Submission: Are there any practices or rituals you may recommend to assist in connecting more fully with ancestors to protect, nourish, and heal?
Dear Richael, I feel moved to continue the work of healing trauma and prepared enough to hold more space for my ancestors.
...[I]t seems this extreme is the time and place to dig even deeper. I would love to hear any guidance you may have to offer in how to engage and move through this process.
Are there any practices or rituals you may recommend to assist in connecting more fully with ancestors to protect, nourish, and heal?
Much, much love,
Dear AM, Thank you for bringing such a vital and relevant question forward. Some of us are aware that our righteous ancestors are working very hard to bring us into the new paradigm, so the more connected we are, the smoother our transition into this new way of being.
However, before I share more perspective about ancestral practices and rituals, it feels important to emphasize that many of us simply need to learn more about our ancestors. What were their names or how were they called? In which places on the planet did they live? How did their natural environments, living conditions and community structures affect them? Is it possible to learn anything about their daily lives? Do any of your/another family members' memories or records reveal about how they felt about the world?
Clearly, some of us have more that has survived separation by time or systems; some of us can more easily access what is available, including elders well enough to remember; some of us can return to homelands and from there, still have strong active connections to these places. But even if we don't have the gift of archives (people, places or inanimate) -- if you have a seed of knowledge about your ancestors -- I always encourage folks to imagine, dream, and envision them into being. My experience as a shamanic practitioner has clarified that the first step to establish a connection is merely an intention. Our spiritual and psychic willingness to connect is the foundation for our ancestral practice and ritual. Be prepared to welcome them into your hearts much like any other guest.
From here, dear AM, I believe there's a two-step process to ensure that you're not overwhelmed by the dimensions of legacy, history, and trauma. First, it'll be wise to focus on establishing and cultivating your relationship with righteous ancestors. And then, once trust is firm, endeavor into learning more about, and holding trauma, across the blood line, including the karmic energy of less righteous ancestors, with your other ancestral and living community support.
I can suggest an approach to cultivate ancestral relationships, after you've truly opened up to their presence. I would advise, to start, asking your "guardians" or "stewards" to make themselves known to you. This request is for a particular kind of righteous ancestor who plays roles of protection and path-opening. Although sometimes we have other spirits who occupy stronger guardianship roles, I'm certain that there are ancestor-guardians for each of us, given the thinness of the veil among ancestor-beings and us, at this moment. (Also, from our previous work together, AM, there's a very strong presence in your life, already. And intuitively, I feel like there are three more prepared to connect with you.)
The last aspect of the approach I can offer is to integrate elements that tie you and ancestors together. So, if Your People were profoundly shaped by a certain landscape in Europe, like, living on an island, water is likely a supportive element for you. The seed of your practice lies in intentionally visiting water to be near your guardians, and bring them forth. Or, another example, music is a powerful bridge representing ether--space in between that fills us. You may feel moved to listen to or play their music, which speaks to your soul too. The key here is to bring together the elements (water, earth, ether, fire, and air, wood and metal in other traditions) to serve as conduits to your listening. Remember, developing ancestral connection can take time (or not) and depend on other soul evolutionary work too. Be encouraged--they're near.
In my healing practice I've been honored to help many people shape very specific ancestral rituals. Honestly, they can be very, very specific. For you, this is what I see: I see a earth digging practice near water. A form of meditation where you make an offering, make a request of what you would like to learn about your guardians/stewards, bend down to touch the earth, scoop earth into your hands, bring earth to your heart with both hands, let your hand rest with earth against you, and replace the earth to repeat again. As you move I hear something that you repeat...it feels like a prayer, perhaps that your family has recited for a long while. The practice, as a whole, is a moving mantra. Give this a try, and adapt however feels right to you, dear AM. As a reminder, first I recommend spending a little more time learning about Your People, which can happen organically as you decide on which prayer(s) to recite. I trust that this all will serve.
My last piece of insight to offer are these: make sure it's a practice that is consistent and intuitive to you. This means if you're cultivating relationships that there must be some rhythm to your engagement to gain familiarity and build trust, and doing so from the heart is the root of the relationship--if you're mechanical in your practice, your connection will reflect as much.
Deep appreciation to you as you grow your ancestral connection. As you feel them more strongly I know that they'll offer guidance around how to address inherited trauma that is enacted and replicated in your life at present. I'm also glad to support.
In love warriorhood,
Post-Script: I'll be sharing more insights about ancestral connections in a webinar, tentatively scheduled for October 1, called Bringing Forth Righteous Ancestors In Our Activist Work, through my collaborative project, Healing Curation. Visit our newsletter for updates.