One by one each Spirit came forward with a special message. By the way the medium described them, I recognized each soul right away: Junito, my 30-something-year-old cousin who drowned at sea; Vincent, my cousin who was shot and killed during his prime; Rose, my cousin who died after a long battle with cancer, grandma, the celebrated chef and mother of seven children, and Gene, my brother, the gifted musician who left earth for the Spirit World in 2008.
To communicate with Spirits, mediums must speed up their vibration, whereas those in Spirit must slow down their vibration in order to link with the material world.
Although I’ve been a student of African spirituality for years and I have an ancestral shrine at home, some of my most memorable messages with ancestors have come from mediums who do not practice African spiritual traditions. I’ve always wondered why this this might so. While I don’t know for sure, here’s my humble theory.
Since Africans have always believed in the eternity of the soul and the presence of ancestors in our day-to-day lives, perhaps they feel no need to prove it. You either accept this “reality” or you don’t. Western mediums, on the other hand, feel that their mission is to prove that life continues after death; therefore, they strive to provide “evidence” – facts about the loved ones in Spirit that the client can verify during or after the reading.
In my most recent phone reading with Tim Braun, a medium based in L.A., the medium was spot-on about many things in my life: my height, the number of children my grandma had (7), the foreign language that I speak (French), the color of my hair (mostly gray), the number of children I have, etc.
Though I sense my ancestors in life and invoke them constantly, I seldom receive their messages with the same level of detailed communication that some mediums effortlessly provide. (But I’m working on it.)
My readings with the elders in Africa are based on Ifa/orisa communication – not ancestor communication.
Communication with the ancestors can be life-changing. It is important because it can shed more light on who we are and what we’ve come to earth to do. For example, over the course of many years, two different mediums insist I have healing energy in my hands and should do something to develop this gift. That’s what my ancestors told them.
Though I’m an Ifa diviner and have had many readings done in Africa, I was never told about the healing energy in my hands. Now that I am convinced that it’s true, I plan to study Reiki (energy healing) as well as Eastern and Western massage. Would I have considered doing this if I had not received messages from my ancestors on two different occasions? Well, it’s possible but I seriously doubt it.
Spirit communication is important because it can also change the way we think of the afterlife. During my last reading my brother said that he loves to go swimming in the Spirit world. That comment blew me away and made me think. What is it like to swim in the Spirit world? Many of us may assume that our ancestors have nothing to do in the Spirit world, but based on accounts that I’ve heard, I doubt this is true. Those in Spirit still lead active, full-lives. The journey of life continues forever; death is merely a transition from one world to the next.
Our ancestors have a profound influence on us whether we are aware of their presence or not. They inspire us from afar, hear our thoughts as well as our prayers, and they draw close to us when we need. They are aware of our challenges, fears and dreams.
Our task is to quiet our minds and listen! The ancestors have so much to say.