I’ve been Told recently that I need to connect with my ancestors, which is very fitting as I’ve been dealing with death related things this past winter. Ancestor veneration has never really been a part of my practice as as a younger person, I’ve been interested in all the shiny things that a witch does, not the hard things, not the really important things. Not the things that aren’t as pretty on the outside. Don’t misunderstand that I’m saying that focus on the shiny pretty things as a witch are not honourable pursuits, that they aren’t important either, it’s just I’ve been basically practicing 101 things for far too long. I have been a bit stagnant, at least up until the past few years with being in the community and part of a coven. Those shiny things tend to be on the surface because they attract the eye, but when the shine wears off, there are amazing things to be found beneath, the well of our spirituality is as deep as you’re willing to swim.
After receiving my Message, I set up a little ancestor altar, a glass of water, a candle, and flowers that I’ve been receiving either from nature or as gifts from family (very fitting, those gifts). It’s funny how lately since I’ve been knitting so much, I’ve watched quite a few episodes of Xena, and in them, there have been quite a few mentions of how those who are in the Elysian Fields can feel and hear the thoughts of them made by the living. All things are so very connected, and the messages are there if you can decipher them, although they usually tend to be pretty clear.
Although when I first put up the altar, I thought of my recently dead, the ones whom I actually knew in my life in my family, someone has been making herself known, who I did not know living. I feel like she’s from my mother’s side, and along with the communications I have with my Deity, she seems to be making her opinions very clear as well.
In practice though, how can we know where to go if we don’t know where we’ve been? A revelation I’ve had recently since starting on this journey is that we are our ancestors, they are us. I believe in reincarnation, that our souls choose lives and situations to live in and learn from. So with that in mind, my thought is that our ancestors are previous incarnations of us, that they are the remnants of what our soul was at that time, but that they are all connected by our living self, the active soul in us right now while we live. This also goes for our descendants, as I don’t believe time is actually linear. Time is linear for us, because in living bodies, we experience our bodies to grow, produce, die, and decay. Not that every single one of my ancestor is a previous incarnation of just my own soul, as there are obviously many souls, and my soul definitely does not inhabit all 7 billion people on this earth at this moment, or even a majority.
So while I’m tending my relationships with my ancestors, I’ve realized I need to tend my relationships with my living kin as well. Especially those like my grandparents, who are much closer to being part of the ancestors, so why not tend those relationships, that the links will be strong when they pass, and the spirit part of ancestral work with them can begin? I’m not saying that anyone should work with all ancestors though, or work for relationships with living kin who have not exactly been kind to you. That just seems quite counter-intuitive. Generally the ancestors want to work with us to be remembered, to help us in this lifetime to be the best incarnation with what we’ve been given as they didn’t live their lives for naught but us to be ignorant to the bricks they’ve laid down in our ancestral path.