© Lori Lappin, the Witch of WITCHCRAFTS ARTISAN ALCHEMY®


A daughter of the the Clan of Sinhala (Heartblood of Lions), I've received a new personal autosomal DNA report from 23andme revealing more information regarding my genetic ancestral populations. According to this new report, my most recent ancestor to be considered 100% British and Irish was most likely born between 1870 and 1930. My most recent ancestor considered to be 100% French and German was likely born between 1810 and 1870. My most recent ancestor considered to be 100% Scandinavian was most likely born between 1750 and 1840. My most recent ancestor considered to be 100% Finnish was likely born between 1720 and 1810. My most recent ancestor considered to be 100% South Asian was likely born between 1690 and 1810.

Upon investigation, I've found that this South Asian component of my ancestry and the corresponding most recent ancestor birth dates for this specific genetic population fit with the colonial periods of Dutch and British Ceylon in Sri Lanka. The Dutch period began in 1601. The British period began in 1796. During both periods (but especially encouraged during the Dutch period), the native Europeans intermarried with the Sinhalese native population of Sri Lanka.

The Ceylon colonists linking to my ancestral genetic populations were of Burgher, Sinhalese, Portuguese-Jewish, German, British, Danish, Swedish and Austrian descent. The South Asian native population of this group was Sinhalese.

The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the island of Sri Lanka, predominantly Theravada Buddhists and descendants of the settlers who came to the island in 543 BCE from Sinhapura in India, led by Prince Vijaya  (known in the Jataka Tales and depicted in the Ajanta Cave Paintings as Sinhala).

The Sinhalese name derives from the Sanskrit word Sinhala, meaning literally "of lions". Other Sanskrit meaning is 'Sinha' (lion) + 'la' (blood or heart). The story of the arrival of Prince Vijaya to Sri Lanka, and the origin of the Sinhalese people is also depicted in the Ajanta caves, in a mural of cave number 17.

I think it's pretty clear that my South Asian ancestry is Sinhalese, the Indo-Aryan population native to Ceylon in Sri Lanka. The dates fit, the migration history fits, and the ancestry fits with my general ancestry, which is 98.8% Northwestern European since at least the Middle Ages. The spiritual way of the Sinhalese also fits with my own personal innate spiritual way.

"Theravāda (literally "school of the elder monks") is a branch of Buddhism that uses the Buddha's teaching preserved in the Pāli Canon as its doctrinal core. The Pali canon is the only complete Buddhist canon which survives in a classical Indic Language, Pali, which serves as the sacred language and lingua franca of Theravada Buddhism. Theravāda promotes the concept of vibhajjavāda "teaching of analysis". This doctrine says that insight must come from the aspirant's experience,"

"The word Vibhajyavāda may be parsed into vibhajya, loosely meaning "dividing", "analyzing" and vāda holding the semantic field: "doctrine", "teachings". According to Andrew Skilton, the analysis of phenomena (Skt. dharmas) was the doctrinal emphasis and preoccupation of the Vibhajyavādins."

My way, as it has been throughout my life, the way of experiential analysis, of analyzing my own experiences (as demonstrated throughout my writings and poetry) aligns exceptionally well with the spiritual teachings of my Sinhalese ancestors.