Ancestral Healing and the Sacred Hoop

You have everything you need.

It was a few hours after he died that Leonard showed up in my garage where I’m mourning him like I’d never mourned anyone before.

He appears as I first met him, at a Peyote ceremony at his home where we both find ourselves looking south of the family hogan, into a dark valley. There’s something, some substance, to the darkness that emanates from that little valley, besides all the stars in the Navajo skies.

“Yeah,” he says, like he hears me thinking, “It’s always dark out there.”

The night he died he showed me that dark little valley again. This time, though, violet flames are flying out of the dark into the night sky. Triumphant flights indeed, flames flying free.

“You have to get them out of there, free them,” says my brother’s ghost. We are both looking toward the valley again, where the thick darkness still talks.

“You mean the ones still in the dark?” I ask.

Before he disappears from my garage he answers, “They’re holding back the living.”

Then I broke down.

In essence Leonard came to tell me the Sacred Hoop is clogged.  

In communities where stories of ancestors and the dead are in the daily fare, the event above reminds us we need to look after our departed, because they live close by.  

Sightings of the recent dead, mourning events and practices, celebrations for the dead, petitions from and for our dead, and all kinds of lights, candles and offerings – trust us ­– do much more than stir up spiritual sentimentalism.  

At this altar, as at many, the ancestors are in everything we do – healings, meditations, teachings – all of it. Our departed can be the main event or an addition to any event, or the ancestors can simply be named and honored.

This results in a constant healing of the blood. More times than not, ancestors are the key to healing or providing answers, and in some ways, the key to the power needed to confront the situation.

As Brown and Red People, as other minorities, struggling with the realities of the system, while trying to practice our cultural inheritance, we hear judgments about the functionality of revering our ancestors, about us living in the past, trying to hold on to hollow, empty traditions.

In the last decade or two, however, it’s science that came to validate our traditions, to validate the truth of our blood inheritance, the reality our ancestors died to defend and pass on.

DNA research proves how right our ancestors were about ancestors. Ancestors live in our blood and affect our Earthwalk more than we know.

Alcoholism, physical and mental abuse, poverty, as well as, creativity, healing gifts and long-term beliefs, all live in our blood and influence our lives.

Healing the Blood always figures in the mix.

A friend asked me if we did “ancestral healing” at our altar. I explained we “heal the blood” almost daily, so in that way, yes, we do ancestral healing all the time. Her question pleased us, no doubt, but it also alerted us to how much ancestral healing is going mainstream, under the banners of both science and religion.

And that, Dear Readers, is a good thing. If it calls you, it’s available.

When the living and the dead flow as they should, everyone benefits. The Sacred Hoop flourishes, strong and bright.

DNA Science is a powerful factor in awakening our potential, but one doesn’t need to be a scientist, or hire a priest, to reach our ancestors. Your ancestors are right there, in your blood, available for your reflection, exactly 24-7.

Besides that fact, every one of us, of every color, have ways to honor the dead that our own ancestors practiced, whether we’re practicing it now or not. Just ask an old one or observe a funeral from your community. You don’t have to know about x and y chromosomes to work on your DNA. So,


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