokee/Shawnee offspring. I’m the great-granddaughter of strong women who led tragic lives and women (and men) who committed atrocities in the name of power and wealth. And while I am deeply fascinated by all of these things and do feel a sense of fullness with connecting to my apparently-rich ancestral heritage, I want to say one thing: I’m not special. Chances are, your family tree looks very similar. We all have prominence and tragedy in our blood, meaning we’re the inheritors of greatness and pain.
The Scrying Mirror
Several months ago I made my own black scrying mirror. It was an easy process; I simply spray-painted the backside of a glass picture frame with black paint. After a few months, I was ready to use it. I kept this black mirror on a little table near my desk, and over the course of a handful of months I never used it, never moved it and never had to worry about it falling. After some ancestral research I decided to give the thing a try. I’ve never been big on scrying. I’m more into reading tarot and other forms of divination, so I must admit that it was my first time. I asked the mirror to show me my ancestors. It was a simple question, but I felt silly asking it while I focused and meditated in front of it. I can’t pretend that I had some spiritual experience, because I did not. I got bored after about a half hour and blew out my candles. The following night, my scrying mirror fell right off of that table, face down, and broke.
I’m not saying that the incident was a result of my attempt at spiritual communication the previous night, but it definitely has been a recurring thought. I can’t help but wonder if maybe I was being told to bugger off, or if some other spiritual vibration caused my black mirror to fall. Of course, I know that realistically the thing simply fell over and broke, and that it could hold no meaning whatsoever other than teaching me not to put breakable items on that particular table ever again.
The funeral photo incident
A week or two ago I was up late doing family tree research (again, going down those rabbit holes I mentioned earlier). When I was ready for bed, I navigated away from an old photo I had found that was supposedly of some GGG-great uncles and other relatives. The picture was taken some time in the 1800s and showed several people standing around a coffin, which contained another one of my relatives. Instead of standing solemnly, they were all smiling and pointing at the casket. It almost seemed like a joke photo, but it wasn’t. I navigated away from this photo and browsed Facebook for a few minutes before putting my PC to sleep and going to the couch to watch television — where I fell asleep until the following morning.
When I woke up the next day, my computer had come on from being asleep — which is no big deal, and never really surprises me. However, my screen wasn’t on Facebook, where I had left it when I put the computer to sleep. Instead, it was right back on that odd funeral photo that I had looked at prior to looking at Facebook. All of my windows were still up, but that old photo was brought right to the front, after it had been buried behind at least two browser windows and a photo folder the previous night.
I can certainly explain away the incident with a number of scenarios. Maybe my computer was hacked (it wasn’t). Maybe someone had gotten up in the middle of the night and fiddled around on my computer (nobody did, though). Maybe I got up in the middle of the night and went back to that specific photo for no memorable reason and then left it that way to spook myself the next day (I mean, it’s not entirely unlikely). Maybe computers are weird like that (I don’t know everything). However, I still keep thinking about it, much like my suddenly-shattered scrying mirror. Did some spirit-like energy try to communicate with me? Who knows, but it makes for a good “what if.”
The research continues
I’m intrigued by the possibility of ghosts, but I’m still skeptical about what ghosts truly are. I still don’t really believe in ghosts the way many people appear to believe in them — mainly because I simply don’t believe in an afterlife. I’m inspired to continue experimenting with ways to reach out, using my direct-line ancestry, and see if I can change my skepticism. I guess the fact that I’m so intrigued and willing to explore the possibilities does in fact show a degree of belief — and I guess I’m comfortable with that.