A Ritual to Connect With Your Ancestors

Coming from a family of mediums, some of my earliest ritual memories have to do with connecting with and honoring my ancestors. Since our beloved dead are too often overlooked except for Samhain, I thought I’d share a fairly simple ritual aimed at creating an ancestor altar and establishing contact with deceased relatives. My hope is that this will inspire year-round devotion. This can be done individually oe with other family members and can be adapted to suit a variety of paths.

All that you need to start is a space to consecrate to your loved ones, photos, mementoes, an altar cloth, and a white candle. First, clean and bless the space. With loving intent lay out your altar cloth, then set out the photos and mementoes, taking the time to address each ancestor represented. Speak to your dead; they’ve been waiting to hear from you. Tell them how you love and miss them, about your favorite memories. If you do this with your children, tell them about what made each person special and what they meant to you. When everything is lovingly arranged, light the candle. Welcome your ancestors into your home and ask them to weave themselves into th fabric of your daily lives. Name specific people whose love and energy you wish to draw into your home and let them know they will be cared for. As a nice extra added touch, you can lay out offerings of food and drink for them as befits honored relatives.

Stay as long as you’d like, meditating on what your ancestors mean to you. Let the candle burn down. Once it’s out, deposit food and drink offerings outside at the base of a tree. Now that your loved ones have a place in your home, remember to honor them frequently. You’ll be surprised at the blessings they will bestow!

(This ritual is part of a forthcoming book on ancestor work.)

  • http://www.noforbiddenquestions.com NFQ

    I agree that it’s nice to spend some quiet time reflecting and remembering one’s dead family members, but I don’t think they will “bestow” any “blessings” on me. They’re dead, after all. What makes you think that this will happen? Have you experienced something that convinced you of this?

  • Sara A.

    I have an upcoming post where I talk about keeping an ancestor altar. Synchronicity!

    I will say that once I started keeping one my life went much more smoothly and I started accomplishing long-held goals. I don’t think it matters very much whether this is due to the direct influence of ancestors, or the psychological benefits, or the (proven) benefits of meditation. What matters is that it works. Try it and see.

  • Pingback: Star Foster

  • http://krasskova.weebly.com/blog.html Galina

    NFQ, I don’t know about Laura (though I think it’s pretty clear from this article that she has received blessings from them), but I certainly have time and time again.

  • Laura Patsouris

    I have most definitely received many blessings from my ancestors. They are quite active and communicate with me on a daily basis. I understand that this may seem odd to anyone who comes from a cultural background where the expectation is that the dead are gone and have nothing to do with the world of the living. My upbringing was to view the dead and the living as interacting all the time, that our loved ones don’t really leave us and can be a powerful protective force.

  • http://www.cronescreations.com Dea

    We have a permanate Ancestor Altar in our home and always have. We are planning to build a room to house an Ancestor Altar. Walking the Twilight Path is an excellent book if anyone is interested in in working with their Ancestors or other spirits.

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    I’ve received blessings from my ancestors, and their spirits visit from time to time. I always make an offering to them as part of my personal rituals.

  • http://www.noforbiddenquestions.com NFQ

    How do you know they are there, though? How do they communicate with you? Is it the kind of thing where a thought pops into your head, and you feel as though that thought was put there by your ancestors? Where you see a bird on the windowsill and have a sense that it is your dead great-grandmother coming by to say hello? Or is it the kind of thing where they are in your house, eating sandwiches with you at the kitchen table and helping your children with their homework?

  • Laura Patsouris

    I know they are there because I see them, standing there, and they speak to me. I don’t mean symbolically or that I interpret signs…if I ignore them and they have something to say, my grandmother will get my behind up at 3am for a chat. They have never helped my child with her homework, though…

    I was lucky in that, when I was young and starting to experience and see the dead, I was surrounded by family members for whom this was not an unusual occurrence. So instead of people freaking out, I got some calm instructions letting me know the sight ran in the family and to be careful about what I told random people re: the things I saw.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gshoombe Imani Shoombe

    I believe i also come from the family of the “seers” during my young age i was more connected. Today its more an intuitive reaction, or a clear voice. I do not do much but my ancestors speak to me differently with each occassion. I know and never hav to confirm that thy are watching me at all times. Guiding me.  But I would like to make it a part of my rituals also, or maybe it already is, but i would like to consciously connect. where do i begin? names? sex? fathers side or mothers? Om Shanti(-:

  • http://www.facebook.com/gshoombe Imani Shoombe

    I believe i also come from the family of the “seers” during my young age i was more connected. Today its more an intuitive reaction, or a clear voice. I do not do much but my ancestors speak to me differently with each occassion. I know and never hav to confirm that thy are watching me at all times. Guiding me.  But I would like to make it a part of my rituals also, or maybe it already is, but i would like to consciously connect. where do i begin? names? sex? fathers side or mothers? Om Shanti(-:
    @a2dfdccce7548744d930a142601d295c:disqus 


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X