Who are the Ancestors?

Who are the Ancestors?

“The ancestors are the true spirit guides and protectors of the African American rootworker”

Medicine Man

Ancestor Veneration is the foundation of Hoodoo and all African based spiritual traditions. In Hoodoo, we understand that physical death is not final. Energy cannot be destroyed, it only changes form. The Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. The soul will always be somewhere. It always exists.

Our ancestors are not dead and gone, their spirits live on in the spiritual realm. We must honor them. We must honor their sacrifice and their struggle. We must be forever grateful for them. As Dr. Maya Angelou said, “Bringing the gifts that the ancestors gave, I am the dream and hope of the slave”. Death does not separate us from those who walked the earth before us.

The ancestors are our eyes and ears on the other side. Certain ancestors operate as warriors/guardian ancestors, ready to defend and protect us. There are other ancestors who walked righteously while they lived who serve as spirit guides. They offer wisdom, guidance, and direction. And then there are ancestors who operate as healers. They lead us to certain diets, practitioners or they may even heal us while we sleep.

Whatever capacity they operate in, we honor them. We never forget them. We never forget those who died during the middle passage, those who were lynched, whipped, or drowned. We honor and acknowledge the nameless, sometimes faceless of our people who deserve to be remembered.

We build a connection and a relationship with them just as we do with those who are living.  

“The spirit of an ancestor has the capacity to see not only into the invisible spirit world but also into this world, and it serves as both our eyes on both sides. It is this power of ancestors that will help us direct our lives and avoid falling into huge ditches. Ancestor spirits can see future, past and present. They can see inside of us and outside of us. They can see cross-dimensionally. And they’re lucky not to have physical bodies as we do, because without the limitation of the body, they have the fluidity of an eye that sees many different ways, many different directions”

Sobonfu Some


Kathleen Nicole

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