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Send the spirits of your Departed loved ones home to the Ancestral Realm

The annual Ancestralization ritual provides a vessel to aid the spirit of the deceased in their transition, and be welcomed home in the ancestral realm.


This is a local program at the East Coast Village


$150 for 5 Days/ 4 Nights + Meals and Lodging


Robert Walker, Tingan sob

Why Do We Ancestralize The Dead?

There is probably no greater service that we can do for ourselves, our children, our communities, and our ancestors, than to help the spirits of our dead loved ones return safely and peacefully to their ancestral home.

Malidoma Somé

Dagara Elder, Author & Teacher

You grieve the passing of a loved one, whether through tragic circumstances, or silently, in a ripe old age. Even in a recent loss, or many decades ago, your loved ones may need your help to cross over.

When a loved one dies, the loss may overwhelm you with mixed emotions during the stages of grief - pain, shame, guilt, or anger.  

And, for the deceased, they may still have unfinished business -  unresolved issues lingering past their death.

In order to be complete in their transition, they need to be escorted - in ritual - to the ancestral realm where they can continue to connect with the living in a wholesome and healthy way.

Many indigenous cultures, like the Dagara of West Africa, perform various rites to ensure that the deceased are able to "cross over" in peace and in completion of any earthly business yet to be resolved.  They ritualize this crossing in order to hand over the loved one to the realm of the ancestors, allowing for a sense of completion in the vast array of duties following the passing of that individual.

The Dagara also believe that the deceased can become powerful allies once they are fully “at home” in the ancestral realm. As a result, they perform specific rituals that support the deceased in letting go, in a powerful way, of attachments that might keep their souls bound to this earth plane. Once in their true home, the Ancestral realm, they become whole, as Ancestors, and are better able to engage with those who remain on the earthly plane.

By performing the Ancestralization ritual, inspired by the Dagara tradition, the spirits of your loved ones are healed, regardless of the manner of their passing. You are able to help them with unfinished business while grieving your loss,  after which you will be able to connect with them in a wholesome manner in the afterlife. Although you may be in a state of grief and loss, Ancestralization stresses the beauty of community and the continuity of life, because death is seen as another life passage, not and end.

As a result of this continuing cycle of life, the East Coast Village offers the Ancestralization ritual on an annual basis, affording you the opportunity to assist the dead in crossing over to their true home in the ancestral realm.

About the Ancestralization Ritual

Ancestralization is a four (4) day intensive ritual process that includes an all-night vigil until dawn  in which participants stay up with the ancestors as they cross over. If this is a first time, participants generally ancestralize one male and one female as “representatives” of their male and female lineage. This is seen as a powerful way to attract others in your lineage to come and be transformed by the process.

A divination is usually done as part of the preparations to identify and confirm which male and female is to be chosen.

 It has also been our experience that you can ancestralize people who are not related to you by bloodline, but who are connected through the bonds of love, such as through adoption or friendship. So come with an idea of who you would want to ancestralize, but plan to be open to what comes through the divinatory process, it may not be whom you expect.

what to bring for the ritual

  • Pictures of the deceased loved one(s) to be ancestralized. If photos are not available bring mementos of deceased loved ones or write their name on paper as a substitute. Do not bring photos of the living and the deceased together. Be sure that photos do not depict anyone that is still living. Protect original photos by covering with plastic, laminating, or bringing copies. Black & White photos disappear when laminated – copy and laminate the copy.

  • Candles – red for the Ancestor altar, yellow and/or brown for the Earth shrine. It is important to have long-burning candles, so the shrine stays fully lit during the vigil. The 7-day candles in glass are ideal as they require less attention and are safer. Please avoid scented candles. As a substitute, you may bring white candles if red ones are not available.
  • Fresh flowers, sacred items to decorate the Ancestor altar and Earth shrine.
  • Offerings - cornmeal, tobacco, whole foods including fruits, vegetables etc.
  • Pieces of fabric or old clothing belonging to the deceased, if possible. Ideally of natural fabrics (no metal or other inert materials). Do not bring clothing that belongs to you.
  • Sewing materials: scissors, needle, thread, thimble, etc.
  • Knife for whittling branches, if you have one.
  • Celebratory outfit for Feast to Honor the Ancestors.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a local event, where can I stay?

I have never been on the Land, what do I need?

Do you provide meals? I have a special diet...

I need more information, who do I contact?

Due to Covid restrictions, limited space available. Tuition for Ancestralization: $150. Does not include lodging and meals.