Ancestor Healing is deifying, and working with your own ancestors instead of chasing the gods, spirits, and ancestors of others. It is deifying your national ancestors and your blood ancestors before you do anything with the ancestors and spirits of others. In the Black American community there has been a yearning to reconnect with our African roots which has led many of us to the paths of Ocha, Lucumi, Ifa, Palo Mayombe, Vodou, and other religions of the diaspora. Yet, we have a natural pantheon of deities and spirits right here at home. These spirits look like us, they know and understand our struggles. But many of us are too busy chasing after the deities of the Yoruba, or the Benin to take notice.
I believe that these spirits are tired of waiting. They grow restless, and angry. We can see the manifestations of that frustration and anger in the state of our people all over the diaspora, especially in the United States. I believe that identifying, learning about, studying, and working with our own ancestors will strengthen us as a people. We will be working in tandem with our true natures, rather than fighting and resisting our histories. Such an endeavor can only strengthen us. When we reconnect to our roots as children of the middle passage we will find that those who went before us will enhance our lives in many ways. They are ready and have grown impatient with our refusal to acknowledge them. They have been waiting to assume their rightful place in our lives for too long.
This does not just apply to Black people, it applies to all people. Everyone can benefit from identifying, and working with their blood and national ancestors. Most of the people in the New World can trace their ancestral line to someplace else. Our ancestors came from all over the world, whether in the hold of a slaver, the steerage of an ocean liner, or the passenger compartment of a 757, most of us can trace our bloodlines back to another land where our ancestors lived for countless generations.
National ancestors are important too. They are the ancestors who while not related by blood, performed deeds, and lived lives worthy of our respect and elevation. Chango in the Yoruba pantheon was once a king whose deeds were such that he was elevated to the status of an Orisha. Why isn’t Harriet Tubman similarly elevated in this country? Or Gullah Jack? Or Denmark Vessey? Or Zora Neale Hurston? Or John Brown? These were living people, just like Chango. Why are we calling ourselves the sons and daughters of Chango or Erzulie instead of the sons and daughters of Harriet Tubman?
Right now our ancestors are calling out to us. Some of hear this call loudly and clearly, and some of us just know it as a vague restlessness whose cause we can’t quite identify. People of all races and ethnicities feel that something is not quite right. While we have technology and access to information undreamed of by our ancestors, we still feel like there is something else we need to know, but can’t quite put our finger on. That is the call of the ancestors. We have become disconnected from our roots and it is slowly starving us of spiritual nourishment. Ancestor Healing is a means of reconnecting with our roots. Not just our roots with the tribal people of Africa, or the ancestors from the old country, but our roots where we are planted right here, right now.