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What is Ancestral Ceremony?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

What is Ancestral Healing?

I recently worked with a young man of Middle Eastern descent.

He was born in Canada and educated at the best schools in the country. He knew little of his family's cultural heritage and was raised in a secular (non-religious) family. He was an impressive young man in his late 30s: bright, ambitious, and charismatic -- a pitta-kapha mind-body type with vision, strong leadership skills, sold endurance and admirable worth ethic.

He was coming to me for advice about sleep problems (chronic insomnia). As we started talking, he shared his trajectory for a promising career which lay before him, his career plans for the future and his tendency to work long hours.

As he shared the details for his plans for the future, he then said: "....and probably everyone will hate me for doing this...!".

His last words were like bells ringing in my ears. It was clear from this simple conversation that his natural drive for excellence and achievement was somehow intermixed with a sense of social alienation and contempt from others.

In this case, it would not have been appropriate to just talk about sleep routines, herbs and meditations. We needed to go to the core of the issue.

What is Buried in Our Genetic Coding

I closed my eyes for a moment and immediately, the story in his ancestral lineage came very clearly:

This man had descended from a long line of hardworking, successful Christians merchants from the Middle East. As Christians in a Muslim land, they were always a minority, were perceived as 'the other' and at times, had faced cultural persecution.

Despite this, they had developed a reputation for their business savvy and sense of aesthetics, and had developed a sense of safety (and semi-noble status) through their relationship to the ruling elite, the colonial powers of that time.

Through family lineage, this young man had inherited charisma, business skills and a somewhat 'noble' status. Still, he always felt like he was 'the other' -- that he could never quite qualify as the elite, despite his obvious gifts and efforts -- and that he was also separate or superior to those who surrounded him.

Energetically, I could see that his first chakra (survival / security) was insecure and unstable, leaving him always feeling like he had to work hard to 'make his mark' and gain the stability that he felt he was lacking.

All of these dynamics were taking place within his subconscious mind, away from his conscious awareness.

The Puranas (sacred Vedic texts) say that performing rites for our ancestors can bring peace to the whole world and to future generations, and that these ceremonies can even help us attain greater prosperity, abundance, health, happy family life, a long life, and all manner of blessings.

What is Ancestral Ceremony?

Ancestral ceremony is a practice used in many old world spiritual traditions, including those of the Africans, Buddhists, Christians, and indigenous people.

This practice can be done in different ways, depending on your culture, but the intention is always the same: to open a space for healing, wisdom and revelation to come forward from those who have walked before us.

In the Puranas (sacred Vedic texts), it is said that performing rites for our ancestors can bring peace to the whole world and to future generations, and that they can help us attain greater prosperity, abundance, health, happy family life, a long life, and all manner of blessings.

This may sound too good to be true -- and yet somehow we know that opening a space to share the stories of those who have walked before us has a particularly healing quality, and that their memory of their stories is somehow still alive within us.

Upcoming Ancestral Ceremony

The New Moon of September is considered the most auspicious time to call in your ancestors for healing and wisdom.

Upcoming Ancestral Ceremony

If you are interested in exploring this further, you are welcome to join me for a small ceremony in downtown Ottawa. This take place on Friday, September 27 from 7-9 pm and the cost is $65, and a $25 deposit is required to hold your space.

Registration is open until Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Details are available here

I look forward to sharing this practice with you!


About the Author

Briya Freeman is a spiritual facilitator based in Ottawa, Canada. Her passion lies in exploring the potentials of human consciousness in a way that respects, unites and transcends global culture and tradition.

Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa.

Briya is based in Ottawa, Canada and can be reached at


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