Good evening y’all. Today we find ourselves about a week into our New Moon cycle. It’s been a few days since I posted the Ancestral Connection & Healing Lineages ritual that came through beneath the recent Scorpio New Moon. Perhaps you’ve been sitting and communing with your Ancestors daily, or at least once or twice (remember persistency over consistency). Or perhaps you haven’t made the time or space to plant the seeds of Ancestral Connection. Wherever you find yourself know you are exactly where you are meant to be, and it is never too late to begin to nurture a relationship with your dead. Today I’ll be sharing my first of 4 prompts to deepen your connection to your Ancestors and lineages as you move through this ritual. (If you missed the initial post describing the basics of this ritual see previous blog post).
Boundaries are the foundation for any healthy relationship, including our relationship to our dead. Without boundaries we become entangled in other people’s business. We enter the realm of enmeshment, where we take on the thoughts and feelings of another as our own. Our life force becomes drained as our energy is spread outside of ourselves instead of within ourselves.
Even though our Ancestors no longer live nor breathe on the material plane, we can still become enmeshed in their affairs. And heck, the majority of us are. The science is now backing what witches have known for eons, that we inherit the trauma, pain and suffering of our Ancestors. Living in our current dysfunctional reality, built upon centuries of genocide, colonization, oppression and slavery, there are no family lines without threads of violence woven in. Even if the moment(s) of harm happened years, decades or centuries ago their effects reverberate throughout time and space. It is import that we recognize these painful parts of our family lines, for rejection and denial do not absolve anything keeping us, and future generations, trapped within cycles of violence. Acknowledgement of our painful history is the first step towards healing, for both ourselves and our dead.
This is where boundaries come in. While we must acknowledge the truth of our family lines, both the stories of the oppressed and the oppressor, we do not need to shoulder all that past pain as our own. Boundaries help us to determine and understand what is ours to carry and what is theirs.
Writer Prentis Hemphill said so poetically “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” So ask yourself what is a safe distance from which you can love yourself and your Ancestors simultaneously. I like to answer this question and determine my boundaries with my Ancestors through asking “Who, what, where, when, why and how.”
Who – which Ancestors do you feel safest welcoming into your space? Those of your maternal line? Paternal line? Both? Is there a particular Ancestor you are aware of, someone who embodies love and wisdom that you’d like to connect with? The healers within your family line? Perhaps at this time you’d only like to invite Ancestors in alignment with the energy of love, compassion, peace or another specific quality into your space.
What – What will you be open to exploring with them? Do you have a particular question for them? Related to you? Related to your Ancestral lines? Are there certain topics or pain points that are currently off limits? Places you do not feel well-resourced enough to explore? If so explicitly state that those places are off limits.
Where – physically what space would you like to connect in? If you are inviting them into your home are there spaces off limits to them. Define which space is yours and yours alone. If you are working with particularly challenging Ancestors, you can set your own physical boundary, through visualization, or using something physical like salt, string or ribbon to create a physical line they do not cross.
When – How long would you like them to stay? Specify this time. Invite them into your space when you wish to connect and ask them to leave and say your goodbyes when you are ready.
Why – What is the intention in cultivating a relationship with your Ancestors? This is perhaps the most potent boundary there is, a boundary that gives guidance to the progression of the relationship. Perhaps you’d like to connect for the purposes of healing? Perhaps its to feel connected to something larger than yourself? Get clear on your intention and ask that only Ancestors in alignment with this intention enter your space.
How – How would you like them to communicate to you? Softly? Supportively? Directly? Specify the things you will not tolerate. Look to your living relatives to help you set these boundaries. If avoidance was the communication norm with your living family, chances are it was normalized generations ago. Let your Ancestors know what you will and will not accept.
Remember there is a difference between a boundary and a wall. Boundaries are not rigid. They are fluid, and permeable and can change with time. As our relationship with ourselves deepens, and as our relationship with our Ancestors deepens our boundaries will inevitably change. Get curious, consider and redefine them often.
And of course, last but not least…always respect the boundaries of another… both the living and the dead. Wishing you all a safe and supported connection ❤