Discover Your Ancestral Detectives, Gate Keepers and Storytellers

From the book, Ancestral Impressions: Exploring Your Ancestry throught Creativity, Imagery, and Intuition by Audrey F. Chowdhury 

I love to watch and read mystery stories. I like to look for clues in the most ordinary circumstances and conversations. Playing the armchair detective is engaging and fun. I find that when I approach the ancestral realm as a detective, following clues, looking for details that may lead to the answer to a mystery can make the work into an interesting pastime. My Inner Detective is quite useful in this regard. Do you have one? If so, be sure to create an image of her or him to take with you. The detective can be very helpful when it comes to asking questions of the ancestors and asking them to tell you the whys and how’s that may lead to solutions to deeper puzzles within your family.

We often bump into gate keepers along the way to accessing the realm of ancestors. It is important, first of all, to have a Gate Keeper of your own who can work with your protector to keep your boundaries clear and solid as you do this work. I have also encountered a Gate Keeper who is in charge of the door to the ancestral realm. She appeared in a SoulCollage® card several years before I understood who she was. Her job is to decide if my intentions are honorable as I approach the door to the world of my ancestors. I need to assure her that my intentions are only for good. I am not entering to settle an old grudge, or to project hate and shame, but only to find love, understanding, wisdom and clarity so that I may pass these along to the next generations. The ancestors that I wish to encounter with such an intention will be the ones who have equally honorable and helpful intentions.

Take a moment to ask yourself what your intention is in doing this work. Write it down. You can even create a prayer or a mantra to use as you communicate with the ancestors so that you can remind them and yourself what you are looking for.


“Ancestral Detective”, collage card by Audrey Chowdhury

“Ancestral Gatekeeper”, collage card by Audrey Chowdhury

One of the strongest ancestral voices that I have heard is that of an Aunt Edna. I had no conscious awareness or memory of this great aunt. She tells me that she is the family story teller, and so of course, she wants to come through. Perhaps your family had a storyteller? You can ask your ancestors if there is a storyteller among them if you do not know of one. They can be quite helpful because they are storehouses for details that others may not have even noticed! These storytellers often lived in the shadows, recording the stories in their minds and hearts if not on paper. How grateful they are to have someone ask them to tell their tales! Try imagining a storyteller in your family. Maybe there are more than one. Which generation might they belong to? Which lineage are they connected to? Try making up a story to tell to this person, or to tell about this person. Imagine what they might look like.