The season of Samhain is the perfect time of year to connect with your roots, tune in and to connect with your ancestors.
Our ancestors are those beautiful souls who helped us to become who we are.
Those who came before us.
Those who paved the road into the reality we know today.
Those who created the cultural experiences that we partake in today.
They gave us ritual.
They passed us our instinct.
Samhain (Samhuinn) is perfect time to thank them for all they have done, and to connect with them and ask for guidance.
Ancestor worship happens across the globe and across most cultures. and can encompass a great many rituals and traditions. From Mayan, indigenous, Chinese, European… Vedic… Norse, Celtic and African cultures… connecting to ancestral wisdom is a part of the human experience.
How can you connect with your ancestors?
There are so many ways!
Some people will set up altars for their ancestors. Some will pray to those who have come before them. Some connect through ritual or meditation. This time of year, it’s common to offer food or drink up to the ancestors who are passing through at this time. (Yep. Spirits for the spirits!)
Depending on your beliefs, spirits can be more than just your direct genetic ancestry or lineage.
If you believe that we are all one and connected, ancestors may be the whole of our human family that has come before us. If you believe that we really all one, ancestors can be aspects of nature and the elements that have passed on. Connecting to past landscapes of the ancient earth, sea and sky is one form of ancestor worship.
The big bang… is a part of my cosmic ancestry.
If you are religious, you may follow something like the Catholic faith where ancestors are honoured on All Saints Day and All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd) or maybe you honour ancestors during the Day of the Dead. If you are following a druidic or celtic path you may honour Samhain as a point in the wheel of the year when we transition between 2 worlds.
In Lakota they believe that ancestors are “all” that has gone before them and all that they have connected with. All my relations are ancestors… those who I’ve met, that I’ve walked in life with, and that I’ve walked in the spirit world with.. all of these souls are my ancestors on the beautiful web of life.
If you are more traditional, you may look at ancestors as those forefathers and mothers who gave you your DNA; those who giftedf you your unique genetic makeup.
You can also choose to honour the ancestor spirits of community and place. (Yes! Ancestors can be based geographically, so your town or your city has its own ancestors. )
You can even look to the ancestors of your career when you are tuning into ancestor wisdom and knowledge. For healers, it may be a healer who you feel a strong connection to… someone who has passed on to the other side who is the ancestor of your craft or your passion.
Rumi. Mother Teresa. Ceridwen. These are my ancestors.
It is common for people to connect with ancestors to gain advice and healing, and to better understand their place in the world.
Offering deep gratitude for those who have walked before, and asking them for their wisdom and advice allows us to stand on the shoulders of these giants.
Connecting to Ancestors in Ritual
Above, you can listen to a meditation (guided visualization) that will set the stage for you to connect with your ancestors. You will make a short pilgrimage to the ancestor cave.
To get started, set sacred space. It’s handy if you have an heirloom or something that represents your lineage or the type of ancestors you want to connect with at this time.
During ritual, you may want to write a letter to your ancestors. It is common to write the letter and then burn it during ritual in order to send the message in the smoke.
You may feel a tingling when you meet your ancestor. A gentle (or strong!) surging of connected energy.
You may feel a love in your heart. A sense of family. A sense of love.
You may see an ancestor in your mind’s eye, or if you are able to see spirit you may see a loving presence.
Know that the souls that you will connect with may show up as energies, as people, as elements, as whispers… we will each tune into ancestral wisdom in a different way and access this aspect of ourselves in a different way. Some people feel a memory tug at their heart… a fragment of an idea that feels rooted in the past. Spirit may show up in so many beautiful ways!
You may feel their presence, a love in your heart, a tingling in your body, a knowing – spirit may appear in many beautiful ways. They may be a whisper… a fragment of memory..a feeling of familliarity… a deep rooted memory that you may just be bale to grasp… or even a feeling.. or they may bea fill on conversation. Each one of us connects so differently.
Typical ancestor meditations walk us down a path or pass through a doorway into the liminal space where they can connect with us.
Things to explore / discuss / ask of your ancestors in ancestor ritual
Can I feel your energy, can you show me you are here?
Ask them their name
How are we connected?
When did you live?
What message do you have for me, today?
How can I best heal patterns that stem from my ancestral line?
How can I best serve at this time, and how can my light be used to help others?
Open your heart to its teachings
Expect joyful laughter, knowing glances,, faces that you recognize without knowing why or how.
To the spirit in front of me – thank you so much for coming to me today.
I honour your wisdom and your willingness to guide me.
Honour the connection
Send love and joy