Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ancestor Reverence and Ancestor Work

Part of the path I walk involves a deeper sense of metaphysical belief and requires more understanding of what we call super-natural, as well as a strong sense of communion with the natural world. It’s important to me that people find their own way towards creating a personal relationship with their ancestral spirits, to help process and find peace with the death that affects their lives. I have taken my reverence a step forward and use my ancestral line as an energy source for my work. I will often differentiate between reverence and work when I speak about my practice.
Ancestor reverence is accessible to everyone. I also call it honoring, worshipping, and remembering. At its simplest, ancestor reverence is the act and mindset of honoring your family lines, known and unknown to you. It’s the act of remembering them as living and breathing people who paved the way for you to be. It’s the way of thinking of them as a greater whole, one entity that is Those Who Came Before.
This is something that everyone can include in their lives, regardless of religious beliefs. In this model of thought, the dead are dead, and what you are remembering is a name and the history of the life beneath it. That has tremendous worth in itself, and is a way of finding connection in uncertain and unsettling times. It’s also a way of teaching your children their history, of teaching them that same connection; that we are each wonderful and unique, but not more so than the ones who bore us.
To take that next step into ancestor work, you must be open to the possibility that there is more to the world than we comprehend. You must be open to believing with certainty that the world is more wonder full than our brains can comprehend, and while science will come close, it will never be able to explain that wonder away. You must be willing to step into the wonder and be a child again, releasing your ego to learn a new world.
My work involves developing a personal relationship with what happens in death and the kinds of transformation that take place during and after. I understand spirit as passing on from its physical body and reincarnating into… something other. I see spirit as a residual echo of the living, in the way that we know the star light we see in the night sky flickered in a past long gone. Both exist simultaneously.
That spirit reincarnates and becomes something new. And it evolves and becomes something better. And it transforms and becomes something inconceivable. And it retains a familiar shape of the body it wore. All things are true. Some residues still ring strongly with persona, so much so that you can call on individual or specific spirits to work with- ones you have connections to. I do that.
What I mostly do involves energy work and energy manipulation. I break up elemental energies into qualities of earth, air, water, fire, and ancestor, striving for some kind of equilibrium between them, depending on what the moment calls for. If I’m feeling pulled in all directions, I seek some earthy grounding. If my emotions overwhelm me, I let them flow like water so they might pass through me. If I’m stuck on a problem and a solution seems impossible, I open the top of my thoughts and let them float free through the air until they arrange themselves in a different order. And if a family member is ill, I tap into the ancestor energy so that they might watch over them, and aid their healing.
Energy is energy. I break them up into elementals as a tool to help my brain understand them and to help me understand the qualities of their differences. The important part is recognizing that they are different aspects of the same thing. Energy is life, is deity, is divinity, is interconnectedness, is one, is everything. Everything that grows and decays is connected, depending on each other for the space to grow and flourish.
There is a unity and sameness to all living things. It’s why bigotry seems stupid. We fight between gender and race, trying to hold one up against another, when we are all humans. We are all humans who are no less entitled to live on this world than the elephants and the whales and the crows and the goldfish and the honeybee.

 [Revamped draft of an article originally published March 30, 2011.]

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