Honoring the Ancestors with Acupuncture, Ceremony, and Energy Medicine

Honoring the Ancestors

Deer skull with antlers resting on forest floor with autumn leaves, quartz rocks and ferns

The turn of the seasons, and the time half way between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice is a wonderful time to work with honoring our ancestors.  The ancestors are part of us. We are product of all who have come before us. Our ancestors are tied to us through our energy fields, our biology, and our heritage.  We can inherit their good traits, their not-so-good traits, their beliefs, ideologies, religion, way of life, limitations, and traumas.  Our ancestors can be guides to us, and we can provide healing to them.  Even if you are adopted and do not know your biological ancestors, it is still possible to connect with them through meditation, ceremony, and healing work.

Our ancestors pass down information through our biology.   Our mitochondria is passed on from the maternal lineage.  Our DNA contains information from all who combined their genes for us to be created throughout the lineage.  Our very bodies lived inside our birth mothers.  In utero female fetuses have all of the eggs in their ovaries that they will release over their lives.  This means that as an unborn fetus your mother held the egg that would become you while she was growing inside her mother’s uterus.  Energetically we carry the imprint of our mother, and grandmother in our cells.  She carries the imprint of her mother, and so on, all the way back in time. 

Energetically we are connected to our ancestors and all who came before us.  We are connected through relationship cords, absorbing trauma while in utero, and through the beliefs and traditions of our biological families.  Relationship cords connect us to our ancestors, all of our ancestors, all of the way through time.  Think of an energetic cord connecting you to your biological mother and father, cords connecting them to their biological parents, cords connecting to the next generation, and on.  You can see that lots of people were involved in creating you.  You are the product of the one’s who came before you.  Through relationship cords our own perceptions and understandings of the world and ourselves can be supported, or distorted.  For example and ancestor that was beaten and tortured for being an outspoken woman may try to prevent her own daughters or descendants from suffering the same fate by attaching to the rear aspect 5th chakra of her descendants, and causing distortions that make it difficult to have a voice, to stand up for one’s self, and to shrink and be “small” so as not to attract attention.  This cord will attach and distort the perceptions of the chakra and energy field, and be perpetuated throughout the lineage until someone chooses to heal this particular family belief and offer healing not only to the self, but also to all of the ancestors involved.  Sometimes this healing will go back for many many generations, sometimes it is a closer ancestor who’s name might even be known. 

Think of the implications of this inherited trauma for a moment.  How does oppression, fear, or power work in your family? How has trauma been passed down in your lineage?  Is it fear of persecution, descendants of slaves, or generational poverty? Is it wealth and domination, or colonization and genocide?  What is your family heritage in all of its pieces, the ones you’d like to claim and the pieces that you don’t? What is your family shadow? Trauma can be held in families, and passed on.  It is our job to heal the trauma and the ripple effect will travel throughout the generations, bringing healing to the soul’s of our ancestors.

As you begin to create and/or strengthen your relationship to your ancestors you create more opportunities for healing in your own life and in your lineage.  This deepening allows you to facilitate deeper healing for your clients.  Do you already have a connection to your ancestors? In what ways do you honor them or ask for assistance and guidance in your life? What traditions have been kept alive to honor the ancestors in your family?

Honoring the Ancestors:

Time for Ceremony to Honor the Ancestors: When using the seasonal calendar in sync with the sun we find that there are four major holy days or solstices and equinoxes including the summer and winter solstices, and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.  These four days on the calendar are separated by 3 months each and are based on the length of the day related to the length of the night.  These four points on the calendar can be further divided into eight with a holiday between each.  These are the cross-quarter days, and are each six weeks apart.  In understanding the cyclical nature of the seasons, and their energetic significance, ritual and ceremony can be offered to create powerful magic.  Let’s take a look:

Winter Solstice: Longest night, Yin within the Yin, December 21

Imbolc: Return of the Light, Yang within the Yin, February 2

Spring Equinox: Even day and night, Yang within the Yang, March 21

Beltane: Growing Light, Blessing of the crops and livestock, Yang within the Yang, May 1

Summer Solstice: Longest day shortest night, Yang within the Yang, June 21

Lughnasad:  Shortening day but still longer than the night, Yin within the Yang, Harvest begins, August 1

Autumn Equinox: Equal day and night, Yin within the Yin, Honoring the Harvest, September 21

Samhain: Days are shorter than the night, Lengthening night, Yin within the Yin, October 31

Winter Solstice: and the cycle starts again

Understanding the energetics of the seasonal changes is very important for healing and ceremony.  The day of longest sun, or the most yang within the yang is the Summer Solstice.  This is a time when the yang or expansive energy is the greatest.  The day of the longest night is the Winter Solstice when the Yin energy, or going within is the deepest. The cross quarter days of Samhain and Beltane are when the veils are the thinnest, partway between the equinox and the solstice. These are days when the veils between the physical and other worlds are thin.  It is a liminal, or edge time, and very potent for connecting to those who passed beyond the physical.  It is on these days that we find traditional cultures celebrating and honoring their ancestors.  In modern times this looks like decorating or visiting grave sites, offering a feast to the ancestors, and is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin and communication with those that have departed is easier.

Samhain

I like to visit the graves of my ancestors on Samhain. I communicate with them, leave offerings, and give them healings so that they might ascend from the lower vibrational astral level to the light.  I look for family patterns and heal descendants through the relational cords that are distorted in our genealogy.   

I choose Samhain because it is a time with contact with the astral world is easy, or we might say “the veil between the worlds is thin.”  Samhain is energetically a time when the days are short, the night’s are long, the leaves have fallen, hard frosts and snow are expected, and the temperatures continue to drop.  It is a time to honor that which has come before as we welcome in the Yin time, the going within, the darkness.  Samhain is a powerful time to meet our shadows, our fears, and offer them healing and transformation.

Beltane

Beltane occurs during the Yang within the Yang time of year, it is half a year from Beltane, and is a time of growing light.  It is the beginning of the growing season here in the northern country, and many rites focus on blessing of the livestock and fertility.  It is also a time when the veil between the worlds is thin, and a good time to work with ancestors.  This time of year has the opposite energy of Samhain.  Now is a time when we are planting gardens, watching the leaves unfurl, and welcoming back the warmth of the sun and growing days.  The energy of this time allows for celebrations of the ancestors.  Maybe it is time to visit and clean the gravesites of your ancestors, to honor them and use the expansive energy for healing, bringing the qualities you wish carry forward into your life and your actions in the world.

Ways to honor the ancestors

  • Visit grave sights, clean and decorate the graves, tell stories
  • Make a feast of your ancestors favorite foods, offer them a plate filled with their favorite things
  • Create ceremony to clear the trauma inflicted by an ancestor, or suffered by an ancestor
  • Help your ancestors stuck in the lower vibrational astral realm ascend to the light
  • Clear ancestral cords that create a distorted world view, or perpetuate trauma and limiting beliefs (taught in Year 2 of Healing Journey)
  • Cut toxic ancestral cords healing them with core essence (taught in Year 3 of Healing Journey)
  • Make an altar with old photos or belongings of your ancestor(s), light a candle in their honor
  • Offer gratitude to those who have come before
  • Make up your own ceremony and timing of the ceremony (on a beloved grandparent’s birthday, death-day, etc.).
  • Prayer

Communicating with the Ancestors

You can talk to your ancestors.  All that they knew, their wisdom, may be passed down to you.  They are there waiting for you to talk to them.  Let’s take a look at some simple ways to invoke a conversation.

  • Create sacred space.
  • Clear and open your chakras, align your hara, expand your core star
  • Invoke any angels and/or guides that you wish to have assist you in this exercise
  • Set your intention to connect with your ancestors.  You might have set up an altar, have some piece of memorabilia like a photo or heirloom, or you may just have your intention.
  • Connect with a lineage that you wish to explore, follow the lines of lights - relationship cords- that connect you to all of your ancestors, feel your connection to all who have come before.
  • Ask for an ancestor who has a message for you in your highest good to come forward.
  • Ask them questions and journal their response without judgement, without thinking. 
  • Thank them
  • Ask them what you can do for them
  • Perform a healing (see below) if needed.
  • Repeat as necessary

Remember that your ancestors are willing to share their knowledge and guidance with you, however the relationship must be reciprocal.  If you do not give to them, they may influence your life in ways that you do not want.  How do you honor and give to your ancestors?

  • Offer them healing
  • Create an altar
  • Remember
  • Give thanks
  • Follow your guidance and intuition. This is not an exhaustive list, but merely an idea of where to start.

If this is an introduction to honoring the ancestors and communicating with them, the information above is a good starting place.  If your lineage has lost the practice of communicating with those that have gone before I encourage you to create and start your own traditions.  This country was formed on the backs of slavery, oppression and genocide.  Through colonization the respect of the land and connection to those that have come before was lost.  Now is the time to do the healing work to reconcile the trauma to the Indigenous Peoples and our own ancestors, and to live in a more harmonious balance with our world, including our families, our communities, and our relationship to ourselves.  The ancestors have much to offer, if we’re willing to listen and offer gratitude for their wisdom.

Combing Acupuncture with Energy Healing to Understand the Use of the Acupuncture Point Spirit Hall

In Chinese tradition, the ancestors were honored and respected as leaders and important persons who could influence the lives of their descendants.  In Chinese Medicine you can find the importance of the ancestors in the names and or traditional functions of acupuncture points.  The acupuncture point Shentang or Spirit Hall is located on the upper back of the body, approximately 3” from the spine, on the Bladder Channel (BL 39 or BL 44 depending on the reference) level with the lower prominence of the fifth thoracic vertebrae.  Spirit Hall is a place where the connection to the ancestors can be accessed.  It allows the Shen or spirit of the individual to function in the world secure within self, one’s connection to their place in the world, and connection to ancestors and the wisdom that they can offer.  When anxiety or depression causes an individual to loose connection to their own unique purpose, light, and connection to spirit, this acupuncture point can be used to restore harmony.  According to Dennis Willmont in The Twelve Spirit Points of Acupuncture, Spirit Hall is used when “Shen/Spirit is not grounded within the Heart… or loses its connection with its own source and follows the disempowering path of others instead.” Using this acupuncture point helps secure the Spirit with the heart and enables one to truly find their place in the world by connecting self and spirit with the ancestors who have come before.

The idea that the ancestors can be accessed through an acupuncture point next to the heart on the upper back helps us understand the functioning of the back of the heart chakra.  It is in the back of the body that the Will centers of the chakras operate.  The rear aspect of the heart chakra helps to balance personal will with the emotions of the heart, to find the balance of personal will with divine will, and root one’s spirit with the balance between the water of the Kidney energy (root chakra) and the fire of the Heart.  Relationship cords form from the rear of the chakras to those who are deceased, and to our an

cestors.  It is possible to follow these cords through entire lineages to clear old traumas, patterns, and provide healing to ourselves, those that have come before, and those who are yet to come. 

Combining the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine with Chakras and the energy field gives us more wisdom for healing, and is a fascinating exploration into each of the vortices of energy available to us for healing within our beings. 

For more information on healing with acupuncture, energy medicine, herbs and the Three Year Healing Journey program please visit https://blueheronacupuncturevt.com/

* To find the graves of your ancestors check out this website: https://www.findagrave.com

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