Everyday Laurali Star

Life As a Solitary Green Witch!

Rootwork and Working With Ancestors For Deep, Emotional Healing


a white deciduous plant in Florida with white fairy magic and plants spirit energy
Let's talk about rootwork and working with ancestors for deep, emotional healing!  Digging into our pasts, no matter how far away and magical it may seem, can unearth things about ourselves we never knew existed.  That is the power of working with your ancestral lineage in your spellwork!

I must admit, in the beginning, I was intimidated to work with my ancestors.  I had heard horror stories throughout my family history of violence, mental illness, and addictions.  I think this kind of held me back from reaching out to my ancestors.  

Even with this knowledge, something kept drawing me in, creating a link between me and them.  I held onto the good stories in my family, the ones that speak of empowerment and survival.  I think it was the stories of Native American great-grandmothers and full-blooded Irish great-grandfathers that kept me rooted in history.  

These were the people that interested me.  It was their legacies of handmade clothing and meals made from scratch that ignited a passion within me.  It was the stories of the women in our family who were brave enough to walk away from abusive marriages during a time when that was unheard of.  

I started feeling a bond and connection with these people I had never even met.  Their blood was my blood and that included the family members who weren't technically blood-related.  That's because family is what you make of it or rather who.  

This is what created a deep fascination with my ancestors, and from there, a new journey began.  This universal acknowledgment was further confirmed when I received the tarot reading from Liza from Arcane and Stellar that would change my life forever.  

I had asked her if selling herbal spells and remedies was the right direction for me.  Not only did this reading confirm that I was indeed on the right path, but that I come from a long line of ancestors who worked with plants and herbs in the late middle ages!

This moment, this revelation, changed everything for me.  I understood at once where this fascination with ancestors came from.  

As it turns out, the psychic abilities and the witch's intuition I inherited with herbs and plants come from a long, long time ago in a land far, far away!  My family members were even tortured and persecuted for it.  

It was in this knowledge that I sought refuge in my ancestor folk.  I began to work homespun magic with them that has taken my spellwork to the great beyond!

Ancestors Who Worked With Plants and Herbs

One of those people, the main ancestor who I work with the most, is named Wren.  Wren has aggressive, masculine energy and I feel like he may have been very handsome back in his day.  He does everything he can to try and get my attention!

He has admitted to me that he uses disguises.  Wren has come to me in toad form before and toads represent fortune and good luck.  In his time period, before it all went south, my ancestor had accumulated some wealth and property for his herbal concoctions and psychic abilities.  

He would sell tarot readings, psychic readings, palm readings, and herbal spells and remedies that he would perform on behalf of the customer.  I believe he would sell commerce overseas and that he would sometimes travel to merchant destinations.  

This, of course, naturally made him a few enemies.  When the love of his life was promised to be married to someone else, it seems the two fled in the middle of the night.  It took the rest of their lives to set down roots and create a new life.  

I believe they had a son because he's not only showed up in my readings but in my reading from Arcane and Stellar too.  I have literally opened my kitchen cupboard and had a toad sitting there staring at me and have had tiny frogs show up in my life as an unexpected surprise.  

I believe the toad symbolism is from my ancestor Wren and the frog symbolism is from his son, who inherited his many spiritual gifts from both mom and dad.

The woman Wren ran away with and married, I feel she lived a fairly isolated life at the end, perhaps after her husband's passing.  It is possible he may have traveled during this time, leaving her alone to work in the garden and tend the house.  

I get a very powerful hedgewitch vibe from her.  She strikes me as powerful, but demure about it.  I feel by the end of her life, she died quite satisfied with her choice to flee and make a life somewhere else.  I can't help but feel admiration for her.  

These are the ancestors whom I work with the most, but I also work with my great-grandmother, my great-great-grandmother, and the collective from my family tree as a whole.  My great-grandmother was a kind and generous Christian woman with a heart of gold and my great-great-grandmother Sylvia was murdered by the husband she left for domestic abuse.  

It is their bravery that makes me want to know them.  It brings me a sense of calm and peace knowing there are good relatives in my family.

Today, I have a deep, spiritual relationship and bond with my ancestors like no other.  It's different than working with goddesses, fairies, or angels.  It's a secret relationship that spans all space and time and is deeply entrenched in the past like an old oak tree.  

Rootwork and Working With Ancestors For Deep, Emotional Healing

What is rootwork?  Let's start there.  Rootwork is using the whole plant in your spellwork.  It's using the seeds, the root, the stem, everything.  This creates a powerful spell that works side-by-side with your ancestral spirits and plant spirits.  

Rootwork stems from the hoodoo branch of magic, which is heavily steeped in the magic of New Orleans.  A lot of green witches, like myself, get into rootwork, as it holds a place in folk magic.  

This is why green witchery is best known as the path to exploration and discovery.  It's about carving your own path and making your own way, as your magic takes shape with elements of folk magic and a nature-based religion.  

Rootwork is known for getting to the root of a problem in witchcraft and finding the cure.  With rootwork, emotional healing is at its core, whether it be used for separation spells or curses.

What is folk magic?  Folk magic, also known as graveyard magic, is about working with the spirits of the past.  This can be ancestors, deceased loved ones (recent passing), and doing spirit work with the magical properties of graveyard dirt.  This is also known as spirit work.  

With folk magic and rootwork, we work with the dead!  I have worked with everyone from Voodoo high priestess Marie Leveau to people rich in the local history in a cemetery not far from where I live. 

As a green witch, you might find yourself yearning to learn more about the past.  You might begin to feel a calling to work with your ancestors and create ties with them.   I found the best way to work with them was through the use of earth magic.  

What is earth magic?  Earth magic is where you use the earth element (trees, herbs, plants, dirt, etc.) to create a connection between yourself and mother earth.  Our ancestors all tend to exist in the root chakra, which is yet another plane of existence also connected to the fairy realm.  

By connecting with your roots, like the roots of a tree, you are essentially connecting with mother nature.  Again, this all goes back to the fact that we are all connected, we are all the same.  We are made up of the same materials as the earth.  

With earth magic, we have the option of working with gemstones, plant allies, and tree spirits, as trees are magic and steeped in ancient history, knowledge, and wisdom.  These living objects, an animistic belief based on green magic, will give you accessibility to the spirits of the dead and the magic they hold as true.  

With a nature-based faith, every plant, gemstone, and flower comes with a built-in nature spirit!  This concept is known as animism, which is the belief that every object is living and ensouled.  Some are just more awake than others!

You can use this earth-based magic in your witchcraft practice and connect with the spirits of your past.  This can be anyone from a recently deceased loved one (in your lifetime) to an ancestor from Biblical times.  You've got to dig deep and use your intuition to learn your historic roots.  

Is this a path you'd like to follow?  Does learning about your ancestors create a feeling of excitement or trepidation inside of you?  First and foremost, even if you err on the side of caution, know that the ancestors will help you to overcome oppression, which is heavily steeped in the hoodoo tradition.  

This does not mean you have to become a hoodoo or voodoo practitioner by any means.  It simply means you'll learn from them, and come to your own crossroads path with the ancestral line you come to know.  

It's about finding your own pathway and merging it with all that you've learned from the people who have lived in the past.  From there, it's about incorporating it into your craft.  Let's talk about how you can use rootwork, folk magic, and ancestor work in your craft, shall we?

Using Rootwork, Folk Magic, and Ancestor Work in Green Witchcraft

To work with your ancestors in your green witchcraft, practice rootwork, and become skilled and adept at it!  This will take time, practice, and patience as your power grows, but it will be worth it in the end.  Nothing is wasted in rootwork so use the whole plant!

Next, you'll want to sit down and pray to your ancestors!  I came to my ancestors at a time when I felt humbled by life.  I got on my hands and knees and poured my heart out to them about what was troubling me.  

When I was done, I left them an apple for nourishment.  This part is very important when doing rootwork and any kind of spirit work!  You always want to leave your ancestors a food item for nourishment, nutrition, and energy.  This is how they are best able to perform tasks for you!

It can be an apple or any kind of fruit that can be left on your altar, a potato, or something bready like a hard bread that has to be cut with a breadknife.  Speaking of altars, I recommend creating an ancestor altar to honor them!  Ancestor altars are great for keeping that connection alive.

Create an Ancestor Altar to Honor Memories

To create an ancestor altar, I find that the family room or the kitchen or hearth of the home are the best places to bridge that connection.  This makes sense, as the kitchen and the family room are the hub of the home where family members hang out together and prepare meals.  

Add some white or brown candles to your ancestor altar, to be lit at dedicated times, like during Mabon and the Autumnal Equinox celebration or Samhain holiday.  This is the place where you can add dried flowers your ancestors would like or you can dedicate a family heirloom to them.  If you have any pictures, you could add family photographs and family albums here.  

Be sure to leave them an offering at least once a week and make it a promise to check in with them weekly for connection, healing, and guidance!  You should leave them a food offering weekly or as soon as the old fruit begins to look drained of its energy.  

That is when you'll begin to know that your fruit or vegetable offering has been energetically used by your ancestors.  It will look lackluster and lifeless and will need to be replaced with new energy and fresh nourishment.  

If you're a bit of a kitchen witch, also an element of green witchery, you would do good to offer a meal to your ancestors baked from scratch once a month.  Something like a homebaked pie or a fruit infuser water with fresh mint leaves can provide nourishment for your ancestor folk.  

I would always recommend keeping a pretty glass of water on your altar, particularly when performing spell enchantments and secret rituals with your ancestors.  Water is the life force and connection to the Other Side.  

I'd also recommend writing distance energy healing letters addressed to your ancestors, also known as letters to the universe.  This provides an instant connection to your ancestors and is the quickest way to reach them, apart from prayer!

You can burn, bury, drown, or blow away the ashes into the sea of any ancestor letter writing you do.  Again, this bridges the deep spiritual bond and connection between you!

In addition to that, you can heal deep childhood wounds and trauma, as well as ancestral wounds by working with them.  The ancestors pair really well with shadow work and can help you look deep within and reflect on your rich inner world.

Last but not least, do ancestor tarot readings whenever you can to check in with them and see what messages pop up.  The ancestors will often provide feedback that is reassuring and helpful to you.  

What can the ancestors help you with?  My ancestors have assisted me with everything from herbal witchcraft to finding and moving into a new home.  They have also helped me work through my fears and dark secrets, bringing them into the light for deep, emotional healing.

The ancestors are a piece of our past.  They are history.  They are integral to our growth as green witches and if you light the candle in their honor, I promise you they will show you the way.

Hi, I'm Laurali! I write about moon magic and seasonal shifts and all things faery. about me


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