Ancient Ancestors: Our Ancient Bloodlines & Ways to Connect
When we think of our ancestors, most think of our recently deceased. But ancestor work doesn’t mean just working with your grandmother or great uncle. It also means reaching out to those in the distant past – to the ancients. There are literally trillions to connect with, and many are just waiting for YOU to reach out. Working with our ancient ancestors in our spiritual practice is not only protective, it’s healing for you and your entire bloodline. But sometimes we don’t know where to start. Here’s how to connect with your OUR ancient ancestors.
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Who Are OUR Ancient Ancestors?
When we get into ancestor work, many people say, “but I don’t know who my ancestors are. How can I work with them?” You don’t have to know who any of your ancestors are to start working with them on the other side. In fact, I don’t know many people who know exactly who their ancient ancestors were unless they were able to trace their bloodlines back that far. Which is rare.
So I tell people to think like this – if you have European blood, you probably have DNA from the Celts, Germanic tribes, Greek or Roman, Slavic or Baltic, etc. Begin your journey by studying the ancient cultures of Europe. The same goes if you know your people are from Africa – begin looking into the various cultures and empires in Africa in ancient times. And Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, etc.
We Have One Ancient Mother
Scientists have traced every human alive today back to one woman who lived in Africa some one hundred fifty thousand years ago. So, the point here is, if you go back far enough, we are all from the same mother. From the same place. If you have no idea where your ancient ancestors come from, you at least know you had a mother in Africa over a hundred thousand years ago. Could you reach out and connect to the “mitochondrial eve”? Of course!
You Have TRILLIONS of Ancestors!
Also, keep this in mind – the further back you go on your family tree, the MORE ancestors you have. Think about how many grandparents you have, then think about adding their parents onto your tree. Your tree goes from 4 ancestors to 16. Then add your great grandparents’ parents. Now sixteen becomes 32! Go back three hundred years in your ancestral line and your direct ancestors increase to over four thousand! What if we go back one thousand years (to Medieval times) – your family tree expands to over one trillion ancestors!
6 Ways to Connect to Your Ancient Ancestors
1. Study Ancient History
As mentioned previously, one of the first ways to connect with your ancient ancestors is to study ancient history. Read and research about ancient civilizations, for example Ancient Egypt, the Celtic Empire, the Mayans, the Romans, Greeks, Nubians, Aborigines, Hebrew, etc. The more you learn about ancient times, the more connected you’ll feel to the ancient ancestors.
2. Set Up Sacred Space
Just like with your recent ancestors, your ancient ancestors would appreciate sacred space in your home too. In this case, you can have your ancient and recent ancestors share an altar space. Often I recommend to keep ancestors and gods separate, but ancestors whether ancient or recent are still in your bloodline. If you don’t have an ancestor altar already, time to set one up: a tabletop, counter-space, shelf, etc. with at least one white candle, a representation of your ancestors, and a cup of water to start.
3. Guided Meditation to Meet Your Ancient Ancestral Guide
I HIGHLY recommend reading Daniel Foor’s book Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing. There are some amazing practices to connect with your ancient ancestors, including a guided meditation to meet one of your ancestral guides. Even if you can’t get the book, look online for ancestral guide meditations AND pray before the meditation that you want to connect with an ancient ancestral guide. If you don’t want to do a guided meditation, try listening to shamanic drumming and putting your intention out there.
4. Ask for Signs and Messages
At your ancient ancestor altar, make an offering to our ancient ancestors and while doing so ask them for a sign or message. They will send you a sign via an animal, passing conversation, TV/media recurrences, or an ancient ancestor may come to you in a dream. Record your dreams and experiences.
5. DNA Kits
This recommendation is controversial. Some people enjoy having their DNA analyzed while others warn against it for ethical reasons (medical insurance companies using your data, etc.) I’ve done my DNA through ancestry and 23andMe. I’ll be honest and tell you it’s revealed things about my family that we NEVER wanted to find out. Deep, dark secrets. That being said, it’s also guided me to a spiritual place in which I’ve traced my matrilineal line back to one woman who lived in Ireland some ten thousand years ago. If you get your DNA done through 23andMe, and you’re female, you can also find your “clan mother” via your mitrochondrial DNA. Learn more about the concept of clan mothers here.
6. Sacred Pagan Ancestral Pilgrimage
If you have an idea as to where some of your ancient ancestors come from, make it a point to travel there someday. Are your people from Scotland? Germany? Italy? Thailand? Peru? Even if you never physically make it there, the planning and research that goes into a pagan ancestral pilgrimage forges a connection between you, your ancient ancestors, and the land.
7. Work With Your Ancestors’ Gods
If you’re pagan, or follow an earth-based spiritual path, consider working with or learning about your ancient ancestors’ beliefs including animism and ancient gods and goddesses. Learn more about working with your ancestors’ gods here.