Greetings of the day and welcome back to ancestral practice. Today I am sharing a recent meditation I did on facebook, which you might have joined already, or maybe not. Now you'll have it in your inbox for anytime access. This meditation takes you all the way back to your ancient ancestors, it is connecting you to your ancestral field in its widest sense, including not only direct ancestors but also all those who played a vital role in the life flowing forwards in the lineage. In family constellations one of the first things we look for is whether there are any exclusions in the family system, as they impact the rest of the family dramatically. So in this meditation we bring our attention to all possible exclusions and give them all place. It is a powerful process to become aware of who has been forgotten (intentionally or unintentionally) and allow them to become part of the lineage again. Let me know how it works for you, I love receiving your insights and questions as it also helps me grow and develop this work.
Recently I have been asked a good question about the language in a ritual (please do ask questions if you have any). For me the language in a ritual serves two purposes - to create a special state of mind taking us into unordinary reality, into the dreamworld, and also to communicate clearly, naming what is, bringing resolution and healing. Similar to sentences used in systemic family constellations, in ritual the words are clear and simple with a quality of poetry in it. It is always good to use your voice if possible. Here is an example:
'Dear Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, I speak to you from my place in this lineage, from this year 2020, from this place on this planet. Hear my voice, hear my heart beat, hear my prayer. Thank you for your kindness and support. I agree. I receive. I am grateful. Thank you for this path that you accompany me on, thank you for looking after me and my deepest heart’s desire. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me every step of the way. All you know I know, in my bones, in my blood, in my heart. Please smile at me kindly as I walk my path with joy, with abundance, wholeheartedly. Even if you had no such luck, no such opportunity. Thank you dear Ancestors, dear Grandmothers and Grandfathers, all those who stand behind me, all those from all the way back in time.'
Daan van Kampenhout, founder of Systemic Ritual, speaks about the prayer being poetry in this interview about ancestors (5 min)
Ancestral Ritual for Support:
Prepare your space and mind for the ritual and set your intention to connect with gratitude with those ancestors who are able and willing to support you. There are so many ancestors behind us, in our lineages all the way back. There are those of them who know exactly how you feel right now, what you are going through, what you are carrying. They know it and they know how to get through and get better, how to support and hold you. Call them in, use stones to represent them all around you in a circle, as many as you wish, as feels right. Those Who Know. And then add a second wider circle of Ancient Ancestors. They are those who have a completely different perspective on the world and its workings. Those who were here before anyone else, those who are closest to the Earth. Represent them with stones too. Sit or stand in the middle of these two circles. Sit with your ancestors, with those who know your place and support you in it, with those who know the world since the beginning. Offer them your gratitude for your life and share with them where you are and what is happening with you. Ask for their blessing, wisdom, strength, insights. Sing with them, meditate with them. Then experiment with joining their circles, first of Those Who Know, and then the Ancient Ones. Notice how it feels to be among them. Maybe represent one of them and look at yourself with their eyes. Come back to the middle and receive, breathe in their support for you. When it feels complete, end the ritual and put stones away.
We are at a threshold to the next season; today we are entering Autumn, celebrating the Equinox and beginning to lose daylight. On the Wheel of Four Directions, we are now between South and West, at the border, at the Door, and how we manage these Doors is important to how well we journey through the season. This is the time when you could walk the Wheel, from the beginning of the year, through Spring and Summer, noticing what seeds you sown, what has already been achieved, what gifts arrived and what you were able to receive; then stand at this transition point and call in the necessary resources - material, spiritual, ancestral - to move to the West in a supported way. Walk through the West noticing what your body tells you there and then to the threshold to the North, again calling in support for the journey. Make sure to be slow enough to notice subtle shifts in your perception, in your being. Also you could set up a circle of ancestors/guides all around your Wheel of the Year and turn to them at every step and every transition. Let me know how it goes. If you’d like to do this ritual for your whole life, check out the recording available on the website - the Wheel of Life, where I take you through the ritual and hold drumming space for you to do it
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.
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.