This week: Honoring our AncestorsEdited by: Warped Sanity
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"When you were born, you cried
and the world rejoiced.
Live your life
so that when you die,
the world cries and you rejoice."- White Elk
We all have ancestors, both of blood and of spirit, and each of our lives rests firmly on the foundation of their sacrifice. They may no longer be there with us physically, but their legacy lives on through us in memory and our actions.
In my pagan tradition, during the last week of October through the first week of November, I display an altar dedicated to those who have passed, similar to what one might do if they celebrate Dia de los Muertos. The altar typically consists of candles, incense, and various memorabilia such as pictures.
This year, I attended a festival, where we had a large ritual which included honoring those who have passed on. We had a large paper mache urn that we filled with written messages to our loved ones. At the end of the ritual, we burned the urn, allowing the fire to carry our messages.
Although, you don't have to be pagan or an indigenous Shamon to honor your ancestors. Whether you follow a spiritual path that includes honoring ancestors or not, most of us do so each time we share a story about a loved one who has passed on or tidy up their grave, leaving a gift of fresh flowers. Even the continuation of traditions, like making grandma's special pie during the holidays, is a way of honoring an ancestor.
I believe the best way to honor our ancestors is by utilizing the wisdom passed down to us. Those lessons are gifts, which create an opportunity for us to reach our potential, become better humans, or simply avoid errors. What lessons did you learn from a past loved one that you continue to abide by? How did they help you become a better you?
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