Ancestral Healing 101

Ancestral Healing, along with practices of Ancestral Honoring & Reverance, have become increasingly popular in recent years. Among those called to heal personal wounding from early life experiences and traumas, as well as difficult family dynamics, considering the ways that we are affected by the lived experiences of our ancestors has enlivened the conversation of how we can live more meaningful, well, and empowered lives. As the grip of monotheistic religious traditions continues to wane, too, people are increasingly hungry for new ways to make meaning in their lives free of dogma and belief systems, and the call to return to the direct experience of ritual connection to the unseen continues to emerge. Ancestral Healing, Honoring, & Reverence are rising from the depth of this yearning, and we are finding new ways of ritual practice and expression that meet us in our unique cultural needs today.

In older times, many cultures had established rituals, ceremonies, and traditions to maintain good connection with those who had passed from this world, and practices of tending those relationships and maintaining ancestral wellness were embedded in their lives. Death Rituals honored both the one who had passed on, as well as those who remained behind in this world, carrying grief and sorrow. Through the ways of divination, communion with Spirit, and altered states of consciousness, people maintained connection with their loved ones and ancestors, whether directly or through the healers and priests/priestesses in their communities. When issues of conflict and unwellness were present among the living and recently deceased, these things could be dealt with ritually in order to maintain order and peace within the community. Through the centuries and millenia of culture loss, most contemporary societies have lost touch with these ways, and generations of unwellness have built up in the collective consciousness of individual lineages, and in society at large. As we look at the suffering in the world around us, the evidence is there.   Our world is filled with the accumulation of this personal and familial unwellness, now acting collectively, as our contemporary societies are anchored in war, genocide, intolerance, misunderstanding, abuse, injustice, and more.

Ancestral Healing seeks to bring healing to the personal and universal ills of our modern world through addressing intergenerational traumas through the animist lens of the interdependence of all things. Though many modern healing modalities ~ including practices of shamanic and energy healing, as well as many approaches of psychotherapy ~ seek to address the relational wounds we experience by way of family and culture during our lifetimes, Ancestral Healing seeks to explore and heal the suffering of our ancestors that has not been witnessed or addressed for generations. As we come to learn about our people through direct connection with well ancestral guides, it is a magnificent journey of discovery to see who we are when the wellness of our ancestral gifts and blessings is amplified. Too, it is a deep and thought provoking exploration to see the unfolding of interpersonal wounding in the context of the dynamics of different historical periods, different parts of the world, and in the midst of culture loss, as dominating forces pushed the older ways out of focus. Through direct connection to the well ancestors in our own bloodlines, it is our birthright to have direct access to the stories and experiences of our people, and it is possible to reconnect with the original goodness of our ancestors from a time when Ancestral Honoring & Reverence were alive and thriving.

Ancestral Lineage Healing work does not seek to bring any of us into direct contact with pain, wounding, or trauma. It does not ask us to engage with family and ancestors who are unwell, and who can cause us harm. The work of Ancestral Lineage Healing seeks to provide us with abundant resources of wellness to amplify our own personal boundaries so that we are well protected in the midst of any unwellness that may be discovered. It is not up to us, the living, to heal our unwell ancestors.  The well ancestors must heal the unwell ancestors.  It is, however, our responsibility and privilege to invoke the healing of whatever unwellness may be lingering in our lineages, and to ritually honor a return to balance and harmony that allows our own healing to deepen in powerful ways. Through the cultivation of our own natural intuitive capacities, as well as a return to honoring the unseen through sincere and heartfelt ritual, we are more able to embody our place in the unfolding of our ancestors’ wildest dreams. Through this, we heal not only ourselves, we bring healing to our cultures through enlivening our connection to the most bright and authentic version of who we are.

Angela Blueskies, M.A. (Harpers Ferry, WV & Washington, DC) is a visionary musician, ceremonialist, and facilitator committed to the re-emergence of sacred life ways. A Q’ero initiate, she has journeyed to Peru since 2005, learning directly from elders and medicine people. A lifelong musician and Sound Medicine practitioner, Angela travels extensively through the Americas sharing transformational healing work, retreats, sacred sound events, and community ritual. She lives in rural West Virginia at Rumi Wasi Sanctuary, a pristine mountaintop retreat and healing center. To learn more: www.angelablueskies.com & www.heartofthemotherretreats.com.

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