Mallorie Vaudoise’s Honoring Your Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestral Veneration is without a doubt one of the best books that I’ve read this year. It was so good that I found it hard to put down and ended up reading the book in two sittings. The book covered every area that I always felt were missing and wished were covered in other books on the topic of ancestor veneration and working with the dead. The book doesn’t focus solely on any one tradition of ancestor veneration, though she encourages you to research the customs of working with your ancestors based on your heritage and provides many insights from her own Italian heritage and practices from Latin America and the Carribean to illustrate certain ideas. However, the book is accessible for anyone. Vaudoise provides a clear and engaging book to begin spiritually bonding with your own ancestors regardless of your own heritage or ancestry. Having my own practice with ancestors, I found so many useful ideas and techniques that I have already begun incorporating them into my relationship with those who’ve come before me.
Honoring Your Ancestors is everything you need to begin working with those who have come before you to gain their assistance, guidance, and insights in your own life. The book discusses creating an altar, how to pray to them (and for them), how to make proper offerings, spiritual cleansing, and how to connect with the your loved ones on the other side of the veil through personal mediumship. One of my favorite parts was the discussion on healing ancestral trauma, an important topic that I’m so glad she discussed and with such wisdom – as well as discussion on confronting and approaching our own inevitable deaths. The book includes lots of great journal prompts for introspection to really make your relationship with your ancestors your own, ideas of how you can invite and honor your ancestors in daily life, and concludes the book with a section of very interesting spells. Beyond the spell section, the book itself is full of amazing yet simple rituals and practices – my personal favorite being the ritual for elevating a troubled ancestor. Trust me when I say you absolutely do not want to miss this one.