A Black woman with short hair hugs her knees while putting her head on on her knee. A featured image of the blog post Spirituality, The Ancestors, and Systemic Blocks to Success

I am a fixed candle failure.

This blog post is about the ancestors and how helpful they’ve been to me.

But let’s talk about what wasn’t working.

I love fixed candles as a way to set intentions, to bring in people and things I need, and to release those I don’t.

But my goodness, they don’t do shit for me.

I think.

I bought have hundreds of dollars of fixed candles, but it seems like the only one that works is when I have one for my ancestors.

As I type this, I have a prepared candle for an ancestor who requested it. I met her two weeks ago today during an impromptu mediumship reading with a friend. During a Reiki/tarot exchange with another friend, I had lit a white 7-day candle for my ancestors and they came through the Reiki season.

So the ancestors seem to work. I’ll come back to this thought later. I came to bitch about things that seemingly don’t work.

Time To Move On But Feeling Stuck

I’ve been trying to build my business to move to the Seattle area ASAP, because I have outgrown life here in Florida, with the mishandling of COVID along with the copious amounts of hurricanes in the Gulf being some of the main reasons.

Even before COVID started, I started to go balls-to-the-wall with working on myself.

I’ve taken a ton of courses, on copywriting, on energy work, on working with the ancestors, on preparing for the love of my life. I became Reiki attuned. I joined a spiritual selling mastermind. I work with an energy mentor. I’m concluding a mentorship period with a business consultant next month. I took a 30-day journey with Lakshmi. I embarked on a 40-day journey with a subagh kriya. I participated in daily group meditation. I received a lot of energy work and healing. I’ve bought a bunch of astro-magical materials and tools. I read about chaos magic.

And things are moving, slowly but surely.

But my god, why is it taking this much effort?

Whose Blocks Are These?

The conventional toxic positivity approach is to say that I have a ton of blocks. Something is wrong with me. Well, I’ve done a shit ton with that, and that isn’t really true anymore.

Look, I hate to compare but I know of people who aren’t very nice (yes, I have this idea that if you’re a good person, you should be rewarded) who seem to create the lives they want with much more ease.

We can run into blocks like having the wrong mindset, about deservingness, about worthiness, about healthy boundaries, about doing the work of building a business. Those blocks cross all cultures.

As a double Capricorn, of course, I just want to effort my way into things. It gives me a sense of control.

But eventually, you can only do so much, because there are bigger systemic energetic systems delaying my success.

You know, like racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism — any type of discrimination.

And it makes sense that, for example, my parents and their friends who immigrated to the U.S. really relied on their faith to get through the morass of racism in their professional and personal lives. It makes sense that the Civil Rights Movement had support from Black churches. It makes sense that traditional African religions and practices such as voodoo supported and guided Black enslaved folks in the Americas.

Spirituality has been a way to overcome, or to at least endure, all the evil isms.

Even still, I feel like I could order ten million oils and potions and spell work services and it was still sloooooow.

Sometimes You Need Extra Help and Support to Break Through

For example, two years ago, I ordered candle service from this lovely practitioner to remove the person I’ve called “the racist shitshow” from the place I currently lived.

She performed the service in January right around when he had a psychotic break. He left in July. Oof.

And still, it took so much effort for me to get him out. He smoked nasty cigarettes inside the house. During one of his psychotic breaks that lasted for hours on end, he repeatedly called me the n-word through my door.

It was a terror-filled time. But, he’s dead now. Liver cancer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Why did it take so long?

Well, the current owners of this place are slumlords who like money and don’t GAF about me. And well, if I was some white guy, he would have been kicked out long ago.

So yes, racism and possibly sexism had a lot to do with it. And those are also spiritual issues.

In a moment of frustration, I shared with my energy mentor about why I felt things seemed to take longer for me to bring into form. She said that she had seen these isms and phobias as blocks, so the energy sometimes has to move around it, which makes things longer.

At the time, I felt like I had to surrender to just having to put in a lot more effort for things that came much easier for people.

I, kind of, gave up finding some silver bullet train that would take me to Seattle and out of poverty. I acquiesced to the reality that things would just take longer because I am a Black woman.

And then this ancestor coming through a mediumship session with my friend and accountability partner changed my mind.

The Ancestors: The Missing Keys

I had worked with a shaman earlier this year and met another ancestor, and because of COVID, I couldn’t really do much of what was necessary. She’s been helpful, but I still felt the slowness of things coming into being.

This newest ancestor came 12 generations back to tell me what my mission was on earth, and that Seattle was an integral part of fulfilling that mission.

That put some batteries in my back, let me tell you! I finally felt the grounded support that I had been seeking for years.

I believe petitioning my ancestors on Halloween evening, revering and thanking them (using materials for contacting the dead) for their support and guidance, was the catalyst for bringing this latest ancestor in my life.

Since then (and probably a bit before), it seems like things have gotten easier for me. It’s easier to connect with more aligned potential clients. I was able to sign with a new client with another on the way.

In his book, The Chaos Protocols, chaos magician Gordon White devotes a whole chapter to venerating your ancestors and the dead. Working with the dead seems essential to success. It’s something that most cultures do, such as pouring libations to ancestors or deities in reverence. And yes, that’s like “pouring one out” for someone who has passed — same thing.

I have an ancestor altar where I offer gifts. And this latest ancestor has her own area with gifts I give her.

In my opinion and experience, your ancestors have a vested interest in your success. Sometimes, they want to see their line carried on. But it’s also that you’re a part of them/they’re a part of you. All their struggles and efforts are embodied in you.

The Bigger Picture

I don’t think all of my work was in vain. Mindset is such a hard, hard thing to change, especially when you live in a society who doesn’t embrace or even acknowledge your full humanity.

At least on twitter, there’s been an obsession with manifestation (so much so, I muted the word), and to me that points to a broken society.

Why should I be manifesting food to eat or proper transportation or rent, or even a decent vacation?

Why aren’t we sharing more of what we have? 

These are the things that a capitalistic society causes us to focus on, on our very survival vis a vis how much money we have, to the point that we think being broke is worse than possibly dying of COVID.

Rise and grind, though? No thanks.

These are the bigger blocks, that we didn’t create, that can be in our way to pursue our dreams. It’s why a horoscope for you seems to not relate.

A Needed Shift in Perspective

A lot of spiritual teachings out there are from a cis straight white perspective, where a white supremacist is already supporting folks to get what they need and want. A popular saying on Twitter sums this up well: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s white privilege.”

Ultimately, I am very wary if I hear spiritual teaching that haven’t disseminated and have yet to be proven true by people of color, by queer folks, by disabled folks…by basically the rest of us. Otherwise, I just assume that the energy flowing to you is unencumbered by all those nasty isms made by white supremacy.

S,o what are we supposed to do? Do we just give up? Is the good life just for the privileged few?


I believe that by working with your healed ancestors (you know, the kind, not racist or full of the isms and phobias ancestors), you can find the bigger picture that frames your life. You can find deeper meaning, greater communion, and lasting support and guidance.

Not only do I feel more supported after this ancestor revealed herself two weeks ago, I feel more inspired to make this place a more just and equitable world. I want to be able to support myself better so I can support more causes. Replanting myself in Seattle is key to that.

And I thought this was my practical idea. To move to a place with better opportunities, friends, and family.

It’s not just about me. It was never just about me.

It’s not just about you. It was never just about you.

A Noticeable Difference

Yesterday, I was dealing with some major anger issues because of someone mansplaining some stuff to me. It enraged me because I had been dealing with this sort of mess for years but never spoke back in defense of myself.

It set off a slow-burning wildfire of rage and I couldn’t seem to let go. I was going to rage journal and learn about “anger inoculation” from The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. But I felt lead to use prayer flypaper and just write down all the people who had offended me lately.

Now usually, I do these things and nothing really happens. I would have gone back to journaling and doing those relaxation exercises. Just gut my way through these awful feelings.

Miraculously, my anger instantly left me!

And last week, I did energy work with my mentor about this guy I was close to and felt vibes with but ghosted months ago (typical story). She did her energetic magic and I instantly felt better and disconnected from him.

Things I had been struggling with months and years have seemingly vaporized into the ether with ease.

And sure, there’s probably a larger energetic shift going on in the collective. But I never seemed to be a part of those shifts. They seemed to skip over me as I stayed stuck in my miserable circumstances.

It seems like I can now point to the ancestors helping me.

And why now? Why, after all this time, are the ancestors now helping me out?

Paying Attention to Your Ancestors

Well, it helps that I actually paid attention to them. They have wanted to help me this whole time.

I had a mediumship reading out in Cassadaga a few years ago and the medium said that they had been looking out for me this whole time.

I didn’t really feel supported when I heard this.

I thought, well, that’s nice, but why didn’t you do more with my terrible family, with the awful people I met in church and work, with my odious grad school experience, with being kinda homeless for a month, with living in this dump of a house with icky randos?

Where have you been?

The Butterflies — My Ancestors’ Calling Card?

I’ve written about this on another blog, but when I moved into where I currently live, there were two butterflies that seemed to hang out by the mailbox. Granted, there are plenty of butterfly attracting plants near the mailbox.

And maybe butterflies are territorial and I don’t know it, but these two seemed to escort me from the mailbox back to the porch.

They’re hella aggressive. It’s hilarious to me.

And recently, every day, a butterfly visits my west-facing window.

I felt that one of the butterflies with is my grandmother. The other is a friend who has passed who looked out for me when we were in college.

It’s good to have those humorous moments with the spiritual world, but they were most likely trying to get my attention to talk to them more, to revere them, as humans have done with the dead for thousands of years.

Final Thoughts

When I was going to write this post, I didn’t really have any answers. It was going to be a lament, that as long as privileged people didn’t tear down this terrible world they created, we would be beholden to them, that our magical efforts would be in vain.

But now, I feel like revering the ancestors is so important to breaking free from the systemic bonds that try to keep us down. The ancestors can also give us the energy to imagine a different world, where we don’t need magic to meet our basic needs, where we better recognize that our spiritual evolutions are tied to each other.

Where we realize what unity consciousness is really about.

I don’t have all the answers to this conundrum. I wrote this mainly out of frustration, as well as in commiseration of those of you who feel like no matter what you do, no matter what favorable astrological transit that comes through, you haven’t moved. You’re in the same place.

I say to you, there are people who came before you who are looking after you, right now. Call out to them. Call out to the ancestors for aid, for guidance, for support.

They’re eagerly waiting to help you. And, they love you.


Note: I’d love to learn of other resources of working with the ancestors offered by Black folks and other people of color. So list them in the comments if you know of any.