Crystals, Herbs, and Aromatics to Assist in Ancestral Healing
“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without roots.”~ Chinese proverb
Fall is a season for balancing light and dark, letting go, and accepting the impermanence of things. We have experienced the budding of life in spring and the flowerings and profusions of summer. Now the leaves fall, and bare branches remind us of the fleeting nature of all things.
In modern society, we are afraid of the dead, the unseen, that which we cannot control through our analytical minds and their tools. We often separate ourselves from the old and dying, death and decomposition, and the continuity of energy that comes from our connection with our ancestors.
I sense the calling from deep within, from my ancestors that is becoming much stronger and louder today. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the relationships within the family were. What matters is that through DNA, we inherited and keep hundreds of years of family history within us.
Doing connecting to ancestors and doing ancestral healing we can:
- Heal chronic physical symptoms
- Change negative life patterns
- Heal emotional patterns
- Negative mental beliefs
- Heal trauma symptoms
If you do the proper research on family history and analyze what your ancestors went through, you may discover that many fears, insecurities, and even phobias are also not yours, but something that you inherited from the previous generations.
In a time of Halloween, Samhain, the Day of the Dead, All Soul’s day—whatever it is called in your culture or on the land where you are living in the time of the year when we hear people saying ‘The veil is thinner.’ The veil is the barrier or doorway between the different worlds, the seen and the unseen, the living and the dead, the body and spirit, time and timelessness. The fall season, especially the transition from October to November, is an excellent opportunity of the year to connect with those who passed away: to talk, say what needs to be said, clarify the issues, ask for guidance or say a proper goodbye.
A large part of finding our real Self, our purpose, or mission in life takes seed in unraveling, transforming our ancestral stories, and understanding their effect of forming our identity.
The use of aromatics, herbs, crystals can be valuable for each aspect of the work:
- Detective work/analytical work and research
- Emotional work/trauma work
- Shadow work/releasing cellular memories
- Shamanic healing/Visualizations/ Connecting the ancestors
Connecting with your ancestors isn’t as hard as it seems. It just takes a little thought and effort. Sometimes a simple prayer is enough to contact the ancestors from beyond the hedge. Sometimes a specific herb or crystal also helps bridge the gap between the mundane and spirit worlds. During the Fall season, especially in the footsteps of Halloween/Samhain you can create your ancestor’s altar and decorate it with:
- Photographs of deceased family members
- Symbolic images that represent your origin
- Plants and aromas of the places of your people
- Candles to light every evening
- Sugar and gemstone skulls, bones, and fossils
- Crystals, herbs, and essential oils that assist in connecting with the world of spirits and receiving messages
The light of a candle can act as a bridge between day and night, between inside and outside. And eventually between the physical and the spiritual world. Candles can help us transition from one sphere of existence into the next. Lighting a candle by a window at dusk or during the meal is a way of summoning the darkness. At the same time, we are inviting all of its positive energy into our lives and homes. You can sprinkle or decorate candles with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and orange peels. Thus, the smoke created can be used to cleanse the home while you meditate and practice reflection.
Sugar skulls’ origin (or calaveras de azucar) springs from Mexico. The Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated from October 31st till November 2nd. In terms of meaning, the skull symbolizes death but in a positive manner. In Mexico, death is seen not as the final stage in one’s life but rather a step forward into a higher level of conscience.
For the Aztecs, the skull was a positive symbol, not only of death but also of rebirth. The symbolism of a sugar skull is rooted in the decoration around the eyes. Flowers are meant to symbolize life, while cobwebs symbolize death. Burning candles set inside the eyes are a sign of remembrance.
You can also work with specific crystals to help connect with your ancestors:
1. Obsidian was a potent scrying tool over the ages. Its use in divination to “see” the other side, plus the ability to connect you to your root chakra (which connects you to the earth), makes it a powerful stone to use in contacting one’s ancestors.
2. Selenite: is connected to the crown chakra – your direct line to the Divine. It is high-vibrational and self-cleanses. Selenite’s white light brings clarity and breaks through debris that clouds our auras blocking us from connecting with our ancestors.
3. Amethyst aids in opening the third eye and increases prophetic dreams. Ancestors can speak to us through our dreams and visions when our Third-Eye Chakra is open.
4. Lapis Lazuli is another third eye stone, lapis lazuli was used by the Ancient Egyptians to honor royalty in the afterlife. Because of its connection with the ancient dead, it is a potent tool to use in ancestor work.
5. Spirit Quartz activates the crown chakra and facilitates messages between you and the spirit world, bringing messages from spirits, ancestors, and spirit guides.
Herbs and Aromatics to Connect you with Ancestors
Mugwort has not only protective qualities but also enhances psychic visions, dreams, and astral travel. Ancestors often come to us in our dreams and through psychic visions, so mugwort is an essential herb in connecting with our beloved dead.
Mexican Dream Herb (Calea zacatechichi) has been used in folk remedies for thousands of years as an appetite stimulant, calming agent, and to induce psychic dreams, crease dreaming, and assist in remembering them. It had been recently scientifically studied for mental enhancement and promoting sleep. Use it as a tea with a dosage 2-4 gram (start small) per person per cup.
Blue Lotus was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. The bright-blue flowers were not only desired for their delightful perfume, but also for the relaxation and heightened awareness they induce. For centuries it has been respected as an ancestral flower known to provoke deep meditation, enhance third eye function, and motivate lucid dreaming. The Blue Lotus is usually taken as a tea, with a recommended dose of 5 grams per person, steeped in boiling water, and then allowed to cool before drinking it directly. The Egyptians also used to soak it in wine for hours at a time, at the same dose of 5 grams per bottle.
I put together a potent flower essence elixir called Dreamwork that is targeted to enhance the dream phase and your receptivity to the communicated messages. It contains a powerful synergy of Angelica, Star Tulip, Black-Eyed Susan, Cosmos, and Mugwort in Blue Lotus extract. It is a safe but potent way to connect with your ancestors, spirit guides, or your subconscious. Flower essence maintains similar healing properties as the chemical composition of the plant, but on the level of the mind, emotions, and subtle energy.
Working seriously on transgenerational trauma involves a lot of dedication and hard work. The aim of identifying, transforming, and integrating these passed down traumas is that they stop being hard-wired. A good starting point is to take time to reflect on family lineage, while mindfully attending to how you are feeling emotionally, what is going on physically and what thoughts are arising. You could map out a simple family tree of the branch you are interested in working with and explore your place within it. What is your relationship to the suffering of your family? Are you willing to feel it and see its place in your own life?
Some examples of essential oils I use for the detective and guiding work to connect with and receive messages with ancestors are Galbanum (Ferula gummosa), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Sage (Salvia officinalis), all types of Cedarwood, Labdanum and Cistus (Cistus ladanifer), Angelica (Angelica archangelica), Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), Rose Attar (Rosa damascena), Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), Marigold (Tagetes erecta). Also, wild vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides), can be an excellent essential oil to create a warm and nurturing groundedness from which to undertake this time of reflection. It is crucial to feeling earthed, safe, and embodied to be able to be mindful of what comes up.
Our physical body holds tons of information in its cells, known as cellular memory. The more we inhabit our bodies during detective and reflection work and the safer we feel, the more those cellular memories can rise to the surface.
Once time and attention have been given to this form of reflection, gradually, a direction or a feeling may point to a pattern or reveal a fragment that is asking to be explored more deeply. To encourage our cells to let go of deeply buried information, we can use the essential oil of Cistus and Labdanum (Cistus ladaniferus). Cistus knows how to dig deep and does not give up until what needs to come up from the depths has been released; it is direct and goes on no detours. Galbanum helps us face our original power and ancestral strength that it pushes us to manifest. I researched and included those essential oils in my Maitri/Self-Love and Shadow True Self aromatherapy formulas. They do their invisible work on the background as you inhale or apply them topically day after day.
For women, in particular, there is much work to be done with our maternal inheritance. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is just a small percentage of our DNA, separate from nuclear DNA and is passed down uniquely through the maternal line, through the egg cells. There is a ‘woman’ that is the same ‘woman’ in you, your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother for hundreds if not thousands of years back. Maternal lineage is calling to all modern women and screams to be healed.
Trace your female lineage. Trace the emotions, stories, traumas woven through it, and start looking at what needs to be healed and transformed. At first, there may be recurring emotions that come up (related to personal trauma). They may lead to researching the actual ancestral story more (historical trauma). Or it could be the other way around. Digging into the old family story may reveal the forgotten personal wound of one of the members. Maybe this story has been passed down, but no one has yet put two and two together and connected the emotions within the family system to the story.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), the beautiful and powerful Immortelle, also known as Everlasting, helps us transform the wounds that come through from our ancestral stories. Its earthiness and connection to the feminine bring us into our body, where this cellular information is stored. Helichrysum remembers the heart, a vital aspect in this type of healing where self-compassion is primordial, and the right relationship to ourselves is the vessel. Its wound healing properties bring disconnected parts of ourselves back together. This feature is ideal for identifying and incorporating transgenerational trauma. Helichrysum helps us clear the fears that act as blockages to feeling and opening to the whole of ourselves. And is included in my True Self Maitri/Self Love and Release aromatherapy formulas.
As we progress with our internal and research work on family history, the stories become more apparent, and an in-depth integration process occurs. This integration involves a gradual perceiving and acknowledging of our ancestors with our conscious minds. They take back their place in the family tree, and the integrative healing takes place in the past, the present, and the future simultaneously.
For personal and global growth and re-alignment, we need to open up and tell our stories and the stories of our ancestors. You can use the beautiful, powerful, and widely accessible world of plant wisdom and medicine to assist you on the journey. Use this time of the year wisely to discover and re-connect to your roots, and understand deeper who you are, based on your ancestral story.
Stones Throw carries many of the products mentioned in this article, including the Mexican Dream Herb Tea and Blue Lotus Tea (for a limited time), Maitri/Self Love, Release, and Shadow aromatherapy formulas, Helichrysum and Dreamwork flower essence elixirs. And of course a wide variety of healing crystals and hand-painted sugar skulls.
Anna Bazarnaya is at Stones Throw for herbal and crystal consultations every Wednesday from 11am-3pm. For more information, contact MAITRIVERDE.COM
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(415) 450 0947