Its the Perfect time to Honor Our Ancestors

Its the Perfect time to Honor Our Ancestors October 1, 2023

Dia de Los Muertos- courtesy of Canva

As I write, I’m on my way to Oaxaca, Mexico, where I’ll immerse myself in the traditions of Día De Los Muertos. The concept of ancestor veneration has always intrigued me, and I deeply value this chance to strengthen my connection with those loved ones who have transitioned from this realm to the next.

Ancestors – whether linked by blood, culture, or spirit – form the intricate threads that interlace our past, present, and future. They are the vessels of collective wisdom, narratives, and energies passed down through generations. October, in particular, is believed to be a time when the veil separating our world from the spiritual one is at its thinnest, offering a distinctive opportunity to engage with and seek wisdom from our ancestors. Around the world, we celebrate our connection to those who came before us.

The Spiritual Traditions of Ancestor Veneration:

Samhain: Rooted in ancient Celtic traditions, Samhain (pronounced “SOW-in”), observed from October 31st to November 1st, is believed to be the moment when the divide between the living and the spirit realms is most permeable. This period is traditionally reserved for commemorating the deceased and seeking communion with ancestors.

Día de los Muertos: Also celebrated as the Day of the Dead, this exuberant Mexican festival spans from October 31st to November 2nd. Families assemble ofrendas (altars), adorn graves, and present offerings of food and memories to pay tribute to their departed loved ones.

Buddhist & Taoist Hungry Ghost Festival: Various Asian cultures adhere to the notion that during a specific lunar month, the spirits of departed ancestors walk the earth. Devotees present food offerings and burn joss paper to mollify these spirits and show reverence.

African Ancestral Veneration: A myriad of African traditions profoundly revere ancestors, invoking them during rituals, festivities, and in daily practices. The prevailing belief is that these ancestors persistently influence and guide the living.

Six Ways to Connect with Ancestral Wisdom:

If you’re keen on establishing a bond with your ancestors during this spiritually potent period, consider the following practices:

  1. Ancestral Altar: Designate a corner of your home to display photographs, cherished heirlooms, and other items of ancestral significance. Ignite a candle or incense as a tribute, and in quiet reflection, seek their guidance.
  2. Journaling: Pen down a heartfelt letter to an ancestor or document your sentiments and thoughts about them. The simple act of writing can sometimes kindle profound connections and revelations.
  3. Meditative Communication: Locate a tranquil space, shut your eyes, and imagine a serene sanctuary where you can invite your ancestors to converse. This could manifest as a garden, a temple, or any peaceful haven.
  4. Dreamwork: Prior to sleeping, set a clear intention to encounter your ancestors in the dream world. Keep a diary nearby to document any noteworthy messages or symbols upon awakening.
  5. Nature Connection: Dedicate time to nature. Being in the midst of natural surroundings, particularly in October, can bridge the gap between us and our forebears who were more attuned to the earth.
  6. Engage in Ancestral Traditions: Participate in activities, rituals, or customs your ancestors may have practiced. This could range from preparing a traditional meal, resonating with ancestral tunes, or reviving a long-lost craft.

Embracing the Legacy:

Irrespective of personal beliefs or practices, commemorating our ancestors stands as a testament to the intricate web of life and our place within it. It serves as a poignant reminder that we stem from a lineage rich in history, wisdom, and resilience.

As October unfurls, approach it with an open heart, attuned to the teachings and tales your ancestors might convey. They’ve witnessed empires rise and collapse, observed the rhythmic dance of seasons, and harbored hope during the most trying times. Their fortitude, tenacity, and insights are treasures awaiting discovery. So, light a candle, whisper a prayer, and attune your senses. The echoes from yesteryears may very well illuminate your path forward.

About Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten
Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten is a transformative force, empowering educators to embrace ritual experiences and transcend mere discussions of spirituality. As a wisdom keeper, practical mystic, and visionary coach, she guides spiritual entrepreneurs and change-makers to make a measurable impact on the world. With a global wisdom community spanning 50+ countries, Ahriana inspires individuals to live authentically with purpose and passion. As an ordained Unity minister, a master healer, and a 3rd-degree high priestess, Ahriana specializes in ceremonial certification and education. Her best-selling book, "Rites and Rituals - Harnessing the Power of Sacred Ceremony," and her appearance in the docuseries "Time of the Sixth Sun" reflect her transformative journey. Her mission is to empower a new generation ready to make a lasting difference. You can read more about the author here.

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