Archive | May, 2013

Analyzing Dreams

dreaming 2

Our spirit guides/entities or ancestors many times speak to us through our dreams. Our subconscious mind or higher self will speak to us as well. It is best if you can keep a dream journal (a notebook) to write down what you remember in terms of any symbols, feelings, words, numbers, or events that occurred while you were in your dream state.  All of these things will give you a hint to possible spiritual messages coming through for you.  Once you gather all of what you remember, you can begin to analyze the meaning.

For instance, many people dream of water.  What does it mean to dream of water?  Water is very sacred spiritual and popular symbolization in all cultures.  For one we can’t live without water so it has a powerful effect on our lives.  Viewing this from a spiritual standpoint, water can represent many things.  So the first thing you will want to analyze in your dream is – in what context did the water appear in the dream and how did it affect you? What was your relationship to the water in the dream?  You will need to remember some key elements or details about the water.  Was the water clear or dirty/muddy or cloudy?  Was it bath water, ocean/sea, river, lake water?  Was water flooding a place in your dream?  Did a pipe break?  Were you drinking water?  Was water in a glass?  Was it running water from a faucet or flowing water like a river?  Once you take notice to as many details, you will then want to take notice to how you felt in the dream.  Were you sad, scared/fearful, happy, etc.   Maybe the dream is an answer to a question that you had, or validating some feelings or emotions that you are going through.  Maybe there’s an action you need to take or not take.  As you can see there can be alot to analyzing dreams.  Also note that the meanings are not always the same for everyone so it is important that you get into the how the dream made you feel.

Water can represent our unconscious mind or our emotional state of being.  Water is an element that is receptive.  Water is considered a living essence within nature, a part of our psyche, and the flow of life force energy.  It can be symbolic of our spirituality, knowledge, or healing abilities (internal or external).  Water can be viewed as coolness, peace, clarity, or a refreshment.  Water can also be reflective.  So depending on the context in your dream, water can have many meanings.  If water is sitting and not moving, it can mean stagnation or the need for you to be still.  If you were to see water boiling in your dream or the sea/ocean is turbulent, this can signify some type of turmoil going on in your life.  Or maybe your emotions are out of control and brewing indicating that you may need some calm or peace.  Better yet, sometimes when our emotions are all over the place – we need boundaries ourselves or we need to learn how to place boundaries toward other people and situations in our life.

We can probably write a book, alone, on the many meanings of water. The fun part, for you, is taking the responsibility upon yourself to decode what spirit is communicating to you…  Maybe other individuals on this blog will have other suggestions to dream interpretation.

What is Voodoo? – What is Hoodoo?

What is Voodoo?

“There is a voodoo mentality in the world that needs to change. Many people think that rituals, ceremonies, or candle burning can be dismissed as voodoo and hoodoo, or juju, and anyone who even tampers with these types of spiritual systems of devotion should be considered evil, a voodoo worker, or in some cases, a witch. This is what has been termed the voodoo mentality. Many individuals use the word voodoo with scorn and disdain, putting it into a negative context to refer to something evil or malicious acts, but the word voodoo derives from the word vodoun, which means “spirit” or the “spirit is present.” Vodoun teaches that we must recognize spirit in everything that we do. In every thought and in every action; the spirit is alive.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-burning-plant-material-traditional-medicine-image27453388Vodou (this is the original spelling) is not hoodoo or juju, even though these words are used interchangeably by the uninformed. So what is hoodoo? The word hoodoo is a term or a nickname used loosely to describe rootwork or witchcraft in a negative context; however, hudu (this is the original Ewe spelling) is rooted in Afrikan ritual and magical religious practices, which are used mainly for healing and protection, whereas Afrikan witchcraft (practiced by women) and sorcery (practiced by men) have the sole purpose of being evil in nature. “Rootwork, or what many have come to be known as hoodoo, taken out of its original context, is a spiritual system born in the areas of the southern United States— Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Florida—and is based on Afrikan slave traditions mixed with a bit of Christianity, Judaism, Paganism, and Native Amerikan Shamanism. Hoodoo of the Amerikas (rootwork) is not a religion, nor is it considered religious, even though it can adapt to any one of many religious formations, like Christianity or Judaism.”1

“For root workers, known today as hoodoo workers, there are no governed structures or levels of hierarchy; it is more an individualistic study and practice of botany—herbs, roots, and minerals—blended with beliefs of myths and legends from many cultures, pagan and non-pagan alike, to spiritually manipulate the outcome of a person’s circumstance for either good or evil using supernatural means. Hoodoo practices are normally handed down from a practitioner or from an elder family member or teacher, with no need for initiation or ceremony.”1

On the other hand, vodou, totally different from hoodoo, represents a legitimate religion. It is a spiritual/religious system that derived from the traditions of the Afrikan slaves and upholds customary structures, levels of hierarchy, ethics, restrictions, and taboos; ceremonial initiations are mandatory. To truly understand the Afrikan spiritual background and heritage, we must first understand the extent of the slave trade, known as the Middle Passage.”

Notation:

This is a complimentary excerpt taken from the book, Ancestor Paths – Honoring our Ancestors and Guardian Spirits through Prayers, Rituals, and Offerings by Aladokun.  To learn more about the history of the voodoo religion and hoodoo traditions, you will need to read the book “Ancestor Paths”.

1.  Referenced from “Hoodoo – In Theory and Practice – An Introduction to African-American Rootwork” by Catherine Yronwode

 

A Lesson in PATIENCE

PERCEPTIONS by Aladokun

When we work and communicate with spirits or Deities like the Orisa, the essence of TIME works differently.  Spirit and the universe does not operate per the human CLOCK.  Time is an illusion.  A matter of fact, there is no time in the invisible world at least not the way we would perceive it.  The universe and nature operate in cycles.  There are many cycles like planetary cycles and environmental/nature cycles that have to do with, for instance, the four seasons:  Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  And within nature/the universe there are energies and spirits that are more productive and beneficial depending on a particular cycle.  Humans operate the same way — for instance:  some people are productive during Spring vs. Winter.  So these energies within the universe, the atmosphere, and in your environment will need attending to and these energies (like Nature) depending on its cycle can either support you or seem to go against you.

So when you make any type of ritual, ebbo (offering), or even something as big as initiation to the Deities (like Ocha), you will want energies in the universe, the atmosphere, the environment, and the spirit realm to support you and benefit you.  During different cycles, did you know that there are times when the planets are aligned in such a way that you should not start anything new because you will not receive the full benefit of what you are trying to achieve?

This is where patience comes in.  First of all, what is patience?  Patience is the ability to “keep trying” in the face of delay without getting frustrated or pissed off.  So when we relate this to spirituality, patience can mean waiting for the right time to get the best benefits but in the meantime, you continue pushing forward without anger.

In the Yoruba religion, Ifa says in Ogbe-Iyonu (Ogbe-Ogunda), “there is benefit in patience, level-headedness and the ability to control one’s temper in the face of opposition, oppression, provocation, and outright intimidation.  Ifa followers also need to exercise constraint at all times.  It will benefit them in the end.  Even though it is difficult to see others cheating one and for one to keep quiet, nonetheless, Ifa has a way of righting all wrongs.  In Ifa, no wrong shall go uncorrected.  It is good for one to fight for one’s right, but one must not be oversensitive to one’s right.  Ifa is the greatest and most effective protector of people’s rights.  Ifa says that with patience and level-headedness, all good things of life shall be inherited by Ifa followers.”1 Ifa – The Key To Its’ Understanding by Fasina Falade

In the case of being spiritually initiated like to the Orisa, or to the Lwa in the Voudou Religion or receiving some type of ceremony – some would say that you are being married to the energies that represent nature.  When you partner with these energies, you must learn that there are universal laws operating in the background naked to the human eye.  Once you commit to this type of relationship, you must train yourself to see through the eyes of spirit so that you can respond accordingly.  Do not react to what is seen by the human eye for it can be deceiving and will make matters worse.  This is what makes divination so important; it allows us to get proper and clear sight on a matter.

For instance, when we go through important ceremonies and rituals particularly in nature-based spiritual systems like Orisa or ancestor worship, we receive sacred shrines that belong to the Orisa/orisha.  (The Orisa are Deities that represent forces of nature).  Through divination it is revealed which Deity will oversee your destiny and then you plan for your initiatory ceremony.  Now, the universe or God (Olodumare) knows what you are preparing for so the universe/nature needs to be in the proper alignment with your Ori (soul) and your human form needs to be ready to partner with it.  In addition, there are sometimes delays that will make sure that things in your ancestral line, things in your atmosphere and environment are promising so things go well for you.  If things around you or within you are off and not benefiting you, then these supporting energies have to work to clear the way for you – this means it may take more time than you originally thought it would.  When things are not going as planned, it’s just a matter of timing and if you are working with a supportive group of people you don’t need to frustrate yourself because in the end you know you will eventually get what’s due to you.

From another perspective, patience may enter your life when time is delayed for the purpose of assisting you in building your character.  And how you deal with “patience” will depend on your personality and how you view situations in your life:

For instance, I needed to get a ceremony done and it took a year to get it done.  The problem was not that it took a year, the problem I had was that it was divined to be done in three weeks.  When I tell you I was pissed off, I was pissed mainly because I was told to have my ceremony done in 3 weeks and it actually took a year. I am making a very long story short but every time I would ask the Orisa and egun (the ancestor spirits) if it would get done, they kept telling me ‘no’ so I was practically losing my mind.  BUT I have to tell you – there were many things that I learned during that year.  First, I was looking at the situation from an unclear perspective and didn’t realize that the universe (the Orisha) had to set the stage for me to receive this ceremony and it would take a year to set that stage irregardless of my godparents involvement.

In not knowing how long it would take, I basically said to myself that maybe there are other things that I need to get done during the time.  Maybe there are things that I need to work on within myself. I knew there was a reason I needed to be patient but that wasn’t making me feel any better.  So one day I said to spirit I just want to understand why it’s taking so long.  I had already thrown obi (divined) and I had already spoke to the ancestors but I didn’t have the clarity to why I had this delay.  I don’t know the depths of  Odu in Ifa or how to throw dillogun which would have most certainly given me clarity, so one day in my personal moment, I decided to pull my rune stones out.  I keep them at my ancestral shrine/altar and I picked a stone called Jera.  This is the stone that actually means “One Year”, it means Harvest and Fertile Season.  Remember what I said earlier about the cycle of the Seasons.

Let me write to you exactly what this stone means:  Jera applies to any activity or endeavor to which you are committed. Be aware, however, that no quick results can be expected.  A span of time is usually involved; hence the key words “One Year”, symbolizing a full cycle before the reaping, the harvest or the deliverance.

You have prepared the ground and planted the seed.  Now you must cultivate with care. To those whose labor has a long season, a long coming to term, Jera offers encouragement of success.  Know that the outcome is in keeping with destiny so continue to persevere.  There is no way to push the river; equally you cannot hasten the harvest.  Be mindful that patience is essential for the recognition of your own process which, in its season, leads to the harvest of the self.

I wanted to type the exact meaning of “Jera” because it was so befitting of my situation and being patient can actually help you to build your character.  Understand, although I’m speaking of patience in a spiritual/religious context, you can apply this scenario to any situation in your life.  The flip side of this is that your situation may not have to do with patience at all but the irresponsibility of others.  Sometimes other people (priests or priestesses) may be irresponsible in not upholding there end of the agreement.  However, you will need to clarify this with spirit, Orisha, or Ifa.  You would have to ask (divine) if your delay is of a natural occurrence and is there something you could do (like ebbo, adimu, ritual) to move/influence the energies in your favor, or is there something you need to work on within yourself or in your environment, or if the person who is doing your ceremony simply bull shitting?  Once you have that answer you will know how to maneuver and proceed.

In my case, while being patient, I had to work on some things within myself.  With patience there is an element of work (the part about continuing to try) and self-discipline. During that time I did meditation to build my mind, I learned to be more self-reliant and independent.  So your character building may have to do with reflection, faith or trust building within self.  Your time of wait can be a germination period (developmental phase) or gestation (growth) period, or there may be a lesson that’s letting you know that you can’t have everything you want when you want it and you can’t push the river (force the outcome). The time of delay can also be about sacrificing or changes you need to make.  So how one deals or responds to patience will all depend on your personality, your temperament, and your situation.

I don’t remember where I got this but here is another view:  Patience binds, heals, and supports relationships. Impatience is divisive. It severs friendships, dissolves marriages, breaks up families, and breaks hearts. So, patience is also about maturity. Patient people do not throw away pets and possessions or relationships and responsibilities simply because things aren’t working out as originally expected. Patient people bring out the best in them. Impatient people bring out the beast in them.

I hope this lesson has helped you and given you some clarity, but “a lesson in patience” is not always easy to acquire so you will need to think about what Patience means for you.  Be well and in peace.

Ase o

Ancestor Veneration

Many people have heard of honoring one’s ancestors, but what does this really mean?  There is such a deeper and more beautiful meaning to ancestor or spirit veneration than what one may think from all the other broader and inferior meanings that we have been led to believe.  For one, ancestor veneration in many cases has been associated with voodoo, hoodoo, juju or some kind of craft that pertains to witchery.  In other instances, many people have felt an association to guilt or uncomfortable honoring their ancestors and spirits with candles and such, for they think that they are engaging in something wrong, however, this is so far from the truth that it is disheartening.

It is fact that our ancestors believed in life after death.  They believed that death was a continuation of life, just in another world – the invisible world.  From an African prospective, ancestor veneration served many purposes.  For one, many societies of Africa believed that the deceased not only needed proper funeral, burial, and cleansing rites but it was also very important that the deceased be freed or released from all bad deeds.  In these instances, friends, and relatives would gather around the body at the grave site and each person would recount all the bad deeds that the deceased did during their lifetime and after listening to all the misdeeds, they would all announce that they have forgiven him/her since he/she is now dead.

If the deed or the debt was financial in nature, a surviving family member would offer to pay off the debt.  This was all done to ensure a smooth and easy transition from the land of the living to the realm of spirit.  For it was the belief that since the deceased was totally cleansed and freed from bad deeds, he/she would have no other reason to linger in the lower realms to haunt or cause chaos amongst its’ family members or community.  On the contrary, the spirit would be happy and free to ascend to higher realms of obtaining supernatural powers that could be accessed and bestowed upon the family and the community during periodic spiritual visits from the deceased that would provide blessings, protection, long life, prosperity, good harvest, fertility, or whatever the desires, prayers and requests were from those still in the living.  Death was not only to morn, but it was a celebration of SPIRIT of continued life; a festive time of drumming, singing, dancing, drinking and eating – all to honor the dead for it is believed that to honor the ancestors is to honor your lineage, your culture, your roots and your self and is the first step to reclaiming your spiritual heritage.  Therefore, the ancestors were and still are to this day consulted by many for guidance, prayed to, venerated with rituals and are given offerings for their continued influence on the living by helping them to resolve their day-to-day problems.

It is my belief and my experience that there are lots of potential consequences for not giving proper ceremonial/death/funeral rites to the deceased or continuing to venerate them no matter what they did or did not do in life.  One of the consequences that we now suffer as a people is that we have become lost in so many ways, no thanks to colonization.  Slavery and the enforcement of Catholicism by Catholic missionaries almost totally succeeded in the annihilation of ancient traditional ceremonial ways through torture and every abuse unimaginable.  The breakdown of the family unit throughout slavery, especially for Black Americans, is so traumatic that it has affected millions of us on a cellular level even on the spiritual levels of death and birth (see the William Lynch Speech).  The breakdown and dysfunctions of the family structure has caused a ripple effect that has spilled over into the community, into greater society, and now even the world at large.  The curse of slavery still haunts many.  How are we going to save ourselves?  We may no longer be physically enslaved except for those jailed, but many of us are still mentally, emotionally, and financially enslaved!  We now have a dysfunctional living society that eventually turns into a dysfunctional deceased spirit society and who’s going to clean up the mess?  We are talking about a once strong community of cultural people who were almost totally annihilated over a four hundred plus year span from abuse, oppression, torment, and unjustifiable deaths.  What happened to all that bad energy?  In those times, who was going to perform the proper funeral, burial, and cleansing rites for all those dead souls?  How were they going to ensure that those unhappy and angry souls did not linger close to cause havoc on the world for all their sufferings?  Unfortunately, the answer was no one!  Our ancestors had major problems to deal with in just trying to survive day by day in an unfamiliar land and the dead, unfortunately in most cases became just a cherished memory.

Now, today there are millions of individuals who are raised in some congregation indoctrinated with man-made doctrines or Christian beliefs, whether Baptist, Methodist, A.M.E., Lutheran, Pentecostal, or Catholic but have now grown to adulthood somehow feeling as if there is something else calling to their soul.  One reason is that the traditions of the ancestors are deeply embedded in our blood, coded in our DNA, and is apart of our soul.  And the concept of church derived from those old ancestral traditions for which many of us can still feel the calling.  The slaves formed their own idea of “church” from cleverly orchestrating special meetings gathered either in the denseness of the woods or pretending to have “church”, in this way keeping the “Masta” in the dark, allowing themselves to discreetly and safely practice their traditions in hiding.  While attending these special meetings, they were able to create songs encoded with secret messages, maintain devotion and receive spirit messages through preaching, lying on of hands and receiving a form of spirit possession that involved shouting, dancing, and speaking in foreign languages better known as “speaking in tongues”.  Today, many view this as a manifestation of receiving the Holy Ghost.  However, these old African spirituals, rituals and traditions, concepts of nature, spirit and ancestor veneration is fighting to survive but through our DNA.  And because of such, you can sense that something else is calling to your spirit outside of all the conveniences and comforts that modern day society has awarded you.  And even with the freedom that science and technology has provided as a society, you are increasingly unhappy, increasingly unsatisfied and even more unfulfilled than your predecessors could ever imagine.  For many of you, it is a feeling of incompleteness and an emptiness that at one time or another you thought you could escape by using alcohol or drugs, or by obtaining wealth, sex, power, marriage, family, or love from some other individual whether it be the opposite or same sex.  You know that you live in a perverted society that is plagued with sexual overtones, famine, disease, crime, and illness.  The family structure is breaking down, communities are breaking down and even the earth is breaking down.  Though people surround you, still you feel lost, confused and alone.  You reach out, but you see nothing, you feel nothing.  You search for answers, for solutions – but nothing.  No one can help and you try everything physical and material within your power, but the void is still there.  Even with all of this, you continue to feel that something is calling to your spirit sending you on a path-finding journey of fulfillment.

Now, to answer the call of the spirit, the inner guide, many people are broadening their beliefs and education of spiritual systems from around the world.  And many do not understand or realize that it is the SOUL that is searching for THE spiritual home that will bring it peace.  With the help of the Ancestors, one can now find that peace or at least work toward the inner peace that their soul can call home.

READ THE NEXT TOPIC ON:   ANCESTRAL HEALING and the ANCESTOR HEALING PRAYER

Ancestral Healing

Now, in my continued search to further validate my point about the importance of ancestor veneration amongst various cultures, I came across another article online written by David Furlong called “Healing Your Ancestral Patterns” where he talks about the need to grab every opportunity to heal the family lines (ancestor lineage) because we are all linked to the universe through our ancestry.  In this article, Mr. Furlong enlightens us with an excerpt from a book called “Karma and Reincarnation” by Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, Head Priest of the Shinto Tamamitsu sect of Japan which states:

“The parent/child connection manifests as one link in a long chain of ancestral karma that stretches back through time.  Your link to your family allows you to be born into that specific line – it is a link that needs to be understood and respected.  In this modern scientific age it is very difficult for people to accept the fact that they are responsible to their ancestors, that they are actually liable for the actions of their ancestors if the resulting karma has not yet been dissolved.  Many find it absurd to think that the actions of an unknown ancestor could possibly have anything to do with what is happening to them today.  But time and time again when investigating someone’s karma, I find problems that stretch back generations.  Their spirit is not just an individual entity, it is also part of the family spirit that births and nurtures it.”

Even in the bible, Numbers 14:18, there is reference to us as children suffering for the sins of our forefathers even unto the third and fourth generations clearly suggesting how integral the ancestors are to our lives and how we must learn and teach prayer and sacrifice including the giving of ourselves to keep us in harmony with our lineage.  This article further makes it clear that many cultures, both sophisticated and primitive, pay a great deal of attention to the ancestral family line proving that this form of veneration is one of the most widespread of all religious belief systems.

Many people venerate all of their ancestors without any emotional problems or hang ups but there are some who find it uncomfortable or they feel bitter about giving veneration to ancestors that have been abusive in some way or another whether emotionally, physically, sexually, and/or verbally.  Know that you have the right to NOT honor these ancestors.  While in many cases, it is understandable why someone may not want to venerate an ancestor that has caused harm to him/her or to another loved one, it is my plea to keep in mind that you must TRY TO forgive.  The forgiving is to bring healing to yourself but not in a way that makes you feel the blame.  Of course, it is up to you and what makes you comfortable.  I know this is easier said than done but when we forgive, we heal ourselves.  Many times, ancestors who have done wrong in life will seek light and prayer from you, wanting forgiveness, wanting repentance, and wanting to give, help, and do for you on the other side what they did not get to do in life, all because they have transitioned through “the light of understanding” and have come to realize their mistakes now that they reside on the other side.  If you can find it in your heart to pray for your ancestors who have done wrong, then great, it not, then you must do what makes you comfortable.

When praying to your ancestors, first you want to call upon their names (if known).  Call upon seven names from your paternal side and seven names from your maternal side.  If you do not know their names, then just say, “I call upon all my ancestors from the blood lines of the mother and father whose egg and sperm united to conceive me”.  This is a great statement to say for those who are adopted and don’t know their biological ancestors.  Ask your ancestors with true power to come forth.  Ask your ancestors with true knowledge and wisdom to step forth.  Ask your ancestors of great wealth to come forward.  Ask your ancestors of courage and strength to be with you.

[If you choose to pray for an ancestor that has caused harm to you or a loved one, you can say a brief prayer that you forgive them and that you pray for the soul of {name of person} to elevate and find the light, peace, and love in God that he or she needs that will bring peace to you, your family, and your home.  Also you will want to pray that the negative energies of abuse never cause anyone else any harm.  Ask the good spirits and your soul guardians to further you and your loved from future mental, physical and/or emotional damage.]

Either way, we need to pray for healing, for both the deceased, for ourselves and for generations to come so that we can alleviate as many dysfunctional and abusive patterns as possible so that they will cease and will no longer plague any member of the family line, directly or indirectly.  On another note, we also need to pray for ancestral healing from karmic energy.  Many of us have heard of karmic energy that affects an individual singly but multiple family members as a whole can also carry the same karmic energy, whether negative or positive.  From a negative aspect, I am sure that you can think of at least one family that just cannot get it together – they struggle and suffer for many reasons.   These families can carry a karmic energy of sickness, poverty, death, or even mental illness.  While in other families; drugs and judicial problems are prevalent.  Some would even view this type of energy as a generational curse.

Through ancestor veneration and healing, whether through prayers, rituals, or ceremonies we can work on healing the family and our ancestors in the spirit realm so that they can help us to heal in the living for a better way of living.  For this reason, I have written an “Ancestral Healing Prayer” that can be said at your altar or at any time that you get the feeling to help not just the deceased but yourself in the healing process.

ANCESTRAL HEALING PRAYER

by Aladokun

I offer light and pour libation with respect and honor for all my ancestors whose names I know (say all the names that you know) and all the ones I don’t know to uplift and liberate their soul(s) in the name and light of the Almighty God.  For it is through the love, the will, and the power of God that all souls are saved.

I offer prayer and protection by way of the Divine Creator for those ancestral souls and spirits that are in darkness, forgotten, or lost.  Let the light I offer fade out the shadows of fear and guide them toward the arms of God and to a higher cause.

I offer guidance to my ancestors and spirits by way of the Guardian Angels and Protective Spirits who by the power and order of God will assist them in their greater act of evolution.  Let the light I offer be a “beacon of hope” and serve as an escape and protective shield from the shadows of despair.

I offer love, compassion, and comfort to those ancestral souls and spirits that are suffering and depressed.  Let the light I offer lead them from discord and the miseries of their souls to the sanctuary of God and the joys of heavenly bliss.

I offer healing by way of the Supreme Being on all spiritual levels for those ancestors and spirits who were abused, afflicted, deceived, enslaved, hated, lonely, misguided, neglected, oppressed, pained, saddened, traumatized, and died tragically.  Let the light I offer to their souls inspire clemency, liberation, faith, love and harmony from today onward.

I offer forgiveness to the ancestral souls and spirits that want to repent, sincerely, for the error of their ways in both realms of life and death.  Let this light guide them to the truth, enlightenment and righteousness of God.

In addition, I forgive those ancestors and spirits that committed wrongs that have set their generational line “us that are living” in barrenness.  And I forgive those ancestors whose past sins I’ve had to suffer as a result of their own naivety, ignorance and inferior habits and traits.  Let the light I offer serve as a reminder for us in the living to acknowledge and learn not to make the same mistakes as the ones who lived before us.

In every way, I forgive those ancestors and spirits who need it most so that their souls will embrace in positive gratification a new and improved way of living in the spirit realm and that those souls will elevate in peace and awaken to eternal life as God promised.

In the name of God and through his mercy and blessings, let today be the beginning of a continual healing process for all my ancestral guides and release of all blocked and negative genetic energy patterns within the generational line steadily healing each family member including myself day-by-day.  As you, the Ancestors heal on the other side, we ask that you forgive us as you have been forgiven and help us to heal with free flowing positive and progressive energy for the better well-being of all concerned.

In God’s name we pray and may the Light, Power, and Peace of God be with us always.  And so it was spoken and so it will be!

If you loved this prayer to the ancestors, buy “Ancestor Paths” and FIND OUT MORE!  There are many more prayers for clearing and healing.  Keep yourself on track with methods that have worked for many people over the years.  YOU WILL NOT REGRET THE PURCHASE!

What is an Ancestor?

african man kneel

What is an ancestor or who can be considered an ancestor?  Traditionally “ancestors” are viewed as departed blood relatives: parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  However, depending on the culture, the definition of ancestor has many meanings.  In some cultures you cannot be considered an ancestor unless you have lived a good standing, morally correct life.  In other cultures, women are not considered ancestors at all.  However and generally speaking for most, “ancestor veneration” or “ancestor worship” (meaning to maintain an on-going relationship with those who have departed) is not only a tradition shared amongst our Afrikan brothers and sisters, but the concept has existed through almost every known culture including various parts of Afrika, the Pacific, South American, Indonesia, certain parts of India and Indochina, even among those of Islamic or Christian faiths.

Even Jewish people have been known to light candles and say special prayers honoring their family member’s anniversary of death.  And in celebration of All Soul’s Day, many honor the dead by putting gifts, flowers and food on the graves of their family members for it is believed that once death occurs, the physical body is left to decay and the soul transits into the realm of spirit where such spirit continues to live as an ancestor or a spirit guide.  In many instances, the living will leave money, cloths, animals, and messages at grave sites of their deceased relatives in hopes that the deceased might use these things on their journey.  In addition, many cultures will honor the dead with festivals, drumming, singing, dancing, and drinking for it is believed that to honor our ancestors is to honor our lineage and our roots and this is the first step to reclaiming our spiritual heritage.  Therefore, the ancestors are consulted for guidance, prayed to, venerated with rituals and are given offerings for their continued influence on the living by helping them to resolve their day-to-day problems.

Because so many cultures, primarily outside of the United States, believe that the invisible world plays such an enormous part in every day life, it is custom and is extremely important to pay a great deal of attention to the dead and the ancestral family.  I think we all can agree that death is a universal fact and is the inevitable end of all human life.  However, in many cultures, life does not just end there.  The soul continues on, just, in another form (spirit) and in another world.  It is also believed by many that the dead are reborn into family members so that they can finish whatever business they were not able to finish while on earth and for these reasons a great deal of concern, care, time, and money is spent on proper burial rites.  From the preparation of the body all the way through to the prayers, ceremonies, and sacrifices given to help ensure that the deceased is satisfied and appeased for an easy transition from the land of the living to the land of the dead.  For it is believed that if proper funeral rites are not performed for the deceased, the spirit of the dead person will become a ghost to roam the world without peace, lost and confused with the abilities to harm and haunt people and relatives until it gains attention and proper acknowledgment of the proper burial rights, prayers, offerings, or ceremonies that will bring contentment to its soul.

In Afrika, the ancestors are called “egungun” and they, too, believe in the continued existence of the ancestors in the life of the living.  They believe that there is a the link between the dead and the living and that the egungun represents ancestral spirits that periodically return from heaven to visit and commune with the living during a 7-day festival where honor is given and sacrifices are offered at shrines specifically set for the ancestor spirits.

How important is ancestor reverence?  Lets see, try to put yourself in the shoes of your ancestors.  If you were an ancestor and your family members and friends were to just forget about you, how would you feel?  If you were alone, lost, and confused in the spirit realm and there was no one person praying for you or giving you light so that you could find your way, what would you do?  If you wanted to save someone or help them to better their life and they just ignored your messages, would you give up?  If you wanted forgiveness or just wanted know that you were still loved, and there was no one to show you some attention and your efforts were ignored, wouldn’t you feel alone and abandoned?  And God forbid, but, if you were ill and approaching death or you died suddenly, how important would it be to you that someone, even if one person, were to remember you?

Ancestor veneration is important because your ancestor’s memories continue to live inside of you, flowing through your blood.  Their memories, over time, become etched into your DNA.  These memories in many cases will continue to manifest (show up) in your life whether for good or bad.  What is deemed good or bad will depend on the issue or circumstance that is influencing you or your family.  Many people do not realize that their suffering or good fortune in many cases is a direct result of their ancestor’s past thoughts, behaviors and/or actions.  Simply put — just because a family member dies doesn’t mean that their energies are forever gone.

For instance:  if the ancestor was a great person, their good energies will continue to flow through the living family spreading goodness.  But if the ancestor lived a troublesome life, their bad energies could negatively impact an entire generation.   Sometimes an ancestor’s power (influence) is so strong that it could operate against your will — for better or worse.  In some cases, the ancestor’s interference can appear to bad or a hindrance but in actuality the ancestor may be trying to protect you from ill fate.   This is very common in issues of money where many of our ancestor’s believed strongly that “money is the root to all evil”.  In this case the ancestor will block your money believing that they are saving you from some type of ill fate, devastation, heart ache, or problems attached to having money.  Of course their are many reasons why your money could be blocked especially if the negative energy is coming from your own thinking but if your ancestor believes “mo’ money – mo’ problems” and that people get hurt over money, then they will block your cash flow for fear that you may suffer in some way.  In cases like this, you could opt to commune regularly with your ancestors asking them to bring blessings, explaining to them what your plans are for having money.  You could also ensure them that they do not have to worry because you are responsible and safe, that you will not brag or boast, and that you have protective measures in place for being able to store large sums of money, etc.  There are other ways to unblock the ancestors using traditional or modern methods but is is just a simple hypothetical example.

Because the ancestors have such powerful influence over the living, you can see why many cultures find it important to honor the ancestors and why they place so much emphasis on maintaining a positive relationship with the ancestor spirits.  You can also see why ancestral healing would be extremely important for healing family and community dysfunction.

Listen to the entire excerpt (longer version of this topic) from the book,

“Ancestor Paths”:   What is an Ancestor?

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