NOTE: The following working is NOT Vodou related, except that it serves your ancestors (which is the crux of Vodou). This was a ritual that came from meditation I did with my helper spirits, so it counts as unverified personal gnosis.
Everyone has ancestors, so it stands to reason that we all have ancestral wounds. These wounds and pain can pass down through the ancestral line and cause problems for the descendants. This is not to say that you personally are responsible for the hurt and pain your great great grandpa did, but his actions and karma may reflect themselves in your life now.
These ancestral wounds can be personal family stuff: alcoholism, abuse, toxic parenting. The wounds can also be larger; if your ancestors owned slaves, for example (and if you’re a white North American who’s been here longer than a few generations, chances are that somewhere in your family line is a slave owner), that pain can be big and pass on down to you.
What are signs of ancestral wounds? One of the big ones is repeating family patterns of pain. I see this a lot with families with histories of mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse. It’s been shown that addiction can run in families. Untreated addiction and mental illness, and the suffering it causes to the person and to their family, can cause energetic patterns that take a lot of unraveling once they’re finally discovered.
The Norse people who serve their traditional gods speak of the concept of “hamingja” or family luck. Defined as “the personification of the good fortune or luck of an individual or family” by Wikipedia. The African proverb “We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors” can apply here; our ancestors’ good deeds and good luck will affect their descendants. Their bad deeds and bad lucks will also affect the descendants of that family line.
During meditation with my helper spirits (whom I’ve been working with since long before I came to Vodou), they gave me the following working designed to give energy to healing a person’s ancestral wounds. Keep in mind: healing ancestor issues is not a quick fix. This ritual involves caring for a plant, and since that is a living thing, it is an ongoing act of love to keep it alive and thus keep the energy of the working alive.
-a sturdy houseplant; the plant that the spirits showed me in the vision was a fern, but if that’s not practical for you, any sturdy houseplant will do
-dirt from a crossroads
-Five lengths of ribbon about 18 inches long in the following colors: red, blue, green, white, and gold (NOTE: If you are of African ancestry, you may wish to substitute black ribbon for white; let your intuition be your guide)
Here’s what to do:
- Take the lengths of ribbon and tie them together, so you have one knot and the rest of the ribbons are dangling free. Start braiding the strands together, like you were braiding hair. As you do so, talk to your ancestors. Tell them you are putting into motion the healing of all the ancestral wounds of your family known and unknown. Do this braiding for about 4 inches and then tie a knot. Say, “This knot is for my father’s family.” Keep braiding for another 4 or so inches and tie a knot, saying “This knot is for my mother’s family”. Braid until you get nearly to the end, and say, “This knot is for all the gods, goddesses, and spirits that my family has ever worshiped.” So now you will have this length of braided ribbons with 4 knots in it. Set this aside.
- Take your houseplant out of the pot gently; you may wish to have some newspaper out to lie the plant on. At the bottom of the pot, sprinkle the crossroads dirt and say, “May all the roads be open to my family’s spiritual healing.” Take your braided ribbon, coil it up, and put it on top of the crossroads dirt. Place the plant back into the pot.
- Bury the three pennies in the top of dirt, around where the plant sticks out of the soil. Water the plant, and talk to it; ask it that as it grows and thrives, it will bring healing to your ancestral lines. Promise to take care of it.
- Keep the plant on or by your ancestral altar. Water it and feed it regularly. Make sure you follow the directions for watering and sunlight, depending on the type of plant.
And there you have it! Have you done this working? Let me know how it’s working for you.