‘Tis the season when many Pagans, myself included, are honoring and saluting the ancestors. People host Dumb Suppers, Cemetery Visits, and the like to help them remember and pay tribute to the dead. In my spiritual house we list the names of our remembered dead each day (not just on Samhain,) and honor them with prayer and drink. It helps us to connect and remember on a deep level.
What happens, however, if you are adopted or otherwise unsure of your ancestral lineage ? What should you do then ? In my twenty odd years of spiritual practice I have seen this happen on a few occasions. In these difficult cases you will need to rely on intuition, divination, detective work, and luck.
- Light a purple candle as you start your search. Remember to pray for clarity, guidance, and direction.
- Begin by asking anyone who might know, relatives, distant relatives, etc. for any names or information that might be on your paperwork. Communication can be helped by putting a pinch of dried dillweed in your pocket.
- Take an ancestor bath with violet oil, lavendar oil, and a pinch of graveyard dirt. As you are in the water focus your mind on discovering the names that you do not know, if anything comes to you write it down.
- Make an ancestor clarity floorwash out of myrrh, lavendar, sandalwood, and spring water. Wash down the area under your bed with this mixture. That night write out a message to your ancestors asking to find what you are looking for- some example would be … What are the names of my ancestors that are unknown yet important to me? Where will I find the needed information about my ancestors? Place this question under your pillow. Be sure to have a paper and pen near you. When you wake, write down any names or information that is on your mind. Follow up with what you have discovered.
- Take out your favorite yes/no divination method. This could be dowsing rods, a pendulum, or something similar. Make a list of names- add the names you like, add names that seem familiar, add names that you think could possibly belong to your ancestors (John, Mary, etc. I’m laughing because as common as these are, they also happen to be the names of two of my grandparents… but you get the idea.) Go down the list and using your yes/no method ask if the names should be included as part of your ancestor worship. When you reach the end of your list, ask if there are any more names you should add. If the answer is yes, that night before going to bed pour out a glass of water onto the earth. Ask your ancestors to bring you their names in a dream, or by some other clear method. Remember to write down your thoughts when you wake.
- One of my favorite techniques for discovering the unknown is automatic writing. This would be a great tool for finding the names of your unknown ancestors. Begin by lighting a white candle. Take out a pen and several sheets of paper. Do your best to clear your mind and let the messages come. Without looking, begin writing on the paper. Fill up line after line, just moving your hand without trying to write anything specific. After you have done a page or more look at what you have written. Do any combinations of letters, words, or names stand out ? Use your yes/no divination to find out if these should be included in your ancestor list.
This list of spells and divination techniques is just a beginning. I would love to hear your techniques for finding the unknown names you have been looking for. Many Blessings to you and your ancestors and Good Luck !