When eight years ago I set on a journey to find out about my ancestors, how they impact my life and how I can work with that, I had no clue where to go and what to do. I googled, I met people, I researched and mainly what I found were practices where somebody else would do it for you – I needed to pay the fees, and attend ceremonies, or workshops, sometimes even cook a great deal. Now as I am one of those practitioners I am also deeply interested in empowering others to begin their own connection with ancestors. I spoke about it to various ancestral practitioners, asking them first of all - what is a simple way anyone can begin this journey. After all they are your ancestors, so you should be the one building this relationship, and then when it gets difficult turn to a practitioner for support. Here are 7 answers I received, simple steps to set on this path of ancestral connection:
Knowing the powers of four directions could be of very practical purpose - depending on your need you might just take a step towards a direction to stand in it, receiving what you need right now. So for example, South is energy, power, action, heat, summer, so when you feel overwhelmed and needing support and energy, you look around to know where South is and with an intention and request for support take a step into that direction. Similar to being a representative in a constellation, you stand in that place of South, being that direction and receiving its power and energy. Or the other way around, if you feel overwhelmed and just needing a pause, you step into the North, the place of rest, silence, stillness, Spirit. And you get nurtured in that place. A tiny movement, could bring instantaneous relief. Try it. Of course it helps if you build a strong relationships with directions, flowing in their interconnectedness, experience their presence at any point in time. Doing rituals on the wheel of four directions is a way to take this understanding deeper and to see various ways how directions can support you. I have a recording of a workshop available to introduce you to the four directions and their power.
Wheel of Four Directions - Introduction Ritual
First of the series of systemic rituals on the Wheel of Four Directions. Meeting and get to know the Four Directions. A video recording of the workshop, including the introduction to the theme, explanation of the ritual, meditation and drumming accompaniment to do the ritual. You will be sent a link and a password to the page with the video and short description of the ritual.
To support your personal practice, here is an 11 min track of drumming and singing that you could play while doing a ritual.
What is the bridge between constellations work and ancestral work? In constellations we look at family systems dynamics to resolve or shift presenting issue. We notice entanglements, spot specific root of a pattern and make interventions to change it, to bring back the right order of things. We look at orders of love and for imbalances. We are a community, a circle, witnessing healing happening, and integrating it together as the change of one life changes all other lives. In ancestral work, through ritual, meditation and offering we build a relationship with our ancestors, holistically connecting with the whole field, including the excluded, seeing and acknowledging what is, offering gratitude for everything that happened so that we can have our life. We live the orders of love, they get rebalanced through this consistent practice. So in some way you do your own long term constellation in real life, step by step. All of it with incredible support from the ancient ones, those whose dream we are, ancestors of the lands we come from and go to. It is the simplest gift you can give yourself - the feeling of belonging, of having your own place and of trusting the unfolding of every day. So the two processes are complimentary, they don’t need each other to be effective, and combining them will bring a long lasting much more satisfying results. Build a reciprocal relationship with your ancestors and when something urgent or complicated comes up turn to a practitioner to support you in resolving it. How are you now a living dream of your ancestors? Imagine?
Modern Ancestral Practice Step 1 - 7 Rituals
Turn your family tree into a supportive life resource. Sign up to 7 guided rituals to begin your journey with your ancestors, introducing yourself to them, connecting with their support, gifts and wisdom. You will receive a link to a page with 7 videos that will explain and take you through these seven rituals with your ancestors. Life changing practice and life long journey!
1 - Introductions Ritual
2 - Receiving Resources Ritual - connecting with those who are willing and able to support you in what you need right now
3 - Gratitude Ritual - offering gratitude for all those life stories that meant life could continue to flow
4 - Intention Ritual - sharing your intention for your life with your ancestors
5 - Offering Ritual - tuning in to create your own offering ritual
6 - Creativity Ritual - creatively bringing in harmony into ancestral field and your place in it
7 - Gifts Ritual - celebrating your own gifts with your ancestors
This months I started talking to practitioners around the world who work with ancestors and also do family constellations work. Wise, insightful, joyful and healing conversations. I share them with you on my Youtube channel - Full Playlist. Hope you enjoy.
Last December I have been asked to write a piece for the Shaman Portal Quarterly Review magazine. This week it came out and it is very exciting to share it with you. Below you can download the full article and here is a link to the magazine, full of wonderful content.
Finding your purpose and hearing your calling is only half of the journey. As you begin on a path of following your heart you get challenged by all sorts of feelings of unworthiness, doubts, self criticism, most of which has nothing to do with the path or even you. If we look back, we are probably the first generation in history that can truly choose to do what they are called to do. We have rights, freedoms, role models, and open mind as a collective. If no other woman in your lineage before you was able to do what you are doing now then how would you know how to do it, how would you have the freedom to find your own voice? If before you all there was was suffering, struggling, surviving, how would you have inner permission to be well, abundant and happy? So part of your path to your purpose is your own seeking, and another part is letting go of the loyalties to what has happened before you. If your ancestresses were not as free as you are, honour it by being fully yourself. If they were not able to choose their life fully, respect it by being their wildest dream. They’d wished their descendants to live better.
Finding my way, my path is one of the most asked questions for a systemic work. While walking Camino (a two weeks track from Porto to Santiago de Compostella in Spain) at first it was frustrating when we prepared to walk the distance according to a map only to find out that the Way had nothing to do with a map and had a mind of its own. We kept thinking this must be a joke, we could see the road ahead, straight and flat, but the yellow arrows insisted that we turn left or right, go up or down only to come back to the same straight road miles later. So one day frustration and tiredness peaked and we made a decision to walk straight with the map we had. And it was ok, we got to where we needed to be in good time and the road was easy(ish:). But we also realised how me missed the scenery, the sense of mystery, anticipation and adventure that the Way gave us. There was nothing to look for on the straight road, nothing to be tense about, or excited about, no unexpected gifts like talking to a horse or seeing a donkey or getting some figs off the tree. What I want to say is if right now it seems that your path is making a weird turn, taking you away from an obviously much straighter route - take a deep breath of trust, maybe your Way is just about to get much more fun and adventurous.
A ritual to work with your family stories that might be activating right now. Our ancestors at some point went through what we are going through today but in a very different environment. We might still be entangled deep down with their experiences that could be triggered with the events of today. Please make sure you do it in a safe place, with support and prayer.
I am fascinated by the Systemic Family Constellations work and everything shamanic. I study it, practice it, research it. Here, I am sharing what I learn and hope it can be of use to somebody interested in healing their families, communities and lives.
In 2019 I published some of my poetry inspired by systemic work in this journal. It is available as PDF, Kindle or printed at the link above.