Thank you to Mutima Imani for sharing her Deep Time exercise Connecting with Your Ancestors. This practice was inspired by her teacher Ishmael Tetteh from Ghana. Mutima is co-director of the Spiral Journey Work That Reconnects Facilitator Development Program. She is a global diversity specialist inspiring people to heal locally for global impact. More Information on Mutima, Mutima’s work with the Spiral Journey, Mutima’s Work with The Work That Reconnects.
We live in a society where we don’t pay tribute to our ancestors as a larger society. Although, in many cultures, it is common practice for people to connect with the wisdom and guidance of Ancestors. This is a natural process and allows one to be connected across time and space with the wisdom and courage of the blood that flows through one’s veins.
Within The Work That Reconnects, there is a concept called Deep Times. This is where attention is given to the realms of ancestry in both the past and the future generations. Those of us living now are in the present have the power to connect and listen to messages from both the past and future.
In some schools of thought, it is said that they are waiting for us to ask them for help. My teacher Ishmael Tetteh from Ghana says that the father’s lineage is lined up behind us on the right side and the mother’s lineage is lined up behind us on the left side.
Our Ancestors are waiting for us to pay attention to them, to acknowledge them, and our lives begin within them. We carry them in our minds, bodies and spirits. They made great sacrifices and made great choices for us to be able to be alive. As we honor them, we honor the miracle of having a body, mind and a spirit. We become connected to a whole lineage and legacy that is manifesting in us.
The study of epigenetics says that all their emotions are mental and spiritual imprints living inside of us. This is one reason why it’s really important to connect because there might be a challenge we struggle with which is not even ours. We might be carrying it for one of our Ancestors. Our bodies have the memories of all of their trauma and all of their resilience within us. If you only focus it on trauma and never think about your ancestors and their resilience, then you might be blocking the resilience you want in your own life.
In this Ancestor exercise I have designed, we will be calling on your ancestors for a message. When you are starting to make contact with your Ancestors, begin by setting the tone by building a sacred altar. It’s great to have ancestral pictures on the altar, especially if you want to have a message from that ancestor.
In creating your sacred space use a candle, some incense, a rattle or some noise maker to help awaken the spirits.
Remember to ground and trust yourself. Take a couple of deep breaths. Think about the mother and father of both your mother and father and the mother and father of your grandparents going back at least 7 generations.
Begin to listen with your inner ear, imagine putting your ear on your heart to listen deeply, take a deep breath, breathing in-and-out of your heart.
State your intention to receive a message, specific or general one from an ancestor.
Begin to call on the ancestors who are full of wisdom.
Say I love and honor you, please come to support me, my dear ancestors. I am calling on the wisdom, the strength and the courage that allows me to sit in my dignity.
Breathing in-and-out of your heart. Start with the father’s side.
Close your eyes, lean your head to the right side of your body, open your right inner ear and open your heart and call in an ancestor for a message to your question you have or a general message that would benefit you in your life. Listen Listen Listen.
Once you get a message, stop leaning to the right and straighten your head up.
Be grateful for the message and or images received. Write it down.
Now drop in again and move your head to the left and open your left inner ear to hear a message from your mother’s side. Listen Listen Listen.
Once you get a message, stop leaning to the left and straighten your head up and write down what you heard and or the images that came up.
Remember to thank your Ancestors, honor them, send them love.
We stand on the shoulders of our Ancestors, let us learn to engage and use them for the betterment of the world.