Q: Is this like a reading, where you see, talk to, and bring healing to my ancestors?
A: Not, it’s not. In this work, YOU, the client, are empowered to observe and invite healing to your own ancestral lineages in a way that is structured, safe, and well guided. Similar to the state you might enter when experiencing a shamanic journey or guided hypnosis session, you are guided to enter into a receptive, light trance, and from that space, can drop in and access deeper knowledge than you might otherwise receive in everyday waking consciousness.
Q: What is a session like?
A: The initial session is an assessment of the four primary ancestral lines. This session is often longer (I suggest 90 minutes), and guides you through a process of observing the state of wellness in the four primary lines. This is a necessary first step, as it helps us to know what is most needed, and how to proceed. After the assessment is complete, we are guided to work with each lineage independently for the sake of bringing healing to the lineage. We begin by making contact with an ancestral guide on the lineage, and from there, the guide leads the process. It is never up to YOU, the client, or ME, the facilitator, to heal the lineages ~ it is the work of the well ancestral guides to facilitate that healing. In relationship with the guides, it is possible to come to understand ancestral stories and wounds that have been passed down for generations, and to bring healing and resolution in whatever ways are needed. It is also possible to come to understand ancestral gifts and blessings, and to fully claim these things as your birthright. While there is an overarching structure to the process of lineage repair, each session is unique, and meets the needs of the client as they arise. In addition, it’s important to note that maintaining a safe space with strong boundaries is an essential part of the work. Together with the ancestral guides, we set things up in such a way that the healing space that is created for this work extends to assure you that you are not required to carry the burdens of the lineage as the work progresses. Also, know that the work unfolds at its own pace, and there is no fixed number of sessions that will guarantee wellness in any ancestral lineage.
Q: Can healing work have any real potency by Zoom/Skype/phone?
A: Absolutely! In fact, I find that it makes truly NO difference whether we are face-to-face or online.
Q: So, I’m the one making contact with my ancestors. How do I do that?
A: Yes, you do! In our sessions, I guide you into a light trance state, which shifts your awareness from the left brain (think logic, practical awareness) to the right brain (intuition, creativity). From this state, it is possible to drop into your own sense of inner knowing, and to observe your ancestral lines. From this space, we also make contact with ancient well ancestors that guide the healing of your lineages.
Q: So, in this approach, it sounds like I am doing all the work. Is that right? Shouldn’t YOU do the work for me, since I am coming to you as a facilitator?
A: One of the wonderful aspects of this approach to Ancestral Lineage Healing is that it empowers the client to be directly engaged in the process of bringing healing to their own ancestors. There are many healing modalities that give power away: to the healer, the shaman, the facilitator, whoever. This ultimately disempowers the client, and means that an outside support person will always be needed for answers, healing, and insights. More and more, it is becoming clear that the power must return to the people, and this approach is anchored in that wisdom. As a facilitator, I create a strong and safe container, and guide clients through a deep process. That process helps clients to build their own intuition and trust in themselves, as well as entering into direct relationship with benevolent guides, who are strongly supportive not only for this healing work, but in all aspects of life. So, YES! The client has to dive in deep and do the work, that’s right! And on the other side of that are many gifts that are cultivated in the process.
Q: I am not intuitive, is this work for me?
A: Many people have the belief that they are not intuitive, and yet, I have seen many people come alive with this work! Many people who have this idea have simply never given their own inner wisdom the space to be heard and taken seriously, and have never been supported in giving it a chance. Ancestral lineage healing work may tap into ancestral gifts and wisdom ~ gifts that are truly inherent in one’s DNA ~ and in collaboration with ancestral guides, this work can amplify trust in oneself, one’s gifts, and one’s intuition. In this way, Ancestral Lineage Healing work can be really empowering.
Q: Wait, so will I be talking to dead people? Is this mediumship?
A: This work does bring the client into direct relationship with well, benevolent ancestral guides, and the client is guided to engage with those guides. So, yes, you will be talking to dead people! This work, however, is NOT mediumship, and does not embrace any of the practices of mediumship. Clients are never asked to embody ancestors, to surrender any body/mind sovereignty, or to allow any process to take place through them for the sake of healing their ancestors. Clients are guided to be in relationship only with well ancestors, and the guides and well ancestors lead the healing process. There is no reason to be scared, as this work is set up to be safe and protected in every possible way.
Q: Is this a kind of therapy?
A: While Ancestral Lineage Healing can bring immense personal and interpersonal healing, it is not intended to take the place of therapy, and it is not a licensed healing modality. As with all holistic and energy based healing modalities, it is important to understand the scope of the work. If you are in crisis, please contact an appropriate medical doctor or behavioral health specialist. Also, please understand that this work is not appropriate for everyone. I carefully consider my relationship with each client, and if the need arises, I am happy to refer clients to healthcare practitioners and therapists who can offer better support.
Q: How many sessions do I need to have to heal my ancestors?
A: There is no prescribed number of sessions that can guarantee all will be well and bright, as every different lineage has different challenges, and it’s important to allow things to unfold naturally at their own pace. I recommend beginning with three sessions to start ~ a 90 minute assessment, followed by two 60 minute ancestral lineage repair sessions. This allows you to get a full sense of the flow of this work, from assessing the wellness of the four primary lineages, to connecting with an ancestral guide and initiating the healing of one of the lineages. In addition, I offer an ongoing special package for new clients:
Q: I have issues in my family, and want help with that NOW. Will a session help?
A: This work is not intended to be a quick fix for what is happening in the present moment. While Ancestral Lineage Healing may help to shift difficult dynamics over time, ultimately, the living are self-sovereign. The intention of this work is not to change or manipulate any living person, but to access the roots of wounding and pain, and bring healing and transformation to that, with the support of the guide. As a lineage becomes fully well, that healing energy is brought through the line into the client, and blessings of ancestral wellness are amplified in all directions. This may affect living family members in positive ways, but that is by no means the intention of the work. In addition, this work may be of tremendous support to you, the client, in coming to understand the difficult dynamics at play, and finding peace in the midst of that. Please understand that this work takes place in a spectrum of healing that takes time and tending, and with openness to the process and strong support, profound shifts may happen.
Q: I don’t know anything about certain parts of my family. Does that mean I can’t do this work?
A: While having some background knowledge about your family can be helpful, it is not ultimately necessary in order to do this work. If there are family members you can approach to learn more, I highly encourage that, as it can bring wonderful insights to the process. It can also be fascinating to do this work in tandem with genealogical research using a site such as www.ancestry.com ~ learning about your own blood ancestors, including historical contexts, home cities/states/countries, and other information can be really useful and beneficial in coming to know who your people are. The essence of this work, however, is driven by the knowledge and understanding revealed through the session work we share.
Q: I am adopted, and know nothing of my blood family. Can I still do this work?
A: You certainly can! Though many people have knowledge about their blood families and ancestors, or choose to do research to learn more, this work is ultimately an intuitively guided process that brings clients into direct relationship with ancestral guides of blood origin, and that itself can help to bring greater insight and understanding into the unresolved questions that many adopted people struggle to answer.
Q: How do I know the difference between my own personal issues, family issues, and ancestral issues?
A: This can be difficult to discern in some cases. Personal issues are often the result of responding to lived experience during this lifetime. Family issues tend to be rooted in certain dynamics at play within living family, and can often connect to parent-child relationships in early life. Ancestral issues tend to show up as a continuing story line through multiple generations. This sometimes arises as persistent personal/familial issues that don’t fully make sense, as they have no clear origin in this lifetime. They may also arise as a pattern of relating and responding to life that repeats itself in similar ways through many generations ~ though this may be hard to observe with limited contact with family, and little knowledge of the family’s past. As the lineage repair sessions unfold, it is possible to tease apart these issues, and come to understand the interconnectedness of personal, familial, and ancestral challenges in a fuller way.
Q: I have a terrible relationship with certain family members, and have no contact with them. Will this work require me to re-engage in that relationship?
A: Definitely NOT. It is important to know when certain relationships are damaging, and to honor personal boundaries in regard to that. This work creates a safe and loving container that may allow for deeper understanding into a difficult family relationship, and with the support of the lineage guide or guides, it is possible to bring healing to yourself in the context of that relationship.
Q: Will this work heal my relationships with living family members?
A: The living are self-sovereign, and ultimately make their own choices based on their own understanding in each moment. This work does not fundamentally seek to change or alter living family members. However, by healing ancient patterns, pain, and wounding through this process, it is possible to bring immense healing to the client, and to send the blessings of that healing to those who are living, should they be open to receive it.
Q: Will this work stir up personal issues that arise from family and ancestral dynamics?
A: It is certainly possible that this may happen, given that living family and ancestors are all interconnected in the web of life. When engaging in this process, it is wise to allow a little space in your life in order to process these things. It is also possible to bring this process into sessions, when appropriate. It can also be helpful to have a good therapist to consult if things are stirred to the point of overwhelm.
Q: I’m afraid of what I might encounter or discover in this work. Can you offer some reassurance?
A: Especially if you have experienced ongoing problems within your family, it can be scary to consider the process of diving into this work for the sake of healing longstanding issues. There are a few things to keep in mind as you consider this work.
- In sessions, we create a strong, safe container that aims to protect you from any harmful and chaotic energies that may be revealed.
- It is not the client’s responsibility to heal the ancestors, or to take on any of the heavy energies that have been carried in the ancestral lines. The client’s role is to make contact with a benevolent well guide on each lineage, and invite the guide to initiate containment and healing.
- Amplifying and reaffirming personal boundaries are key elements in this process, and clients sometimes find that this work enables them to have stronger, more effective boundaries than before.
- It is not necessary to see or experience things that are traumatic from your ancestral lines. Guides act as intermediaries in offering this protection, and ultimately reveal only what is necessary to bring understanding and healing to clients. It is possible to uncover things that are triggering or upsetting, though, and this process allows for the client to work with those things in a way that is most beneficial.
- Ultimately, much of what is revealed within this work is already active in the undercurrents (if not overtly) in the ancestral lines, and through engaging in this work in a safe and supported way, it is possible to gain new understanding of personal and ancestral shadow elements, and to shift those things. That can be intense at times, yes, but worth it!
Q: There are some really big problems in my family and ancestry that I already know about, and I’m afraid that if I begin this process, it will become overwhelming to deal with. What are your thoughts on this?
A: First, I want to encourage you to step into the process if you are called to be the initiator of healing for your family! The most important thing I can say is that it is not YOURS to carry the heaviness of the family and ancestral problems as the one who is calling for the healing to occur. This work relies upon well and strong ancestral guides to do the heavy lifting in terms of carrying the healing process, and solid boundaries are established in the work for this very reason. Receiving insights into the underlying dynamics at play in these kinds of really big family problems can be enlightening and bring new understanding in the process, and that is often welcome. In the event that the process does become overwhelming, it is possible to slow the process down, ask the guide to dial back the intensity, or take a break from the work for as long as needed. Engaging in personal rituals can also be a beneficial way of working with this kind of situation, as well.
Q: What role does Ancestral Lineage Healing play in the overall work of cultural healing?
A: This is a wonderful question to ponder! In this work it is understood that an individual is influenced not only by lived experience and family relationships, but also by the unfolding experiences of ancestors over time, and that the intergenerational impact of all things ancestral can be just as influential in an individual’s life as their own lived experience. Cultures are merely collective groups of individuals where there are similar lifeways, stories, traditions, and conditions. And so, the influence moves both ways ~ our personal lives influence the culture, and the culture influences our personal lives, and this goes on and on, back through time, and forward through time. Ultimately, individual experience and cultural experience are inseparable. Through the work of healing each ancestral line, it is possible that cultural themes may arise, and it can be immensely beneficial to pause to explore those themes more deeply. From the impacts of immigration and colonialism, to genocide and war, to oppression based on race/religion/ethnicity/gender/economic status, to trends of abuse and hardship, our ancestors lived within cultural dynamics that influenced their lives, and inevitably, the lives of their children and descendants through this very moment. As we engage in Ancestral Lineage Healing, it is possible to work with our guides and ancestors to amplify the healing work to include the impact of harmful cultural movements, and to come to understand those movements more deeply in the process. Perhaps the best way to move forward is with a greater understanding of the past, and the desire to be more conscious as we live our lives. Ultimately, we become the living expression of the healing we invoke.
Q: Is this like Family Constellations?
A: Family Constellations is a dynamic group approach to understanding unknown family patterns through having various group members represent the client’s family members, with a goal of bringing new understanding and reconfiguration to the family system. Part ritual and part group therapy, this approach to Ancestral Lineage Healing is quite different from Family Constellations. This work is one-on-one session based, and seeks to bring healing through direct contact with well and benevolent ancestral guides. Within this modality, even when working in groups, the work is largely an internal, intuitive process, and is best supported through guided facilitation.
Q: I have no experience in shamanic work. Do I have to learn about that before I can do this work?
A: That’s not a problem! There are some concepts that might be new to you, if you have not ever read about or experienced work that falls under the “shamanic” or “animist” systems of practice. The two most essential things to ponder before engaging in this work are 1) guides, and 2) dynamic energy. Guides are benevolent spirit beings that we can connect with to support us in gaining deeper awareness and healing. Guides can be ancestors (as they are in this work), animal spirits, elemental beings, archetypal beings, or pure spirit beings, to name a few. Dynamic energy refers to the living forces of energy that animate this world (and other worlds). As we embrace energy healing, including Ancestral Lineage Healing, we are engaging with energetic forces that transcend our experience of time, space, and identity, and it is possible to work with dynamic energy in order to facilitate healing on many levels.
Q: Am I making all this stuff up? As I drop in with the assessment and/or the lineage healing sessions with guides, am I inventing all of this information? How do I know if it is real?
A: This is the most common question I hear! Self-doubt is one of the most insidious ways that we block ourselves and our intuition. And the answer I most often give is this: “Put that question aside for now. Just shelf it for later. Allow what you receive to come through!” I like to think that if clients were making all of that stuff up, they’d be taking the time to think it out, and craft their responses intentionally. Our modern, western culture doesn’t allow much space for us to cultivate intuition, and yet we still have a deep connection to our inner knowing that will reveal knowledge to us if we listen. So, my advice is to let go of this question altogether! Instead, practice listening to the inner wisdom gifts as they appear in daily life ~ as we cultivate the capacity to listen to our own intuition, we receive more and more.
Q: I already have dreams and visions of a deceased relative, and I’m sure that they are well and good. Why should I do this work?
A: It is possible that some ancestors are really well and good, and if that’s your experience, that’s awesome! However, given that most of western culture has abandoned practices that tend to the ancestors, it is likely that there is some degree of unwellness on most ancestral lines. This approach to Ancestral Healing is focused on bringing entire lineages into wellness, and not so much on the wellness of isolated recent ancestors, though that information can be beneficial in the trajectory of lineage repair, for sure. In the big picture, wellness or unwellness are both passed down from one generation to the next, and both gifts and problems are inherited in this way. This process allows clients to asses the four primary ancestral lineages, and to bring healing wherever it is needed, and that can’t possibly hurt!
Q: I am so sensitive to energies, and am super empathic. I take on things that aren’t mine every single day, and it’s overwhelming. I’m concerned that this work will be too intense for me because I will take on the pain of my ancestors. What do you think?
A: There are a lot of super intuitive, sensitive people who find it challenging to navigate the world day-to-day. In western culture, we are lacking in teachers and practices that help people with intuitive gifts to gain a solid grounding in working with them. It’s only natural to imagine that opening oneself up to powerful intuitive healing work might be overwhelming. While everyone is different, one thing that I have noticed is that as clients connect with well guides and explore the gifts and blessings from their ancestral lineages, some are able to find a deeper connection to those gifts, and explore ways to work with them more effectively. For some people, this includes working with ancestral guides in learning to create stronger boundaries, learning to dial back the intensity of gifts in order to establish “off” hours, and coming to embrace these intuitive gifts more fully. And it’s always important to understand that in this work, it is NEVER the job of the client to take on the pain of the ancestors ~ and the way the space is held, together with the support of ancestral guides, helps to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Q: I have completed a shamanic training program, and have already worked with some ancestral healing in that approach. How does this differ?
A: That’s wonderful! There are so many approaches to healing, and so many paths of wisdom. This work is not inherently shamanic in approach, but is instead anchored in animist practice. In this approach, I guide clients in observing the wellness of their primary ancestral lineages, and then making direct contact with well and benevolent ancestral guides to initiate a process of healing. This process does not focus so much on specific ancestors among the recent dead, but instead focuses on entire lineages, and the intergenerational wounding that has been carried from mother to daughter, and father to son. In addition, this work is intended to be a comprehensive and deep healing process of the four primary ancestral lines (paternal grandparent lines and maternal grandparent lines), and supports the client in engaging with that work every step of the way. As the facilitator, I am not the one “doing” the healing, but am simply holding space and guiding the process. The healing work is witnessed and supported by the client, and the healing container and process are held by the ancestral guide on each lineage. I find that this approach is much more in depth than the ancestral healing work that I have observed within the context of most shamanic healing programs. I also find that this approach puts the process directly into the hands of the client to witness, instead of in the hands of a shaman or healer who is “doing” the healing on behalf of the client ~ and this is super empowering for the client!
Q: Why does Ancestral Lineage Healing work matter? I have spent years working on healing myself, and that seems like it should be sufficient.
A: If you are in good relationship with your family, and feel good about your own well being and life, then that’s awesome! If your work in healing yourself has brought you to a place where you feel settled and well in your path, then you may not find this work to be a fit for you at this time. But if you’ve explored a number of healing modalities, and have gone deep into your own personal wounding and challenges, and found that some things persist, it’s possible that those issues may be bigger than you. Ancestral Lineage Healing seeks to uncover and heal the bigger picture of intergenerational wounds, traumas, pain, and patterns that can pull us under, and of which we may have limited ~ or no ~ understanding. In a supported one-on-one process, clients are able to assess the state of wellness for their ancestral lines, and move into relationship with well ancestral guides to heal and transform those challenges. This clears the energy from the past that is causing issues in the present, and can be profoundly healing for the client, and may also bring positive shifts to family as well.
Q: I’m afraid that this work will conflict with my religious beliefs. Do I have to follow a particular belief system for this to work?
A: Fundamentally, this work is not anchored in any one spiritual tradition, and aims to be broad enough to adapt to most existing belief systems. With that in mind, this work does land within an animist framework, and assumes the following:
- This world is dynamic, alive, and conscious, and consciousness continues beyond death.
- There is a spectrum of wellness among the dead, and it is possible to bring healing to those who are not yet well.
- It is possible for the living and the dead to communicate with each other, and anyone can make contact with their ancestors.
- The dead and the living can influence each other, and through this work we seek to make that influence beneficial and conscious.
Q: This sounds like a bunch of New Age woo-woo nonsense. What is the foundation of this “healing” modality?
A: A couple of things come to mind. First, I’d encourage you to investigate some of the current research in the field of epigenetics, which is discovering that the lived experience of a person can be passed down from generation to generation. There are new discoveries in this field happening all the time, and evidence is suggesting that there are some ways that this can be beneficial, and other ways that it can be harmful ~ and that these genetic expressions can be changed. Second, I invite you to look into your own family dynamics and see what you discover. Are there some patterns of dysfunction that don’t seem to be based on the lived relationships between family members? Or are there persistent personal challenges that you have in your life that don’t seem to shift, no matter how much you work with them? It’s possible that these issues may be ancestral in nature, and not personal or family based. Sit with it for a while, and see what’s true for you. And of course, not every modality is a fit for every person, and that’s just fine!
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