Today marks two significant spiritual days. During this, the Autumn season, our gratitude should be focused and articulated during the observances of Samhain (Gaelic) and Day of the Dead/Dia de Los Muertos (Mexican). Although from different parts of the world and manifested in different ceremonies both are hinged on the exultation of our Ancestors. If Ancestor Reverence is something new for you, hopefully this will provide some perspective.
Who are they
Ancestors are described by the dictionary as - a person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended - I suggest we acknowledge ancestors beyond our DNA. To me, Ancestors are anyone who has impacted our lives and made us strive to be a better self, a better wo/man, and a better member of the human family. The lessons they taught us, the battles they waged on our behalf, the protection they so selfishly gave to us, and the sacrifices they made knowing they may not reap their rewards, these are our Ancestors. So though memories of them could bring a tear to our eyes, let's see beyond that wall of emotion to see what gifts are waiting for us.
Take the next step
Below are messages that came from a meditation on ancestral reverence I did recently. I boldly asked what path I should take this year and I am glad to share it with you all. See these words as guidance towards your own understanding of your ancestors and the space they inhabit within your life. I'm telling you, once you remove the veil and see the resource you have you may ask yourself why you waited so long to utilize the power :)
Ancestral Concept - See Beyond My Sight
Look past the Facade
The Truth is always there for me
Intuition is my greatest Ally
Step back to see clearly
Ideas to Connect to My Ancestors
Cook Ancestral/Traditional Foods
Food is an automatic trigger for place, time, person, and space. Bring about memories, lessons and understandings, through the food/time you spend thinking about that ancestor.
Look at old Photographs
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, look at your ancestors, see things in the photos you've never seen before. Or, see exactly what you saw before and maybe understand that image differently.
Talk with Others about My Ancestors
Don't be afraid to reach out to others who knew your Ancestors, whether they are related or not. Ever heard the idiom "Talked You Up", it exists for a reason.
Use Objects/Wear Clothing
Often times the things our Ancestors used daily still hold many facets of them. Walk in their shoes, use their old wooden comb, or maybe read their favorite book. Their "stuff" still holds a small pieces of them.
Write Letters to My Ancestors
Though a dying art, writing is one of the most cathartic activities we have been blessed with as humans. Write to an ancestor, let them know you are here. You may be surprised at what happens next.
Lastly, for all of us who have lost a loved one recently, I say Ase to the souls of the newest ancestors. They are with us, we just can't see them with us and that is the biggest challenge.