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Healing and honouring your ancestors through shamanic practices

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Connecting with our ancestors can be a powerful way to gain insight, guidance, and healing on our personal and spiritual paths. In many shamanic traditions, ancestral connection is a central practice, and there are many ways to honour and heal our ancestral lineage. In this article, I explore the importance of ancestral connection and provide some shamanic practices to help you connect with and heal your ancestors.

Why connect with our ancestors?

Our ancestors are an essential part of who we are. We carry their DNA and their memories in our bodies and minds, and their influence can be felt in our beliefs, values, and behaviours. By connecting with our ancestors, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.

Ancestral connection can also be a powerful source of healing. Trauma and patterns of dysfunction can be passed down through generations, but by acknowledging and releasing these patterns, we can heal ourselves and our ancestral lineage.

Who are the ancestors?

In many cultures and traditions, there are different types of ancestors that are honoured and remembered. Here are some common types of ancestors:

  • Blood Ancestors: These are our biological ancestors who are connected to us through our bloodline. They include our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on.

  • Cultural Ancestors: These are ancestors who are not biologically related to us, but who belong to our cultural or ethnic heritage. They include historical figures, cultural heroes, and spiritual leaders.

  • Ancestors of the Land: These are the ancestors of the land on which we live. They include the indigenous peoples who once lived on the land, as well as the plants, animals, and natural features of the land.

  • Ancestors of Spirit: These are ancestors who are connected to us through spiritual practices or lineages. They include spiritual teachers, guides, and ancestors who have passed down wisdom and teachings.

  • Ancestors of the Heart: These are ancestors who have had a profound impact on our lives and have left an emotional imprint on our hearts. They may include friends, mentors, or loved ones who have passed away.

Honouring and connecting with these different types of ancestors can be a powerful way to deepen our connection to our roots, our spirituality, and the land on which we live. By remembering and honouring our ancestors, we can access their wisdom, guidance, and support in our lives.

Shamanic practices for ancestral connection


Journeying is a shamanic practice that involves entering into an altered state of consciousness to connect with the spiritual realm. In a journey, one can connect with their ancestors by visualising a path or portal that leads to their ancestral realm. This can be done with the guidance of a shamanic practitioner or through self-practice with drumming or rattling.

Ancestral altar

Setting up an ancestral altar is a tangible way to honour your ancestors and create a space for connection. This can include photos, mementos, or offerings that are meaningful to your ancestry. By regularly tending to the altar, you can cultivate a relationship with your ancestors and create a sense of continuity with your lineage.

Ancestral healing rituals

Intergenerational healing involves healing the wounds of our ancestors and ourselves so that we can create a healthier and more connected future for generations to come. This involves acknowledging and working through patterns of dysfunction, trauma, and limiting beliefs that have been passed down through our ancestral lineage. By breaking these patterns, we can create a more positive legacy for future generations.

There are many ancestral healing rituals that can be performed to connect with your ancestors and heal ancestral wounds. These can include practices such as making offerings to your ancestors, performing a ceremony or ritual to honour them, or engaging in a forgiveness practice to release ancestral trauma.

Daily practice

Finally, cultivating a daily practice can be an important way to deepen your connection with your ancestors and integrate ancestral healing into your daily life. This can include practices such as meditation, journaling, or prayer, where you intentionally connect with your ancestors and ask for guidance and support.

Connecting with and honouring our ancestors can be a transformative experience that can offer guidance, healing, and a deeper sense of belonging. By cultivating a deeper relationship with our ancestors and acknowledging and releasing ancestral trauma, we can access their wisdom and guidance, heal ourselves and our ancestral lineage, creating a more fulfilling and connected life.

If you feel stuck in your ancestral healing journey, get in touch at to arrange a free discovery call to help you move forward and work with your ancestors.

Joss Anderson is a qualified and experienced Shamanic Practitioner, Shamanic Reiki Master Practitioner and ICF-accredited coach, based in Cambridgeshire, UK and online.

© Joss Anderson 2023; © The Wild Edges, 2023

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