Honoring Your Dead

At this time of year people in many spiritual traditions honor their beloved dead. Friends and family who have crossed over to the other side seem to be much closer to this realm. It is said that at this time the veil between the worlds is thin. And while I am a person who honors my ancestors year round, I have to say that I agree. For me, from mid October through about the first week of November everything just feels… different.

It is one of my favorite times of year and also the busiest because I am in a few different traditions and spiritual communities, each with their own unique ceremonies for honoring the ancestors and other spirits of the dead. Beautiful altars are created, songs are sung, prayers  offered, Spirits are consulted and food is shared. It is all very beautiful. 

But what if you are not a part of a spiritual community and would still like to honor your beloved dead? Is there a way to do this that doesn’t appropriate another’s culture or put you in danger of inviting energies and spirits into your life that you are not equipped to deal with? The answer is yes. There are many things that anyone can do to honor and connect with loved ones who have crossed over that are  respectful, safe, simple and still meaningful. Here are some suggestions:

1. Make their favorite foods and invite friends and family over to share it. Set a small table for your spirits. Along with a plate of food and drinks, place flowers,  light a candle and offer a prayer of love. You may choose to do this for an individual or for a group. When I do this it is an offering for my ancestors as a group. I say the names of the ones that I know and love and then I say “and for all my benevolent ancestors known and unknown.”  I offer two types of drink, one liquor,  the other, something non alcoholic.  My folks are from the south, so they get soul food. A little bit of this a little bit of that so there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget the dessert.

2. Tell stories that celebrate their life. When we tell stories of an ancestor  we honor their unique character, gifts and experiences. We are also reminded of where we come from and who we are. We teach the next generation in this way as well, so that when even we are no longer on this Earth, their spirits will be remembered. 

3. Play their favorite music. The dead and the living alike love their music. In times of joy and sorrow, music is a source of healing, comfort, pride and connection. Music and movement are wonderful offerings when honoring our spirits, so sing out loud and dance with the dead.

I believe what I have mentioned here is best experienced with others but each of these things can also be done alone. There are many creative ways to connect with your beloved dead, and many benefits from committing to developing a deeper relationship with them should you decide to do so.

Building a relationship with your ancestors is important because you inherit a lineage of energy that can empower and motivate you to succeed. However, your lineage may also include ancestral wounds that keep you stuck in patterns that cause pain and hinder your growth. 

When you develop a relationship with your ancestors you gain clarity and a better understanding of who you are, what you have, and what you need. If you are looking to make a deeper connection, shift negative patterns, or develop a stronger sense of self, then Contact Me

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