My first official post of the Pagan Blog Project is about the Ancestors. The Ancestors are one of the Three Kindreds as recognized by Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship (ADF). The Three Kindreds are beings that we see as worthy of worship and honor. The other two Kindreds are the Nature Spirits and the Deities. However, my post is about how I personally see the Ancestors and is not tied to any specific Pagan tradition.
Ancestors are those people and animals in my life who have died. To me, there are three main groups of Ancestors. These groups are Ancestors of blood, Ancestors of heart, and Ancestors of spirit.
Ancestors of blood are those people I am actually related to biologically. They include grandparents and parents. In my case, the Vikings are also Ancestors of blood, since I found out through a DNA test that I am 85% Scandinavian.
Ancestors of heart are those who aren’t related to me, but we shared some other type of relationship. These include the dog I grew up with and a friend of mine who passed away last year. This will also include members of my fiance’s family once they have died.
Finally, Ancestors of spirit are those with whom I share some sort of spiritual connection. Since I am a Norse Druid, the Vikings are Ancestors of spirit in addition to Ancestors of blood. Isaac Bonewits, ADF’s founder, is also an Ancestor of spirit since the tradition he founded is the one I work in.
The simplest way to honor one’s Ancestors is to simply light a candle and say a prayer of gratitude for having existed, as without the Ancestors we would not exist ourselves. This prayer might be accompanied by an offering, taken outside, of something your Ancestors might have liked. I offer coffee to my Ancestors. Another way to honor them might be to visit their burial site, if you know where they are buried, and simply contemplate the time you spent with them (if you knew the Ancestor in life). You could take along an offering to make directly upon their grave. Telling stories about your Ancestors is also a great way to honor and remember them.
The continuation of this subject can be found here.