Those that came before us are the ones who paved our way for us, and we owe a number of our strengths and understanding to them. In a way, they laid each of the stones we walk on, and it is their bones which construct much of our world as it stands today. These men and women that constructed the world for us know and understand many of the old ins and outs, and so they comprehend how to navigate this world. They are relevant to us even now.
Furthermore, our ancestors understand our personal struggles to a great extent having lived through a number of challenges themselves. They comprehend what it is to work incredibly hard to carve out a life for themselves, and they have a vested interest in our success. Our deeds define them inasmuch as their deeds define us, and this mutual interest makes those that came before powerful spiritual allies.
If you would like to take advantage of this rather special circumstance and connect with that which made you, now is the time & I'll guide you through that practice here.
For me, ancestor worship has several different moving parts. There are different "levels" of practice, and there are many ways to go about doing this. You will need to determine what feels right for you, as your ancestors are not necessarily my ancestors & each of us have our own individual wants and needs. To start, I will give you some options and suggestions.
The first way to go about this is pretty basic & involves providing offerings to those that came before. When I do this, I like to recall the specific people that had a beneficial impact on my life and say prayers for them while offering food, sweets, drink, incense and hell money as a means of sustaining the personally important family members first. After focusing on the big movers and shakers, it's now appropriate to turn your attention to the ancestors that you don't know as well. Contribute light and warmth to them as well by acknowledging them, either by name or by a generalized call to each of those whose blood you share. Allow those who you do not know by name to join you as well, and focus on the act of improving everyone's mood. If you're unsure how to do this, I recommend reading this post about giving offerings.
The second practice revolves around the telling of their stories, as it has been said that stories of old warm the bones of those for whom they're written. I would recommend finding a time to say aloud stories from your childhood, and from your family's shared history. If your grandpa used to sit you on his lap and watch the birds with you, talk about how that improved your life and your disposition. Acknowledge how much of an impact that had on your day to day existence and how you see the world even now. If your mamas home cooking is what you recall most fondly, say as much and ask that your mother help you in providing nutritious meals for your family. If your aunt was the source of support for you as a kid, and it was her home they provided a refuge, acknowledge this and convey how much of a difference that made. Each of these experiences are a part of what made us who we are, and it was those people who were responsible for these actions that improved our lives and made it more enjoyable.
Each of these things are shared experiences, and those experiences are sacred. They are, in a very real way, the underpinnings of our firmament. If you want others to acknowledge you and tell your stories, you can start by doing that for your family. Remember them and ensure that they do not fade from memory, as those that fade from our memory fade from our present too.
The third practice is rather more witchy in nature, and it involves connecting with your ancestors for the sake of augury. After the offerings have been given and the stories have been told, you can connect with those you've honored and ask if they have any messages or guidance for you. This can be done over an oracle deck, over Tarot, over runes, or any other means of divination. Connect with the spirits and ask that they give you their guidance on the things that they understand and no. If your great great uncle was a carpenter, you can ask him how to build a better foundation for yourself as you exit 2020 & enter 2021. If one of your ancestors survived a plague, connect with them and ask them how to do so more effectively. Ask them for guidance on how to keep yourself together despite the isolation and despite the constant state of fear. Likewise, if you've got an ancestor who has a business mogul, connect with them and find out how they did it.
This act of connection is a means of seeking guidance, and it's part of the reason that we honor our ancestors.
Each of these practices contribute energy and warmth to their sphere of existence & regular offerings keep this connection open. By doing this, you're quite literally making your own family more accessible to you, and with it you are conjuring blessings that have passed over into the other world. You are connecting with the very foundation of your existence and improving upon it, all the while connecting with entities that are essentially your very own guardian angels. The more present they are, the stronger and more capable of action they remain. Keep that in mind and you'll find that they can act as protectors and sources of blessings. That can and very often does make a substantial degree of difference.