It is important to take an intersectional perspective when we talk about ancestry. For one, not all of us know our biological families, whether it be because of adoption or having an absent parent. In the case of many families of African descent whose roots can be traced to slavery and colonization, entire family histories, languages, cultures, and traditions were robbed and whitewashed in the process of colonialism.
It is also important to address chosen families when we talk about ancestral healing. How many of us had a beloved (or despised) aunt or uncle who was really just a parent’s best friend?
Ancestry is more complex than bloodline; and similarly, healing is more complex than cause and effect. Healing is a nonlinear and multimodal process. Ancestral healing uses the lens of one’s own relationship to their ancestry to guide and empower that process.
The reality is that whether we are talking about relationships, religion, money, spirituality, body image, or anything else you can think of, the impact of your ancestry (however you relate to it) is intrinsically tied to your beliefs, blocks, and self-understanding of a particular subject.
Sometimes the impacts are obvious (“Everyone I date reminds me of my father.”) and sometimes they are far more nuanced (The recognition that the underlying reason you stay at a job you hate is because of all of your inherited beliefs about job security, money, capitalism, etc.)
If you desire to reshape beliefs, the origins of which lie in your inherited trauma, you must be brave enough to sit with the realities of ancestral reflection. When we do so through the lens of spirituality, we are truly looking at some of the most powerful shadow work that we can do.
This is because when we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors and our descendents simultaneously. Bringing your conscious awareness to stopping the perpetuation of a pattern or belief system that has negatively impacted generations within your lineage is no small task. It is the kind of work that has made it possible for people to embrace and live and love as queer people when their ancestors probably lived in fear and shame of their homosexuality. It is the healing of freeing yourself from believing in the smallness that held those who came before you from doing the things you never dreamed you would until you were brave enough to connect the dots between their fear and your blocks.
With ancestral healing, you become able to live your ancestors’ wildest dreams.
How can we do this exactly? As a third-generation practitioner of healing arts, I have developed a practice that has worked beautifully for my clients and myself, though I think it is important to mention that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of roads to take on the journey to healing and I think it is important to find one that breathes for you (try different teachers and modalities, read different books, don’t expect miracles but be open to them).
In my work, I find that consistently implementing practices that invite you to deep reflection of your blocks slowly alchemize them. I recommend leaving offerings to your ancestors on your altar, lighting candles in their honor on particular days, praying to them, and asking for their support in your healing journey.
I also create custom meditations, breathwork practices, and rituals that invite people to ask, “Where does the origin of this belief come from? Is it serving me? What empowering belief might I like to pursue instead?” With consistency, ritual, and the magick of dedicated spiritual practice, healing can happen faster than you may have ever previously thought possible.
In my own practice, I have seen my clients go from mirroring their parents’ relationship wounds to understanding and embodying their own relationship ideals in less than three months. I have seen womxn go from the systematic and ancestral conditioning that their opinions are not welcome, that they should be quiet and passive, to boldly claiming their own voice and passion not only in their lives but in big businesses and the pursuit of their financial dreams.
In my own life, I have gone from believing I needed a “traditional” job to survive to teach about liberation and empowerment to hundreds of people on the internet. None of which I could do without addressing all the stories I had been taught were true about what was realistic, achievable, safe, or even desirable to my family.
When embarking on your own journey of ancestral healing, it is important to remember that the goal is not to eliminate the beliefs that you feel hold you back (this is almost impossible) but rather to empower a compassionate understanding of why those ideas were so important to those who came before you, and how you might release some of the perceived need and importance of those ideas so you can empower new ones. (ie. OF COURSE, your parents conditioned you to believe that having money made people rude and evil…it protected their own position around how much money they made. But that belief is keeping you from making money, and you don’t need it anymore.)
This process is lifelong, potent, and deeply rewarding to those brave enough to do this work. Furthermore, this is the most urgently needed work of our time. Our inherited systems of oppression, inner white supremacist, misogynist, and homophobe, are all byproducts of ancestral trauma. When we heal ourselves, we heal our lineage AND co-create a better world. I can’t think of a more 2020 lesson to learn than that.
If you’re interested in doing this work in a shared community, in a radical, witchy, open, intersectional environment, where you’ll learn my targeted methods and modalities within which to make the connection between your biggest blocks, your ancestral wounds, and the magick of a new way of joining my 12-month signature healing program Ancestral Alchemy. You’ll also get access to 12 guest lecturers of diverse disciplines and backgrounds, a monthly new moon ritual space, a vibrant online coven for community building, and all the tools you need to transform your ancestral journey in 2021.
Start your healing now, and change your life forever.