This is my first Pagan Blogging Project post – two weeks late. As a quick catch-up I will write two PBP posts in one day. Although I hate leaving things unfinished, I will only do one “A” post since I joined late in the game.
For many pagans, honoring the ancestors is an important spiritual practice. These ancestors can include family members who have passed on as well as the mythical ancestors, the witches who walk before us, and those who have gone evolved through us and parts of their blood mingle in our veins. Whether we are close to our families, or emotionally thousands of miles apart, we all have ancestors. It is not just the blood of the ancestors that flows through our veins but our ancestors have programmed our psyches. Our minds are also the products of evolution and carry the echoes of our ancestors voices. Taking time to honor those ancestors is an important spiritual practice and time to better know ourselves.
Our ancestors continue to speak to all of us through rituals and our DNA. Part of an ancestral practice is learning to listen to their voices. One simple way to honor our ancestors is to learn about them. Discovering our heritage can give us clues about our ancestors as well as ourselves. For example, Ancestral diets often help alleviate symptoms of First World diets – by studying our ancestors we can learn how to best feed and care for ourselves. Listening to ancestral voices can give us insights into ourselves both spiritually and in mundane ways. We also carry the scars of our ancestors by keeping not just their best but also some of their worst – by remembering the flaws of those who came before us we can resolve to correct those mistakes before they flower in ourselves.
Spiritually, I honor my ancestors in ways I believe they would recognize. I keep a spirit altar for my ancestors and loved ones who have passed on. For those I had a personal connection with, I honor birthdays and death days with favorite food offerings, prayers, and a special ritual of remembrance. I often leave wishes and notes to them on my altar. The altar is simple – a few pictures, some candles and loved objects. These simple ancestral practices for personal loved ones and the ancestors overall are an important part of my spiritual practice – they keep me grounded in my own personal history and conscious of the history I am creating for those who will come after me.