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Author Topic: "Honouring my ancestors"?  (Read 4098 times)

myeka

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2015, 04:25:26 pm »
Quote from: TisiphoneSeraph;180491
Some people can make it work but the vast majority of my recent ancestors have not been the least bit interested in being honored in anything remotely resembling a pagan context.

The others seem ambivalent, not out of Christian motives - I've discovered that some of my recently deceased relatives were more Christian in name than belief - but out of not really having had context for that during their lives. It seems like a confusing prospect to them. They'd rather look out for me and me live the best life I can - that's what they kind of expected from their ancestors and that's what they look to do for me.

Everything varies. If it doesn't feel right for some reason, it likely isn't right for you. In paths where honoring ancestors is very important, I would look for a mundane way to fill that role in your life. Frame some pictures, do an activity they liked, etc. Or ignore it altogether. Just depends on how you want to go about it.

I think over all ancestor veneration is something most western cultures don't really have a cultural context for so that makes it hard on both the living and the dead.

 
Not a response to you, I just picked your reply to reply to.

Here's a thought I had while reading through these responses... these are all assuming that our ancestors are the same people in death that they were in life. What do you believe (general "you") happens to the soul after death? Could this influence your decision on how to honor them?

HarpingHawke

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2015, 05:16:33 pm »
Quote from: myeka;181781
Not a response to you, I just picked your reply to reply to.

Here's a thought I had while reading through these responses... these are all assuming that our ancestors are the same people in death that they were in life. What do you believe (general "you") happens to the soul after death? Could this influence your decision on how to honor them?

 
Oooh. That is a *fantastic* question.

My opinion is that it's impossible to *know* what happens to the soul after death, so depending on belief, we honor our ancestors the best we can. I'm pretty sure there are a few ghosts hanging around my home, and I feel that they're the same people they were when I knew them (or when other family members knew them), but I'm still solidifying my belief about what happens after death, if anything at all.

I do think this could influence my choices about how to honor them, and possibly even *if* I will do so. Something to ponder, I suppose.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Redfaery

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2015, 05:41:23 pm »
Quote from: myeka;181781
Here's a thought I had while reading through these responses... these are all assuming that our ancestors are the same people in death that they were in life. What do you believe (general "you") happens to the soul after death? Could this influence your decision on how to honor them?


I pray for the dead, but I don't honor them.

I'm a Tibetan Buddhist. I believe in rebirth. Once someone dies, the non-corporeal parts of their being (the "mind-stream") go through an intermediate state known as the bardo. This is the time when prayers for them are most effective. After the Bardo, the mind-stream moves on to its next existence, which could be just about anything, depending on the karma it has accumulated in past existences.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Elding

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2015, 12:29:39 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180258
So, I wanted to discuss a trend I noticed; that tends to come up in recon-centric circles (esp. Heathenism to my observation) and which I've seen criticised:

I honour X to feel closer to/honour my ancestors

Now I'm sure everyone has pagan ancestors if you go back far enough; but for a very long time now, at least for people of European descent -- which is where reconstructionist traditions tend to stem from -- most people's ancestors have usually been Christian of one type or another. What does that mean, or what should it mean, for the popular sentiment of taking up a pagan tradition because of ones ancestors?

 
To me, it isn't relevant what faith they come from. I did give this some thought, I admit, but it almost feels more like common sense than religion now that I've made up my mind about it. After all, it's not like you have to honor your ancestors in the name of a particular pagan god - it's literally just that, honoring your ancestors. I like to sit in meditation, hold the names of the people I knew and give some thought to the people whose names have eluded me, and just appreciate the sacrifices, the hardships, the strife that my ancestors went through to ensure the survival of the next generation - and that is not something unique to heathens. To my heathen and christian ancestors alike, the fact that I was born is an answered prayer - it means their children got through that famine, or survived that war, and overcome those dangerous early childhood years to grow into adults. They ALL passed the torch. I think that is something we can all respect.

Honoring ancestors is, to me, more like reaching out a hand and a drink, saying "I'm thinking of you, do you want a cup of [insert-whatever-alcohol-I'm-pouring-out] and share a moment together with me?". If they don't want that cup of mead, that's fine, but it sounds very backwards to not offer it just because they wouldn't have approved of some of my personal choices.

Offerings to the dead transcend faith. Christians do it too (candles, flowers and personal belongings on the grave). I think it might be rude to pour mead specifically on the grave of someone I knew to be Christian, but I don't think it is a rude thing to offer a cup to my Christian ancestors in general. I mean heck, I would offer mead to my LIVING christian relatives, so why should I exclude the dead?
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...
[/I]

Elding

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2015, 12:42:07 pm »
Quote from: Thorbjorn;180321
It's thrown around quite liberally on Heathen sites and FB pages that veneration of the ancestors takes precedence over the gods. I disagree for a couple of reasons, not the least of which being "everyone does things differently":

 
That never made sense to me either. In many cases, the gods are stated outright to be our very ancestors, sometimes by adoption and sometimes by blood. Odin had mortal children (not to mention the whole "creating mankind" thing), Frey apparently sired the entire Ynglinga-aett, and Heimdallr is a case of his own. To anyone who is willing to both honor his ancestors and believe that the gods are real, honoring the gods AS ancestors is not much of a stretch.
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...
[/I]

Littlewolf

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2015, 01:47:11 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180258
most people's ancestors have usually been Christian of one type or another. What does that mean, or what should it mean, for the popular sentiment of taking up a pagan tradition because of ones ancestors?

 
I had this delema around samhain too, but the big problem for me was the athiest ancestors. I am the first religious person in my family in 4 generations, and since my ancestors chose to be athiest back when it was not accepted and when it took real courage to do that, i felt as if i was disrespecting that strength and courage. (I would like to add here that even today in many areas it is still very hard for people to be athiest.)
I had an inpiration a month ago that it may still be possible to honor them; as long as i accept that they could be right and there are no deities then i can respectfully give them offerings because it can be just as likely that there are deities, and religious or not i can still honor their memory. It's the thought that counts and I'd like tothink that the dead have better things to do than argue about religion, especially since they may have found more conclusive evidence on the other side.
Hope this helps.

Aubren

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2015, 07:37:53 pm »
Quote from: Riverwolf;180277
My reasoning is largely because the disorder hinders socialization instincts, and family matters are heavily social.

Though it could also just as easily be my own unique experience, such that my condition factors into my reluctance, but isn't a factor in yours. There's certainly other factors in my reluctance, including that I wasn't raised with a hyper-heavy emphasis on "family values".

 
So, this is coming from yet another Aspergian.

While Asperger's sometimes gives the person a passivity that creates an unknowing to share certain information/action with individuals, I personally don't think it hinders socialization instincts.

My personal experience is that verbal autistics can effectively communicate with each other, but not neurotypicals. In the same way a cat & dog can confuse the other with body & verbal language, so too is the same for neurotypicals & Asperger's.

The only verbal autistic person (who I knew/suspected to have such)  and had trouble communicating with was a diagnosed aspie who was "caught" in youth and received neurotypical-style communication training throughout their youth.

They also saw Asperger's as a disability which hindered them from understanding people.

I would like to point out that as a child, I was very extroverted. When the other children always found me annoying, I slowly began closed in on myself and became misanthropic.

While there are definitely introverted Aspies out there, Asperger's DOES NOT equal introversion. Which drains your batteries more?:
1. Trying to understand them & appeal to their weird ways.
2. Just talking in general is nice, but eventually becomes a hassle.

The first is frustration from trying to communicate with practicly another species. The other is merely true introversion, which is a stereotype but not a symptom of Asperger's.
Wazhazhe

Aubren

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2015, 08:36:48 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180258
So, I wanted to discuss a trend I noticed; that tends to come up in recon-centric circles (esp. Heathenism to my observation) and which I've seen criticised:

I honour X to feel closer to/honour my ancestors

[Snippity snip snip]
--most people's ancestors have usually been Christian of one type or another. What does that mean, or what should it mean, for the popular sentiment of taking up a pagan tradition because of ones ancestors?


Can't answer this meaningfully as I don't honor my ancestors in the way this is intended--I honor my Native American ancestors, not for who they were as people, but for the culture & strength they enveloped. More of a Culture Honoring than Ancestor Honoring.

Anyways.

One Samhain, I called down two recently dead relatives. One was "New Age-esque" and the other your typical, nicely done Christian.

The latter didn't feel too pleased. There was definitely the feeling of a negative sigh.
Wazhazhe

Elding

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Re: "Honouring my ancestors"?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2015, 08:31:18 pm »
Quote from: Aubren;183684
So, this is coming from yet another Aspergian.

While Asperger's sometimes gives the person a passivity that creates an unknowing to share certain information/action with individuals, I personally don't think it hinders socialization instincts.

My personal experience is that verbal autistics can effectively communicate with each other, but not neurotypicals. In the same way a cat & dog can confuse the other with body & verbal language, so too is the same for neurotypicals & Asperger's.

The only verbal autistic person (who I knew/suspected to have such)  and had trouble communicating with was a diagnosed aspie who was "caught" in youth and received neurotypical-style communication training throughout their youth.

They also saw Asperger's as a disability which hindered them from understanding people.

I would like to point out that as a child, I was very extroverted. When the other children always found me annoying, I slowly began closed in on myself and became misanthropic.

While there are definitely introverted Aspies out there, Asperger's DOES NOT equal introversion. Which drains your batteries more?:
1. Trying to understand them & appeal to their weird ways.
2. Just talking in general is nice, but eventually becomes a hassle.

The first is frustration from trying to communicate with practicly another species. The other is merely true introversion, which is a stereotype but not a symptom of Asperger's.

As yet another person with Aspergers, I would say this is not the case, at least not for me.

See, I've experienced both. It's a diet thing for me - I was diagnosed when I was young and later discovered the Paleo diet (no grains, no sugar, yada yada and so forth) because apparently it helped someone else who was Autistic and I wanted to try it. Luckily for me, it worked. I still get re-lapses whenever I cheat on my diet too much tho.. the difference is very clear. I'm just not INTERESTED in other people as much, I'll converse and everything for sure, but I'll be a lot more likely to disappear into a book or something along those lines. People get so annoying, lol... I would be inclined to agree with Riverwolf.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 08:32:15 pm by Elding »
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...
[/I]

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