Talk to Your Ancestors

Oct 30, 2023

by Roxana Valea

This week, a beautiful tradition to connect with the ancestors unfolds in many countries around the world - The Day of the Dead in Mexico, Central and South America, Samhain in the Celtic world or All Saints for Catholics. In one way or the other, all these celebrations have one thing in common: they honour the ancestors. 

Your ancestors are not really gone. Yes, their bodies are gone, but their DNA lives in you. They don’t walk the Earth any longer but their emotions, tastes, likes and dislikes and even sometimes their traumas and unresolved situations may have been passed on to you. They don’t have to fight wars any longer, but their survival strategies have gone down the generations. They don’t have to plant their fields any longer but the seasonal rhythms of work and rest still govern your life.

And, above all, the love they felt towards their descendants is still here today living within your soul.

If you do a quick math exercise you will find out there’s a whole tribe behind you: 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents and so on. Go back 7 generations and you get 126 people; with 10 generations you reach 2046 and then numbers start getting really crazy.

All these people lived, loved, fought, struggled, celebrated, prayed, learned and passed on knowledge. All of them had feelings, emotions, sometimes unresolved, dreams which were sometimes achieved other times buried deep within their soul. These people and all their stuff may still live through you.

How is this possible?

First because of parenting styles that have been passed down from generation to generation. Unless someone is there to break the link and do things differently, this is how behaviours, beliefs and values are learned and passed down.

Then, because of a concept called neuronal mirroring or mirror neurons. This is a neurological phenomenon within the brain that helps us to observe and imitate the actions of others. In essence, the neurons fire both when an individual performs a specific action and when they observe someone else performing the same action. So, when we see someone smile, we want to smile. Or the more we watch someone effortlessly ski down a black slope the more likely we are to do the same. The way this works generationally is that each generation is passing skills, attitudes and ways of doing things to the following one by the simple act of witnessing.

And then there’s something even deeper called epigenetic changes. That’s when our gene expression changes without any change in the underlying DNA sequence. Simply put, the same gene chooses to express a different quality. So, if your grandparents have gone through a famine, you may have a predisposition to gain more weight than you need. Or, if an ancestor had mental health issues you might be predisposed to repeat these issues.

It's important to say though that we are not only burdened by the traumas and unresolved issues of the previous generations but also benefit from the wisdom, skills and knowledge they gathered. We get it all: the good and the bad. It’s our job to decide what we accept and what not.

How do we do this?

First by acknowledging our ancestors. Talk to them. Thank them for the life you have. You would not have existed without them. If any one of them went missing, you would have simply not existed. Make a ritual for them. Light a candle and remember their names at least for the ones you know. Offer them flowers maybe leave some food out in a tray, symbolically. Or meditate and speak to their souls.

You can thank them for the good stuff and you can also symbolically give them back the stuff you don’t want to carry for them. Yes, you can do this. In the world of spirit, anything is possible.

And guess what? There’s no better time to do all this than now, when the veil between the world is thin: the 3 days between 31 of October and the 2nd of November.

This week take the time to look back and send a smile to them all.


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