Healing the Ancestors

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you know that I’ve been exploring various aspects of ancestors and their influence off and on for some time (if you haven’t you can put “ancestors” in the search bar in the right column and you’ll see other posts about it). When I wrote my novel in the 90’s, Echoing Ancestors, I obviously had inklings of the big role our forebears play but it’s really only been in the last few years that I’ve worked my way toward more understanding. I guess the shaman who told me there was an issue in my maternal line that went back seven generations led me to begin exploring.

As often happens, the more I aware I became of how my ancestors have influenced me, the more information about it appeared. Recently I started feeling that a lot of the remaining issues in my muscles were inherited from my ancestors. In conversation with Kreig about Bodypatterning he provided a lot of information derived from Rupert Sheldrake and David Bohm about many kinds of physical patterns that can be passed down for many generations. Genealogy research led me to realize that most of my ancestors came to America very poor and that regardless of whether they did well or not they lived from a place of poverty consciousness and that that has continued to the present even in branches of my family that had been wealthy for some time.

In a long discussion with Kreig—who, like me, has deep roots in Kentucky—we agreed that probably most people whose families go back for many generations in Kentucky have some degree of poverty consciousness as part of their legacy. So we decided that it would be interesting to invite some Kentuckians for a healing ceremony for the ancestors.  I wanted to keep it small so I invited six people and suggested that they could invite a few more (although I secretly kind of wanted six). The numbers waxed and waned and by the day before I felt a little nervous because it seemed to be getting big, but in that way the universe has of resolving all things a lot of factors intervened and in the end there were exactly six of us.

First, we just talked about ancestral issues, with Kreig and I discussing the path that led us to the ceremony and everyone discussing their ancestral tales. Then, after resonating into heart energy, we created a circle in which each person spent some time in the middle with the whole group sending healing energy to all that person’s ancestors. As we worked we felt the room filling with ancestors and a growing energy. After each person experienced healing for their own line we all chanted the lovingkindness chant for all of Kentucky’s ancestors. All of us agreed that it was a powerful experience.

Kreig wisely pointed out that an important feature of this work is do the work but let go of the story. In other words don’t get caught up in the story of poverty consciousness so that you’re held there, just be aware of the influences from your forebears, heal it and move on. He also reminded us that the ancestors aren’t just a big problem to be eradicated but that in shamanic tradition you can also call upon the ancestors for assistance—so why not ask them to help in this healing?

As I saw different participants in the next week I heard lots of tales of being spaced out for a few days or feeling that something had shifted. I have moved into a much better space both physically and mentally and suddenly a lot of things about my business life—which had seemed mired in some kind of block to success—started moving. Now, of course, I’ve been doing practices, seeing bodyworkers, and working hard to release issues, raise energy, etc., for many years (including lots of Reiki and EFT for my ancestors and ancestral issues) so I have to say I don’t know that that one ceremony would have produced such a powerful effect without all that came before, but it still feels like a big turning point.

Some of us are talking about having an ancestral healing ceremony every couple of months because we felt it had such a profound impact. I’m hearing that some therapists are starting to recommend doing some genealogical research before starting therapy as the ancestors have such a powerful influence on our lives. I highly recommend exploring your family tree and figuring out what kind of ancestral healing you’d like to do.

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16 thoughts on “Healing the Ancestors

  1. Thank you for all of this, Leigh. When my younger sister saw a therapist some time ago the therapist had her sketch out her family tree and then talk to her about her understanding of the relationships. She then pointed out some things about how her ancestors related to each other that continued down the line. The major point the therapist made was that her inablility to connect in the way she wished with some of the people in her family was not her fault but was a continuation of stuff passed between those people. It was such a relief to her that there was not something missing from her but had to do with they dynamics that came before her. Thank you for sharing your journey and understanding with the rest of us. You are a gift.

    Deborah Knittel

  2. Leigh, it’s such a beautiful idea to work with healing our ancestors. I believe we carry energies of our ancestors both genetically and energetically ithin us. Based on my own life challenges, I would guess that many of my ancestors enjoyed eating too much and exercise too little. I’m trying to change my own issues with that this year! 🙂
    Have you ever considered doing a teleconference for some part of this work? In that way you could reach some of your online community, if only in a small way. I think so many of us would be interested to learn more about healing our ancestors.

      • You might look into services like freeconference.com and other free ways of teleconferencing to begin. I’ve only done a few teleconferences myself and so I’m no expert. Yet, I could see a teleconference working very well for you.

  3. Leigh, Thank you for introducing me to this powerful practice. I have never heard of ancestral healing before. I am starting to think that gathering a number of dedicated meditators in a room to focus on one aspect of life is powerful in any context.
    May you life be full of abundance and joy. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • Yes, I really got the idea of a group healing after thinking about the exponential power of two or more together in all things. I’ve kind of groped my way to working with my ancestors so I’ve only just realized that if you google ancestral healing there’s a ton of stuff out there.

  4. great idea! I have a really cool artist writer mystic friend from Kentucky who is in our age range. May I ask where in Kentucky you are from? Wonder if someway you are connected to my friend.

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