Hi Mary-

I hear about how personal healing and Ancestral healing affect the family. Hopefully my question here is clear. I know you mention in your books a ripple effect, but I suppose I am asking if the healing work I am doing on myself creates change in my living family (or my bloodline/ancestors?)

Also I am curious your thoughts then on consent. Maybe this is making things too complicated, but if my healing does affect others, particularly those closest to me (children, family who may not wish to be healed) how does that work? Or I suppose the pertinent question is do I need to inform others about the work that I am doing or consider that sort of ripple effect.

Thank you for your thoughts–



Hi Georgia-

Great question, and it is one that deserves a good dose of clarity.

On one level, the personal and ancestral healing work we do does have a profound effect on the lives of those around us because who we are changes.

We are talking about deep healing work when we talk about spiritual healing done correctly/well, and so your identity will shift, the way you perceive the world changes, and how you treat yourself and others (including your family/children) changes as a result of it.

Even healing a stockpile of anger within yourself can create massive positive change in family dynamics, as that anger is no longer underlying every interaction you have with others.

This can also cause some temporary confusion, by the way (as a sort of aside).

In spiritual healing work the family is considered one organism, one being. When one aspect of that organism experiences considerable change (you), that whole organism needs to come to a new way of being, a new homeostasis.

This same is true of ancestral healing, in which the being would then be composed of many parts– dead and living humans, the lands they lived on, the houses, their stories of survival, their spiritual gifts and connections.

It does get confusing when you consider the vast webs of inter-relation that we are all a part of, but for simplicity I will say that if you have a family of four people and you experience considerable healing, that will ripple out like a huge wave. In an entire ancestral line it may be a smaller wave.

So let’s get to the questions regarding consent and how this actually affects family. By this most people mean living family members, extended family (family of origin that are still living, for example), and children.

When we experience deep healing the way that we treat others and ourselves experiences considerable change. We are breaking cycles, and no longer passing forward the suffering to our children and others that once lived within us.

But on a deeper energetic level, what happens when one part of the “web” we are a part of changes is that it creates the opportunity for change for other parts of the web. Consider yourself to be a catalyst, a sort of light that is showing other parts of the web suffering in darkness (ignorance, suffering/pain) that it is possible to change, and that change instead of being a fearful thing, a thing to resist, may actually feel good.


We have so many webs that we relate to every day. We experience these moments of light from many different sources. It is up to time and place and readiness and willingness if we seize such opportunities, if we take absorb the light coming into our awareness.

To be less abstract for a moment, on a subconscious level when you do deep personal or ancestral healing your sister, your close friend, your child, or your grandparent may have a blip in awareness, a brief moment of consciousness expansion where they recognize the possibility of change.

It is then up to them if they want to follow through with it or not.

Like I mentioned we all have these (for most of us) subconscious waves and shifts and consciousness changes happening every moment of every day. Some of them are larger than others, and we rarely recognize their source (unless we have done something particular, like go to a healing retreat or something).

We all have the opportunity, that intersection of possibility and energy and momentum and time and space, and much of the time it is difficult for us to move out of a contemplation phase into actually doing anything to create real change. But when we do, and we have the support of another in our “web” to do so, the results are (or can be) tremendous.

So a final thought on consent. Every action we take creates consequences, a sort of ripple in that web. Me going for a walk this morning will affect other people, the grass, the birds, the energy of the webs that I intersect with in ways I cannot even begin to fully fathom. Or I could not go for that walk and there will be a ripple effect in relation to that choice as well.

In terms of personal healing or ancestral healing what it does is bring opportunity and possibility to our interrelated webs.

As a spiritual worker I often work with blockages in clients that come from ancestors that are suffering, stuck, used to their beliefs and pain. We understand this personally as we live it out on a daily basis, but with ancestral healing a large portion of that “web”, composed of many souls, may be quite resistant to change.

Forcing healing never works. It creates further resistance and change. This is true individually, for our ancestors, and for any suffering being out there.

There is a reason for even the darkest depression, anger, or fear, and by letting it express itself, by offering compassion and support, by knowing its reason for being, it can be transform.

So on a simple level I suppose my caveat to the consent topic is that any time I hear about forced healing (someone doing healing for another person or forcing it on them, even if it is larger work such as group work regarding weather) I shudder a bit.

In those situations it becomes about the agenda of the person who is forcing the healing– what they, often in an air of superiority and “I know best” – would consider healing for the other. Even with the best of intentions, this is malicious, it is unethical, and it is more about the self-absorption of the individual than about what would truly be healthy or helpful in the situation.

So do all of the personal healing that you want to, the ancestral healing, and know it creates those possibilities, those moments of light for all around you.

But on a personal level we decide when and how much we heal, and so as long as you do your personal healing without having an agenda or purpose for how others will receive it, I find that ethically you will be in the clear.


Mary Mueller Shutan is a spiritual healer, teacher, and author of several books including Shadow Work for the Soul, Working with Kundalini, and The Shamanic Workbook series.

If you have a question for the Seventh Eye/Mary, you can contact her here