The ancestors are a major part of divination and many other kinds of spiritual work. This can be perplexing for some who have no relationship to their ancestors and downright disturbing for those who feel they do not like their ancestors.
The way I like to look at it is: an ancestor is anything that has given birth to us in some way and therefore continues to be an evolving part of us. Yes, the stars are our ancestors, bacteria are our ancestors, and humans too are our ancestors, even if we prefer that were not the case.
At this time on the planet we all have a lot of ancestors.
We continue to learn after death. And we continue to change after death. The importance of ancestral work stems from the belief that, in general, it is good and wise to remember and honor those who came before us. After all, we would not be here without them.
The ancestors never really leave us and, given their different perspective in the ancestral realm, the ancestors know things we do not. They can help us if we are willing to listen. In fact, they want to help us.
Working with the ancestors does not mean you have to like or agree with their choices. It does not mean you are condoning behavior that they may have perpetuated in their lifetime that you feel was not upright and kind. But it does mean you understand that you have responsibility to them as they do to you because you are descended in some way from them.
Many people say, “We can’t choose our families.” Well, then you can’t choose your ancestors either. Many other people say, “You chose your family very deliberately.” Either way, choice or not, we are stuck with our families and our ancestors.
Being the human who is currently embodied in 3D form and has ties to those who came before us, as well as obligation to those who will follow us, means we are in a crucial position. The choice we make to either help heal our ancestral line or not is an important one.
Indigenous belief states that anything that is not working properly in the lines of your ancestors will continue to affect those who come after. This includes you and your offspring. If you are in a position to help this, which you are as the one who is currently embodied, why wouldn’t you? Of course you may choose to do whatever you wish but to me it is a win/win.
If you are too angry and resentful to help them, then you are passing that work on to your children or your children’s children. If you choose not to have children to get out of this, it will simply move to someone else in your line: niece, nephew, cousins…and so on.
You cannot escape it.
We all came from somewhere and someone. We all came from those who came before us. None of us were plopped here without any lineage. We may want to believe we arrived here from another planet or by accident. We may say over and over we do not belong here, but it is not true. If you are here, you belong here. And all humans born on Earth were born out of a female body. That female body was birthed out of another female body and so on and so on….
If you are adopted you simply have more ancestors to deal with. Nothing gets you out of it.
The ironic, but perhaps comforting, part is that many of the troublesome ancestors can become our biggest allies. Since they are the ones who need the most help, they tend to show up in divinations most frequently. However, one of the cosmic rules seems to be if you help someone or something heal on the other side or in another dimension they often become an ally you can then call on when you need help here.
This can apply to places you help heal as well—mountains, waterways, places in Earth—what you help, helps you. Healings enable healing. It is also true that anything you heal in yourself, you may then offer as healing to another.
Some of us have fabulous ancestors. I have plenty, which I am grateful for. But I also have some who perpetuated much pain in their lifetimes through ill chosen actions and decisions or unconscious acting out of their pain.
It is true that most of us have both kinds. And most of us will become both kinds. Being human is tough and we all make mistakes. That is why ancestor work is so very important. You may need help too, when the time comes for you to be an ancestor. Bet you never thought of it that way.
Yes, there may be events in your ancestral line that need remediation. You may be called on to lend a hand with this. But know that facilitating this is not that difficult, and will help you and your descendants. You may feel that your ancestors are lost to you. This can be very unsettling. But they have never lost you. Getting back in touch with them can help you live a more fulfilling life.
Theresa C. Dintino
©Theresa C. Dintino