We all possess ancestors. The ones closest to us are our corporal parents. Relating to this the ancestors are in all civilisations with traditional shamanic background essential and often the most important allies of a shaman. Within the shamanism that is being practiced in europe it is conspicuous that the ancestors are rarely have any relevant role. The emphasized importance of animalspirits and the minor attention for our ancestors offers the opportunity to draw conclusions on the decracination of most people interested in spirituality and shamanism. In a family without any solidarity or strong family bonds there is no conscious importance of the ancestors. Because of the negative experience within the own kinky family there is little interest for them. So they are just ignored. The situation behind german doors is alarming and horrifying. The vast practical interest in angels, poweranimals and similar beings instead of the ancestors is a more or less harmless consequence of this fact. But the repression of your own ancestry and history is not supposed to be a very practicable way to deal with it. Even more if you take the practical shamanism serious and belief to be appointed to be a shaman.
But within the shamanic work besides fantasies and high-gloss workshops the ancestors find their way into the apprentice consciousness quickly. How are you dealing with your ancestors? A quetions you may answer yourself within a moment of silence. The following is supposed to take a look upon our ancestors out of my shamanic point of view. Without our ancestors we would not be here. If we follow our lines of ancestry back in time it may usual be realized that our family tree is growing quite confusing after two or three generations. More and more sidelines and ancestors alike emerge. As far as it can be reconstructed it becomes clear to us that we are the fruit of hundreds of generations and ancestors. If we extrapolate this chronology it is obvious that we are all related to each other in onw way or another. Today's genetic researchers are trying to discover lifetime and -place of our initial ancestors. As far as I am informed one thing has been accomplished through this: Our initial ancestor is a woman from Africa. All of our genetic fingerprints share a part of her genotype. If we reconsider the history of evolution it is recognized that we are related to all life upon earth. Even to the most primitve protozoan. This knowledge was hold by the shamans and ancient people even without knowing anything of geneaology and Darwin.
They developed a consiousness full of respect towards their relatives and have been able to keep it till today. Excluded from the romantic thougths of the "honourable wild-ones" within our heads the opportunity to accomplish this consiousness for the western cultures has only been opened up because of the increasing acceptance of shamanism. So we have got different kinds of ancestors. At first we have our familiar forefathers. If we go back further there are fauna and flora to be found as relatives. Within the shamanic trance can be spoken to animals and plants alike. In traditional shamanism it is said, that in old times all people were able to speak to animals. But in the following ages these abiliety was lost till only the shaman was able to do so. This is our time, welcome. Alongside our biological ancestors we can have ancestors in the twilight that never have incarnated within our daily reality. These can be mythical creatures, animals, fairies, mythic progenitors or other spirits. For example our tales are full of fairies who went in ralation to humans. It may be that our affections are set depending on which ancestry preponderates. If our ancestors in the twilight preponderate we are more interested in the twilight and if not we are more focused upon the material reality.
I am assured of the phenomenon of incarnation. Though I constrict it on the one hand, on the other I extend it above the unreflected usage in the esoteric scene. My constriction relates to the thought that every being has to incarnate within a continous flow of time - like it has happened in the indian prospect combined with the original sin karma. In india karma is not supposed to be reduced to theconcept of pure original sin, even if it the brahmans did so to fortify their power within the indian society. The focus upon the original sin is typical for the european assimilation of the indian concept of karma. I rather take it for sure that most beings or humans are incarnating just once and be returned into the great energetic circulation of existence afterwards. I am extending the perception of incarnation by two thougths: At first that there can not be any linear chronology of incarnation because there ist no concept of time like we use it for our empiric way of cerebration/thinking within the twilight. At second there is the possibility for many different spirits to incarnate within one human body - and not even just the souls of humans, but gods, mythic creatures, animals and so on alike. So you will not live to see me use the term of re-incarnation because this would assume a linear flow of time within the twilight.
So in my opinion there are two lines of ancestors: The biological and the spiritual. The biological ancestry refers to the genetic succession and is marked by the pedigree. While the biological ancestry is always define the spirtual can split into two kinds. On the one hand there are many humans where the biological ancestry is equal to the spiritual. This is often the case in very remote regions. But it can also happen that the spiritual ancestry is completely different from the biological and just intersects within one person. The spiritual ancestry knows no restrictions and can be quite idiosyncratic.
In the myths of many cultures there can be found a progenitor upon which all clansman can be ascripted. This progenitor necessarily need not have been an incarnated person. It too could have been a creature of the twilight, living there within its tent (tipi, yurte, iglu, skyscraper). Especially in the haitianic voodoo it can be observed that ancestors have first lived an returned after their death as an lwa within an service and wanted to be worshipped. If the worshipping is failed there can be fatal consequences - in voodoo. In our culture this generally reveals only if there are problems passed down the own ancestry.
In some families there can even be spoken of some kind of curse. This may not be seen as such but it members seem to be downright jinxed. For example unusually many suicides or always the same illness, such as diabetes or heart-attack, may be signs for this. With shamanic techniques or within the material reality these spiritual hassle can often be retraced quite far back to its rootage within the most perverted sides of our soul. Violation, murder and manslaughter, war, plagues, oppression and misery, especially paedophilia and other serious events, can cause the offspring of victim or offender to suffer illness an misery until the inherited burden has been solved. But the inherited burden can express itself less spectacular and hidden, too. The initial event of these calamity can often be only revealed within the shamanic journey. The offspring are forced to deal with their problems until they experience a solution. This work can take many generations.
Within the shamanic journey the shaman is able to discover and solve the inherited burden in several steps. Other family members do not necessarily have to know of this. One family member together with its allies and a shamanic group, dealing with the problem and working it up, often is enough. Though it may be necessary to do several meetings for the active family member to be healed slowly and within its own pace. Whether the client's problem is rooted to its ancestry or not can be especially asked within the shamanic journey. Healing the ancestor can be part of this work. But healing the source of the illness may not necessarily solve its consequences automatical. As far as I am informed the combination with the family constellation after Hellinger can be useful, as long as it is done professional.
If you want to take contact to your ancestors, proof your intentions first. Responding to ancestors must be done with respect and not beeing able to let the deceased loved-ones pass away will not help you nor you ancestor. It would just deal even more damage. Further it is necessary to let your ancestor go if you want to work with him productive. The emotional correlation can be strong. Strong enough to stop them on proceeding into the twilight. They are stuck in-between and can be seen in the astral and shamanic journey. Many poltergeists and other apparition can be traced back to such correlation. Out of the shamanic view it is necessary to cut the connection and the dead has to be escorted into the twilight where it belongs to. For the material reality grabbing hold of the belongings of the dead-one excessively can be a sign of too much adherence.
Our ancestors are able to tell us many things. From informations about old places to widsdom and knowledge of times long gone. In the ancient necromancy the dead are asked for advice. In the shamanic journey we are able to ask the dead (our ancestors) for all kinds of affairs. A journey to the place within the twillight where our ancestors are living may give us lots of informations about our own origins. But traveling into this regions of the twilight should only be done by experienced groups who have got the necessary routine. The traveller could get the wish to stay there forever. There has to be done preperations for this possibility - except this person is due to age or illness already as good as dead. Our ancestors are happy to have visitors, for they usual get not that much attention anymore. If contact to your ancestors has been established in the shamanic journey you could ask them to contact you within your dreams. They often already do this anyway. Working with the dead and the twilight demonstrates you the immortality of the soul quite handy. The shape of your ancestors does not have to be equal to their age. Just ask them about their age and time of live.
Associated to the ancestry is the subject of family-spirits. If you visit the family-totem it can give information about fateful events. This likewise called clan-totem can especially be worshipped and asked for assistance. Therefore a special guardian can be called for the family or be searched within a journey. In addition to our ancestors the clanspirits can be asked about the accomplishment of funeral rites. Maybe it is apposite to prepare a little alcove or altar for the family ancestors and bring them sacrfiice to special times (Allhallows, "Totensonntag").