Art by Patrick Dougher

Tapping into the Ancestral realm is a distinct process, that involves intricate ancestral interactions. Introspection and insight are necessary factors for Ancestral healing. As a medium, I have experienced complexities in relationships with those in the afterlife, that may outnumber those in this life.

The relationships with our Ancestors continues to require work and resolution.
It’s an active interaction and process, that desires more than just occasional food, prayers and song. It’s a process that needs more than an altar or sacred space.

A huge part of Ancestral veneration is our commitment to heal ourselves and heal them. It’s about doing the sometimes daunting, uncomfortable work of peeling back layers and examining generations of toxic behaviors and dysfunctional patterns.

It’s not always about what they can give us, it’s about what we can give them.

Art by Patrick Dougher

It’s important to recognize, that not all ancestors are to be venerated the same. Some require quiet, some prayer and some more.
One should understand the roles that they play… whether directly linked to us or to our loved ones.

Not all of our Ancestors are working directly for us. Some are connected to us, but their role is to specifically guide our children or other family members. Some are powerful, some are weak. Some are protective, some are not.

Being able to distinguish their roles is essential. It is vital to create spaces, such as a Misa or Iku Joko, in which their purpose and needs can be revealed.

Ancestral veneration is about going into those uncomfortable places, sitting with our Ancestors and listening. It involves communication that far exceeds simply praying to them. It requires removing distractions and creating the time and space, to do the work that is essential for healing and spiritual evolution.

It’s about accepting the challenge of healing the generations before you and those to come.


Ìfé Michelle, LCSW, Certified Holistic Life Coach, Iyalorisha