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Author Topic: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?  (Read 2455 times)

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« on: September 02, 2011, 12:54:38 am »
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?

I'm not looking for answers, exactly - I don't plan on incorporating anything into my own path - but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. Has anyone had experience with this? Thoughts?

(Apologies for any garbled grammar, I'm fighting off a summer cold.)
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Lokabrenna

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 01:15:54 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?

I'm not looking for answers, exactly - I don't plan on incorporating anything into my own path - but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. Has anyone had experience with this? Thoughts?

(Apologies for any garbled grammar, I'm fighting off a summer cold.)


I'm adopted, and I honestly think that the decision to seek out your birth parents is something you shouldn't feel obligated to do. I was recently contacted by my birth mother (she initiated contact, not me) and to be honest, she feels like a stranger to me. Sure, she gave birth to me, but I've lived with my adoptive family for twenty five years, and they're the ones who have had the most to do with making me who I am today.

Having said that, I don't know of anyone who would have an issue with your honouring both sets of ancestors. Even if you don't know their names. I've also heard of "spiritual ancestry", honouring those who may not be related to you personally, but might share your profession, or other things that cause you to feel a certain "kinship" with them, although that is a very broad definition of "ancestor".

SatAset

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 05:47:56 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?



I'd think you could honor both.  You've been adopted into that family and you have blood family too.  

I think it's up to the individual to find their birth parents or not.  

You could also honor your ancestors as a general group addressing all your ancestors "known and unknown" that way everyone is covered.  Ancestors reach back to the beginning, not just people a few generations back.  So many of them we don't know and don't have records for and we have virtually no way of finding them.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Whitedeer

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 10:05:03 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?

I'm not looking for answers, exactly - I don't plan on incorporating anything into my own path - but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. Has anyone had experience with this? Thoughts?


I am not directly adopted (its a tad complicated but suffice to say, my birth last name is from a culture I have no blood ties to.) based on my world view, you or any other adopted person were meant to be where you were placed. I myself do not pull magic from my blood family lines but from the line of my adoptive family.

When mediating on which magical paths I should take, I felt nothing from my blood-inherited faiths but a strong, loud, resounding call from my adoptive "homeland" and traditions. Maybe this could apply to ancestor honoring as well. As I am also a believer in past life and rebirth, you may have simply found your way back to your current culture from another life? I'd say, honor whomever you feel closest too; I'm sure they'll accept you :).
- Orifiel "Ori" Whitedeer

Tana

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 06:31:19 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313


 
A lot of people struggle with the concept of 'Ancestors'.
I did too.

And then, one not so fine day - feeling lonely and alone - I realized something pretty mind blowing:

You - everybody in existence - belongs to such a vast family (and it is literally going back to the caves) that it is hard to feel separate ever again after thinking about it.

Let's look at it a bit closer for a moment, shall we? :)

Most folks hardly know their direct families more than a few generations back. Thanks to a family tree my maternal grandmother did years ago, I know some names about 7 to 8 generations back on her side.

Even if you happen to be some noble with a family tree reaching back 600 years - this is still nothing.

Think in ten-thousands of years now.
A human generation counts with 20-30 years iirc.

A pretty big picture, no?

And now don't focus on some directly traceable blood lines, focus on your soul, your heart. To whom you feel kin? What kind of people seem to be of the same kind?
Chances are, you are related. Or that such people appeared at some point in your ancestry.

Maybe it helps - like it helped me - to think about a kind of an archetypical ancestor. Some woman, some man that came before you, sure had the character traits or the skills you are looking for. I think they will not be angry, if you kind of make up a picture you can work with.

Personally I love this chant for connecting with the Ancestors:


Compare it with living, breathing people.
Some won't care, some are maybe not nice, but there will be the ones who do care and who will love you, because you are their descandant.

After all, it's family. ;)
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That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
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All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
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bettalove

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 06:31:16 am »
I'm in a similar spot. I know my birth mother, but sometimes feel like I'm missing the other half of my history. I'd like to acknowledge and try working with my ancestors, but so many unknowns are holding me back.

herenow

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 11:57:39 am »
Quote from: bettalove;19244
I'm in a similar spot. I know my birth mother, but sometimes feel like I'm missing the other half of my history. I'd like to acknowledge and try working with my ancestors, but so many unknowns are holding me back.

 
I’m in a similar spot, though a generation removed.
My mother was adopted.  All we know is that her family lived on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota.
She has zero spiritual interest but my sisters and I have a lot.
I believe everyone’s ancestors – recent and ancient – reach out to us all, even when it skips a generation here and there.

Juniperberry

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 12:40:18 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?

I'm not looking for answers, exactly - I don't plan on incorporating anything into my own path - but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. Has anyone had experience with this? Thoughts?

(Apologies for any garbled grammar, I'm fighting off a summer cold.)

There's a system for honoring ancestors that's fairly cross cultural.

The newly deceased are not ancestors but are guided into that role by those that remember them.

Becoming an ancestor takes about two generations.

Those family members who are not well-remembered/honored do not become ancestors.
 
Once the deceased are in an ancestor role, the specifics of name/location/deeds don't need to be remembered. They are just now a part of a collectively honored group.

Adopted people can easily honor the collective ancestors of their biological families without being knowledgeable of the specifics since the specifics are no longer relevant to the collective group, as well as honoring the collective ancestors of their adopted families..

Adopted people can also raise their adopted family/biological family into the role of ancestor through remembering and honoring the recently deceased.

There isn't any difference/obstacle there.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 12:42:16 pm by Juniperberry »
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I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

skwrl

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 05:35:02 am »
Quote from: bettalove;19244
I'm in a similar spot. I know my birth mother, but sometimes feel like I'm missing the other half of my history. I'd like to acknowledge and try working with my ancestors, but so many unknowns are holding me back.

 
There are several online genome projects that will locate your deep ancestry thru your dna. I used the national geographic project, and for less than $100 confirmed what I already knew.

Blood ancestry is very important in my view, so for me, this was a wise investment.

Kessei

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 09:05:55 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?


My husband was adopted as an infant and doesn't know his birth parents.

However, he believes that we tend to reincarnate with other "souls," and it's the alternate incarnations of that group - his soul, and those closest to him known and unknown - that he honors as ancestors.

Juni

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Re: Honouring/worshipping ancestors when adopted?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 11:38:37 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17313
Although honouring my ancestors is not part of my path, I've always found it a lovely practice. But having been adopted (with no knowledge of my own ancestors beyond 'my mother was Irish'), I've always wondered how someone who was adopted would go about honouring ancestors they know nothing about. Is it their duty to search out their birth parents? Would they honour the family they've been adopted into?


I'm not adopted, but something similar has been on my mind lately: whether or not to include my step-father's family in my practice. I've waffled back and forth, because on the one hand they've been a part of my life since I was 6, but on the other hand, my step-grandmother has long made it clear that I am not "really" part of the family, and her sister, my great-aunt, has repeatedly ensured that I know how lucky I am to be included.

I have recently decided that these two unpleasant women aside, that side of the family is my family, and since I get a pull towards their dead, I'm going to go with it. And if, after they've joined their family, they don't get any more open minded, I can just ignore them!
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