|“||New Orleans is full of ghosts. Our dead are always here, hovering. When supernatural creatures die, they're doomed to spend eternity alone, watching the world go on without them. Of course, that's not the case for the ancestral witches. We linger in a different way: consecrated in the Earth, replenishing its power.||”|
The Ancestral Plane, also known as the Ancestral Well, was a supernatural dimension in which the deceased ancestral witches of New Orleans resided. According to Genevieve, it shares some similarities with the infamous Other Side. Witches gain access to the Ancestral Plane via consecration, in which their magic bleeds into the earth, fueling the community while their life essence becomes tethered to the Earth, bound to it. This grants them a connection to the Earth and the ability to interact with the environment if so they wish, however, their interaction with the physical world is limited to the City of the Dead. However, in order to remain anchored, or physically connected to the Earth via their consecrated bones, they need power in order for their consecration spell to remain active. So, every three hundred years (give or take), the Ancestors demand sacrifice in exchange for letting the living ancestral witches to channel them. This ritual is called the Harvest, and it requires the violent deaths of four young witches in order to refuel the Earth with power. This power is then absorbed into the Earth and used by the Ancestors to strengthen the link between them and the living witches. As a reward for the coven's devoted faith, the Ancestors use their power to resurrect the girls who were sacrificed and allow the community strengthened access to their powers, via the Reaping.
In There in the Disappearing Light, Vincent exploits a loophole, given that Ivy is in transition and neither living or dead, and transports them to the Ancestral Well. He shows her the truth and that peace is not what she will have if she dies. Later, Vincent and the witches of New Orleans released their Ancestors from the Ancestral Well allowing them to find peace, relinquishing the additional magic the Ancestors provided.
The creation of the Ancestral Plane was largely due in part to Ysabelle Dalliencourt. After assisting Elijah in 1722, Ysabelle was privy to use Esther's Grimoires. Within it's pages, she was able to Esther's spell to make the Veil to the Other Side permeable, allowing her to locate their Ancestors. This culminated in the creation of the Ancestral Plane sometime before her death in 1766. In Give 'Em Hell Kid, Vincent Griffith also explains that New Orleans cemeteries were designed specifically to house the spirits of their Ancestors and though does not directly bind the Ancestral Plane, like the Anchor to The Other Side, they are what enables the Ancestors to access and use magic on the mortal plane, an intersection between the physical world and the spirit world. The metaphysical connection between the spiritual and mortal planes however began to wane after approximately three hundred years. The connection, however, could be renewed through the Harvest Ritual. Unlike the Other Side, the connection could be severed without the complete destruction of the Ancestral plane. In Give 'Em Hell Kid, Vincent, helped by Davina Claire, severed the connection with use of a dark object, though it was subsequently reestablished in High Water and a Devil's Daughter when Vincent performed the Harvest Ritual, again with the help of Davina.
- Wild at Heart
- Where Nothing Stays Buried
- Give 'Em Hell Kid
- Voodoo in My Blood
- There in the Disappearing Light
- Only consecrated witches have access to this plane. Though it was stated that witches who have been consecrated before will automatically return to the Ancestral Plane if they should be resurrected and killed again, Esther and Papa Tunde are an exception as Esther has found peace and Papa Tunde is in his blade.
- The Ancestral Plane had no connection to the Other Side, though the dimensions appear to be very similar in that it is a snapshot of the living world where the spirits reside. For example, during Davina Claire's suspension spell, she awoke in the attic of St. Anne's Church where she "died," and could walk around the French Quarter and go to Rousseau's with Kol Mikaelson's spirit.
- According to Kol, the majority of the Ancestors primarily congregate in Lafayette Cemetery although its implied others have hangouts elsewhere in the city.
- Witches can access the Ancestral Plane by means of magic. However, it is implied by Kol that if the Ancestors caught a witch in the Ancestral Plane who had been shunned by the covens and the Ancestors, said witch would be punished. This is why he was so wary of Davina traveling there because he knew that the Ancestors would punish her for entering their realm after she had been shunned for orchestrating the murders of Kara Nguyen and the other Versailles witches.
- It is also possible that the Ancestors do not want any witch to travel there.
- Witches that reside in the Ancestral Plane retain the ability to practice magic. This comes in handy for them for rituals like the Harvest, because it allows the Ancestors to train the Harvest witches in magic in the time between when they are sacrificed in the ritual and when they are resurrected during the Reaping. Monique Deveraux, Abigail, and Cassie were all trained by the Ancestors in this ritual, though Davina was shunned by them during her time in Purgatory because she sided with Marcel Gerard against her own people and preventing the Harvest from being completed for a year.
- It's heavily implied that witches who are shunned are unable to practice their power in the Ancestral Plane to protect themselves. This was seen when Davina was left defenseless against Kara.
- Because Davina's experience in the Ancestral Plane was anything but pleasant, in a conversation with Josh the latter referred to the Ancestral Plane using the term "purgatory", as if to underline the hellish quality of the place.
- However, Davina consecrated her friend Ariane so that she could entered the Ancestral Plane and be at peace, as the witches would take care of her.