Steven Ash
from: Steven Ash
Category: Drumming

Journeying to Your Ancestors

At the College of Sound Healing conference we began to explore our connection to our personal ancestors through a Sacred Drum journey. This is truly important work because we all hold in our behaviour strong and conditioned reactions that are very connected to our genetic heritage and we can look with a steady rattle or drum beat into very distinct body areas that correspond to our forebears, especially our four grandparents.


The ancestors are willing and invite us to heal physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual imbalances. In native American teachings it is said that “What we do in this present moment has consequences seven generations into the past and also affects the seven generations of our children into the future” so this exploration is worthwhile and important, not just for our own healing but also for clearing the past and preparing a better way for the future generations. All we have to do is explore this healing process in a safe space, with an open heart and a clear intent for a positive outcome.


We are going to work with our four limbs and see their correspondence to the four grandparents. The left side of your body is yin and feminine and so can be seen as a link to your mother’s parents. The right side of your body corresponds to the yang and masculine, and so is linked to your father’s parents. The top of your body, your arms are yang and relate to the grandfathers; the lower limbs, legs and feet reflect the yin, the grandmothers.


Upper right is yang within yang  and corresponds to your father’s father.


Lower right is yin within yang and corresponds to your father’s mother.


Lower left is yin within yin and corresponds to your mother’s mother.


Upper left is yang within yin and corresponds your mother’s father.


It is important to get a clear feeling about these correspondences, therefore it is best to go over this a few times, touching each limb in turn. Lower left is your mother’s mother. Your right arm and hand is a way into your father’s father. Your lower right is going to take you into the energy your father’s mother and lastly your upper left arm can help you access the power of your mother’s father.


Before you journey, look into your body and see which limb seems to be holding most pain, challenge or weakness. Sit and visualise the relationship you might have to that particular grandparent, travelling along the genetic line that runs back in time. Ask a question to the limb and its corresponding ancestor: “Is this the time to make clear my relationship to you?” Don’t let your mind tell you that you can’t establish a connection - your subconscious is the one that understands and responds to your question. If you feel a “yes” feeling then you can proceed with your journey.


Some of us have no clearly defined relationship or memory of some of our ancestors. Don’t let this be an obstacle to this deep healing work because in our DNA we hold cellular memory of the past and that is what we want to access. So go into this healing with ample imagination, looking and sensing with the eyes of your inner child, seeking the adventure of healing. Look into the limb you want to work with and its correspondences, and open to the emotional and mental links to these aspects of your nature.


Drum Journey.


Begin by inviting in the presence of your guiding and compassionate spirits - your helpers in the world of Spirit who will willingly accompany you in your healing quest. Smudge yourself with a leaf of sage, or an incense stick. Open the medicine wheel by inviting the qualities of south, west, north, east, below, above and within. Shake your limbs vigorously, particularly the one associated with your healing quest. Get in touch with the feelings associated with all the years of imbalance you have experienced. Be empowered, say to yourself “I am alive in this time and space and I am open and wiling to learn from whatever comes up in this process”.


Drum or rattle with a fast and even beat and with your eyes closed; focusing into the limb, looking at your life experiences and see how they match the impressions you have of your family history. Remember that all your relations wish for ancestral healing of the generations - they also wish to move forward, grow and heal. Send this feeling towards them as an intention, trusting the outcome.


When you feel yourself locked onto the magnetic attraction that is now building, focus your drum or rattle movement and sound into the imagined forms of your ancestors, clearing their energy fields as if their bodies are standing in front of you, imagine them as a line of visible beings going into the distance. Using your inner vision keep looking at their energy forms - you may want to sing, chant or talk to them. This very action of vocalising and drumming the healing energy towards them will keep you in focus and actualise the experience. Keep clearing until you see them rejoice and feel them sending you their blessings and gratitude. Now imagine them surrounded with light and thank them for their co-operation and help.


Drum and rattle around yourself clearing any memories or impressions that may linger in your field. When you feel clear and bright, turn and face the opposite direction imagining that the future seven generations are before you. Drum and rattle the healing of light, song and positive intent into the future possibilities. Visualise the energetic link to your ancestors as positive, supportive and alive. The healing is complete. Make four strong drum beats, thank your helpers in the world of Spirit and open your eyes. Give gratitude to the sacred directions of the medicine wheel, smudge yourself and come back to your life feeling grounded and fully present.


You may want to go through this process a few times and after a while you will be surprised how real  and palpable the energetic connections become in your day to day experience and how this process accelerates your release from the sticky and confusing patterns of the past. You are taking responsibility for what is happening in your life and you are willing to dig ever deeper, clearing as you go. This process also generates and unlocks respect and love for where you come from and who you are as a person now. You will find yourself more in balance on all levels. Remember the greatest quality of the past is that it has brought you safely to the present moment with all the gifts, talents and abilities that make you uniquely you. 

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