Ancestral Lineage Healing FAQ

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Altar Tending and Offering Practice

I have a relationship with the Greek goddess Hecate, but my blood ancestors are from West Africa. Is it problematic ‘mixing and matching’ to honor them with her?


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Please share more on the colorful mandalas throughout the website. How do they relate to ancestral healing?


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How do the ancestors make use of physical offerings such as food or drink? This seems so foreign. Can you elaborate?

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Can you share more on guidelines you recommend for tending an ancestral shrine or altar?

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After doing the meditation on boundaries I realized I have unwell ancestors on my altar that I have been tending to for years. Do I take it down until the work is done? I also call their names in libation should that cease also?

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I have two separate altar spaces, one for ancestors of blood and the other for ancestors of affinity/spiritual lineage/other-than-blood. Is it best to have these stay separate and to honor them at different times?

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What if I make food offering and when I feel that its ‘done’ that I then share it with other people and eat some of it myself? I am bringing this up because I grew up with some Hindu neighbors and they used to distribute the food offerings (prasad) to everyone in the vicinity including the Muslims who would take it. This food is believed to carry blessings.This there any particular reason I have to discard the offerings in the nature?
 

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You’ve expressed a note of caution or discernment about having photos of the dead on an ancestral shrine. How about having them in your home just in general?

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My ancestors asked me to bring them an offering (tobacco) that has a negative association for me, but I noticed that following through with the request brought a shift in the energy. For me this highlighted bigger questions of my personal responsibility and the importance of being accountable in this work. Can you speak some to those bigger themes?

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I was asked by my ancestors to bring them an offering (tobacco) that has a negative association for me, but I noticed that following through with the request brought a shift in the energy. Can you speak to how to think about and navigate requests for ancestral offerings that as a living person you have a strong aversion to?

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Ancestors in Relationship to the Earth and the Bigger Picture

Why are things such a hot mess on Earth right now? Why did folks stop tending to the land and spirits? Is this on track to improve somehow?

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Ancestral Healing with Extended Family and Friends

How do you suggest relating with the ancestors of one’s spouse?

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Can there be tension between one’s ancestors and the ancestors of that person’s spouse/partner? If so, is it possible that this would be fueled by cultural biases held by the dead during life such as racism, religious intolerance, homophobia, etc?

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Can stepping in with this work, including the type of boundary setting called for in Lesson Two, sometimes lead to a temporary increase in intensity among living family from the troubled dead?

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How can I support my adoptive daughter with respect to her ancestors?

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When assessing for boundary troubles with the different lineages, I noticed they seem to be directly impacting other living family members. Is it possible and/or appropriate to establish boundaries around them when needed?

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I’m struggling some with what feels like a heavy emphasis on blood lineage. Can you share more about ancestors not in the direct lineage but still related by blood? How about adoptive family?

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There was recently a fatal act of violence near to where I live. What can I do to help? How can I assist those who are not related to me by blood to transition?
 

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Ancestral Invocation and Prayer

Can you share about ancestral invocations and how to strike the balance between naming and in that way honoring the dead while also not unintentionally calling the unwell ones to be present?

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Concerns Relating to the Troubled Dead or Not-Yet-Ancestors

When setting boundaries with the troubled dead along our blood lines is it possible to also realize that you need to set boundaries with ghosts that are not of your bloodlines (e.g., deceased friends or just ghosts from your work/environment/etc)?

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When establishing boundaries with the troubled dead as is suggested in Part One, Lesson Two (Chapter Five of the book), is it common to have to reinforce or strengthen these boundaries again later?

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Can it happen that the dead who seem well then kinda slip, meaning that they go from like an “it’s fine now 7” to a “not quite on the level 5 or 6” (for example)? What’s up with that?

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Martín’s chapter seems to suggest that some people are functionally an ancestral dumping ground or scapegoat for unmetabolized lineage troubles. Are you suggesting this is avoidable and have you seen examples of people transforming this in positive ways, including with living family?

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What’s your take on mediums or psychics? In my case, my father passed about a year ago, living family sensed him to not be well in spirit, and so we consulted a medium to get support. This included dialogue with him and doing some ritual on his behalf and now I wonder if it was a good idea to interact directly. Thoughts?
 

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What if in the assessment I have the impression that there are no well ancestors even back into distant history? Is this common? What to make of this?
 

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I believe that the trauma from my childhood that I experience from living family was compounded by the fact that my unwell ancestors were, at least to a degree, acting through them to relate badly with me. I feel like this makes establishing a boundary with the unwell dead even harder. Can you speak to this?

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Death Process and Relating with the Recently Deceased

Does the 1-10 scale you describe still apply to the recently deceased, like those who have only died in the last two weeks or so and are therefore still in that earliest stage of the post-death journey?
 

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My parent passed only three month ago. What can I do to support him in his journey so close to his passing?
 

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My relative is dying but this lineage overall is unwell and I haven’t worked with them yet. What can I safely do?
 

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DNA and the Physical Body

Is it fair to assume that doing this work also improves the actual DNA or physical health of living family (and perhaps of future generations)?

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Is it possible that illness can manifest in my body through the clearing/healing process of the lineage? I’ve been moving through the process and now I’m laid up with intense stomach pains, etc and wondering if it’s connected. Thoughts?

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Dreams and the Ancestors

Can you say a bit on positive dreams of the ancestors? Specifically living family who are dysfunctional in the waking time appeared in a very positive way after making an offering to the ancestors before sleep.

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Emotions and Ancestral Healing

Any general guidelines for honoring strong emotions that arise during this work?

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I’ve noticed that the invitation to embody the gifts of this lineage of ancestors is really lighting me up, like a blend of grief and stretching in my psyche around new capacities and just generally super intense. Thoughts?
 

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Genealogy and Family History

I have very little information about my blood ancestors and this information is difficult to obtain. This feels discouraging. Is this an impediment to doing the work?

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I’ve engaged the genealogy research process in all the ways I know to, and I still don’t have access to much. Should I ask the ancestors themselves to assist? How can I learn about the earlier cultures of my people if I don’t have more information? What happens now?

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I’m fortunate to have lots of information about family history but I notice this makes it harder to actually connect with the ancestors in spirit and to decide which lineage to focus on because I have all these stories and opinions about them. Is this a thing? If so, what’s helpful in overcoming this block?

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I know from genealogy research that my people are from one part of the world but the guided journey takes me to another and the guide presenting is not from the ‘actual’ place. What to do with this? What I have been doing is going with what feels experientially right and attempting to loosen my grip on the ‘facts.’ Should we prioritize felt-sense over historical realities?

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Guiding This Work for Others and the Practitioner Training

Does this online course equip me to guide others in ancestral healing work? How does this course relate to the practitioner training you offer?

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Cross-culturally is there a name, role, ‘position’ or hierarchy of medicine practitioners who deal specifically with ancestor issues?

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Historical Trauma and Cultural Healing

I was so surprised to learn that France was the third largest slave trader in the world. This information has shaken me. Even if my lineage ancestors were not directly involved in the slave trade, how does the history of my country affect the wellness of my lineage? And what can I do about it?
 

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How to suggest we apply all the additional cultural resources on death, soul, etc included in the lessons? How to those relate to the experiential work and the overall process?
 

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Intergenerational Blessings & Burdens

Can you elaborate on what’s meant by “inherited difficulty” from our lineages in general? And in particular as (the one asking is) an Indigenous (from the Americas) trans man of color?

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Can you share more on addiction and severe mental illness as manifestations of ancestral wounding? My ancestors were slaves and the side with the most brutal experiences has a long history of mental illness, especially among the men, that persists up to my generation.

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My maternal grandmother’s line seemed to have maintained a degree of health by actively practicing the same skills through the generations – sewing, cooking, gardening – and making an art/craft of these things. It is possible that practicing the habits/skills/crafts of our ancestors is a form of ancestor reverence?
 

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Can unresolved ancestral curses or burdens contribute to phobias (e.g., to certain animals) in this lifetime?
 

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I’ve noticed that I seem to inherit blessings or gifts from some lineages more than others, and that the ancestors themselves seems to confirm that I’m more in the line of succession along some bloodlines more than others. Does this make sense? And if so, does this tend to follow sex/gender (meaning I inherit the gifts of my mom’s people and my brother inherits the gifts of our father’s people)?

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LGBTQI Considerations and the Ancestors

The language and assumptions of the four lineage approach you work with can come across as non-inclusive to transgender, intersex and/or non-gender conforming folks. For instance, when you say “father” do you really mean source of the sperm? For instance, what if the source of the egg is your father? How much does this process emphasizes biological vs social vs intuitive?

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