One of the most common concerns for those who encounter teachings or practices of ancestral healing goes something like, “What if my ancestors were uninspiring people? No, seriously, what if my recent ancestors were not just disappointing to me, but truly harmful humans? Why on Earth would I look to them for guidance when I’ve spent years separating myself from them?”
And perhaps to the surprise of some, my consistent response is, “Correct. You shouldn’t connect with them. At least, not when they’re in that state.” It’s possible, but I don’t recommend it. In fact, the first step of the Ancestral Lineage Healing process emphasizes the importance of clear boundaries and ritual safety. We start the process of ancestral reconnection by engaging in necessary disconnection.
Just like those of us among the living, the dead run the full spectrum from hazardous to profoundly wise, kind, and helpful. Psychologically, this foregrounds the needs for discernment, healthy boundaries, and being able to say, “No.” As they’re no longer incarnate, relating with the ancestors requires at least as much discernment as relating with the living.
Establishing a boundary with any among the dead who are not decisively at peace creates a foundation from which to establish direct contact with ancestors who are healing and beneficial for us to relate with. These ancestral lineage guides and teachers often lived on Earth hundreds if not thousands of years ago. The Ancestral Lineage Healing method, in a nutshell, is about partnering with those elders who are already well in spirit and asking them to bring healing to those who are not yet well. This begins with affirming our personal boundaries with family ghosts.
Although it’s possible and other approaches may vary, at no point do I personally encourage relating directly with the dead who are still in a troubled state. I view this as an unnecessary risk and as taking on something that’s best handled by elders on the lineage. When someone among the living has been unconsciously entangled with the troubled dead, uncoupling from them can actually be a catalyst for healing and for reclaiming our personal energy. Disconnection can catalyze big healing. The entire Ancestral Lineage Healing process aims to bring healing and remedy to the troubled dead, but the means by which this is achieved is not through direct contact with these ones. Participants instead forge relationships with safe, loving ancestral guides and appeal to those elders to heal the dead who are still in need. The healing is achieved but without unnecessary risk or entanglement with the ghosts.
And once this healing has occurred, the recent generations are no longer who they were, or rather their best selves take center stage in their process of reckoning with their life on Earth and prioritizing further soul growth and service. Boundaries that were previously important may be relaxed as repairs unfold and true healing takes root. In this way, provided there has been real change, setting boundaries with recent generations clears the way for a truly safe and mutually supportive process of healing and reconnection. But to jump to that is to skip steps, and connection often starts with disconnection.
With this in mind, may you enjoy clear and effective boundaries with your lineage ghosts this ancestor season. May they get the healing they need, and may you be free from their pull and interference.
-Dr Daniel Foor
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