This is a nineteenth­ century depiction of my ancestors during the Eames massacre in 1676. The woman in the middle is my 13th great grandmother, Mary Padelford Aemes (Padelford is my lineage).

There were dead Indians and Pilgrims everywhere.

Floating in the river.

Washing up on shore.

It was a bloody, horrific battle, and few people lived to tell the tale.

It was a dream, of course. But it was also an ancestral memory that was hundreds of years old.

Why Dreams of Your Ancestors are Important to Your  Soul’s Health and Wellness

You wouldn’t be here if your ancestors hadn’t survived difficult life situations—famine, war, poverty, slavery, displacement. Most of us have a least one of these traumas, if not all of them, in our ancestral lineage. Due to epigenetics, the impact of your ancestors’ trials and tribulations may have been passed down from generation to generation. This type of inheritance can have a deleterious impact on your soul’s health and wellness, making it difficult for you to access your deepest, truest self.

Through epigenetics, memories can attach themselves to our DNA and influence how our genes express themselves. If, for instance, your family lived in Salem during the witch trials, as mine did, you might feel a fear of expressing your psychic, healing abilities due to a subconscious memory of being part of the witch burnings.

Those traumatic memories may live in your subconscious, impacting your life and preventing you from expressing or accessing the true nature of your soul. Fortunately, ancestral healing can help you connect with your ancestors and release the difficult memories from your subconscious, freeing you from the trauma that blocks your soul purpose from manifesting. Ancestral healing also heals your ancestral lineage, impacting all living and deceased family members.

It’s Time to Heal Our Ancestors

As Westerners, we’re not taught how to listen for the whispers of our ancestors, but they speak to us nonetheless.

One way to hear these messages is through our sleeping dreams. Our dreams show us how ancient events still impact our lineage hundreds (thousands) of years later. And our dreams assist us in becoming aware of the wounds and destructive traits we inherit so we can heal them and choose new ways of being.

Dreaming of Ancestral Memories.

When I was 22 years old, just out of college, I had a dream I call “The Thanksgiving Day Massacre” in which a group of Indians and Pilgrims fight to the death. I didn’t know it then, but it was an ancestral memory of the King Philip’s War, a bloody battle between my ancestors and the neighboring Wampanoag and other clans. This is a true and horrifying aspect of my ancestral past. If I had distilled my dream down to a bunch of symbols, I would have missed the most important message.

I could have asked myself, “What do the ‘Indians’ mean in my dream? Might they be a reference to the “indigenous” part of me? The earthy part of me?”

Or, what might the ‘Pilgrims’ mean? Could they be the colonialist side of me, the side of me that is willing to kill off the earthy part of me in the name of progress?”

And while those are legitimate questions and interpretations, focusing solely on the common archetypal meanings would be a mistake.

This dream was about a real ancestral memory that was impacting my lineage. It was a dream about a battle that wants to be remembered so it can be properly healed, not just for my lineage, not just for the lineages of the other parties that were involved, but for our country, and for our earth.

When you heed your dreams, and listen deeply, when you look beyond symbolism into the living reality of the dream realm, you can access layers of meaning and healing you will never find in a dream dictionary.

Which of your dreams may be ancestral memories and messages? What are your ancestors whispering to you?

P.S. The above image is a historical illustration. It depicts a scene in which my 13th great grandmother, Mary Padelford Aemes, and her family were captured and massacred by local Indians during the King Philips war. My 12th great grandfather was one of the only ones who survived. (You can read about the Aemes Massacre here.)