~CULTIVATING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ANCESTRAL DEAD~
Any discussion about the Ancestors needs to be prefaced with some discussion about what and who is being discussed. The Ancestors can be spoken of as a larger collective including, but not limited to current Ancestors of your blood line. Spiritual Ancestors are beings that when they were alive, were part of a spiritual tradition that you are a part of or may become a part of. There are also Ancestors connected to you by lives in other times. There are Ancestors that have never been connected to you in this time or another, but carry a specific stream of power that they have chosen to impart to you during this lifetime.
Cultivating a relationship with the Ancestors is sacred work. I believe it is important for our spiritual growth and important to the Ancestors as well. I was taught that when we gather to eat, the Ancestors of our blood line gather also, but they cannot receive nourishment unless we give it to them. It is for this reason that I keep an active Ancestor shrine in my home. Every day I make sure that the Ancestors are well fed and offered appropriate libation. It is a time to check in, give gratitude, and listen to what they might have to say. I honor my Ancestors with gratitude for the gifts they have given and for the knowledge that exists in the blood line. I am aware that by connecting with my Ancestors I am gifted wisdom that existed in my blood line back to my first Ancestor.
Should you have an Ancestor shrine or altar? It is my belief that we should all cultivate a relationship with our Ancestral dead – our direct blood line. You may be asking, “What if I don’t know my Ancestors?” it does not matter. They are still the blood from which you came, and there is great benefit in Ancestral work for those who did not know their people.
However, this work is not for everyone. Do not start an Ancestor shrine if you are not going to honor it. It will only cause problems. This is serious work that requires cultivation of a deepening relationship. The Ancestor shrine is an interface, a direct connection between yourself and your blood line people. Many gifts come from this form of interaction.
It is important to note that people most often die as they have lived, and just because they have passed over does not mean that they have an angelic nature. Go gently into this work, be open and see what happens.
~SIMPLE ANCESTOR SHRINE~
Choose a permanent place – I use a small table on the kitchen counter in an East-facing window. Place a red or white cloth on the altar. You will need a red or white candle, fresh water, food offering, and libation. My Ancestors enjoy coffee, Irish whiskey, and food that was prepared that day. You might find that yours enjoy things they enjoyed in life.
Each morning approach your altar with offerings. Light the candle and knock three times. Invite your Ancestors to receive your offering. At this point offer thanks to them for the wisdom of the blood line. At some point in your work you will be able to ask your Ancestors for specific favors, but in the beginning concentrate mainly on opening a relationship. Remember, this is about quality, not quantity, so you don’t need to leave large quantities of any offerings. Stay open and receive what they share with you. Bright blessings in your Ancestor work.
Graveyard magic is serious and advanced work that is not to be taken lightly. There are specific requirements around respect and appropriate conduct. If you do not already have an active Ancestor shrine, skip this for now.
My first contact with this work was at my grandmother’s knee. She had a connection with my great-great grandmother Brown and carried a piece of her headstone wrapped in an old hanky. This was a talking stone that answered questions and had other uses.
I have experience with this work from my family lineage and various indigenous cultures, and it must always be used with respect. For more information contact me directly.