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  1. #11
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    Re: It all starts with our ancestors

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeSpirit View Post
    In general, thats really how I feel.
    I do as well. I have a complicated history with it. Like others in this thread, I do admit that my ancestors in the past several centuries have been Christians, rather than fellow polytheists. Many of them probably did rather reprehensible things, dishonourable things.
    But, at the same time, my interest in my heritage and ancestry is one of the things that led me towards polytheism. My grandfather was particularly interested in our Scottish ancestry, and did a lot of research--along with my uncles and my mom--into our family lines. As I was coming to age, this engendered in me early on an investment in our past; and as a student of history, I firmly believe that where and what we come from is a big part of who we are now, and where we are going. So I took a big interest in Celtic culture and history, especially of Scotland and Ireland. As I became more aware of and interested in polytheistic and pagan revivalism, this synchronised into an interest in the myths and gods of the Celts, and a desire to honour my Celtic ancestors--specifically those who had held to a polytheistic faith.

    And to this day, I have held a special place in my heart for those ancestors specifically, and for their gods. Even though I've transitioned around from eclectic Paganism, to Wicca, to Hellenism, and now to Roman revival, I've continued to have a private worship of Celtic deities and a veneration of my maternal ancestors. I celebrate the four main Celtic festival days to honour that commitment, and especially on Samhain I venerate the spirits of the dead and the gods that guide and rule them.

    On a more regular basis, every night I make an offering to the ancestral spirits as a collective whole, the Manes.

  2. #12
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    Re: It all starts with our ancestors

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeSpirit View Post
    In general, thats really how I feel. I started working with my ancestors more personally when my grandmother passed away two years ago. Id do something simple morning and evening. I pray and light a candle for her and a family. I try to keep in touch with living family and will do a DNA to know more about me. Im learnint my geneology at the same time.

    I dont really have a religious foundation like pantheons. Do you guys have pantheons that give you a foundation to work with your ancestors (if that is your interest)? If so, how do you learn about how they practiced and what they practices?

    I read up in an academic book about the history of sigils. Another book: Myth, Magic, and Mythology Encyclopedia about the different magic practices people have world over.

    Does everything start with the ancestors with you? I know. Lots of questions. Sorry.
    How far back do you go? It seems like my early ancestors were from the Middle East and the Iberian peninsula according to DNA tests. If I got further back, they would probably be from Africa.

  3. #13
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    Re: It all starts with our ancestors

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeSpirit View Post
    In general, thats really how I feel. I started working with my ancestors more personally when my grandmother passed away two years ago. Id do something simple morning and evening. I pray and light a candle for her and a family. I try to keep in touch with living family and will do a DNA to know more about me. Im learnint my geneology at the same time.

    I dont really have a religious foundation like pantheons. Do you guys have pantheons that give you a foundation to work with your ancestors (if that is your interest)? If so, how do you learn about how they practiced and what they practices?

    I read up in an academic book about the history of sigils. Another book: Myth, Magic, and Mythology Encyclopedia about the different magic practices people have world over.

    Does everything start with the ancestors with you? I know. Lots of questions. Sorry.
    My path doesn't really start with my ancestors but I would like to tie in my ancestors that are blood and those that are spiritual connected. My pantheon right now is an open one that brings gods and goddesses from different locations. I would actually love to learn how to incorporate my ancestors because I feel like they were gift some way. Plus two of my grandparents died before I was born and some of my family I never knew.

  4. #14
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    Re: It all starts with our ancestors

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeSpirit View Post
    In general, thats really how I feel. I started working with my ancestors more personally when my grandmother passed away two years ago. Id do something simple morning and evening. I pray and light a candle for her and a family. I try to keep in touch with living family and will do a DNA to know more about me. Im learnint my geneology at the same time.

    I dont really have a religious foundation like pantheons. Do you guys have pantheons that give you a foundation to work with your ancestors (if that is your interest)? If so, how do you learn about how they practiced and what they practices?

    I read up in an academic book about the history of sigils. Another book: Myth, Magic, and Mythology Encyclopedia about the different magic practices people have world over.

    Does everything start with the ancestors with you? I know. Lots of questions. Sorry.
    This upcoming alfablót, I plan to get a heathen symbol, a christian cross, a candle and some flowers. Maybe some incense or some nice, suitable herbs. The Heathen and the Christian ancestry are the ones I know about, so that's the symbols I will choose to use when doing an ancestrally based "ritual". I likely have ancestors from completely different pantheons and peoples that I am unaware about, but that's fine. They're very welcome too, if they wish to show up. Honoring your ancestors is not about your religion, or their religion, it's just about honoring your ancestors because they are the reason you are here - they shaped your life, they fought so that their children could survive all those difficult times which meant that you could eventually be born, you are a sum of the actions they took and the ones they did not take. You don't need religion or gods to honor that, because it's a great thing to honor all in itself. It is a lot like simply visiting their graves, only you're doing it spiritually rather than physically, but it is not weirder than that, nor is it more complicated, at least at its core. (You can, of course, choose to make it as complicated or elaborated as you wish if that is your tradition.)

    Honoring ancestors, in my work, is about 2 things. Most obviously is about, well, honoring your ancestors. You give a thought at the people who left your life, make your vows to your living and dead family if you have any of those you feel like making. You give some thought to the past.
    But you can't grieve all of them. They are too innumerable to count, most lived years and years and years - decades, centuries, millenia and so forth - before you were born. But they still had an impact on your life. You have gifts from them - biologically, energetically, and through their actions when they were alive - that still affect you in this lifetime. Some are very good and others are very bad, but they're there. And you will pass that down, if you are/will become a parent or choose to be someone's guardian.

    In this sense, honoring your ancestors is a lot about honoring yourself, because you carry them with you now. Recognizing that is the key, not a pantheon or a particular faith (although that might of course be part of it as well if you choose it to be, and an important one). Mufasa had a point, they live in you now

    Happy Samhain/Alfablot/All Hallows/Whatever, everybody.
    Last edited by Elding; 12 Oct 2016 at 06:38 PM. Reason: clarifying
    Out in the woods, and I'm not alone, but the sun's quickly going down!
    There! In the trees! Something stalking me! Stop walking around!
    'K, just be cool, don't be such a fool! There is nothing at all to fear...
    ... other than the trees and the night and a beam of light, and the breathing in my ear...

  5. #15
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    Question Re: It all starts with our ancestors

    Quote Originally Posted by unveiledartist View Post

    I read up in an academic book about the history of sigils. Another book: Myth, Magic, and Mythology Encyclopedia about the different magic practices people have world over.

    Does everything start with the ancestors with you? I know. Lots of questions. Sorry.
    I was searching about a post on ancestry and this came up. I read the posts of this thread and I recognize part of the things mentioned.
    These last years I have been looking up my ancestry and certain things came up that shed light on certain things and sort of explain it. So I think we carry over more from our blood ancestors/tribes than we think. So about last year thinking I have a reasonably complete picture something totally different came up.
    I am thinking maybe do a DNA ancestry test to see if what I found is there.
    Has anyone done a DNA ancestry test? And does what came out in ancestry groups relate to the things that interest you in pagan life?

  6. #16
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    Re: It all starts with our ancestors

    Quote Originally Posted by unveiledartist View Post
    In general, thats really how I feel. I started working with my ancestors more personally when my grandmother passed away two years ago. Id do something simple morning and evening. I pray and light a candle for her and a family. I try to keep in touch with living family and will do a DNA to know more about me. Im learnint my geneology at the same time.

    I dont really have a religious foundation like pantheons. Do you guys have pantheons that give you a foundation to work with your ancestors (if that is your interest)? If so, how do you learn about how they practiced and what they practices?

    I read up in an academic book about the history of sigils. Another book: Myth, Magic, and Mythology Encyclopedia about the different magic practices people have world over.

    Does everything start with the ancestors with you? I know. Lots of questions. Sorry.
    When I started my path to paganism, I didn't start with my ancestors. I was (and still am, to a large extent) more interested in working with gods. However, I was drawn to Kemeticism, which for some (particularly those in the Kemetic Orthodoxy- which I'm taking the beginner's class for) involves honoring the akhu.

    As far as I understand (I have a lot more reading to do): the akhu are still present and interested in your life, though it's also a "you get what you give" situation in that the more you pay attention to and acknowledge them, the more they'll give you assistance and advice.

    There's akhu of the blood, akhu gained via marriage and adoption, and akhu related to your nationality/ethnicity.

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