f you have been paying attention to the news/social media then you probably have seen a bajillion (totally technical term) posts about Ancestors, Honoring the Ancestors, and celebrating specific Holy Days like Dia de Los Muertos. ancestor
Some of you may behold hats at Ancestor work, but for some of you this may be totally new territory, and/or you might feel like you need a refresher.
Others might feel like they aren’t allowed to do venerate their Ancestors – that these kinds of practices are only found in certain cultures and traditions – not the ones that you come from. For those of you who fall into that category, let me assure you that honoring and working with our Ancestors is something we find in so many traditions around the world – this is a practice that belongs to everyone.
So…over the next three days, I am going to give you all a series of teachings, right here, in your inbox, about how to work with, honor, and be in right relationship with, your Ancestors.
I am going to share some of the most fundamental information about working with your Ancestors so that you can get started doing exactly that if you want to.
At the end of the three day period, I will also invite those of you who haven’t already done so, to join Story Threads: Gathering the Bones with Santa Muerte and Liberating Innocence from the Sugar House with Hansel and Gretel.
This first half (one full week) of this course dives deep into Ancestor work and also introduces you to a very special Holy Helper: Santa Muerte, Our Most Holy Lady of Death.
If you aren’t interested in the course that is totally OK too! I still hope you read these emails and get familiar with the basics of working with our Beloved Dead, our Ancestors.
To begin with, though we need to clarify WHAT and WHO we are talking about…
Ancestor is a term referring to deceased relatives, kin, friends, and also historical figures
• Pets and companion animals that have passed on are also considered ancestors
• You may also have ancestral ties to places, certain objects — especially those passed down through a family, and even lines of work or service
• Ancestor is a term that can also refer to children who are deceased. We sometimes forget they are in this category but in my Ancestral celebrations, we have one day that we put aside specifically to honor the little ones who have passed.
When I speak of honoring or having right relationship to our ancestors I do not mean that you need to honor every single one of your deceased family members, rather honor the Ancestors that you felt a closeness to in life or those who have always been present to you.
If the deceased person in your life that you had the closest relationship to is your dog, then that is who you would put on the Ancestor altar.
If you cannot think of anyone deceased that you had a close relationship with then you may also work with your Ancestral line – this is your cultural and ethnic heritage and lineage. Most of us have more than one, but for the purposes of beginning work, it is best to pick just one.
Once you have decided on the Ancestor(s) you want to honor, find a way to represent them. You might include their picture, an item they gifted you during their life or an object that you associate with them. It might include some of their ashes if they were cremated or dirt from their grave if they were buried – there are lots of options!
Just pick one object and start there. Put it in a place where it cannot be disturbed and where you have space to add a few other objects in the days to come.
This is the first step in creating your own Honoring of the Ancestors. Tomorrow we will explore WHY you would want to honor your Ancestors in the first place.