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  • Writer's pictureJenny Dunaway

Epigenetic Memories

Michael and I have spent countless hours recently working on the genealogy of our families. Though I had always heard about the Cherokee and Irish ancestors, I discovered a large part of my DNA comes from Scotland. I've always loved Celtic music and dreamed of traveling to Ireland and Scotland someday. Part of me has known that this connection was far more than romantic fantasy.

The idea that we have inherited DNA from our ancestors made me ponder if we also inherited their memories. Numerous studies have proven that traumatic events can be passed down to as many as 14 generations, depending on the species being tested. These memories were imprinted on the offspring's DNA to help the animal survive--that's evolution. But studies have also shown an attraction or an aversion to smells, sounds, tastes, and textures. I find that fascinating and not surprising at all.

But what if we could remember more of our ancestors' experiences than simply sensory memories? Could this explain deja-vu? I have personally experienced many instances where I knew a place, even though I had never been there. I knew details that I couldn't have possibly known. I had the feeling of being home.

I was pondering all this the other night when I couldn't sleep. So, I decide to create a soul collage card. As always, I had no idea why I was selecting the images I selected and put them together in this manner. Creating soul collage cards relaxes me--it's almost like God and I are designing something that will explain a truth to me. When I finished this one, I had no clue what it was telling me so I went to bed. I dreamed of Scotland. The sights, the sounds, the smells were all familiar. I even understood the conversation though the people were speaking Gaelic. When I awoke and walked into the dining room to review my card, it all made sense to me. The girl is in her mother's womb. She has been given DNA from both her father and mother. Note that rungs of the DNA ladder are expressed by the jeweled adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thiamine. When she is born, the genotype is expressed as a phenotype represented by the blue topaz. That topaz is the ancestor's memory. The card made sense to me, now. I had NO idea what it meant when I went to bed. This is the joy of creating soul collage cards. God spoke and I listened. He explained the concept of epigenetic memory in a visual that I could understand. Pretty cool!

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