The desire to communicate with our ancestors is an innate part of the human experience. We intuitively sense their presence in our wisdom bodies and it begs the question: can we communicate with them?
Through daily prayer, mediation, creation of art, music, food, and ceremony, the ancestor spirits can communicate, guide, protect, and heal the living. Ancestral communication has been an ancient practice in every wisdom tradition throughout time. Your ability to connect with your ancestors is always available.
In particular, the days on and around October 31 to November 2 are a transformational portal on the wheel of life. It’s the mid-point between fall and winter, the death and dying season. Therefore, it’s a powerful time to communicate with one’s ancestors. This article offers guidance on how to create a beautiful ceremonial journey to communicate with your ancestors.
The Traditions of Ancestral Communication
Ancestral communications is an ancient and daily practice found in many cultures around the world, including Mayan, Celtic, Aborigine, Indigenous American, Ancient Greece, Ancient Eurasia, African Tribal, Tibetan, and the Vedic/Yogic traditions. Some major religions, such as the Catholic faith, honor the deceased on All Saints Day and All Souls Day with prayers, candles, incense, chanting, ceremony, and offerings. In Mexico, they celebrate the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos). And in the Celtic tradition, Samhain, which observes the transition time between the two worlds.
In our culture, we are familiar with Halloween or All Hallows Eve. However, much of the essence and spiritual wisdom connected to these ceremonial days – meant to honor and communicate with one’s ancestors – has been lost.
I lost my own father early in life. Through ancestral communication, I have been able to open my heart, experiencing a deeper love within myself, due to the work I have done to connect with my father and other ancestors. Through this work, I have been able to reconcile deep wounds and karmic patterns that stem back even beyond my Dad, but also to my deceased grandparents and living family.
Ancestral work can transform the karmas of past generations, as well as work into the current and future generations for healing.
Halloween and The Day of the Dead
These two celebrations are traditionally considered ceremonial days and nights to honor and communicate with one’s ancestors. This is a time to create family altars, perform ceremonies with the ancestors, and layout offerings of flowers, incense, crystals, art, and food. Halloween or All Hallows Eve literally means Holy Night or All Saint’s Night. It is a time to honor and communicate with those that have taken their spirit walk, ancestors, and the holy or saintly ones. The Day of the Dead maintains the spiritual essence of ceremony, honor, and communication in the deeper regions of Mexico.
Last year at this time, I was in southern Mexico, in the city of Merida, studying the Mayan tradition. Two days before the Day of the Dead, I decided to take a walk in the main plaza to enjoy the night air. I encountered a celebration amongst the locals. Dozens of families from surrounding villages were joyfully creating altars, cooking and sharing food, lighting candles, putting up photos of their deceased, and playing music all around the central plaza. It was a very moving experience and I could feel the light coming in through their intentions and offerings to their familial ancestors.
Elements of these beautiful ceremonies and altar practices can be observed in our modern Halloween by way of candles in jack-o-lanterns, candy offerings, and festivities. If you choose, you can mindfully reconnect to these ancient practices while the veil between the two worlds is open this time of year.
Who is an Ancestor?
The Lakota say Mitakuye Oyasin, “All are my relations”- the tree, water, sky, earth, animals, brothers, sisters and those that have taken their spirit walk. There is a sacred hoop, a medicine wheel, a mandala of life. All is connected. All is life and all have the essence of Love. All are children of the Great Mother and Father – in spirit and physical form.
An ancestor is one who