Do you have an ancestor altar? Is there a space or a place that you allow yourself to connect with your ancestors? I’m here to help guide you towards mindfully creating that space in the best way possible, by showing you what has worked for me.
Living in a small studio apartment, my ancestor altar is also combined with my vision board. I don’t think they mind, but eventually, when I have more space, I’d like to keep them separate. They sit on my desk, a place where I often work or eat, but each time I do so, I invite them to bless me in that space. Sometimes, I even share with them or leave them offerings.
For example, both of my grandparents on each side are Irish. Recently, I discovered Irish black tea, and sit and drink it with them, sometimes leaving a cup overnight or in the morning for just them to enjoy. In the past, I have left a glass or a bottle of wine. Another thing I know they once enjoyed and appreciated. I also have bad allergies, something I believe to have inherited from them. Last year I found a local Florida honey company called, McCoy’s, my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Local honey is an excellent, soothing resource for allergies and throat problems. I add it to my cup of tea or eat it by the spoonful. As a sweet tooth, it’s an excellent treat and reminds me of Mary Poppins song lyric, “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.” My ancestors guide me towards the things I need, simply because I ask for them. The trick is being patient enough to wait for them, and keeping an open mind, open heart, open ears, and open eyes to accept them.
In addition to my blood relatives, I also honor the women who were mothers to me. Both of my best friends mothers passed, but I still look to them for guidance and reassurance often in my life. Carla was musical and angelic. I sing to her, play music, (for all of my ancestors, really), and ask for her blessings in my own creative pursuits, as well as for her children, Rachel and Danny. Denice was caring and funny, who often felt like one of your girlfriends. I vent to her about a lot about things I don’t want to do, or am struggling with. I am grateful her children, Gina and CJ, are in my life. Her daughter, my best friend, recently created a candle company, and here, I light a candle for all of them, and leave another gift, for Denice.
I recently received the message to place representations of all elements on the altar. Meaning the elements of earth, water, fire, and air. Fire is given through the flame of a candle. Water is left in a water bottle that I share with them or a cup of tea. Here, below near my maternal grandmother and a tarot card (shoutout to the tarot community) that I am hoping to manifest into my life, are some herbs, for Earth. Lavender is also featured in the McCoy honey jar, calling in relaxation and peaceful sleep. I know they are helping aid that as well, so I can reach a restful state. Air, is a tough one. Sometimes my fan is directed at my desk, but I’ve realized that I am air. I am breathing in and out life, each moment that I am here. I am also an air sign. (Lots of Libra placements and Aquarius in the North Node for my astrology gurus).
Unfortunately, not all of my ancestors are placed on my altar. It is something I’m hoping to manifest and work towards; finding better photos of them. If any members of my family or friends are reading this and have photos of me with their loved ones, please know I am open to receiving them. It has often made me sad to think how our mothers are the ones behind the camera, never in front with us. To have known women nearly all of my life and not own a single photo with them next to me, is heartbreaking. This is the same for my aunts and uncles, and grandparents. Always in the same room, but hardly photographed together. For now, what I do have is enough. It has to be. Honoring our ancestors and praying to them, blesses us in more ways than we could imagine. Even in ways we may not see nor understand.
After staring at this photo for far too long, I realized my Aunt Susan is in the background. She passed in 2012. I talk to her a lot as well, mostly about jokes and things that make me laugh. Then staring at it longer, I noticed sitting next to her is my Uncle Frank, her brother-in-law. He made his transition just yesterday. I came here and prayed to them and for them, as soon as I heard the news.
My Aunt Betty, is a photo I’m missing that I desire. She passed this last October and it’s something I’m still wrapping my head around. What I do have of her, is a blanket, that was once her’s. I sleep with it every night. Knowing that this once brought her the same comfort and joy is far more valuable than a photograph. I know she is offering me the same protection when I am underneath this blanket. The same feeling it provided for her.
I hope this post brought some value to your life and inspired you to create your own ancestor altar. Remember, you can start small and continue to expand as time goes on. If you’ve never seen the Disney film, Coco, I highly suggest checking it out. It has a cute, heartfelt, and endearing way of looking at the importance of ancestor altars. I’d love to see what you come up with or have created already.
Thank you all soul much for taking the time to read my words. If you found value in this content and would like to help me afford rent, I’d greatly appreciate it. Blessings back to you, tenfold. Love you soul much.
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