An intuition that you may need to work more directly with ancestors is probably correct. Here are some time tested methods.
Improving Skills for Leaders & Facilitators
If you've been vague about the way your work relates to "Spirit," clarification can have some precise improvements in your ability to empower your clients and students.
For Potential Hosts:
Is there a courting and sparking of the interest in ancestral work in your neck of the woods? I'd love to hear from you!
This is traditionally a job called "Eldership" but one which in these days falls to anyone of any age who cannot turn away from the truth, is willing to weep, and wrestles with the question— "What is to be done?"
World over, the human heritage has dealt with crisis by forging an alchemical partnership between the heat of youth and the insulation of Elders—including ancestors. Renew this timeless necessity.
Do you hear the Old Voices calling?
That sets you apart.
You are being called to lead, to mentor, to be the ear for trouble and a voice for guidance.
Programs for the Healing Power of Ancestors from the Element of Fire
Ancestors, Roots, Identity
[Non-Residential Saturday 09h30 — 21h30 local time]
Including the ancestors and elements in community
How ancestors show up in daily life as instigators of trouble
Some indigenous technology for teamwork with ancestors
Why it is not the full story to personalize ancestors
Rituals of reparation with the Other World
Talisimanic and Divinatory Technology of the Sacred
[Initiation Intensive — Thursday 19h00 — Sunday 15h00 local time]
From an indigenous perspective on work with spirit, heavily influenced by teachings of the Dagara work, these two areas provide essential and life saving medicines—protection technology, and navigation training. Admission by interview and limited to 16.
Fire on the Mountain
[Residential Weekend — Friday 19h00 — Sunday 15h00 local time]
A weekend of conversation with the architectural plans of the ancestors, those both near and far, and the opportunity to engage wildly in the honourable tradition to call them back to account, and back to the joint projects of which we, the living, are the builders of.
The Conn Eda Chronicles
Sometimes you know or suspect that curses have been handed down generationally and need an advocate who is able to provide a ritual perspective on steps to take so that the living can live and the dead be put to rest.
Free download from
Medicine Without an Expiry Date: Indigenous Remedy for Modern Trouble
Gifts of the World
We're setting up a secure online tribe so friends and colleagues can collaborate.
For now, join the secure email list, (managed by Mailchimp) and we will stay in touch with a weekly blog and announcements.
And thanks for the work you do in the world. It is needed and vital.
"After centuries of silence and in hiding, the powers and wisdom of the ancestors are rising up to lead the world into the next level of consciousness and spirituality. Africa is not just the birthplace of mankind, it is also the repository of profound unseen powers and technologies on standby to contribute to a radical healing change much needed in the world today."
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Engaging the Ancestors as Wild Allies — Fire Element
Dr. Daniel Foor
Author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing
The modern outlook has meant that the early human imagination of the world has lost cultural imagination of forces outside of the human. We're left in a seemingly mechanical world that works only on atoms, chemistry and physics. Despite that general backdrop, there is an interest in researching ancestors, as if somehow the connection with them will impart some kind of authorization and inclusion. This kind of general feeling is shared by most indigenous peoples.
In terms of evolution, these non-human participants in life and unseen forces are indeed "ancestors" in the sense that they are previous to us. In fact, a mythic view would include ancestors going all the way back to the elements themselves. In the West African Dagara tribe understanding, Fire is the oldest ancestor and first on the scene. The old indigenous imagination goes so far as to understand nature as having a seat at the table of community.
“Climate change is profoundly related to the troubled dead and the growing number of troubled ghosts now on Earth.” When Oya, a Yoruba goddess of storms, transformation, and the ancestors, communicated this to me during ritual, I was taken aback. I’ve related consciously with my own ancestors and guided others in ancestral healing work for over a decade, but I had never imagined a direct link between climate change and work with the dead.
From Daniel's blog: "Ghosts of Climate Change: Ancestors and the Global Ecosystem"
Following this line of mythic thinking or what can be called an indigenous world view, the elements are even bigger and older than giants or gods, they are Titans. The current pandemic crisis points to the dual Kali like nature of their powers. Water, so needed in a time of burning, is itself now also dangerous in the form of transmission of Covid 19. While we are all connected through water, which has an insistence on knitting the fabric of life together with ecological systems, we are now forced to undergo an initiatory state of isolation.
How can teaching and tradition regarding the fire clan assist in such a circumstance? It is interesting to note that the Dagara conceive of Fire clan people as dreamers, initiators, high vision people, who can "spark an idea," or "see the big picture." They are renowned as those who can bring actual night time dreams to the awareness of community which are then transcribed as instructions for what my colleague Phil L'hirondelle called the "next best step."
"The Healing Wisdom of Africa" by Dagara Elder Maidoma Somé:
This book is widely available, click on image for author's website:
This idea of the "next best step" can be called a stepping down from the modern greed to have it all at once. Fire moves one thing to the next, and in a natural setting, comes to a swing or a rest periodically. Our current problems with fire are in large part related to an improper stoking that can cause a ravaging damage. In the same way, fear can be stoked until it is the raging inferno of xenophobia. Or conversely the frantic denial of the need to take action.
All of this has not even touched yet upon the very deep feelings that people can have about their own direct ancestry, or the social conditions caused by 500 and more years of colonization. Is there any truth to the provocative statement made by my teacher Malidoma Somé, who says, "It can be seen eventually that the worse an ancestor behaved when they were here, the better they can be in potential working as an ancestor?"
That subject brings to the fore the need to work powerfully with the phenomenon known as "hungry ghosts." In essence, hungry ghosts can be seen as those energies or patterns of trauma response that are passed down generationally—as if the dead were still participating in life after they are supposed to be gone back to the world of ancestors! But it is this very fact of the anguished behaviour that indicates a kind of "subject-expertise" possessed by the ghost which is causing injury to the living.
So the opportunity does exist for the working with all kinds of ancestral energies, good and bad to be leveraging their street smarts on subjects—the alcoholic, for example, turns out to be a person interested in "spirits." The overweight person turns out to be someone who has a great appetite for life. All various marginalized qualities have a redemption, and offer navigational guidance which can be decoded through work with myth, ritual, healing.