Reiki for the Ancestors

Back in mid-February, I was excited to start a Wealth Magic course. The year was just getting going, and the time seemed right to start working on laying the foundation for prosperity for the new year and beyond.

Then the Ancestors popped in – both in my meditative journeys and in my daily life. Just a sprinkling here and there. Little nagging thoughts turned into big, blinking neon signs from them that are not easily brushed aside.

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That’s the look they give me when they pop in.

For instance, I had the little idea of refreshing my Ancestor Altar. The next day, someone sent me a link to a video which mentioned that having troubled ancestors represented on your altar can create problems. Later that night as I bowed in at Karate class, my Sensai took a few minutes to talk about altars in martial arts. Even though he does not have an altar to the ancestors in his dojo (he practices Zen), he described in detail what those altars are for and listed all of the items commonly placed on them along with their purpose.

I got the point.

I reconstructed my Ancestor Altar and started researching rituals and tools to better connect with and help my familial dead.

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Their names have been forgotten.

As I started in the direction of the Ancestors in early March, one stood out for me. My maternal great-great grandmother, Madeleine, featured prominently both in my journeying and my genealogical research. My mother had told me family stories about her when I was a child. Stories about how Madeleine ended up living with Catholic Sisters as a teenager after losing both her parents, and how she raised my grandmother and my grandmother’s brother after their mother passed away shortly after childbirth.

As I thought about Madeleine’s life, it hit me how many of her stories were filled with grief. She had lost both of her parents before she reached adulthood. Five of her eight children did not live beyond their early 20s. Two of her daughters, my great-grandmother among them, had died within 3 months of each other.

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My great-grandmother, Wilhelmina, and my great-great grandmother, Madeleine.

The little idea came into my mind to try Reiki to heal Madeleine’s grief. Although not a professional Reiki practitioner, I had studied and completed a level two Attunement a few years ago. I practice it regularly, but had never tried it for the dead.

In my studies, my Reiki teacher had mentioned that if you get an idea about how to use Reiki in a new or different way, try it. It might just be Reiki trying to teach you something about itself.

For several nights, I did just that. Using a antique photo of Madeleine (see above), one that she would have looked at herself, as a focal point, I explained to her what I was doing and sent her Reiki to heal her grief.

Initially, I had thought that I was going to be using the Distance Healing Symbol, but as I looked at the veins in my wrist while holding the picture I realized that I didn’t need to use distance healing. The blood that is running through my veins is partly hers. There is no distance between us.

It was a worthwhile and moving experience.

Did it work? How would you know?

Validating if the Reiki actually worked was going to be difficult. I couldn’t really use myself as a reliable gauge, because as one gives a healing, they also get a healing. My teacher described it like a faucet. When you turn on a faucet the water comes out and whatever you want to get wet gets wet, but so does the inside of the faucet. Reiki moves through the practitioner during a healing, so the focus of the healing gets Reiki, but so does the practitioner.

I decided to keep an eye on my relatives. If Madeleine’s grief was blocking the ancestral line in some way, any alleviation of that grief would have some positive effect to everyone downstream of that line. Within 10 days, I had an indication. My cousin casually mentioned to me that a new medication for her depression was actually working. She told me that she hadn’t felt so good in over 20 years (which co-incidentally is when her mother passed away). I’m taking that as a positive sign.

Since I completed the Reiki for ancestral healing exercise, I’ve done some research and discovered that this is not a new or even unusual thing in Reiki. I will be making this a regular part of my ancestor practice to promote healing of all of my ancestral lines. Like heartfelt prayer or intention practice, it has a beneficial effect in a gentle way.

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