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ancestral lineage clearing or cleansing

Ancestral clearing (AC) is a type of energy healing based on the belief that what our ancestors did creates some sort of energy grid that affects their descendants' happiness, health, prosperity, and relationships. In short, if we are having problems today with our health or wealth, if we are unhappy because we are not actualizing our full potential, it may be because of what our ancestors did. Ancestral clearing can transform the negative energy created by our ancestors so that it no longer blocks our progress.

I have not yet found an AC energy healer who explains why the universe is like this or how it was discovered that this is the way it is. There may be some myth I'm unaware of, something analogous to the myth of original sin, perhaps. (The myth of original sin blames our problems on the sin of Adam and Eve who gave in to the temptation of Satan and disobeyed their creator's order not to eat from the tree of good and evil. The punishment for that sin is passed on to all humans but can be washed away with a ritual known as baptism.)

The actual method of ancestral clearing depends on who you consult. I believe there is no single method, like baptism, because the idea of ancestral clearing is a rather recent one (probably the late 20th and early 21st centuries1) and there is no tradition to follow. New Age energy healers have improvised on a basic theme. It is true that many cultures venerate their ancestors and believe ancestral spirits can be consulted and even instigate changes in things going on today. While some who practice ancestral clearing frame their work in terms of shamanism or Native American practices, their methods may also incorporate the New Age notion of some sort of subtle energy, not measurable by any scientific instruments, that not only courses through all living things but also is in our DNA, our dreams, and our subconscious mind.

Ariann Thomas

Ariann ThomasAriann Thomas exemplifies the New Age healer who uses AC in her practice. She even has a book on the subject: Healing Family Patterns: Ancestral Lineage Clearing for Personal Growth (2012). She claims that AC is "a powerful transformation and healing tool. It releases an enormous amount of energy in a short period of time to allow people to move on and create happiness in their lives." Where this energy goes, she doesn't say, but if there is a law of conservation that applies to subtle energy then that negative energy must go somewhere. It is possible that one person's clearing could mean another person's undoing. Or maybe no laws apply to subtle energy. Perhaps it does whatever the energy healers want it to do. Anyway, according to Ms. Thomas:

Ancestral Lineage Clearing is a guided trance work that facilitates clients in removing blocks and patterns that have been in families for generations. Once removed, these patterns are not carried into future generations. Gain new perspectives and coping abilities that help clients get more enjoyment from their lives and with their families.

Too bad the descendants of Tantalus didn't know about AC, but then we wouldn't have one of the greatest myths of all time to talk about: the curse of the house of Atreus.

Where are these negative patterns located, you might wonder, and how are blocks removed? You have to pay to find out, I guess, but in the meantime ponder this:

Ancestral Lineage Clearing is an advanced healing technique where a person energetically travels back into their family’s past to change a non-harmonious or dysfunctional pattern in order to bring more happiness, health, joy, prosperity or better relationships into their present life.

Should we trust Ms. Thomas? I don't know, but here is a list of a few of her credentials:

Ariann is the Co-Founder and Administrative Director of the New Dream Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the Sacred Feminine Awakening on the planet through education, ritual and service.

She is a non-denominational minister; holds the energy of an Elder; is a Ceremonialist; and assists with the Elderhood Initiation Program.

She is of Cherokee heritage and honors the Native American spiritual tradition.

Plus, she says she's had over 30 years' experience in the healing arts.

Ariann has been doing energy work throughout time and space with crystals, sound, light and hands-on-healing touch. She has also engaged in energetic healing work with the 9 Rites of the Munay-Ki, Healing Touch, Reiki (1st and 2nd Degree) and animal healing.

How does Ms. Thomas clear your ancestral baggage? There is a hint in this testimonial from A. W. of Bend, Oregon, posted on her website:

The Ancestral Lineage Clearing breaks the vibrational link with which the cellular memories are passed forward through the generations. It is an extraordinary process and I am very grateful to Ariann for her skill and awareness, as she guided me into the understanding of discovered truths and compassion for my family and myself.

How she knows there are cellular memories of our ancestor's actions and emotions that have a vibrational link or how she actually breaks the alleged "vibrational link" in cellular memory isn't clear. I suppose it would be rude to ask her to prove it.


LilyOne common thread I've found in the AC practitioners I've looked at is that they appeal to those of us who feel we are stuck in a job or career we don't like or our relationships have all been bad or we're not as wealthy or healthy as we'd like to be. They appeal to those of us with pains and obstacles that have been dragging us down, preventing us from achieving our true potential. They appeal to those of us who are bored. It's not our fault. Our ancestors are to blame. Lucky us, the healer has come to rescue us out of the goodness of her/his heart and for a small fee.

If Ariann is not the right fit for you, you might try Lily at Across Dimensions. Lily's not her real name; it was given to her by her spirit guides.

Lily tells us:

Ancestral Healing involves Healing [sic] your ancestors' unresolved emotional issues, problems or trauma. In so doing, it releases you from any energetic patterns that link you to them - patterns that can have an inhibiting or disruptive influence on your life today.

Somehow energy from our ancestors' unresolved emotional issues and traumas are what block our path to "joy, abundance, authentic power, and unlimited possibilities." Doesn't seem fair. But how does this energetic pattern travel from generation to generation? Lily doesn't appeal to cellular memory. You don't need to know how it's done. Just trust Lily. She will do the heavy lifting for you:

If you are feeling held back, stymied or blocked in some way, and usual methods for clearing or opening up the congestion have not worked, Lily will check to see if any one of your ancestors is 'calling out' for help. If she gets a confirmation of this, Lily will ask you to call in your Higher Self along with the Higher Selves of your ancestors who wish to be healed. Having the intention to co-create this Healing [sic] experience is key to its success.

Interesting. Lily will convene a council of Higher Selves, yours and those of your dead ancestors, and you'll work out something. Who is Lily, you might wonder and why should we accept her rather extraordinary claim without any evidence? We are told only a little about her, but this will have to suffice to help you decide whether she's the healer for you.

Lily is an articulate, intuitive intermediary who can seamlessly connect with individuals who have passed over to the 'other side' and have direct communication with them. This includes people as well as animals.*

By being able to call a Tribal Council of Higher Selves, she distinguishes herself as claiming to have greater power than, say, James Van Praagh or John Edward, who can only get clips of messages from the dead. Can she deliver? I don't know, but I have my doubts.

John Newton

John NewtonNot all AC healers connect their work to Native American traditions. John Newton, for example, connects his AC work with quantum physics and epigenetics (Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi.) He makes no New Age energy claims. No, he claims the ancestral baggage is karma that blocks you from living a deeply fulfilling and happy life and is transferred from generation to generation as "sequences of amino acids that attach to our DNA and store ancestral trauma, adversity and limitation." How does he know this? "Science," he says, "has been validating this by acknowledging epigenomes." Really? This news may come as a surprise to biologists, but John makes his appeal to those who prefer an actor to a scientist as their source of information on physics and evolutionary biology.

According to his website, Newton "affects well-being by helping remove the blocks, burdens and debris from people's lives and ancestral lineages - restoring physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  His work also supports people in waking up to their true nature, free of suffering." Newton offers a brief video demo of how powerful his work is:

He says that for almost 30 years he's been helping people all over the world clear blocks and burdens caused by their ancestors. "Most report dramatic increases in their physical, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being," he says. I don't doubt it. He says he had "a profound awakening in his  twenties" that allowed him to enter a "state of pure consciousness" at will. In this state, he says, he is able to "affect all aspects of well-being by removing negative content and burdens from our life and ancestral lineage."*

Newton calls his website Health Beyond Belief, but there seems to be little connection between his work with AC and the book by Doreen Carrie and Pat Comforti titled Health Beyond Belief: Breaking the Beliefs That Block Our Birthright for Radiant Health (1997). Here's a partial list of the kinds of things Newton says your ancestors could be affecting:

  • Headaches
  • Back and Joint Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Weight Issues
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Auto-immune Disease
  • Relationship Concerns
  • Financial Uncertainty
  • Addictions
  • Fears and Phobias
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Clarity of Purpose

As the reader can see, AC offers a powerful array of help in all the areas commonly covered by healers and fortune tellers, plus many more. Many may be attracted by Newton's promise: "There is no physical contact with John’s work and no belief is necessary. The only requirement is to want help." For the curious, there is this: "Nothing exists until we observe it." We learn this from quantum physics, says Newton, and it is a key to how AC works.

Mark and Chris Pasley

Chris Pasley

Red Spirit Energy Healing is what Mark and Chris Pasley call their work. They specialize in "past lives and Mark Pasleygenetic, hereditary patterns, along with inter-dimensional interferences," which, they say, "all have the potential to influence your life in many different ways," some of them really bad ways. "These influences can be extremely, debilitating and often go unrecognized," say the Pasleys. "We need to accept that everything is energy, and negative energy traveling down the ancestral line, (for whatever reason) has the potential to impact the descendants. We also need to accept that clearing this negative flow, will have a benefit for all the descendants." And guess who can clear that ancestral negative energy for you? How do they do it? Don't ask. This pair is a one-stop New Age circus act. They do remote viewing, psychic readings, Applied Clinical Nutrition (whatever that is),  Divine Source Enhancement Healing, neurolinguistic programming, Dreamtime Healing using Holographic Kinetics, you name it.

Kate Strong

Kate StrongKate Strong says: "You may have tried every kind of therapy or energy healing and found your issues don't budge, or they just lessen in intensity a bit. But they generally don't change. This may be because your issues did not originate in this lifetime, they came from your ancestors that went before you." We can't evolve, she says, until we unblock the ancestral energy that is holding us back.

Her website declares that "Kate has intuitively given tens of thousands of readings and loves to transform energy." How she does this is something you'll have to find out for yourself in a healing session. By the way, Kate is "certified in the Emotion Code, Soul Realignment, Meta-Health coaching, and uses other modalities."


Ana Ana went on her first Vision Quest in 1989 and since then she has been transformed, she says. "It was the first time I began to understand the relationship of spirituality and the Earth, and that this ancient understanding was rooted in something called shamanism." On her website at www.HollowBone.com, Ana describes why she thinks we need ancestral healing:

We carry in our bodies the stories, illnesses, tragedies, pain, and grief of our ancestors. Oftentimes we are unconscious of how the energy of old family wounds informs how we think and act in everyday life. This is why we see patterns of abuse, incest, addiction, poor health and many other traits passed down through generations. From a shamanic perspective, these traits are seen as energetic imprints in our Luminous Energy Field (read Illuminations) which need to be cleared so the ancestral pattern ceases to inform our behavior or health.

Yes, those pesky energetic imprints on our Luminous Energy Field is the problem and Ana has the solution: ancestral lineage clearing. What kind of problems are we talking about? According to Ana, ancestral imprints manifest in many ways, including "debilitating belief or emotion which you share with other members of your family lineage," "destructive behavior such as substance abuse, addiction or incest," or accidents in a male or female lineage such as "men of the family having heart attacks in their mid 40’s or back injuries that befall women of the family at a particular age."

How do we get rid of the ancestral imprints? Ana says that it "involves clearing the imprint from our body by integrating several different shamanic healing methods." If that's not clear, you might have to undergo several sessions with her to get a better idea of what she means. These sessions "would include an Illumination, extraction, soul retrieval and the spirit releasing of deceased relatives." I hope that helps clear things up.

Mary Phyllis Horn

Mary Phyllis HornMary Phyllis Horn is the author of Ancestral Lines Clearing (2013), but AC is just one of many services she provides. Horn is a Shamanic Practitioner, Certified Therapist, Ordained Interfaith Metaphysical Minister, and Reconnection® Practitioner. She claims that "the vast majority of my training and teaching since June of 1994 has come from my spirit guides, i.e., power animals, spirit teachers, angels and archangels." Like the Pasleys described above, Horn is a one-stop service station for healing and counseling. Horn does everything from Shamanic Power Soul Retrieval to Spiritual Hypnotherapy to Thought Field Therapy. I have no idea how she clears the ancestral baggage, but it must get confusing keeping her powers and techniques organized and out of the way of each other.

"Dr."2 Steven Farmer

Steven Farmer is the author of Healing Ancestral Karma: Free Yourself from Unhealthy Family Patterns (2014). Farmer, like John Newton, identifies karma as the ancestral baggage that needs clearing if we are to reach our true potential. Karma runs in our DNA and quantum physics makes this possible, they think. And, like Newton, Farmer claims to know how to clear the negative ancestral energy web, but his method is more like the shamanic healers mentioned above who will contact spirits or teach you to contact your spirit guide to let the healing begin. Before viewing the video of Farmer explaining his healing process, consider his wise words:

If you come from a long line of saints and humanitarians, your life is probably pretty sweet. However, if you are like most folks, your forbears are probably a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a result, you are living with some appalling karmic consequences.

As you can tell from his own words, Farmer is no ordinary shaman. In fact, he wears several hats. He's a retired licensed psychotherapist and an ordained minister in the Circle of Sacred Earth Church. He describes himself as a "world-renowned author, Soul Healer, shamanic practitioner, and spiritual teacher" who "has extensively studied and explored spiritual transformation, trauma recovery, shamanism, hypnotherapy, breathwork, and energy psychology."* What could possibly go wrong in a session with someone holding such credentials?


Ancestral lineage healers have the best of two worlds. They practice both medicine and psychotherapy without having to study for years or know anything about either field. They make the same appeal that many self-help programs make: we can help you find wealth, health, happiness, fulfillment, better relationships. They even use some of the same language as the self-help folks: stuck/unstuck, blocked/unblock, clear, cleanse, negative energy. They rely on testimonials and subjective validation rather than scientific studies, and some like to hype up their appeal by connecting what they do to quantum physics and epigenetics in some vague and ultimately unintelligible way. Perhaps they've read Deepak Chopra. Some, but not all, of the AC healers like to place themselves in some sort of shamanic tradition and present themselves as primarily spiritual gurus. They all start with an ancient idea, ancestral pollution. Some join the ancestral pollution idea to the New Age practice of energy medicine, which is little more than a combination of placebo medicine and cold reading. Some connect ancestral pollution with some sort of communication with the dead. The healers then offer up their equivalent of baptism to help you be reborn, unburdened, and free. Free to do what? Free to make your own fate?

AC healers seem to take as advice the observation of Charles Mackey regarding how the mesmerizers dazzle us with their healing powers: increase the spirituality—rouse the spirit from its slumbers, or, in other words, work upon the imagination—induce belief and blind confidence, and you may do any thing.

See also fake healing,Rumpology for Dummies, vibrational medicine, Consegrity, and Ze'ev Kolman.


1. Google 'ancestral clearing' and you get over 400,000 results. Do an Ngram search through Google Books and you get no results through 2008, indicating that, at least as far as literature goes, ancestral clearing is a recent phenomenon. Clearly, any ancestral clearing that appeals to quantum physics and epigenetics is a recent occurrence. The practice does not seem related to beliefs in ghosts or hauntings, but is best thought of in terms of energy medicine.

2. I put "Dr." in scare quotes because Farmer's doctorate isn't from a real university. He got his degree from Madison College, a non-accredited school with headquarters in Gulfport, Mississippi. According to Wikipedia, the state of Mississippi considers Madison an "unapproved" college. Four other states list Madison as an unaccredited and/or substandard institution, and the state of Oregon considers Madison a diploma mill.


Last updated 01-Jan-2016

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