FINDING MY INDIGENOUS ROOTS
By CC Treadway
What helps you connect to being human on Earth? It is not just about the stars from which you came, but the land, the traditions and the race that runs through your DNA. As most light workers understand, it is not about becoming so filled with light that you leave Earth (finally), it is about connecting so deeply with Source, Self and Earth so that you are a bridge between Father Sky and Mother Earth. That bridge, you, heals and loves the Earth, as it welcomes her into a space of more peace, more love and more joy. We as humans are necessary for Earth’s ascension into her next stage of growth because we are a beloved part of her. As a child of Mother Earth and Father Sky, we are at our best when we receive the love that is offered, and forgive what we think is wrong. We are at our best when we are the fullest expression of our unique Divine Spark. This is what good parents desire: Their children to be happy. This mission is embedded in all of us. And as we heal ourselves, living a life of Joy, we offer our ancestors healing seven generations back and seven forward. And so with that model, Mother Earth and Father Sky are evolving by our efforts. They love us profoundly for it, because any good parent could see that despite the difficult conditions here on Earth, we still dedicate ourselves to love. Knowing who you are as a human being, and loving being a human being is so crucial. While God, Spirit, Creator is always available, our spiritual lineages and ancestry keep our Divine connection grounded in our humanity.
In April, 2009, a historic gathering, Return of the Ancestors took place in northern Arizona. Elders from all over the world gathered in ceremony for the re-union of indigenous wisdom, and for world harmony. As I looked at the guest list, I couldn’t help but notice that there was very little representation from the Indigenous Caucasian tradition.
I know what you are thinking, "What is the Indigenous Caucasian tradition? " Well, I’d like to know too.
As a little girl, I spent most of my time in our yard, which backed up into the woods. I had favorite trees, played with fairies and journeyed with my imagination to parallel worlds and magical lands. I could spend hours out there. The time after a rain was one of my favorites and I would stare, mesmerized at the dew on the leaves. Puddles of water collected at the roots of the trees, forming pools that my pixie friends would swim in. I dreamed of kingdoms and unicorns, making potions from nature and miraculously healing people with my energy that ran through my hands. This was a natural spiritual process that welled up inside me, but no context in the modern world with which to express it. This was my secret world and I never discussed it. My mother was very spiritual, and would have embraced my ideas, but having been unknowingly stripped of her magic, it wasn’t truly real to her either. Had I brought it up it would have been lovingly supported as make believe that she wished were true, and yet this was where I felt the most comfortable, the most real. With no context, I had an instinct to keep this magical world a secret, and it remained that way for a very long time. Many spiritual people have had this experience; I know I am not unique.
I grew up in a predominantly reformed Jewish neighborhood in Westchester County, New York. There were a lot of bagels, Bar Mitzvahs and very high SAT scores. There were a few other Episcopalians, but Christianity was not a culture that directed our lives. In general church was a pleasant experience and I loved the choir music. However I rejected the dogmatic approach to Christianity at an early age, and my natural pagan roots were somewhat supported by my mother who would tell me stories of how Christmas was actually adapted from the pagan solstice celebration and that Jesus was actually born some time in the spring or summer (recently scientifically proven by astronomy). Past lives and reincarnation were often talked about and I was constantly reminded that I chose her as a mother whenever we would argue! We were frequent guests at the A.R.E. center, founded by the sleeping prophet, Edgar Cayce. The greatest gift my mother ever gave me was of exposing me to this and encouraging my spirituality.
As a teenager, I felt tremendous callings towards Native Americans. I even did an independent study on the subject as a senior in high school. I didn’t want to be just another hippie co-opting native tradition, but it seemed the best example for what I was experiencing in my heart and soul. I felt so much grief over the destruction of these great cultures. But what of the indigenous roots of Caucasians? I assumed there were none. I didn’t really see any around me, and while I felt an incredible pull towards the Celts, tales of Avalon were just that, tales from a long time ago, and I just didn’t connect my own European roots to the Celts. I thought it had all died and that hurt. I didn’t feel connected to the Wiccan tradition, and the Episcopalian church did not fill the longing for my indigenous roots, and I didn’t feel I had the right to claim any other race’s roots.
I carried shame for my race, guilt in my genes. The guilty robe of the race that took out the Native Americans, enslaved the Africans , massacred the Jews and on and on. It seemed the most white thing I could do was get a good job, make good money and set the table properly. While I was good at the latter, the former was kind of a chore. But this was my “heritage.”
Then why, in my heart, did I wanted to live by the cycles of Nature, reuniting with Mother Earth, living by magic and creativity, swimming in the Mystery?
My freshman year of college I was confronted with this issue head on. There was a group for all minorities, but there was no group for me. And, had I wanted to put together a group, I could not have formed the “White American” group. That would have been a real “no no” and I really wouldn’t have known what do with it. And part of being white is not talking about the fact that you are white. I was told I didn’t need a group because the whole United States was my group. But I did need one, because I had no roots, I was ashamed of being white, and I had no idea what being Caucasian even meant.
Have the supremacists taken away our ability to connect to the innate gifts of being Caucasian, of being a human connected to the root of humanity, of Earth?
I think that is one of the biggest cover-ups in history: The raping of the indigenous roots of Caucasians, tracing back at least to the Un-holy Roman Empire. Its not about race, its about stripping the Indigenous of their wisdom of all tribes, of all colors. Because the dominant race of people to conquer was/is white, all white people are at risk to assume that’s who they are too. But we all have had the rug pulled over our eyes. It is not only the Native American children who were taken off their land, sent to boarding school and forced to “convert” to being “white.” The Earth honoring clans of Europe had been slaughtered and converted long before. Our own public schools, in the United States, still do the same thing to our children today.
As I entered into the path of the healer and began doing ceremonies around the world, many indigenous people asked me, “What is your tradition? Where do you come from?” The only thing I knew is that I came from New York, the Stars, and before that Source, like everyone else. And I was American. But I couldn’t tell them about spiritual roots, heritage, ancestry, tradition, anything like that. I had no answers. Over the years I participated in more and more Indigenous ceremonies, trying to find the root, and slowly discovering the power of my own body and how it was connected to the Earth. But I watched with envy as the tribes called upon their ancestors during ceremony, connecting into some invisible strength that gave them more power.
I didn’t think calling upon my own ancestors was such a great idea. They were Catholics and Protestants who went to church because they were supposed to. Anyway, my mission was to heal the trauma that had been carried down generation to generation, and frankly I thought they would just screw up the ceremony…then what would the Native Americans say?
At one gathering, and Apache elder spoke to the whites in the audience, he said, “Find your roots. You need it to get through 2012. They are in Europe. Go back and find yourselves so you can transition safely.” I wondered if he was on to something. Growing up there was absolutely no emphasis on roots. Part of being an American is not placing too much significance on your background.
When my immigrant ancestors came over from Europe, they did whatever they could to assimilate, many times completely erasing all memory of their heritage.
Over the years I was given many clues to find my heritage, but there was a block within me, a pain so great at having lost the connection that getting it back meant facing the loss head on. This is a crucial thing to acknowledge. There is great pain in our disconnection from the Mother, and the only way back is by confronting it. It is also why so many are completely unable to do it.
A year ago, I asked my parents to write down the story of their families. My father really got excited and he wrote down all the scandals, secrets and lies as best he knew, breaking down my bloodline into 16ths. My dad is a great writer and has an uncanny knack for details and memory. I had heard bits and pieces of the story over the years, but seeing it all written down was like reading a mystery novel. While reading the story, I was only interested in learning about the Italian aspect of the family. I hoped that by being Italian, I might get some pigment in my skin, I was so ashamed of being white. I kind of skipped over the other information. Treadway, my last name, is not actually a blood name. I wont go into details, but my last name should Cascio, from southern Italy. Due to “scandals,” we have no connection to that bloodline. My mother was able to tell me small details about my great grandfather while he was still in Italy. This was really exciting. His surname was Attanasio.
It was hard for me to connect with the Italian line since I was so white-looking, but I was proud of it.
At about that same time I passed by a booth selling Celtic jewelry in Union Square, NYC. An overwhelming sense of longing washed over me, I stood paralyzed, wanting so badly to walk up to the booth and make a connection. But feeling the pain of the unfulfilled longing, I kept walking. I wanted the Celtic times back, but I didn’t feel any right to claim being Celtic since I wasn’t Irish. But over the course of that year, I confronted the wound of losing the connection from Earth, from myself and from Source. The next year, I got the courage to go up to the Celtic booth and I walked away with a Celtic cross and a new friend, the owner of the store, a Celtic Storyteller. I felt such a connection to the tradition it totally floored me. It was a pivotal moment.
After this encounter, I decided to revisit the document my Dad had put together for me. After carefully adding up all the 16ths of my bloodline, I was startled to discover that I was almost half Irish. I don’t know why I never knew this, it was never really talked about. I only heard about a German grandmother on my Dad’s side, so I assumed I had a lot of German, which I never wanted to tell anyone having grown up in Jewish neighborhood. But in fact I was only 1/16th German. Having Irish ancestry completely resonated.
This was the information I had been looking for all these years. Being half Irish was enough of a connection to take me into my European indigenous roots. And it snowballed from there. I began learning all about the Celtic and Druid paths. As I read up on Druidism, I was able to see that the information I received through my nightly channelings for the past two years was almost verbatim in the curriculum of Druidism. I sat stunned at what I was reading. I couldn’t believe it, because it finally felt like my body, mind and spirit all came together in a human context, a structure that could house my “brand” of spirituality. I had a tradition and I had indigenous roots. It had been there all along. Who knows for how many hundreds or thousands of years it had remained dormant in my family, but after my research, I knew it was alive and well in the world.
Now, as I sit in the great landscapes of the Southwest, I can relax into the knowledge that I have indigenous roots that speak to me naturally, that are valid that have an ancestral power, that guide me. It is another step in my spiritual path to unity, but one that made me weep for a week. I am still American, still Episcopalian, still a New Yorker, still from the Stars, and still from Source, like everyone else, but I am also a child of Mother Earth and Father Sky, expressing my love for them through a specific structure and community to which I belong. This keeps me proud of being human.
The Mayans, the Kogi, the Havasupai, the Dine, the Apache, and others have all so generously helped me to find my own Indigenous roots.
They knew what was missing, and despite their history with white people, took it upon themselves to welcome me home to my roots.
These structures, rituals and traditions that each race has received and created are designed specifically to express the gifts of that race. This intelligence connects us to the circle of time, the medicine wheel, to each other, to the Earth and to God. Most of our religious holidays have been completely stripped their intelligence. The absence of our ancient practices in the modern world, and especially in the Caucasian race, are a major part of the chaos today.
At the Return of the Ancestors, I brought with me my own ancestral line, and the knowledge that there is beauty and truth to the Caucasian race. I am at the beginning of this awareness, and I hope that others can relate to the story I tell. I hope to help restore this truth, to work with others of all nations to bring humanity into balance with each other and Mother Earth once again. For what we are discovering is truly just being rediscovered and integrated into the modern backdrop of today.
(c) CC Treadway 2009-10. All rights reserved.