The wisdom of ancestral issues has been a quiet interest of mine for some time now. Ever since I started giving readings, most of them would involve a degree of ancestral issues. Sometimes, it forms a major part. As I do soul purpose readings, family indeed plays an immense part in our karmic journey through life. The purpose and lessons of our lives inevitably are tied to ancestors and family which may be in a positive or negative manner. However, frankly, to me it is positive always.

Importance of Ancestral Issues

You would agree with me that family and the values of our family and ancestors do determine our life purpose and direction to a great extent though we have our own unique lessons. In Vedic Astrology, we consider ancestral issues as Pitra Dosh which is conventionally seen as Curse of the Ancestors but truly speaking in my experience it is not if we consider from the perspective of a spiritual angle. It is considered the curse as it is commonly believed that due to the curse of our ancestors due to lack of respect to them, it affects us negatively in areas of our lives such as health, marriage, career, money and even happiness. To be honest with you, I do not really 100% believe that is the truth from my experience.

We may not realise that though our ancestors are now in spirit form, they were once humans as well with their own journey in life. Inevitably, they had their own desires, lessons and even we have to understand failings that may have brought about some karmic consequences. I have seen such with experience of some of my clients. Some are even when the ancestors have a very unsatisfied desire that did not reach fructification when they were living in human form. These energies somehow get passed down. In many cases, it is not the ancestors that are cursing their descendants but instead they have been cursed by their own desires and deeds. At times, they seek to fulfill it through their descendants which are why some of us may say our grandparents are our guides. In living our lives, we are also living their lives as we exhibit similar traits and desires.

Then you may ask me instead, how can this be? Do I not have my own lessons? Why do I need to live the lives of others and why do I need to bear the consequences of their misdeeds? Indeed, this question coming from a logical stand point is pertinent. However, if we look at it from a spiritual angle of what we cannot comprehend, the answers are there. Let me see if I can state this out logically.

Our Main Purpose Being Born

Sage Parashara one of the great Rishis that was a great teacher of Vedic Astrology states in basic sense that all are Souls. We are part of the Creator who shed himself to form individual souls just like the ocean breaking into seas and rivers. Part of these souls became Divine beings that are deities and also the planets. The rest are born to experience lessons of life. However, with all these, we are essentially the same – deriving from the Divine with no distinction. The planets are just divine beings that help us learn our lessons in life to help us go back to the Universal Self. They are repositories of our karmic lessons that we need to experience and learn. Out of all these, we can realise that we are all essentially One with no gender, age, race, religion etc.

However, to be born in a physical body is our ego consciousness that functions as a unique identity that distinguishes our unique soul journey in comparison to others. Therefore, our lessons may be individual but we are reminded that we are connected to each other as other people serve as our teachers in life. We understand that we are connected essentially but we take responsibility of our own lessons and journey. Eventually, all have to go back to source, God, Universe, whichever name we resonate to.

Why Ancestral Issues

Therefore, we are born as individuals but we are not an island. We are born with others, interact with others and spend time with others affecting our deeds in connection with others to learn our lessons. Therefore, certain soul groups are formed in that light. They form our family from life to life. So our deeds and our values are also in alignment with them. We may not realise it now, but whatever ancestral issues that we face or carry from our ancestors are not truly theirs but also ours as we have also done something in past lives to experience these lessons the same way. So there are no victims at all. We inherit traits from our ancestors as our lessons have an overlapping objective with our ancestors as well.

What is more interesting is that in Vedic Astrology and in my practice of it, many a times, we are born in a family line that we have some connection to in previous lives. The people we interact in this life usually have been there in our previous lives as well. They can be our family, friends, partners, colleagues, bosses and also ones we consider as enemies. However, they can be born in different roles in every life as per the lesson we need to learn. Example is that our father in this life may have been our child in a previous life and possibly our partner. Grossed out? Well, understand that the body we have carries our soul which is permanent. The body given in this life is for a lesson for us to learn. The basis of it which is the soul is not defined by these roles. In soul level, there are only souls beyond the physical labels of family, friends etc.

Observations from Readings

I mentioned about experiences I had with clients as through my readings, I also contemplate on their lessons and I also learn more through my observations and research as well.

In Vedic astrology, we look at Pitra Dosha or Ancestral Issues at a birth chart through the configuration of the planets and houses. Planets that play a big role would be Sun which generally represents our father and Moon which generally represents our mother. Their placements and any interaction with planets such as Mars, Saturn, Rahu or Ketu may show some indication of ancestral issues. This is so if it is in fact within the 2nd, 5th, 9th or 12th House. Also ruling planets of the 4th, 9th and 12th houses may show as well. The 4th house rules mother, 9th rules father and ancestors blessings can be seen from here and also 12th house where ancestors as well can be seen. In conventional sense, this is usually the case but I have noticed in practical situations that besides the houses mentioned, ancestral issues can still take place if Sun, Moon or rulers of the 4th, 9th and 12th houses are afflicted by Mars, Saturn, Rahu or Ketu in any other house as mentioned previously.

Rahu and Ketu deserves a mention here as it plays a very strong role in terms of our karmic connection to our ancestors. Rahu denotes our paternal grandparents while Ketu denotes our maternal grandparents. So they will always play a definite role in a person’s chart with regards to ancestral issues. It always indicates mostly an unfinished desire or business through which the individual expresses in their lives as per their ancestors on their own. Yes, of their own as in some cases, they are reborn as one of their ancestors as well in the present life!

Many of us are oblivious to the fact that we inherit many similar traits of our grandparents and parents. We even may proudly admit it to others. It is never a hundred per cent bad or good. It always depends in which situations we apply these traits to.  Epigenetics is an area where we may see this lot. It is a non-genetic influence on gene expression. An example such as a strong abusive person in life may produce a genetic line that expresses itself in its gene expression through karmic energies. This is where we see descendants possibly inheriting these traits and act on it.

I had come across a client with chronic depression that was hard to see where it came from. We also say that depression is a sign of a person living in the past. True enough. This client of mine was in the habit of living in the past but was aware of it and finds it difficult to understand why. When we checked her chart a bit deeper, it was linked to a maternal grandmother who had the similar energy due to a bad marriage at that time. There was Ketu which conjunct Moon but in a configuration that was linked to her mother’s mother which was linked to her 7th House of grandmother. In understanding this, my client was able to better understand her situation and take conscious pro-active steps to try and break that cycle of depression.

There was another which was more linked to a past life. This client of mine had issues of career but was more on the point where his mind was having issues of not being satisfied in his career though it was going well. Interestingly, when his chart was analyzed, I found again Ketu conjunct his Moon. Ketu represents past life issues and also where in this life there is detachment. His moon ruled his career house of the 10th but also 10th house rules authority and father like figures. Though moon rules mother generally, in this case, it was ruling a masculine house. So I asked how his relationship with his father was. Interestingly, there seems to be a problem from young to which could not be understood. He always felt that his father was not happy with him from young and also criticized him more than others with reasons he could not understand.

However, he has been trying to get his father’s approval. In not getting so, his confidence of course was affected. When Ketu with Moon ruling his father is in this position, it usually means at a karmic level in a past life, he had done something to cause his father to be angry with him as well as harbor resentment. So he had a karmic debt with his father. Understand, in that life, they may not have been father and son but of a different role. However, since there are debts there, in this life he faces his father’s frustration on a physical level in this life for no reason. On a physical side, we may not be able to understand the reasons but on a karmic level, it may be ascertained. So he was advised in this case to just be cordial with his father but he does not need to agree with him. In being nice sincerely may actually heal and break those bonds of resentments. It is not easy to do and it takes real courage and lowering our own egos to do this but the rewards are great at the end. When he did so, he noticed slowly that his father was more cordial with him and less critical. His confidence also rose slightly. This is where ancestral issues can affect one’s career or even appreciation of it as his moon which rules his mind and emotions did not allow him to appreciate his own career.

Impact of Ancestral Issues

This is where I always say, we underestimate the effects of ancestral issues. How important it is to try and understand the issues of the closest people we have and understand the lessons as the wisdom is in the lessons itself.

A lot of the times, we display traits in our family lines unconsciously and create our own obstacles and unhappiness. This may verily at times block our spiritual progress at times as the debts need to be cleared.

Ways to Clear Ancestral Debts

You may ask me how to clear ancestral debts. There are many ways and modalities in this day and age now. If you are the traditional, then through prayers, pujas and even food offerings made in the name of your ancestors can be done and is good. It must also be done with sincere awareness and offering in your memory of the ancestor. Other newer modalities are there such as regression therapy etc.

The one that can be continuous and effect a transformational change is conscious awareness and change by will. What do I mean with this? Usually, ancestral issues are impacted mostly of three generations while we are living. We are the present generation which is gap between the past which are our ancestors and the future which is of our descendants. When we take conscious effort to heal, we effect healing for our ancestors as well as for our descendants. We try to make sure that our descendants inherit what has been positively been passed down. Again, I must say that ancestors do not just pass down negative issues, some of it is very positive as well. It can be positive in terms of material but more long lasting can be of spiritual. Many energy healers, readers and occult individuals may seem to inherit a positive spiritual aspect but is disguised in a way to actually heal or clear a karmic debt as well.

Conscious awareness is where we actually observe ourselves having the traits of our ancestors and reflecting as to whether is beneficial or not. Understanding how these traits actually impact on our lives and others. Is it helping us or is it causing more problems. In identifying this, we can take baby steps to change it one at a time to transform that trait or habit and in time, the results will show. The energy of the planets that show these traits will also transform. In doing this transformation through effort, you may realise and understand the lesson and wisdom of how and why that trait had been passed and why you need to transform it. When the results show, it validates. That is when wisdom will dawn. In that sense, our ancestors have given us a gift that is invaluable. This is not easy but is usually the challenges that produce the most intense rewards.

Wisdom is in the Lessons

The wisdom behind clearing ancestral debts is to release the debts we have with others in some way or form to be liberated. At soul level, there is no father, mother, siblings etc. Clearing the debts of family and ancestors is to release our attachments to these physical roles that are transient. I am not saying that now we can just do not care of family and ancestors. No. I am meaning that all these roles are itself there to bring out lessons for us to learn. Respecting parents is about learning gratitude and respect for the Universe which is the Creator. Ones that nourish and nurture us. So we still fulfill our roles in physical form but see it as these roles are meant there for us to learn our lessons but not get attached to it. Seeing the wisdom in the lessons of our relationship with our ancestors and family will bring healing and also freedom.  In breaking these attachments of our perception, we liberate ourselves and merge with the Universe is a being of all of us as pure forms of universal love. So enjoy deriving wisdom in the lessons of our ancestors.

With much love and light,

Anura