Ancestral roots – ‘the ties that bind’

Ancestral Roots  

In her book ‘Core Light Healing’ Barbara Ann Brennan introduces the concept of ancestral roots.[1]  My sensory experience as an ancestral researcher and storyteller reinforces what she shares.  I ‘feel’ my ancestors with each record I uncover and use these sensations as a guide as to what within my genetic line needs care and healing.  Transgenerational influences continue ‘down the line’ until someone stops long enough to discover, listen, feel and heal. 

I have shared previously that at a point in my life where I felt disconnected and unsure of who I was, ancestral researching provided me with a sense of connection.  Through my ancestors I knew where I came from and that fostered a feeling of belonging.  Within them, my existence made sense.  I was literally the result of the love of many before me.   This in itself provided comfort.

Whilst ancestral records provide a framework, attempting to discover stories is another facet, albeit it personal, to genealogy.  In researching the history of a place, a time and its people you can start to collate a familial story, a narrative you could say.  These stories of our ancestors, are our stories.  These stories connect us to our roots.

our foundations are rooted to the Earth and to the past with our ancestors who prepared a way for us to move into the future  [2]

Here are some of the key sharing’s from Brennan regarding ancestral roots.  For those new to the concept of cords, I suggest you read my previous article on ancestral connections

Ancestral roots are different from relational cords, yet there is a connection between them.  

  • Ancestral roots are strong, solid black and flexible
  • These are the ties that bind us to our birth families
  • They stretch from inside the seals in our chakras down into our core central connection to the Earth
  • They can become disfigured and very unhealthy, predominately through negative intergenerational imprints, referred to as traditional ancestral roots.
  • Traditional ancestral roots can be used to manipulate current generations through the imposition of traditions, based from elders onto the next generations
    • In their extreme negative condition they can be misused to control other and interfere with free will.  This can be seen in the need of a parent (or grandparent) to perpetuate religious, cultural beliefs, prejudices or in wanting to maintain traditions. 
    • Another way to relate with them, is where a parent who was not able to create what they wanted out of life will, through genetic cords with their child, influence the child to do what he/she sought. [3]

Each generation has the right, to forge their own path.   Whilst our sense of identity is initially molded by the family narrative we are born into, at some point in our journey we must step into and become who we are.  This is authenticity and uniqueness.  It is challenging to unhook from family ways, but if these ways are outdated and do not serve you, it is the most loving step to take.  Not easy, but necessary.


[1] Barbara Ann Brennan, Core Light Healing, Hay House, NSW 2017.

[2] Ibid, p. 168.

[3] Ibid, p. 169

Richmond, 3121

Richmond, is a place.

Richmond, is a footy team.

Richmond, is family.

Richmond, is home.

Strong and bold, yellow and black

Richmond, Tiger town. Is in my blood, it is cursing through my veins, moving in and out of my heart. 

Bridge Rd, Swan St, Punt Rd, Church St.


Richmond, ancestral ground.  How many others before me?  A place where my grandmother was born, where my great grandparents lived.  Maternal and paternal.  Both sides.  Genetics.  Influence of place.  Richmond.  Cell resonance.  Known by my physical body.  Where there is an innate knowing, yes this is where I arrived ‘here’. Richmond, Bethesda Hospital.  Birth place.  Richmond, home. Comfortable.  Safe.  Refuge.

Richmond, brings a lump to my throat, tear to my eye.  Richmond is home.  Home of my ancestors, my birth place, my safe place, its where we gathered, its where I was loved. 

Richmond, history. Before my time, after I am gone.  Continuation. Tradition. Passing the baton.  Connection. Shared experience.  Family.  Walking up Bridge Rd, MCG car park, walking into the ‘G’.

Richmond, loved, love.

Richmond Football Club

Richmond, football, passion, connection, belonging, my religion, joy, anxiety, family time, yelling, screaming, cathartic, my weekly purge, time away from her, let me out of the home, give me some breath space. Fresh air.  Stadium.  Family time.  Hot chips.  Tea at half time.

Going to the footy, my escape, my refuge from the rules, from the masks, from the parameters, free from the shackles.  The ‘G’ a place where I could let it all out and no one told me off.  A time each week, where I could yell, scream, jump up and down, escape from a life of fear. 

Richmond Football Club, torture, passion, pain, joy.  80%.   Leave at the 20 minute mark of the last quarter if we are losing.  Pulling out.  Not following through, dynamic established unconsciously.  Leave before you witness the loss.  Don’t want to lose, don’t want to see other in pain.  Not following through.  Pulling out if things are not going well.  It’s a strong pull.  It’s so deeply imbedded within my cells, my genetic makeup.   When they lose, I lose. When they win, I win.  My cells respond.  Reflected glory. 

Richmond.  Legacy.  Blood.  Connection.

Influenced my view of life.  Financial, cultural, familial and social.

Richmond, the one constant through the vein of my life.

Enlightened Travel

Enlightened travel is travel that illuminates. It is conscious, aligned and attuned to you as a spiritual being. It gives one the opportunity to gain insight into ones true self. It is a process that provides growth, experience and expansion for the whole being. It goes beyond travelling purely for the humanness and drops the traveller deeper into themselves, showing them more of who they are.

Image by Greg Rakozy

It is travel with soul purpose. Through travel we are exposed to new experiences. With soul awareness we become aware of how we feel in a place. Have you as a soul lived ‘here’ before? How do you feel in a place. There will be places that may remind you of other moments in your souls journey – some pleasant, others not so. You could be given the opportunity to heal wounds you didn’t know existed that have been carried through lifetimes.

It is a portal, a pathway to accelerate ones healing and self-actualisation process. It results in greater awareness of self, a deepening connectedness with oneself and of the land. A releasing of limiting and harmful personality and egoic behaviours, patterns and programs.

The tears that flowed at Duone Castle, Scotland


At Kincardine by Duone, Scotland my four times great grandparents John Junkine and Johanna Stewart Graham were married on the 16th Nov 1816. Whilst one of many great grandparents I have traced, this particular marriage took my attention. Why? Because of the place. Duone, Scotland.

Duone Castle, Duone, Scotland 2019 – Libby Kinna

8 months prior;

Duone Castle has a commanding presence. Sitting majestically atop a small rise it dominates the skyline. I arrived here late in the afternoon as part of a one-day Outlander tour. Yes, I am a bonafide Outlander tragic. For those fellow Outlander fans, Duone Castle was the filming location for Castle Leoch. If you aren’t an Outlander tragic, this castle was also the filming location for Game of Thrones Winterfell (in the pilot) and used in one of the Monty Python movies.  

I digress. Having undertaken the audio tour within the Castle, I found myself standing outside now taking in the surrounds. The wind was chilly and what was left of the sun was setting, the day was coming to a close. My gaze wandered attempting to take it all in. To the right of the Castle, my eyes came upon an opening. The explorer in me wanted to follow the path. The little girl within me was frightened, fearful of being told off for going where she shouldn’t. There was no sign to indicate I could or couldn’t follow the track. I had time. Others were still inside the castle. Like the girls at Hanging Rock, something pulled me towards the opening. Even if I wanted to stay still I couldn’t. My legs had their agenda. They were at the whimsy of a force that I couldn’t see yet could feel. Hesitantly I took the first few steps and started up the small incline. Trees framed the castle to the right. The path went along the wall of the castle. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. It didn’t matter. I was being called by the land. I followed.

My heartbeat increased. My palms were sweaty. I felt excited and scared simultaneously.  

My pace quickened. The closer I got to the top I could hear water. Yet I couldn’t see. As I reached the top and walked through the opening, I saw a river to the right. It was barely visible through the trees and was a far drop from where I stood. One false step and I would be tumbling down into the river. This river swept alongside the perimeter of this Castle on a hill. It was moving quickly. It had an energy of its own. In rhythm, the winds swept through the trees. The sounds enticing. The wind through the trees, the sound of the icy cold water currents making music. Music that my heart connected to.   

“The trees that spoke”, perimeter of Duone Castle, Scotland 2019 – Libby Kinna

Whilst the path continued further alongside the Castle, I didn’t move. I stood transfixed. Taking it all in. My heart rate increasing, my arms sweaty. I became aware of my emotions. Something was stirring within me, deep out of sight. Like a train coming through the tunnel, these emotions roared towards me. I closed my eyes in an attempt to block the noise and feelings. It was no use. I was at its mercy. A part of me yelled “Move, get out of here,” but I couldn’t. I was engulfed. Tears began trickling down my cheeks. Like waves crashing the shore, emotions of grief, of loss a rage and anger tossed me. Tears continued to fall. What the hell was happening? I had not been here before. Logically this made no sense whatsoever “get a grip” I told myself. It was pointless. I was at its mercy. Whatever drew me towards the small opening wanted me here, now. To feel this, to release. I surrendered to my experience and allowed the tears to flow without trying to work it all out.  

As quickly as this began , it stopped. The wind ceased. The trees became still. The river became calmer. Their dance, their music had slowed. Calm surrounded me. My breath returned to its normal pace and air entered my lungs. I became aware of myself within the surroundings once more. I was completely alone. No one or nothing was in sight. My legs were heavy and planted firmly in place. How long had I been here? What just happened? I allowed the questions to move through my mind. Knowing answers would not come. It was pointless. I sat down and felt the coolness of the grass on my legs and buttocks. This took the heat out of my body. As much as I wanted to get up and run away. I knew something had occurred, a transformation, a release or recognition of what was. Something had happened at this place not to me as Libby, but along the time line. There was a recognising beyond the physicalness of self. I had made myself available, I placed myself here and the opening presented. Healing had begun, transformation occurring. What was locked up was now released.

As I carefully made my way back around to the front of the Castle I stood and looked back. Was this a portal? A path to another time? Logically it doesn’t make sense yet the experience was real and profound.

Duone, the place, the River was now firmly entrenched in me. I knew I had to research this place further. What had happened historically? What went on in this castle that could have left such an imprint of grief and loss? Were my ancestors connected to this land? I was curious and the exploration would continue.

Whilst part of the Outlander tour, I didn’t realise that my casual visit to the Castle would result in such a profound experience.

On my return to Australia, I tagged Duone as a place to explore further. One day casually reviewing ancestry tips I was going ‘down the rabbit hole’ with my fourth great grandparents. As you do, you open tips and see what they reveal. Most times they are insignificant. Yet this day, Duone was looking straight back at me through the search records. I squealed with delight when I saw they were married here. I had connected the place and my profound experience with my ancestors. It wasn’t just some random experience. Two of the dots connected.

In regards to the grief I felt, I discovered that the Castle was used as a Jacobite prison and a dower house for widowed Queens. One can only imagine the sense of grief that was imprinted on the land from its previous use.

Current day;

Doune Castle (pronounced ‘doon’)

  • The castle is sited on a wooded bend where the Ardoch Burn flows into the River Teith. 
  • It lies 8 miles north-west of Stirling, where the Teith flows into the River Forth.
  • 14th-century courtyard castle
  • Built for the Regent Albany
  • Substitutes for the fictional Castle Leoch in Outlander was used in the pilot series of Game of Thrones (Winterfell) and in Monty Python
  • Later was a royal residence, dower house for widowed queens and a Jacobite prison

The ancestral view from Stirling Castle, Scotland

Stirling Castle, Scotland 2019 – Libby Kinna

Stirling Castle sits high atop Castle Esplanade in Stirling, Scotland overlooking surrounding lands as far as one can see. Its commanding presence indicative of its historical imprint in Scotland. From here you can see the National Wallace Monument on the edge of the Ochil Hills. Towards the north-east, you can view the mountain peaks of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Simply stunning. Rendering one feeling quite small in a land of grandeur and natural beauty.

I arrived here one cold windy blistering March day, part of a one day tour through Loch Lomond with our end destination Stirling Castle. Towards the end of our time at the Castle, quite late in the afternoon, I found myself resting at the back of my tour bus. Having spent a couple of hours exploring the Castle and soaking up its stories of Scotland’s Renaissance Kings and Queens, I was weary. My head full of Robert the Bruce, King Edward, William Wallace, Queen Mary of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The inclement weather taking its toll, the warmth of the bus was enticing. As I started to settle in and wait for my fellow travellers to return my tour guide turned to me and said. “Weren’t you the one who mentioned your ancestors came from Clackmannanshire?” Yes, I replied. Earlier that day I struck up a conversation with him. Explaining that part of my reason for being in Scotland was to explore my ancestral lands. I rattled off some towns, foreign to me, only as names appearing on A friendly guy who paid attention to his guests. He remembered our brief chat. “Well come with me”. Putting my coat and beanie back on I stumbled out of the bus. The blustery winds shook out any weariness. He walked me over to the edge of the car park. “There” here said pointing towards the base of the mountains, “There, that is the land where your ancestors lived.” It was so far away I couldn’t see detail, yet I saw where. Where they lived and worked.

To some, it was a speck on the sprawling landscape to me though, a weary wanderer from Oz, a seeker of connection… it was gold. I hadn’t come ‘here’ on this tour with this expectation. I was merely spending a day exploring a loch and a castle. Never did I expect to be shown, to see and to feel the land of my ancestors. I stood transfixed and he continued to share with me about the type of life they would have had and experienced. I was given an insight into them. Who they were and why they would have left. It was deeply profound. Whilst the trip was loosely ancestral focussed I didn’t have the fortitude to arrange to hire a car and exploring small Scottish villages on my own. However, it wasn’t needed. I was here, I was seeing and I was learning.

It felt full circle.

Stirling Castle view to Clackmannanshire, Scotland 2019 – Libby Kinna

In the late 1850s my great grandparents 3 times removed left Scotland. Embarking on a journey many Scots had taken to a land far, far away. A land so foreign nothing they were prepared for.

They left perhaps seeking a better life. One can only imagine how different my life would have been if they had travelled to the Americas instead. They left in an attempt to improve.

Their choices gave me the life I have now. It provided me with freedom. Freedom that resulted in me travelling here to Scotland. Their land, my land. They didn’t get to return. I have done that for them and with them. I felt this strongly standing on this hilltop at Stirling Castle. As the winds continued to howl and a slight drizzle of rain moved through, a tear trickled down my cheek. A tear of gratitude and belonging.

No longer was Scotland just another tourist destination. Something happened at that moment. It was my home too. Through the DNA pumping through this body, there was a recognition and remembrance of those that came before me.
My tour guide sensing this internal shift, left me to be. To be with them, to be with me.

This is the magic of ancestral travel.

I didn’t set out looking for this place. Yet the land found me. It drew me towards it. It wasn’t planned or expected. Yet it found me. Pulled etherically.

I stood as long as I could. Until the others had returned to the tour bus. Until I was called. It was time to leave the car park at Stirling Castle. I had arrived a tourist. I was becoming an explorer. I was connecting to place in a way previously unknown. My journey had only now begun.

Interested in finding out more? These sites are worth a visit:

I highly recommend the 1-day Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle tour with Rabbie’s Tour Company. . I am not receiving any financial incentive to say this.

#enlightenedtraveller #ancestraltraveller #ancestry

Planning your Scottish Ancestral pilgrimage

Glencoe, Scotland 2019. Image by Libby Kinna.

Scotland may be small geographically yet it is rich in offering for your ancestral pilgrimage. Don’t be fooled into thinking a few hours driving and a couple of visits to small villages and your ancestral journey is done!

This land is ancient and seeped with historical offerings. Whilst our Scottish ancestors initially immigrated here in the 1800’s their stories go back hundreds of years. Many left through an ‘assisted passage’ scheme with dreams of establishing a new, abundant and healthy life.

Here are some sites you can start exploring BEFORE you leave Australia.

Planning your Scottish ancestral journey 

Finding your Scottish Ancestors (National Trust Scotland)

Family History Federation

Tools to help plan and record your ancestral journey

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Genealogy researching and tracking takes an enormous amount of time and resources.

Finding the best way for you to capture and plan your ancestral searching can also take time.

I have found the following software apps very helpful:  to get the process going to collate and gather information, you can tag family names, places, generations, can import data, compile resources, to schedule and plan research projects and travel journeys

Free genealogy templates 

Travelling as an insightful spiritual pilgrimage

Fascinating article published in the Journal for the Study of Spirituality (Beres, 2018) exploring how travel can become a spiritual pilgrimage.


Laura Béres (2018) How travel might become more like spiritual pilgrimage: An autoethnographic study, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 8:2, 160-172, DOI: 10.1080/20440243.2018.1523048

How your ancestors can be influencing your life

The life our ancestors lived can influence who we are now.   ‘Transgenerational’ relates to the ‘transference through generations’.  It is the interconnectedness of all.  There is no isolation. 

Like the rippling effect of a pebble hitting a smooth lake surface, so can our ancestors life experiences move through us.   

The influence of which may be seen in our:

  • attachments
  • coping mechanisms
  • behaviour
  • biases
  • fears and anxieties

Trauma too can be transmitted across generations.  Unresolved trauma can be carried genetically.   Our life experiences can modify our DNA.  Epigenetic changes are transmitted from parent to child during conception and pregnancy.  Explore this further by reading my blog on epigenetics.

Continue reading “How your ancestors can be influencing your life”