Just getting started….   2 comments

There’s so much I don’t know, it’s ridiculous, after all these years.

My tradition has always talked about venerating the ancestors, and so I do, in my way.  However, only through exploring other cultures and traditions have I realized that not only can one venerate the ancestors, one can actually work with their spirits and other spirits too, for that matter.  However, this requires some relationship building.

I have, for my own reasons, somewhat avoided working with the dead.  This is partially because I have not been on board with my own grief and healing process for my dad, and I lost him a long time ago.  Like…18 years ago.  I have carefully avoided the concept of the dead, life after death and whatever else. This is absurd, of course, and I know that.  It probably also has limited me in a lot of ways.

So I have now set up my first “ancestor altar” though I don’t like that term so much.  It feels like I’m trying to reach into hallowed antiquity or something.  So I am calling it my altar to the spirits.  I have a small film strip of me as a baby, with dad.  I have his class ring.  I have other things on there that he would have liked, like driftwood from Lake Michigan and Petoskey stones and Michigan iron ore and anything from local nature.  My dad was an outdoorsman. I added a glass of water and a candle, which I am told is pretty standard for these sorts of altars.

There is a Saint Jude candle on here in this picture because I was asking Dad for some help with someone who meets the definition of “lost cause.”  My dad would probably find that amusing.

I have recently added the favorite costume jewelry of another of the family’s beloved dead; someone I didn’t know but who was close to my husband.  I want to bring her into our home.

So I have no idea if this is even how it’s supposed to work!  Just trying…clueless…but with good intentions.

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Posted June 4, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “Just getting started….

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  1. The altar looks beautiful, Jessica! Looks inviting and powerful!

  2. Everyone starts somewhere! I think your altar…whatever you want to call it…is perfect. It will grow, with time. Besides, all altars seem to start small. I was remarking to Mousie just the other day how I remember thinking all my altars were empty. Now…well, I’m thinking it might be time to start reevaluating what’s on them. I’m starting to get nervous about things lighting on fire or something! Most of them are just too crowded!

    I did the same thing with mine that you’ve done, essentially. Pictures, trinkets, things they liked in life. It seems to make sense to me as well. I’ve learned a bit in the last few years about the traditions followed in the Santerian community…which was actually taken from Spiritualism, but who’s counting?…so I’ve got the seven glasses of water that is traditional according to those beliefs. Just following my instinct on this. Whatever makes sense, right?

    My husband has the same problem with dealing with his “Ancestors” that you do. Too many of them are too close…his brother died five years ago, followed closely by his uncle, great-aunt, and grandfather. Can’t really call his brother an “Ancestor,” and his uncle was way to close to Pops for hubby. The fear is, naturally, that his father could be following along as well. At any rate, it’s really close and still painful to him. But he’s starting. It’s part of the healing, really. When you realize they’re still with you, it’s comforting, but it’s hard as hades at first!

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