|“||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.||”|
— Genevieve about the Ancestral Plane
The Ancestral Plane is a supernatural dimension in which the deceased ancestral witches of New Orleans reside. According to Genevieve, it shares some similarities with the infamous Other Side. Witches gain access to Purgatory 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 300 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.
The Ancestral Plane is an exact copy of New Orleans but deserted, literally a ghost town.
Note: * indicates the witch is a former inhabitant.
- 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 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.
- As of Give 'Em Hell Kid, the Ancestral Plane has been severed between the Ancestors and the New Orleans witches.