Ancestral Veneration: Honor and Respect
I am often asked, “Why do I need to honor my ancestors?”
The absolute foundation of your spirituality is your ancestry. They are the roots of the tree from which you have blossomed forth into this world. Within your veins flows the power of gained through the hardships your ancestors endured in life. Generation after generation toiling in hopes that their futures through their children may be rich and strong. The holiest of blood sacrifices made in your name came from the blood, sweat, and tears of their struggles. They are the allies that you may not have realized that you have always had, vigilant and ever watching protecting the blood that sustains their life.
Without you, your ancestors will cease to exist; likewise, without their positive influences all that you do will be for naught. To deny your ancestors would be to put yourself in opposition with not only the universe, but also the blood that flows through your veins. You are the vessel by which they are able to manifest in this world, and through you they are able to experience life. However small you may find your position in the world, to them, you are beyond scope and they are intimately involved in every aspect of your life. They become filled with pride at every small triumph and are ready to provide solace when life brings short-comings.
It is for all this and more that time should be dedicate to the honor and veneration of your ancestors. Their honor and respect is spiritual nourishment for your soul and the strength of your character. In the same way that you are sustained by food, your spirituality is sustained by proper care and appreciation of your ancestors. The most potent form of spiritual development you will experience will be through the veneration of your ancestors. As they elevate through your work and sacrifices to them, so will your mind elevate and open to their positive and restorative influence. They will show their appreciation with you by helping to shape your life with opportunities and as they heal so shall you.
When you begin to serve your ancestors you should begin with simple offerings of light and water. The offering of light is to bring forth illumination of not only the darkness that they dwell in, but also to bring light into the depths of your mind. Water is important as it evokes many symbols and connects you to your ancestors in many ways. The act of offering water to a guest in your home is not only to bring them something to drink, but also allowing your guest to cleanse and refresh themselves of their toil. It is also the medium by which they communicate, sleeping with a glass of water near your head will create a medium by which they can deliver messages to you in your dreams. Below is a simple yet powerful ceremony you can perform every Saturday to enhance your connection with your ancestors:
You will need: A white saucer or a white cloth placed on your nightstand or near your head where you sleep, a tea candle, and a glass of water.
Face east holding the lit tea candle and water in your hands and say, “Spirits of my family, father’s side and mother’s side, love honor respect.”
Pour a drop of water on the ground and bow by slightly lowering your knees without lowering your head. Turn right until you are facing west and say, “Spirits of my family, father’s side mother’s side, love honor respect.”
Pour a drop of water on the ground and bow again. Turn left until you are facing north and say, “Spirits of my family, father’s side mother’s side, love honor respect.”
Pour a drop of water on the ground and bow again. Turn right until you are facing south and say, “Spirits of my family, father’s side mother’s side, love honor respect.”
Pour a drop of water on the ground and bow. Take the water and candle and place them on the white cloth or saucer and go to sleep. If you are uncomfortable with having a candle burning in your sleep you may snuff it with a candle snuffer, but do not blow it out.
If you are seeking further information on proper service to your ancestors, I offer private consultations.