Our ancestors play a significant role in our lives, even if we are not aware of it. The experiences they survived can be passed down through generations, affecting our bodies, behaviors, belief systems, and overall well being. Ancestral healing is the journey of acknowledging and healing these inherited, intergenerational wounds to promote healing for ourselves, for our ancestors, and for future generations.
What is Ancestral Healing?
Ancestral healing is the practice of connecting with our ancestors to heal the wounds and traumas that have been passed down through generations to us. It is based on the reality that we are connected to our ancestors on a biological, social, emotional, and spiritual level and that their experiences have an impact on our lives.
Ancestral healing is not about blaming our ancestors for our difficulties or holding onto the past hurts endured. Instead, it is about acknowledging and transmuting the pain and suffering they experienced to heal ourselves and our loved ones.
Prayer as a Tool for Ancestral Healing
Prayer is a powerful tool for expressing our intention for healing, and it can be especially supportive when beginning the process of ancestral healing work. An ancestral healing prayer is a way for us to connect with our ancestors respectfully and ask for their guidance and support as we work through our inherited wounds.
Here is an example of an ancestral healing prayer:
“To my ancestors, those in good health and wholly healed who hold the highest good of myself in their intentions, I call upon you humbly and with respect to guide me on my journey of healing. I acknowledge the pain and trauma that exists within my ancestral line and the impact that it has had on me and my family. I ask for your love, support, and guidance as I work to heal these wounds and create healing for my ancestors, for you, for myself and future generations. Thank you for your presence and wisdom. And so it is.”
This prayer can be said aloud or silently, and it can be customized to fit your individual needs and beliefs. In addition, you might offer something sweet or beautiful to your ancestors like a poem, song, food, flowers, or handmade art to feed your connection to your ancestors and support them in carrying your intentions forward through this prayer.
Techniques for Healing Ancestral Trauma
Healing ancestral trauma is a complex process that requires patience, self-compassion, curiosity, internal capacity, and willingness to face difficult internal experiences. Here are some techniques to consider when committing to the journey of healing ancestral trauma:
- Meditation: Meditation is a powerful tool for healing, and it can be especially effective when used in ancestral healing. Taking time to sit quietly and connect with your inner landscape can illuminate the imprints of wounding and wisdom that you uniquely carry because of your lived experiences and the experiences of ancestors.
- Inner child work: Inner child work involves connecting with the wounded child within us and offering them love, support, and healing. Holding space for our inner child allows us to better understand our experience of suffering, how the pain and suffering of our ancestors influenced our experience, and what is necessary now for that child to receive healing, subsequently supporting the healing of ourselves, our ancestors, and future generations.
- Somatic therapy: Somatic therapy is a type of psychotherapy that supports people in building bridges back to their physical bodies and healing any wounds that prevent a person from being fully and healthily embodied. This therapy is helpful in healing ancestral trauma because it supports people in deepening their understanding of how our specific physical sensations and experiences are linked to the embodied experiences transmitted to us by our ancestors.
- Writing and journaling: Writing and journaling can be a powerful way to process emotions and work through ancestral trauma. Taking time to reflect on your family history and your own experiences can help you gain a deeper understanding of the wounds and wisdom that have been passed down through generations.
- Seeking support: Healing ancestral trauma can be a difficult and emotional process, and it is important to seek support from trusted friends, family members, and when it aligns a therapist. Talking with others who have gone through a similar experience can be helpful, and a therapist can offer regular guidance and support as you work through your own ancestral healing process.
Moving Forward with Ancestral Healing
Ancestral healing is a powerful way to connect with our past, heal the wounds, and integrate the wisdom that has been passed down to us through generations. By acknowledging and integrating the wounds and the wisdom of our ancestors, and finding ways to heal, we can create a better experience for our ancestors, for ourselves and for future generations. Whether through prayer, meditation, inner child work, somatic therapy, journaling, or seeking support, there are many techniques that we can use to help us on our own journey of ancestral healing. For those looking for help healing ancestral wounds, view my offerings.