As part of my journey to discovering my authentic self, I wanted to know what my ancestral heritage is. After all, ancestral healing is a big thing in the pagan communities, but it is hard to know just what needs to be healed if you are not sure where your family originates from. I do have an aunt who traced the family’s ancestry to Germany, but because my father was adopted, I’ve wondered whether that rings true. I love my grandparents very much, but part of me has always been curious about where my bloodline truly came from.
So I took a DNA test. You know, one of those “find your ancestry” tests that are so popular right now. I used CRIgenetics because different reviews told me that they were more accurate than other testing services. Out of respect of my parents and grandparents I did not use ancestry.com because I am not out to look for long lost relatives who may or may not want to be found. I just wanted to know what region of the earth my family originated from, and CRIgenetics gave me the opportunity to do that. What I found out was not earth-shattering, but has definitely led me to do more research:
So apparently my ancestral heritage is not much different than my father’s adoptive family’s heritage.
When I told my partner that I was doing the test, he made some comment about how I would probably find out that I had Celtic roots, and then it would be all over because I would be all over all things Celtic. I have always been drawn to Celtic culture, but since I was not sure about my ancestral heritage I was very wary of claiming any part of that culture for myself because I did not want to be appropriating anything from those it truly belongs to. But the next part of the report had this information:
I admit that I hadn’t done any research into Celtic culture before now because I did associate them with Ireland and Scotland. And I knew that I did not carry any Irish blood (although part of me hoped that I did), so that was the main reason why I steered a wide berth around anything Celtic. But of course knowledge changes things, and now I can educate myself on the culture and the meanings behind aspects of the culture that have always lured me to it. I probably should have done that long before now, but I was so busy steering clear of something that I believed was not mine that I did not take the time to find out anything about it. Now I know better and can properly educate myself. Plus, as I learn more about what appropriation is, it becomes clear to me that not educating ourselves on other cultures leads to more disrespectful representations of that culture. Knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding can lead us to respecting other cultures and peoples. I’m glad to know my ancestral heritage, and I’m grateful for the shift in perspective that it has already afforded me when it comes to appreciating different cultures.