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Beliefs and tradition can be a source of comfort and hope. We may adopt rituals and practices from ancient religions or ancestral knowledge to make sense of our current challenges, our environment, our relationships to all within and without. The search for existential meaning is alive in all of us with varying degrees of passion and purpose. These forms of meaning creation don’t originally come from intuition, rather, they become part of our intuitive knowing through repeated stories, traditions, and rituals.

In many cases, beliefs come not from intuition, but from the collective consciousness. Interpretations of the world and its nuances are taken from society, whatever social groups to which we belong (and sometimes from groups to which we do not belong).

ancestral knowledge

What Is Not Ours, Is Not Intuitive

When we take from societies we aren’t a part of, for whatever reason, this borrowing of consciousness, and of ritual, may feel or appear inauthentic because our own experiences and environments are not the same as those who developed these particular perspectives. We may mimic or agree, but we are not of the world where these ideas and traditions were born from. We may share in their reverence, but these are not our inherited stories, nor are they our stories to tell. We may take pieces of their wisdom and align it with our own, seeing connectedness and honoring humanity’s many tender facets, cherishing symbols of the indomitable spirit of our inner Self, but to wear the traditions of another as our own when we are only visitors in their ancestral plane is a spiritual facade or not part of one’s own intuitive ancestral knowledge.

Ancestral Knowledge Comes From Many Sources

Ancestral knowledge can be physical, as in the lineage our DNA passes down or as what Carl Jung refers to as the collective unconscious, a heritage of symbolic knowledge from the beginning of humanity; environmental, what we learn through absorption and experience; historical, the stories, legends, myths, and rituals that are given to generations to come. We hold all of these forms of celebration of the past within our bodies and minds so deeply the information feels intuitive.

For the most part, these things that enrich our life experience are learned, not things we magically arrive at by way of a deep meditative state or channeled from a spirit beyond. Although, meditation and other spiritual rituals can bring us into a state of presence more conducive to unearthing our subconscious wealth.

We Are Tied to One Another By Emotion

Traditions themselves aren’t magical, the way we interact with them is. Our feelings of sacredness, connection, ecstatic revelation, suspension of mundane reality – our emotions are the magic. The wands, cards, dancing, chanting, and other practices and tools are a means to which we create an emotional landscape of reverence and celebration. The stories of traditions and myths create a shared reality that links us to those before and amongst us. They give us meaning in a world where seemingly infinite possibilities overwhelm us in their unraveling.

Beautiful and confounding is this ability we humans hold to craft an entire world within our mind, reinforced by meaning-imbued words and actions. This is the magic I see in spirituality. It’s the magic of consciousness embodied in a form blessed with language and rich complexity. Stories and traditions bring our individual histories and our shared history to life in new ways. We visit each other’s cultures and share experiences this way, and we honor what feels intuitive inside us by making conscious the embedded stories that bring deep meaning to existence.