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ancestral grieving

a ritual for reading 

                                   to be read after embodied bruising, before pg. 58



introduction to ritual..


in this ritual, you will open yourself up to receive love from your sacred ancestors. the ancestral realm is the space of afterlife where your beloved ancestors reside. those you have known in this realm and those you have not. there is a collective of ancestral energy that projects you, celebrates you, opens and closes doors for you in perfect divine timing. we begin this ritual by honoring those spirit guides, and welcome the purest most sacred energy to arrive in all of its highest form. 


those who came before you have paved the way for your healing. we do not engage in this work alone. when we open ourselves up to the divine wisdom of spirit guides who rejoice each time we get a little more free, we invite ourselves into ease, release, and surrender. we come to understand that these burdens are not ours alone. we are healing alongside our ancestors, with their nourishment, compassion, kindness, tenderness and support. 


ancestral grieving is a process of feeling our way through the intergenerational traumas. it is also a way for us to honor the alchemy that gets passed down, too. we prepare ourselves to receive the love that is summoning us forth. we lean into trust and spiritual discernment as we initiate our convening with the ancestral realm.


it is critical that we know when to open and when to close. trust yourself. trust your spirit. do not do anything that feels unsafe for you. 

you will need..

-the mourning my inner[blackgirl]child book

-the quietest safest place you can arrive in this moment

-a grounding object (anything you can hold in your hand that brings you into the present moment)

-a journal

-something to write with


-markers/ colored pencils/ crayons

-a bath tub w/ bath salts 

let us begin..



take a moment to settle into your space. allow your body to relax. 



say a prayer, to the higher power you believe in most, that welcomes only the purest energy in its highest form. pray that the loving ancestors who are your spirit guides might reveal themselves to you gradually, at a pace that feels safe for you. pray that any energy that is not loving and kind be uninvited into your sacred space.



holding your grounding object, play this meditation


identify three ancestors that you feel deeply connected to. they can be ancestors you have known personally or ancestors whose legacy you feel deeply connected to. take a moment to send them love, and to welcome them into your space in whatever ways feel safe for you.



write a love letter to your ancestors. tell them what you most love and appreciate about their presence in your life.



write a love letter from your ancestors. what do they have to tell you in this moment? 



curate an altar to honor those ancestors in whatever way feels right to you. if it feels right, place each letter on your altar. burn a candle in their honor and sit still in prayer.

*an altar is a space designed to honor your ancestors. it can look and feel however you want it too. it is often advised to not place pictures of the living on your altar. it is encouraged that we light white candles and have natural elements that represent water and earth on an altar. check in with yourself and your ancestors, and curate what feels right in your own spirit.*



you have opened yourself up to the ancestral realm. now it is time to close. with both palms facing out, wipe yourself down. wipe off any excess energy. wipe down your arms, your legs, your back, your chest. as you wipe down, thank the loving ancestors for their presence and let them know that you will convene with them again when your spirit is ready. 



holding your grounding object, return back to yourself, your body, and this present moment. become aware of your own self, the entity that is you. recognize where your ancestors end and where you begin. come back into your own self space. 



if you have the access to do so, run yourself a nice hot bath. adorn it with rose hips, bath balms, salts and scents. light candles. make yourself a cup of tea and a cup of water. play this playlist, and let yourself ease deeper into this feeling of getting free. 


repeat this ritual as necessary. i try to do some combination of this at least once a week. as you settle into your own rhythm of healing, you will find what feels right for you. do not judge yourself as you stumble through this. you are doing so good, sis. you are doing so good. 


you are now ready to read ancestral grieving. as you read this, pay attention to what comes up. each time you feel heavy/ triggered/ overwhelmed, take a break. breathe. journal about what is coming up. revisit any piece of this ritual that might bring you soothing. only continue when your spirit feels ready..

when you finish this section, take a moment to review the citations below. i write in communion with a legacy of blackwomxnhealing, whose works have given me so much in my own process. in your own time, at your own pace, listen to their songs, order their books, read their poetry..

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ancestral grieving citations
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