Called to Heal Ancestral Trauma


When we think of healing our ancestors, we may envision ceremonies being performed in far away lands that are too remote for us to even identify with.

The reality is that there are many accessible ways to heal the trauma of our lineage.

How do you know if you’re being called to hear your ancestral pain?

  • You are strongly intuitive, a healer, or you just feel deep in your gut that you are being called to heal patterns that have negatively impacted your family over many years.
  • You notice that many people in your family (especially spanning over generations) are suffering in similar ways, such as through addiction, other destructive patterns, certain diseases, or disorders, and you want to do something about it (or bring healing to it in some way so it doesn’t continue with future generations.)

How does ancestral trauma occur?

When an ancestor has experienced deep psychological trauma, research shows (hereand here) that epigenetic expressions of genes in the brain get passed down to future generations. This gets compounded when the trauma is ongoing, such as in war, colonization, and genocide.

How do you heal ancestral trauma?

  1. First of all, you need to identify that it’s something your family needs. Usually, this is something that will be all too obvious to you, but maybe not to other members in your family.
  2. Set the intention to heal your family trauma. Word of caution: healing your ancestral pain is not for the faint-hearted! Your resilience will be tested, and sometimes during healing, rifts within the fabric of what you know can shift. Also, before you set the intention to heal your family trauma, make sure you have done much healing work on yourself, first! Explore your shadow selves, in particular, which hold much wisdom for us. The reason doing work on yourself first is recommended, as well as examining where you are holding darkness within, is because when you bring up ancient stuff, you will also shed light on where that darkness is within you. If you don’t deal with your shit before venturing into your family’s, you may be overwhelmed with all that comes up to get healed!
  3. Get healing assistance. Receive guidance and healing from trusted (and researched) spiritual healers, shamans, curanderos/as, babaylans, and priestesses, and other healers in service, to point you in the right direction. Oftentimes, when dealing with family trauma, there may be energetic implants that have passed down to you, that may need to be removed by one of these skilled practitioners. ALWAYS START WITH HEALING YOURSELF, FIRST.
  4. Create space for healing. There are many ways to hold space for your ancestral healing:
    1. Create and maintain an altar of sacred objects, crystals, stones, amulets, herbs, offerings, and photos of those who’ve passed before us. Altars honor our ancestors, as well as create a sacred space to ask for guidance on next steps.
    2. Include a daily ritual that reinforces the intention to heal your ancestral line. This could include a quick prayer, affirmation, or intention every morning before you start your day.
    3. Explore your ancestral ways of expression. Whether it be dance, song, music, art, the written word, ritual, ceremony, or otherwise, explore how YOU creatively express yourself, as well as how your ancestral lineage may have creatively expressed themselves. See what mode of expression articulates itself best through you, to allow yourself to channel, and get in touch with, your ancestors.
    4. Ask for reinforcements from your Team of Light. Ask your Spirit Guides, Angels, Elementals, and even certain Ancestors, themselves, to help guide you in this work.
  5. Honor, and express gratitude to, your ancestors. Like us, our ancestors weren’t perfect. Love them anyway. Express gratitude for their existence, and how theirs created yours. If you’re being called to heal your ancestral trauma, it is because you have heard their call. And, you’ve heard their call because you are capable of putting the healing into motion. And, that is absolutely beautiful!