Monday, 17 May 2010

Faces of the past and present

Flora, Hilda and Jessie Ross in 1939

I was talking yesterday with my Auntie Jessie, my father’s sister and Charlie Ross’s grand-daughter. She is, from what I know, the only one of Charlie and Mary's grandchildren who is still alive. What a gift our elders are and how often we do not appreciate that fact until there are few or none of them left.

We look alike, and I have always known that and she looks like her mother, Hilda Rose. I was given my grandmother’s name as my middle name. In fact both of my grandmother’s were called Hilda so it is quite an inheritance.

But back to faces of the past and present.... I have developed as I have gotten older, deep lines either side of my mouth and I have supposed these to be because I do not laugh enough, being of a serious, even Saturnine nature with Saturn conjunct my Sun. But my aunt has the same lines and she, while being wise and enormously sensible, is a cheerful sort of person. My grandmother, as I saw in the photo my aunt has up on the dresser, also had the same lines. I am guessing the photograph was taken in her late fifties or very early sixties. I do not have a sense of Hilda Rose being overly serious and so, in looking at my own face and faces from the past I have to acknowledge that a lack of laughter is not the explanation for the downward arc of my mouth. I have just been made that way.

One of the reasons why ancestry research is so important is that we gain greater understanding of ourselves when we can ‘see’ our inheritance. How much is nature and how much is nurture? How much is genes and how much is environment? It is hard to say. There are characteristics I observed in my son which I believed were the result of experiences he had when very young... and then my eldest grandson came along and he had the same characteristics without the same experiences.

I am currently compiling as many family charts as I can in order to, eventually, when I have less to do, try to track these placements and characteristics. One of the reasons why I find astrology so interesting and so helpful is because it tells us who we are.... in fact, who we were born to be. Western astrology believes the stars impel and do not compel; as a psychotherapeutic tool, it can be invaluable.

The most fascinating subject for most people is themselves and the most valuable thing we can do is gain as much understanding of Self as possible. Tracing your family history helps you to do that. Within the warp and weave of family are the threads of Self and Soul.

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