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November 08, 2019
'Tis the season of the harvest, gathering together to share meals, and spending quality time with loved ones via a myriad of cultural traditions. As we all collectively tune into the frequency of gratitude this holiday season, what better way to show gratitude than by giving thanks to those that paved the way for you? Your Honorable Ancestors. Without our ancestors we literally would not be here. Our bodies, gifts, predispositions, and even traumas come from them (I recommend looking up “epigenetics” for more on this, or reading the book Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza). They are our source. We are because they are. Honoring your ancestors is sacred to many ancient cultures all over the world, and much of it is still practiced today. In this months intentional ritual, I will be instructing us on how to make an ancestral altar that anyone can use.
I understand that sometimes Ancestral work brings up fear for many people. We all have ancestors that weren’t kind people when there were alive. We may have even suffered great traumas due to their actions or inactions. However this doesn’t negate the fact that they are still our family. Often times when a spirit passes, they see the cause and affect of their actions and feel painful regret — hoping that someone will be compassionate enough to forgive them after enough time and (hopefully!) therapy has passed. Another blockage people encounter with ancestor work is they think that because they don’t know much about their ancestors, they cannot connect with them. This is also not cause to ignore them all together. Us knowing our entire family tree is not essential to having a connection with our ancestors.
As I said before we are because they are; We share DNA with these souls, an unbreakable bond. Just because we don’t know them doesn’t mean they don’t know us. If you’re reading this article, take it as a confirmation that your loving and honorable ancestors deeply desire a connection with you. A connection that will bring you unfathomable groundedness, blessings, and most importantly, healing. In my personal practice I’ve never made as much progress as quickly as when I started praying to, giving offerings to, and asking for guidance from my Ancestors. The difference was so staggering I knew as soon as I started that I had found a missing link in my spiritual practice.
When we heal individually, our entire bloodline heals. This is a blessing because this means we don’t have to have our entire family on board to activate miraculous change. Doing your individual work of being brave enough to face your fears, take action, rest when needed, to ask for help when necessary, can create monumental waves of healing in all directions — not just for your family, but for every being you encounter. Each little victory allows us to unravel the ancestral trauma that is and has kept our families down and out. Use this altar as a safe space to connect with those ancestors who are willing and able to do the work with you. When you’re doing this type of work, your intention is everything. As you develop a consistent practice with your ancestors, allow them to speak to you. You might find that they ask you for specific things as your bond strengthens. All in equal exchange.
As previously stated we are setting an intention to work with our elevated ancestors only. If you wish, you may extend a hand to those ancestors who are suffering and need light, nourishment, and love. But keep in mind that you are not required to push yourself beyond your limits. The white candle we use will represent the guiding light and warmth that our honorable ancestors already bring, and that those un-elevated ancestors may need. Please go at your own pace and start simple. If you don’t feel ready to accept certain ancestors, start with the ancient ones whose names you may not know, but to whom we all owe deep gratitude. I suggest having your ancestor altar separate from any other altars, and also ideally have it in a space where people who visit your space can see them (ancestors love to be admired). I do not suggest having this specific altar in your bedroom, but work with what available space you have!
Altar/Decor/Setup & Suggestions:
What you’ll need:
Clarification: From the tradition that I practice (Ifa/Lucumi), it’s taboo to serve your ancestors food or drink from paper or plastic, and it’s also taboo to serve them from items that you’ve eaten off of. Almost all these supplies can be bought at the dollar store and shouldn’t cost you more than $6-10! This is more or less how to make an altar from my tradition, but you can add whatever you wish to make it your own. I do recommend the essentials always be present no matter what: white candle, cascarilla boundary, names or images of ancestors, and a glass of water.
Example of a Cascarilla
Simple Steps and Procedures:
A few examples of ancestral altars
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Camille Langston is a Reiki Master teacher in Usui Shiki Ryoho technique, psychic medium, tarot reader, musician, and actor living in Los Angeles, California. Read her bio here.
Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!
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