~ by Shaman: Mother Sha-Riah
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Edited transcript of this audio recording:
There are many cultures around the world that have spiritual beliefs where ancestors are involved, are expected to be involved, and are paramount in life. An aspect of these cultures is shaman, the shamanic tradition. But the honouring of the ancestors, the asking advice of the ancestors, or talking to the ancestors is not just unique to the shamanic tradition, it is in many different cultures.
There are many reasons why the ancestors are so important in different cultures. Many cultures are hierarchical in life and so this follows in death; ancestors are above the current group, and of the groups to come, that is, the descendants. Ancestors have much life experience, human physical life experience and now, if you like, they are in the spirit world, and they can take that life experience, expand it and have more understanding of what went on. In these ways there is an honouring of the ancestors, for their lineage, experience, guidance, and life. However in the shamanic tradition we see that while all of the above is righteous and good, it is only a part of the whole. The whole is that your ancestors are you, you are your ancestors, just as your descendants are you, and you are your descendants.
Whatever went on in the life of any ancestor in your lineage, is in some way, present in you. Now it might not be activated, it might not be something that you’re going to experience, but it is within you. When you think about it like that (your ancestors are you, and you are your ancestors), if you are not talking to your ancestors, if you are not trying to understand, if you are not striving to expand your own horizons by taking in what the ancestors have gone through, the knowledge they acquired, and the advice they can give, then what this really means is that you are not talking, understanding, gaining knowledge of, and expanding yourself.
So, in some cultures talking to, or seeking the advice of, the ancestors is an accepted practice, however in many western cultures it is not. To say to someone, where the honouring of ancestors is not part of their culture, “have you spoken to the ancestors”, or, “have you asked the advice of the ancestors”, is not considered a normal course of action. It can cause amusement or query, but it can also cause anger, irritation and distress because the person does not like their ancestors, or they do not like what the ancestors have done to them, or others. They may be ashamed of the actions of their ancestors and want nothing whatsoever to do with them. At this point we must stress that ancestors do not have to be dead. Ancestors are the parents, and grandparents that are alive, even your own generation if you like, siblings and cousins, because they are in the group of the ancestral lineage.
Perhaps this person is you, and you do not want to have anything to do with your ancestors, or you have just not thought about their value and place in your life before. By denying, or not honouring, your ancestors, your ancestral lineage, those that are alive and dead, you are actually denying yourself. Is that what you want to do? Do you really want to deny yourself knowledge, self understanding, self life, self expression? Is that really what you want to do? We would say that for most people, that is not what they want to do. They want to live their life, they want to be fulfilled, they want to be active, they want to have purpose, they want to have meaning, but if you are not going to admit into your life ancestral energy, both positive and negative, then your life is always going to have a void. It is not going to be complete, you will always going to be searching.
Now, we are not saying that the ancestors are the only place you’re going to get answers, or that they are the only ‘spirit guides’ that can be in your life, that can enable a fullness of life. No. What we are saying is that if you can admit to your ancestors, admit them into your life, and have an acceptance that you are them, in expression, reflection, physicality, and humanity, then your life has got more support. It will also feel more balanced, with the ability to be more fulfilled, with more direction, and more action. You will have the ability to see with other eyes, not just two that are in your head. You will have the ability to hear with many ears, not just two that are on your head. You will have the ability to speak the voices of the many, not just using the voice that you have with the limited knowledge that is inside you.
So, if you incorporate, accept, honour, ask advice of, speak too, love, and relish the connection with (that is, in effect, also you), the ancestors, then you are going to be in the world more complete, more able, and more willing. Surely that’s what humans want? Surely that’s what they’re searching for? Not for the one purpose and the one single line that is themselves, but for universal expansion, for the knowledge accumulation, for the wide eye-ness, of the ancestral energy, that lets those living see the awesomeness of the/their nature, not just in themselves but in everything that is around them.
If you are just one, then this will be very difficult to do, because you have to look ahead, behind, to the side, above and below all the time, by yourself. But if you are many thousands of thousands, then surely you are more. Surely you can accept and experience more, you can adapt more readily, you can be more fulfilled, and more active, because you see more, you hear more, and therefore you are able to speak more widely (and perhaps wisely), with more knowledge, more expression, more love, more compassion, and more knowing.
Our advice to you is to not deny the ancestors, rather embrace them. Whatever they have done, whatever you believe they have done is affecting your life, embrace that. Look at it for what it was, for the time that was, not for what it is now, for the time that it is now. Don’t blame them, don’t find fault with them because you are really spending your life blaming and finding fault with yourself and perhaps even using your ancestors as an excuse for your life. Use the energy the have from the ancestors, both good and bad, to improve your life, accept it and strive to understand it, because in doing so you are accepting and understanding the self. Admit the ancestors into to your life and together you go, not just the one, but together you go, like a wave. That’s really a beautiful way to live and we would urge everybody to talk to the ancestors.