Ancestral Wounds: Healing the Ancestors You Are Afraid Of
For many of us, the ancestral realm is a special and mystical place to explore and grow spiritually, yet I have witnessed many reasons why people run from embracing this level of healing. I've seen people afraid of it. I've seen it bring up things that are difficult to face. I remember many years ago being a part of a healing ceremony, I had a moment where all I saw was blood everywhere like a crime scene. It was scary honestly. When we are able to perceive the realm of spirit and get to know our ancestors we are given the opportunity to see and remember their lives, their stories and their experiences from all ends of the spectrum. Though I speak very poetically and joyfully about the spirit realm this journey is painful, scary, and shocking at times. My joy comes from a place of relief after dealing with difficulties.
Often I'm asked, how do I navigate this journey when I know there are ancestors and lineages that I am apart of that I don't want anything to do with, I rather not speak to, when direct ancestors lives represented trauma, abuse, pain, and dishonorable acts against loved ones, myself, and/or the community at large?
The answer requires a different understanding of and perspective of our humanity and what happens when one becomes an ancestor. If you think about it when we perceive the spirit realm we understand ourselves more. When we dream or enter different states of consciousness we see ourselves from many more perspectives beyond this one human reality. I've had major realizations about myself and my actions from these states which have inspired me to be a better human being as well as correct certain wrongs.
Similarly, when a person passes away and reaches the spirit realm they are able to see their lives and their actions from a different perspective. They are able to see past their ego and know where they have made mistakes, where they want to be forgiven, thus they can feel bad for what they have done and seek to heal and rectify their actions either through their spiritual growth in other realms or through their descendants. I've talked about how the ancestors can "bother" us into helping them with unresolved issues they lived through which disrupts our personal karma and human experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are ancestors who are still stuck in the mindsets they died in and for various reasons haven't chosen to grow. They are still in a state of pain and anger and continue to cause problems for themselves and their descendants, hence how the concept of ghosts has been depicted in extremes. In ancestral healing, we speak of "elevating" our ancestors or helping them ascend from a place of negativity to a place of peace and even to a place where they can now act as guardians and helpers.
For the ones, that choose not to elevate we release them in a way that they can longer energetically affect us, HOWEVER, we are talking about a blood connection or a connection that goes back centuries. My main answer to this question is that there are things that are unavoidable and must be dealt with by YOU, their descendant, or the next person in line to do the work. If you don't do it, it will be left to the next person. I wish us more courage though because there are things I don't want to see my children nor siblings suffer through. And honestly, because no one else did it, it now falls on you.
The most important thing to understand is you have the power to re-write the story. You have the power to sit the family down and heal this. You have the opportunity to bring RESOLVE; to hear everyone out and see what really happened and why!
This issue brings about another thought for me. We really need to look at our humanity and release our judgments because you are your ancestors! Your ancestors are you! There is no separation remember? The idea that we are separate from anything is the greatest cosmic lie. Everything is one. Haven't you been wrong and couldn't see at that moment the drama you weaved into existence? Haven't you ever wanted to be forgiven? Haven't you desperately wanted the day to start over and make a different choice? Sometimes we look out to the wrongs of the world and "can't believe" how someone could have done such a thing! Have you met your darkness? We have every potential within us. We must come to terms with all sides of ourselves and all reflections of others that are ALSO us! Facing the truth of what your ancestors did will also open up the way for owning up to your own difficult truths. Again, the idea that you are here and your "bad" ancestors or somewhere else, don't exist. They can affect you whether you recognize it or not.
Loves, there are pains within you that will never go away until you face the root of it. Many times this is linked to our ancestral stories. So, to not speak to certain ancestors, to ignore it, to run, to be afraid, essentially you are ignoring yourself and your own healing. Please remember that there are MANY ancestors. Even just one side of your lineage is massive. They all have different stories, some potent gifts, and medicine for you to inherit. Don't let the actions of a few individuals allow you to reject a whole lineage.
I know that there are acts that some people consider unforgivable. I am not here to rush your journey or skip over your pain. Some issues require support and don't need to be resolved alone. You may need a trusted guide or healer to support you with the right tools. This post is especially for those who have been brought to a point where they know that it's time to deal with it. As for the fear and distrust of ancestors...like with our human relationships, trust is something that must be re-built when all sides are ready to move in a more positive direction. And some energies simply need correction. If you have experienced or heard of concepts like 'the Dark Night of the Soul' or 'ego deaths', you know that there is a layer of fear and pain that must be faced. Fear is a beast that makes us forget that we are powerful. You will be called to face your fears no matter what direction you run to in this life.
When we start this journey we only call upon those in the lineage that we had mostly positive relationships with and memories of. The heavier work is usually done when space is held through ceremony, ritual, and dreams or altered states.
When I look at how the acts of people, tribes, and empires in our collective histories are still impacting the world TODAY; how we are still arguing and debating about what happened and what justice still needs to be served, I know that there is a global ancestral resolve that must take place. And how can a collective issue truly reach resolution if individuals won't address what's in their own bones? How can you expect our governments, for example, to reach what you won't try?
So, where to start with healing wounds connected to dishonorable ancestors? Call forth the elevated ones, the guardians, first. You may think that you don't know them but they know you. Bring to them the issues at hand that you know of, ask for healing and elevation of the lineage. They will reveal themselves and there is nothing they can't shift with you. As a priestess, I work with my elevated ancestors to guide others. Your personal spiritual practices are so important. As you heal your energy field you begin to clear the way for the divinities within you to rise up and what is out of balance to be re-written. There are many practices and rituals to heal and connect that I share on my site and through my work.
Being a part of a family is simply much greater when we think beyond the physical. The responsibility is multi-dimensional. This is who we are and our life's purpose is etched in it.
As hard as this can be, I have seen great things shift in my life and in the lives of others through ancestral healing. The fear of the unknown can lie deep within us yet the healing journey can allow for things to be known clearly and addressed powerfully.
Photo Credit: Graciela Iturbide