Hungry Ghosts: A Story on Ancestors, Negative Energy and Illness
If you’ve never heard of hungry ghosts, now’s the time to learn about them. It may seem like a scary term, but it’s important to learn what hungry ghosts are and how we can avoid/appease neglected ancestors. And discern the difference between a hungry ghost and an evil spirit.
First, What Are Hungry Ghosts?
In Buddhism there’s a term called “hungry ghosts”. It’s used to describe spirits who, for multiple reasons, are starved of energy and who may become aggressive towards human beings. I believe hungry ghosts aren’t just in Buddhist countries or families but everywhere. Hungry ghosts are often our own ancestors who’ve been completely forgotten or neglected by their modern predecessors. Other reasons for hungry ghosts include people whose lives are ended unhappily or in turmoil (murder, suicide, tragedy, etc.)
What makes these ghosts “hungry”?
The idea of these unhappy spirits becoming hungry probably has to do with the fact that they are starved of energy on the other side. If we honor and feed our ancestors offerings and prayers, etc., they don’t have the need to siphon off energy from the living. Why do you think the ancient Egyptians buried offerings of clothing, food, incense, and riches with their dead? Why do you think our ancestors gave offerings to the dead and to gods? They are spirits and spirits need energy to sustain themselves. Just like every other form of life.
But What About Reincarnation? And The Afterlife?
Some people wonder why our ancestors’ spirits are here on this earthly plane. Isn’t there such thing as reincarnation and an afterlife? I’ve wondered this in the past myself. How can the ancestors be here and yet somehow also elsewhere? The ancient Egyptians and many other cultures explain this with the concept of the human having multiple souls/spirits. The Egyptians believed in 9 bodies – one of which could be left behind to roam the earth after the physical body dies. This particular energy-body is thought to be what causes “ghosts” and other spirits on the earthly plane.
My Experience With Hungry Ghosts
Over the past few months, my family has been dealing with multiple illnesses and random injuries seemingly out of nowhere. Let me preface this by saying we are healthy individuals, overall, and care for our bodies to the best of our abilities.
3x the Illness!
So, it first began when my daughter caught a nasty stomach bug on vacation, followed by my son breaking his leg. Okay, maybe just coincidence. But directly after my son broke his leg, I came down with a terrible illness that no one could figure out. For ten days I suffered with bruising, fever, vomiting, itching, joint aches and more. At this point, I realized something spiritual was going on. Following, my husband was also diagnosed with a disorder.
The Reading with My Ancestors
I’ve dedicated a special set of oracle cards to communication with my ancestors. And I’ve learned when something is amiss spiritually in my house to talk to my ancestors. I sat down and dealt the cards and asked what was the actual problem and how to solve it. The card that’s literally called Hungry Ghosts showed up in the reading – plain as day. Neglecting one’s ancestors. There’s a particular set of ancestors that our family is neglecting and this hit me like a ton of bricks. My ancestors also said I needed to work on my altar – the Altar Priestess card right next to the Hungry Ghosts card.
The Solution to Hungry Ghosts
I am now adding certain photos to my ancestor altar to honor the ancestors who have been neglected. This way they feel recognized and can also partake of the offerings weekly. The problem with neglecting ancestors, particularly when you work with ancestors as a practice, is that they may get jealous!
Routine Spiritual Cleansing is a MUST
We are a magical household and invite in the ancestors, which means we (unintentionally) invite situations like this with the spirits. We have to be aware not ALL spirits are benevolent, and they can exude characteristics in the afterlife they had in life. Including jealousy or feelings of neglect/loneliness. They can become hungry ghosts. In addition, it’s SO important to set up ROUTINE cleansing and protection rituals the home. I wasn’t doing this before and thought I was invincible. Your home needs spiritual maintenance and monitoring, just like a physical home alarm system!
Ways to Cleanse & Protect Your Space:
- Smoke-cleansing with herbs, herb bundles and incense
- Ringing bells and chimes
- Energy clearing and Reiki
- Sweeping with a besom or broom
- Spreading salt over the thresholds or around the perimeter of the property
- Spraying protective and cleansing herbal infusions around the home
- Hanging protective symbols and images
- Invoking your protective, elevated ancestors
- Burning white candles
- Singing high vibrational songs
- Praying to your gods and elevated ancestors
- Spreading red brick dust over the threshold or washing the front walkway/door
- Front door washes with protective herbs and ingredients
How does this lead to illness or misfortune?
You might be wondering how the illness and injury have anything to do with neglected ancestors aka hungry ghosts. The theory is two-fold: a. the hungry ghosts cause the illness by the draining of energy or b. the lack of extra protection from these ancestors allows illness/negative energy into the home. I’ve come to the conclusion it was the latter, and probably was allowed in order to get our attention.