Family of Origin Blog

Family of Origin Interpretation
(with tree drawing interpretation)

Family of Origin Interpretation – November

I will start with the good news. You have played the role in your family of origin which has the best prognosis of being able to successfully survive trauma. And, because of situation and circumstance, you have been able to have a taste of other roles which will give you information about how others in your family are processing what is happening to them. This gives you a sense of empathy within the system. Also, you would have the characteristics of the middle which is to be able to negotiate and the youngest which is to like interacting with people on a one-to-one basis.

Even though you are the actual middle child, because your brother chose to abdicate his position as first born, you have played the first born role within your family system. This gives you skills in knowing how to solve problems and a sense of success since firstborn children usually are groomed to bring in rewards based on time in the limelight whether in school, work, or life in general.

A clue to why your brother may have chosen to not assume that role may be found in the age difference between your Mother and Father. With your mother being fourteen years older than your Dad, it is a possibility, and a probable truth, that she may have preferred being in control rather than having an equal partner.

Your Dad’s actual archetype was the High Priestess which would have been the energy of intuition. Your Mother may have tried to make him more worldly than he felt comfortable in being . And, he probably tried to make her more non-worldly than she felt capable of understanding. From this would come conflict especially if, with the age difference, the gap between them became larger and larger due to the age difference.

You did not say if your sister’s death was an accident. You did say your mother caused the death. Not knowing if it was an accident, brings your older brother’s death under suspicion also. A child lives until late teens in an egocentric universe naturally. Because of this, if your oldest brother’s death was under suspicion, then all the children would have lived with fear for their well-being. With your Dad taking his own life, if your mother were already having treatment or incarcerated, then survival mode from thirteen until marriage would have been a constant.

Also, lots of development for surviving in your family of origin is under question. I assume that Michelle’s death was ruled an accident and your Mother remained with the family. If so, it would make you under the tutelage of a matriarchal type who is into control. If you were raised by your Dad, then developing the first born role would have probably been a necessity and would have explained why you were “watchdogging” and thus his adjective for you. Someone taking the reins would have been an absolute necessity.

Looking at all the family archetypes is interesting also:

Your archetype is Strength…the symbol is a woman in white stroking the head of a lion without fear. This archetype is about learning to survive and prosper on Earth without fear.

Your brother has the archetype of The Chariot. It is all about learning to have faith, trust, and not try to always be the one in control. The worst thing he could have done to himself was to shut down.

Your Dad being the High Priestess energy would be able to intuit all your feelings, and his archetype could be quite passive aggressive if anger was his most normal feeling which you labeled him as being.

Also, to clearly understand your family of origin position, it would help to know if Greg’s death was ruled an accident and if your mother was incarcerated or underwent mental health treatment. The same would hold true for Michelle. I also need to know if who raised you… other words, was your Mother left in the home or did you assume surrogate Mother position from age four on to thirteen. At thirteen who raised the family?

Four is a major developmental stage and so is thirteen. For you to have been able to develop the first born role within your family shows that you are most likely very bright and have followed the energy of your grounded birthday archetype and your archetype of strength. Whether you and your Mother got along or not, she had to have had respect for you since she would recognize the energy of the leader, first born.

What you were set up for in this position was attracting a chemical addiction alcoholic or addict to marry. With your husband being the first born boy in his family, if boys were valued in the system, he could, however, be a first born hero also. He may not have the addiction, but probably has the rigidity which you dealt with being raised in a family with dysfunction.

From what you have told me I can give you the positives for you and the negatives:

Positives are:

1. You have the best prognosis of moving forward with success.
2. You understand the dynamics of “doing” and , if you , at this time in your life, befriend yourself without taking on others to help and “raise” then you will certainly succeed.
3. First born role children are usually very bright because they had to develop the right brain-left brain capacity .


1. By this time in your life, you may be very tired from taking care of so many for so long.
2. You may get an adrenaline high from other’s problems and crisis. This is a characteristic which you have to overcome through subconscious releasing and reprogramming. It would be the Achilles Heel which would keep you from succeeding in having a happy life.
3. Your health may have suffered by this point and you may need to do some rebuilding of your health.

Your Tree Interpretation:

Through all the conflict and hardship, you have learned to set boundaries with others. The size of your tree shows great generosity of spirit; therefore, I feel this skill of setting boundaries with others came later in life and was probably out of necessity.

You love people or projects or both , and you move in many circles of life.

Your life is probably divided into about seven different modalities. There are probably three people who come and go into your life and one very valued person.

About five years ago a trauma happened that has been reframed in a way that you claimed more personal empowerment. This event may have sent you into treatment which has been beneficial.

The lines on your tree show that people still suck your life force energy from you and you still feel very responsible for others. You need to follow the three-day rule when people want you to solve their problems. This means unless it is life or death, do nothing for three days. You will be amazed at how much a person can do for themselves in three days without your intervention. On the third day, take a “slow code” approach to other’s problems.

Your subconscious expects the future to be brighter and meeting someone who has taught you more about detachment has been helpful. This could be a person or an attribute you developed from therapy. (The cat energy ).

You may also have a friend or family member who exudes healing and personal empowerment or it could be an attribute you have begun to value…thus the chalice looking blue flower. You also have two mandalas drawn as flowers at the bottom of your tree.

One shows that quickly you will be feeling more personal empowerment and will be revitalizing. This may “peek around the corner” and present itself quite suddenly. Giving up trying to control your world is a component you are developing with seven pedals in both mandala flowers. Definitely, more personal empowerment is coming for you.

Listen also to the cat energy and practice detaching from drama and crisis.

Clues to you which will help you understand your life better:

You like recognition. The way you turned your paper would have never happened unless that was a trait you had ingrained in you. Go for positive recognition and cut all who try to put you down and undermine you, out of

your life for one year until you can develop the personal empowerment to shut down their tactics of trying to bring you down to their level.

Also, use your cat ears and listen more. First born role people do more talking than listening. For one year, learn to discern your world and listening, looking, etc. will be an important trait to nurture.

What has brought critical people into your life?

It is as clear as a bell at the bottom of your tree:

Sharp, critical Mother energy. It is time to forgive your Mother’s actions and Let Go…so that more positive energy can come.

Until that energy is healed, it will be hard for you to nurture yourself.It is happening, however. Notice the soft grass of the future…

Some work you have already done has brought forth good changes.

You, however, as a Virgo have been through several years of Saturn restriction. You will be happy to know that the worst is over and only a little bit more will come from April to July. It will be just a drop in the bucket to what you have survived over the last three years.

This Saturn energy will not return for thirty six years and it is now time for you to enjoy your life and spend the effort on self that you have spent on others!

Thank you for sharing this beautiful tree and your family of origin blueprint.


Interpretation November

by Cheryl W. Martin, MSW, LCSW, CHt