During October, most spiritual paths recognize that the thinning of the veil means ancestor work. So what does that mean? Unfortunately, many people misunderstand what it means to work with your ancestors. So I wanted to give some insight so that everyone can take advantage of this amazing energy to get in touch with their ancestral power!
Whether you know your family ancestry or not, it doesn’t matter. All spiritual paths acknowledge the power of ancestral lines. However, many of these teachings are passed down in family traditions. What if your family didn’t pass this down to you – can you still participate? Absolutely!!
Who are your Ancestors?
When we talk about ancestors, we generally tend to think of Grandma or Grandpa. Sure, you can work with your recent relatives, but most of the time, the ancestors that will be most helpful to you, are 4+ generations ago. Chances are, you have never met them in person. Why is this important? We tend to have our own biases towards relatives that we know. We hear stories, we learn factoids, and without context, we make assumptions and conclusions. This can sometimes influence our ability to seek guidance from them simply due to personal ideas and biases.
It is even more critical for those who have experienced trauma to understand that your ancestors can be outside the circle of relatives you know and are responsible for your familial abuse. The fact is that all of us have ancestors that performed abuse at some point, that were rich and poor, that were farmers and business people, and even that were healers or witches. Any of these ancestors can bring aid to us, and most importantly, we can bring healing to them by working with them.
Trauma affects us on a genetic level. Epigenetics researchers have found that trauma can pass down to us on a genetic level. In this way, when we heal our genetic trauma, we have the opportunity to heal ourselves and heal all generations that came before us and prevent the trauma from passing on to the next generation after us. Working with our ancestors can bring us closer to healing that trauma.
How do I start working with my Ancestors?
An ancestor altar is a great way to start working with your ancestors. I have gotten questions about adoptees. How do you work with ancestors when you don’t know who they are? Well, you have a few options – you can work with your ancestors’ thought culture (if you know where you are genetically from), or you can work with the ancestors of your adopted family. Your adoptive family CHOSE you. They chose to bring you into their family line, allowing you to access that spiritual heritage. You may not be able to heal the genetic trauma in that family line, but you can do all of the spiritual work and heal those ancestors on a spiritual level.
To start, the best way is to create an ancestor altar. Pick a nice little corner in your home (it doesn’t need to be big), but somewhere you can add a nice white cloth and a white pillar candle. Next, you can add items to that altar to represent your family line. This can be a cultural item or something owned by an ancestor. It can also involve plants, flowers, and pictures. Light your candle and a little incense (Sandalwood or rose are always suitable for working with ancestors), and ask for their participation in your spiritual life. If you were a victim of family trauma, do not add items that can trigger that trauma. Stick with cultural things.
To call on your ancestral line (in October in particular, this can be powerful), light your pillar candle and incense. Ask your ancestors to bring you light and guidance. I generally give them another white candle (a small one – you can use a chime candle or a Tea Light). Talk to them as if they were in the room with them. Tell them what is going on in your life, and ask them for guidance. It is also good to go to your ancestor’s altar once a month and talk to them the same way. This, little by little, will build a relationship with your ancestors. They will guide you to what you need to add to your ancestor altar, and eventually, you have a robust dialogue with them.
Your ancestors are always on your side. The better you do in life, the more you elevate your family line, and the better everyone does. This is always a win-win for you. Your ancestors are always the most potent allies you can have – use them!