At a time in my life when I was at the end of my rope because of severe chronic pain, I turned to my ancestors for guidance. I invited them into my life by being open and asking for their guidance.  If you need support and guidance, learn how to connect with your ancestors.

I learned to understand the many ways that they deliver their messages. Using simple tools helped to further cultivate my relationships with my ancestors. This was the beginning of developing a strong bond with my ancestors. They helped me find my way to herbalism and the occult which, in turn, opened me up to new ways of healing.

You don’t need any special powers to connect with your ancestors. No need to be psychic, clairvoyant, or know any secret herbal potions either.

Simply having the desire and acting on it is all you need to get started. As you work with your ancestors, you’ll pick up techniques and tools along the way.

Who Are Your Ancestors?

Ancestors are relatives that have died and passed into the spiritual realm. These can be blood relatives, family members, adoptive parents, or anyone who has played a major role in your life. Ancestors may be people you had a special connection with while they were alive.

Ancestors in the spiritual realm are spirits who guide you and help you to better understand yourself and life.

You can connect with any of your ancestors, even if you didn’t know them personally. Even if you were not raised by blood relatives growing up, you still carry their DNA, physical traits, and predispositions of your bloodline. The people who raised you and the blood relatives you never met can be your ancestors.

Connecting with our ancestors gives us the opportunity to receive spiritual guidance, better understand ourselves, and heal ancestral trauma. Spiritual guidance is something we could all use throughout life. Your ancestors walked on this earth before you so they understand the human experience. Though times have changed, our ancestors understand many of the same struggles we experience. This makes their guidance extremely valuable.

How to Access the Spiritual Realms

While it’s possible to connect with ancestors spontaneously, there are plenty of practical tools to get you started. Some ways you can begin accessing the spiritual realms include:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Dreamwork
  • Creating an altar
  • Art
  • Dance
  • Exercise (anything that allows your mind to become quiet)
  • Spending time in nature
  • Eating a plant-based diet
  • Using and consuming herbs (i.e., teas, tinctures, herbal baths)

Here are instructions for a few ways to access spiritual realms.

Meditation

Before you begin connecting with ancestors, practice to getting to know your spiritual self. Before you begin invoking the ancestors, learn what it feels like to connect with your own spiritual energy.  The more spiritual work you do, the more comfortable you become with the feelings and sensations that come with accessing it. One of the best ways to do so is through meditation. Guided higher-self meditations are a great place to start. Find the meditation technique that works for you. You can then use meditation to connect with your ancestors. Let’s take a step back and look at helpful tools for invoking your ancestors.

Create a Dialogue

Journaling is an important part of any spiritual work. It allows you to keep track of your intentions, discoveries, and manifestations. You can also use this journal to record your dreams. Keeping a journal shows your ancestors that you are ready to work with them and you take their guidance seriously. It also serves as a simple gesture to begin nurturing a lasting bond. You’ll be able to refer back to the journal in times when you forget that the ancestors are always there to support you.

Create a Sacred Space

An altar is a sacred space that connects you to the spiritual realms and the realm of the ancestors. To create an altar you simply need a dedicated space in your home where you can keep your altar items. This can be something more permanent like a small table or if you are tight on space a drawer or cabinet work as well. Create an ancestor altar by adding a few items to your designated altar space:

  • An altar cloth – a piece of fabric that the other items will be placed on
  • Candles
  • Flowers
  • A glass of water
  • A photo of an ancestor
  • A memento from an ancestor or something you think an ancestor would like.

Now that you have your journal and ancestor altar space I’ll walk you through a simple activity which shows you how to connect with your ancestors. You’ll want to have your journal close by to take notes after the activity.

Invoking your Ancestors

Sitting quietly or lying down, relax your body, take a few breaths and clear your mind. With your eyes closed, set the intention to connect with only your helpful ancestors. You only want to invoke the ancestors who have your highest good in mind and want to help you fulfill your soul’s purpose.

Take a few deep breaths and notice any physical sensations you may feel. Sometimes you may notice a shift in body temperature or a tingling sensation in a particular part of the body. Behind your closed eyes, you may see colors, images, or shapes in your mind’s eye.

This is a good time to speak your intentions aloud. For example, you could say “On this day, I [insert your name here] wishes to connect with the ancestor that can provide the most guidance to me at this point in my life.” If you know the name of the ancestor you’d like to connect with, you can state their name instead. Then, while in that relaxed state, simply observe any sensations you feel. Take as much time as you need to allow feelings, images, or sensations to come to you.

When you are ready, open your eyes, and write down anything you experienced. If nothing came to you, don’t worry. Repeat this exercise and pay attention to the other ways an ancestor may try to connect with you.

Thank Your Ancestors

I was lucky enough to know my grandmother when she was alive. We had lots of love for each other but due to a language barrier, we couldn’t connect through conversation. After her passing, it took years for me to feel sadness over her death. I guess I never felt like she was gone.

One day, years later, I was standing in my kitchen in my little duplex in Fort Lauderdale. Gazing out the window I watched heavy grey clouds roll in just before a rainstorm.  I could visibly see the change in air pressure outside as the clouds shifted.

With that shift, I felt my grandmother’s presence surround me. I could smell her food cooking in the kitchen. I saw the lace curtains she loved to have hanging and her love filled my heart bringing me to tears.

This is when I began actively working with her. My connection with her encouraged me to learn about and connect to my other ancestors as well.

Once I began working with my grandmother in meditation I began having dreams about my grandfather and great-grandmother, who I never met. Along the way, I journaled the insight they gave me through dreams or things that happened in my waking life. By keeping a journal, you will begin to notice patterns in the way certain ancestors connect with you.

You can thank your ancestors for their guidance and honor them by saying prayers and leaving an offering on your ancestor altar. An offering can be as simple as a few hand-picked wildflowers. Now that you know how to connect with your ancestors, talk to them frequently to continue cultivating the relationship. Your relationship with your ancestors will continue to grow and develop over time.