Ancestor Work Helps You Find Authentic Spiritual and Magical Practices

Last week I shared about the reasons you might be feeling called to make more magic and why ancestor work is a vital part of reconnecting with the world and creating meaningful magic. The world has become unenchanted through the work of capitalism, colonialism, we live in a society disconnected and divorced from magic. But unless we go back to the root cause of that disconnection and do the work to heal it, we risk perpetuating the same harms we are seeking solace from. That’s where the ancestors come in. They help us to remember the magic, to remember the spells, to remember other ways of living, so that we can imagine them and embody them into the future.

Image from AnnaLouise on Pexels

But simply because this call to explore this magical realm beyond consensus reality has a common root cause, that does not mean that everyone’s reason for undertaking this journey is the same. These systems impact everyone differently. Even within the same family, the impact can be different and the call back into connection and enchantment will be different as well.

No two peoples spiritual or ancestor work paths are the same. Contrary to what teachers who claim to teach you the one single path to spiritual knowledge.

That’s why you gotta learn to be a self-guided spiritual explorer. Because on this journey, if you are going to journey towards your heart’s desire and not what someone else is telling you to desire, you will need to listen to your own guides and spirits, and trust your own intuition to lead you down the path that is your path to follow.

If you want to be a self-guided spiritual explorer, if you want to follow the path your heart and soul are calling you towards, if you want to trek your own journey towards your own objectives, to find your own healing, your own power, your own connection to nature/spirit/ancestors/whatever, then you need to the tools to be able to hear your guides, to listen to your own intuition, to read a spiritual map and chart your own course!

And ancestor work is vital tool for learning how to do just that. Here’s 6 reasons working with your ancestors is a vital tool in reconnecting to spirit and magic so that you can find that authentic spiritual and magical practice you’re dreaming of:

  1. Your Ancestors Care About You
    First of all, your ancestors are YOUR ancestors. They want to help you. They want to see you succeed. Ok, maybe not your recent ancestors, not necessarily – and that’s ok. (Though it’s certainly possible that you’re recently deceased ancestors are rad!) But you have ancestors who want the best for you, who want want you want, and so they want you to have that connection to magic, too! And what’s more – they remember having that intimate connection to spirit and magic! Which bring us to point 2 –
  2. Your Ancestors Remember Right Relationship
    You have ancestors who remember what it is to be in connection to the earth/spirit, in right relationship, who remember a time before capitalism / colonialism / patriarchy.

    Our ancestors are a resource of knowledge and support in creating a better world. If you’re anything like me you grew up in a society that doesn’t remember how to be in intimate relationship with the earth. It is almost impossible to reconstruct what we do not know. It can be done with years of work, much intuition, and much help from the spiritual world, but we all have ancestors who remember what it is to be in intimate interconnection with the earth, the earth’s cycles, and the mystical power that infuses all of that. You don’t have to rebuild it all yourself! You’re ancestors are here to help!
  3. Ancestor Work Is A Fundamental Practice In Just About Every Culture!
    Ancestor work practices are found the world over. Literally the world over. Hel in Norse myth. The Greeks had Hades, the Eleusinian mysteries, and more. The Etruscans had ELABORATE ancestor practices. Day of the dead/Fest dei Morti/All Souls’ Day, Samhain. And that’s just Europe. Sumerians had their own Underworld (Kur) and their own Underworld ruler (Ereshkigal), plus a cult of collective city-based ancestors. There are underworld and ancestor practices in Asia. Yoruba traditions in Africa. Literally, we find ancestor honoring traditions the world over. If you have human ancestors you have a lineage of ancestor veneration.
    If you want to get started with crafting a soul fulfilling spiritual practice without worry about accidentally appropriating a closed cultural practice ancestor work is a wonderful place to begin because of its wide spread, fundamental nature. Ancestor work can the foundation of you authentic non-appropriative personal spiritual practice.
  4. Ancestor Work Repairs The Damaged Roots That Have You Feeling Disconnected Whiteness, white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism are projects of abolishing connection for the purpose of accumulating power. That connection to the earth and to each other that you’re so hungry for as a human – it was ripped up at the root by these systems of oppression. Reconnecting to spirit and magic requires repairing that damage to the root. To repair that connection you need to repair it where it was severed: at the root. This connection wasn’t severed during our lifetimes, or during our parent’s lifetimes despite all the handwringing that goes on in the media about the “good old days”. It was severed long ago. So, if we seek connection and magic, if we seek to cast spells and re-enchant the world, but we don’t do the work to escape the mind-cage, but we don’t do the work to heal the problem at the root, if we seek to build on this same foundation (by only reaching outwards, by thinking connection to nature or to deities or other spirits can fix it without first tending to the roots of the problem) then we risk perpetuating the rot, we risk hamstringing our practice my leaving it rooted in this space of artificially limited imagination.
  5. You Have Radical Ancestors
    Magical practices are our birthright. Each and every one of us has a birthright to make magic, to feel connected to spirit, to experience enchantment in this lifetime. Your body dreams of the freedom to practice that deep, soul level connection to spirit. And you absolutely have ancestors who had the same yearning.
    These ancestors looked at the world as it was and said “No,” and they did their best to create the world where we could all experience that freedom. Don’t believe me? Consider this quote:

    “…our ancestors worked from the earliest times to develop institutions that allowed them to fight against the establishment of such an authority. Their tribes, their clans, later the village commune and the guilds of the Middle Ages…and finally the free city of the twelfth to the sixteenth century are institutions that spring up from the people – not the leaders – for resistance against the authority the saw being acquired either by foreign conquerors or by individuals within the clan, tribe, or city.” – Peter Kropotkin, Modern Science and Anarchy

    You have radical ancestors who want to see the downfall of the capitalist, patriarchal, white supremacist, colonialist systems. And they’re ready to share what they know and help you connect to the tools do that. (and YES the magic! Witchcraft is an anti-capitalist tool!)
  6. To dream a world where we all get to experience our birthright of connection and enchantment we must tear down the mental cages of this world
    If we want to transcend consensus reality, capitalist realism, unlock the cage of thought the powers that be of this world have created to impound our imagination, our ancestors are our most immediate connections to the beyond, to the world beyond consensus reality. They can be our allies and accomplices in our radical work, in our work to create a better world.

Whatever your ultimate objective is on this path – whether it is to make magic, to embody ancestral gifts, to heal, to break cycles of trauma, to reclaim pre-colonial traditions, whatever it is – you are seeking connection and enchantment: intimacy with the spiritual beyond that infuses every aspect of this world, but that we have all been taught to ignore. And no matter where you’re headed on this journey you will need to heal the root that has severed you from that intimacy with the spiritual that should have been your birthright. It was once everyone’s birthright. It was your ancestors birthright. Your ancestors remember. Your ancestors can help you remember.

Ready to go deeper into ancestor work? Over the next few months I’ll be sharing weekly blog posts about the what, why, and how of ancestor work. Stay tuned by subscribing to the FREE Liminal Letters newsletter! Or if you can’t wait to get started download the FREE Journal Your Ancestor Journey journal prompts to help you get started establishing your practice! Or book an ancestor tarot reading with me and get one-on-one guidance for beginning your ancestor work journey!

Enjoy this essay? Want weekly explorations of various topics in spirituality, spiritwork, & mysticism? Subscribe to my free newsletter & receive a weekly love letter from the liminal!
Stay in touch and make sure you never miss a post!