In follow-up to last week's episode and with Samhain approaching, let's plan a powerful and sometimes awkward dinner with the ancestors.
Not all family dinners are welcomed thanks to those awkward family dynamics, but this "ain't your momma's dinner" plan!
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Ancestors, family ties, family drama - family and ancestors can be a very loaded topic, right?
When I say invite the ancestors to dinner, I’m not talking about your typical Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner where the invitation comes with an obligation to show up, put on your best mask and bite your tongue til the blood runs down your chin just to make it through just one meal. Please, just one day without being triggered by someone’s “joking” snide remark, jab or backhanded compliment.
And then there’s always that one member of the family everyone hopes won’t show up to cause trouble.
No wonder many never get through even one big family dinner unscathed.
A gathering of the ancestors to celebrate Samhain or at any other time, is nothing like that! So release that finger from the trigger, take a deep breath and relax a minute.
So who are these ancestors you’re inviting to dinner anyway?
You can throw the doors wide open, and take what you get, which is very adventurous, but I suggest a more controlled approach, which will be far more enjoyable and beneficial long term.
Let’s identify some ancestors. Ancestors come in many forms:
- Genealogical - Parents, grandparents, etc.
- DNA Ancestry - meaning not necessarily in your direct ascending line like genealogical ancestors, but perhaps somewhere in your DNA you have Irish, or Swedish, or Ethiopian ancestry. DNA connected ancestors aren’t usually known by name, but by culture
- Akashic Ancestry - If you’re listening to this, then you are most likely an Old Soul, so over the many lives you’ve lived, to obtain the diversity of experiences you needed to benefit from, sometimes the Soul has chosen to be male, sometimes female, we’ve been caucasian, black, Chinese, Jewish, etc. We don’t necessarily stay in one culture or ancestral line from lifetime to lifetime. So when someone tells you you can’t use sage because you are not of Native American descent, well, perhaps you DO have an Akashic remembrance carried forward in your Soul that creates a deep connection to that Native American heritage even if it’s not present in your current lifetime’s DNA report.
- Galactic Ancestry - This one can be very controversial depending on your beliefs about other life in the Universe, but for me, there is no question. I have galactic ancestors and I believe most of you do as well.
Now, on to dinner plans…
Your approach to dinner with the ancestors will be different than mine based on many factors including the most important one to decide, at least in my case, and that’s whether others in your family will be participating in your Samhain ancestor ritual and which ancestors you want to focus on, or all at once - which I personally find too overwhelming at one sitting.
We have to start somewhere though, so let’s start with genealogy, you know, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and I always include recently deceased loved ones - friends and extended family.
Definitely any who have transitioned since my last ancestral dinner, but also any who are still strong in my mind or make their presence known as I’m considering dinner plans.
If the whole family is participating then I like to prepare a family dinner with everyone’s favorite foods and an extra plate for the ancestors we are welcoming and honoring.
For me, this means that dinner likely has no real theme and many times the foods don’t really go together, looks more like a random potluck, but that’s part of what makes it so much fun and well, deeply meaningful.
If extended family are participating, maybe Aunt Susie can bring her mother or grandmother’s favorite and another family member can bring something meaningful to one of the ancestors they want to honor.
My family dinner might include things like oyster stew or pickled pigs feet to honor my grandfather, salmon cakes or cabbage rolls which bring fond memories of my Granny, definitely mashed potatoes because in my family potatoes were served with every meal, even spaghetti.
There might be sliced avocado with soy sauce because that’s the weird way my uncle ate them, thick sliced fresh tomatoes with a little salt even though they’re out of season.
There would be green beans, cooked to death, because that’s the way they made them. Homemade bread with strawberry jam, with more sugar stirred in because my great granny always added more sugar to even the sweetest jam.
Then for dessert, perhaps peach cobbler, butter pie or even rhubarb or gooseberry pie all with vanilla ice cream or if I really want to go retro, Cool Whip.
At some point during the night, I might even go to the cabinet and take a swig of Jim Beam whiskey straight from the bottle because my great grandfather, although never a drinker, always kept a small bottle on the pantry shelf for making medicinal camphor and my then middle aged Granny always loved the taste and took a small nip on occasion just for the flavor, then spend the next hour carefully avoiding contact with her father (then in his 70s) to keep him from smelling it on her breath.
The list goes on, but you get the idea. And none of those foods really go together, but each one brings back a wonderful memory that can then be shared and talked about at the table with each person adding their memories to the mix.
When the night has ended, it’s as if each and everyone of those ancestors were there not only being remembered and honored by us, but were really there participating in the evening. Because they were!
Whether they have moved on to their next physical experience or not, I believe a part of them comes forth whenever we think of them.
Oh, and no need to leave those fur babies who have crossed over, you know they often return to us as another pet down the line, right? Especially when those doors of loving energy remain open between you and them. So bring them in too!
Toward the end of the night, when I have a few moments alone, perhaps that’s in a separate ritual at my altar or just when I’m clearing the table, doing the dishes or even later just as I drop into bed, I take a few moments to thank each ancestor for coming to dinner and for all they brought to my life. This is also the time I usually go deeper asking about any messages they may have for me at this time. The answers often surprise me.
It’s not necessarily all good memories though, right? Many times, those ancestors brought both blessings and challenges. Even the challenges helped make us who we are today and we would not be who we are without them.
This visit from the ancestors is also a good time to acknowledge that each Soul has its own path and no one is perfect, not you or them.
Each person just does the best they can at any given point along that path. In most cases any harm they cause was likely not intentional, it was just part of their own learning process.
Sometimes, often, less than ideal behaviors of our parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles may have been a result of generational trauma. Things they were exposed to and passed it along because they didn’t know how to clear or manage it better themselves. Not intentional, just due to lack of skill to resolve trauma they were subjected to.
By welcoming your ancestors and sharing memories over dinner, you’re building powerful bonds with your ancestors based on understanding, love and compassion.
Creating a compassionate bond, despite or because of the challenges in the relationship, can open the door to healing, both your personal hurt as well as theirs by traveling back in time, helping the heal the original traumas passed down to them, then to you and perhaps even still being inadvertently passed to your children and grandchildren and those yet to come.
Not one of us is free from generational consequences.
Are you acting or behaving in ways that aren’t yours, but an ancestor’s perhaps.
Ever feel like you're looking out of the eyes of your dad or other ancestor when you think about or react to something in a certain way.
Is there anything in your parents behavior or path you see yourself repeating that you want to change to break the cycle?
Did you see positive or negative patterns or life, aging or death demonstrated by one or both parents and grandparents? Are you ready to appreciate or change that aspect in your life as you age?
What was implanted into your belief system for instance from your ancestors - like suffering is required to be a good person? Or hard, back breaking work is a sign of good character. Beliefs around money are huge! Did you see these same beliefs in parents and grandparents, perhaps in the hereditary group of your ancestors?
Did you know that those with Jewish ancestry, carry an anxiety gene. Not surprising! What memories are your genes carrying?
Next week we’ll talk about how to stop generational trauma with you and even how to reverse its effects moving back through time.
Healing generational trauma is not to be taken lightly and is too important to rush through, so we’ll take a full episode for this.
It goes beyond your parental line, Because generation trauma not only exists in genealogical families, but among entire cultures. Your connections to these cultures based on your DNA, Akashic and galactical ancestral heritage can start or continue the much needed healing on the planet.
Looking back on the racial trauma alone that has been perpetuated throughout many cultures including African Americans, Native Americans, Jewish peoples and many others on the planet, much healing needs to happen and you can take an active role in a more powerful way than staging protests.
Just another benefit and perhaps responsibility of being a witch!
To better pave the way for your role in this planetary healing, make those connections not only with the familial ancestors but also in a similar way with your current cultural and lifetimes of Akashic ancestry.
Who they are is something only you can answer. You don’t have to do any deep research or DNA tests to figure this out.
You likely intuitively know this based on the cultures you may have been drawn to in the past, but if you need a bit more guidance, you’re a witch!
Use whatever form of divination you’re accustomed to. For something like this, my go to would be my pendulum, but I could also use any number of tools including my crystal ball or other scrying tool, journeying or even meditation just to name a few. I’ve added some dowsing charts as resources to help you.
Once you determine (or remember actually) your cultural or akashic ancestry, make the connection and ask what traumas in these groups need to be healed to move the culture and humanity forward. Some are obvious, but there may be deeper more unrecognized traumas that need to be healed first so the obvious ones can clear more easily even by the collective consciousness of the planet.
What were the thoughts and circumstances your ancestors experienced,
And not only the traumatic experiences, but the good things that allowed not only for your existence, but to bring you to this point in life where you can bring back that ancestral wisdom. You are or have awakened to things in this lifetime that would not have been possible without those seeds planted by your ancestors.
Then take action, action as the powerful witch you are.
If you need more inspiration as to your power, check out the British Witches “Cone of Power” and how that impacted WWII. There were certainly other factors of war at play, but it does seem that there was magick at play that August evening in 1940 when the witches gathered. Among other interesting occurrences, Hitler’s army was never able to cross the channel to invade Britain.
This process of activism and healing ancestral trauma will be the main topic next week, so if you’re an Activist Witch or this interests you from a personal or cultural standpoint, then join us next week to learn the “how to” of it all.
Until then live using and believing in the power of magick!
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