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Author Topic: Ancestor worship and calendars  (Read 1119 times)

MattyG

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Ancestor worship and calendars
« on: August 13, 2014, 02:56:12 am »
I'm currently working on making my ancestor worship more specific, so I'm trying to add days to my calendar to focus on honoring specific (generally pagan, though I make concessions for the occasional non-pagan) human beings whom I feel a special affinity for. I've never really had a great connection to my larger family and most of our history past the last generation or two is completely lost to me, so I'm focusing more generally on people from history who I find impressive. The trouble is actually sitting down and narrowing down the list :p I'm trying to get one person per-month. So far what I have is:

January 8th: Emperor Norton (so far the only Christian on my list, but I make an exception for him because I find him so fascinating and heroic in his madness).

March 17th: Fionn mac Cumhaill (The people don't necessarily have to be real, but they do need to be human)

May 25th: Douglas Adams (An atheist, but his works mean a lot to me and I think it's a tragedy that he died as early as he did)

June 26th: Emperor Julian (I'm not really a Hellenic pagan, but I find Julian fascinating and find it tragic that he died so suddenly when he was probably the last opportunity for polytheism to survive in the West)

These are currently the only 4 I have on solid days. I'd like to include an equal amount of women as men (I have Boudica and Emer lined up, though I have no idea what days of the year would be appropriate). If anyone has any ideas about either specific days that are good, other people I should consider, or anything else related to ancestor worship, that would be great.

A Disgruntled Scotsman

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 07:50:31 am »
Quote from: MattyG;155553
I'm currently working on making my ancestor worship more specific, so I'm trying to add days to my calendar to focus on honoring specific (generally pagan, though I make concessions for the occasional non-pagan) human beings whom I feel a special affinity for.

...

January 8th: Emperor Norton (so far the only Christian on my list, but I make an exception for him because I find him so fascinating and heroic in his madness).

March 17th: Fionn mac Cumhaill (The people don't necessarily have to be real, but they do need to be human)

May 25th: Douglas Adams (An atheist, but his works mean a lot to me and I think it's a tragedy that he died as early as he did)

June 26th: Emperor Julian (I'm not really a Hellenic pagan, but I find Julian fascinating and find it tragic that he died so suddenly when he was probably the last opportunity for polytheism to survive in the West)

...

If anyone has any ideas about either specific days that are good, other people I should consider, or anything else related to ancestor worship, that would be great.

It made me smile that you honour Julian.  I too often forget the significance he can have to Pagans who are not Hellenic or Roman in practice simply for what he tried to accomplish for all Pagans.

As to the matter of other people to consider; part of me thinks it may be too soon to suggest this, or that doing so might trivialise what you're trying to do, or that it may be in bad taste to suggest it, but if he or his work had a positive impact on you then perhaps...

Robin Williams?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 07:51:11 am by A Disgruntled Scotsman »
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Materialist

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2014, 10:36:39 am »
Quote from: MattyG;155553

 If anyone has any ideas about either specific days that are good, other people I should consider, or anything else related to ancestor worship, that would be great.

 
In Grhya ancestor rites occur at the beginning, middle, and last week of a month. In Religio Romana and Mazdayasna there was an annual festival before the new year, which was in March, for the former around the middle of February, the latter new year's eve. Also in Religio there was the Rosalia,  when roses were in season and wreaths were made for graves.

MattyG

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 06:38:43 pm »
Quote from: A Disgruntled Scotsman;155959
It made me smile that you honour Julian.  I too often forget the significance he can have to Pagans who are not Hellenic or Roman in practice simply for what he tried to accomplish for all Pagans.

Definitely. I've been reading some of his writings, and I just find him to be a fascinating individual. And, yeah. It doesn't really matter to me that he wasn't a Celt. My gods are primarily Celtic and my philosophy is largely Celtic, but I'm moving away from strict recon and the sense of tribalism that I find it tends to evoke. Not to say that recon is wrong, but I would rather embrace the best of many cultures than the best and worst of one culture alone. Julian was among the best that the Eastern Roman Empire had to offer, in my opinion.

Quote
As to the matter of other people to consider; part of me thinks it may be too soon to suggest this, or that doing so might trivialise what you're trying to do, or that it may be in bad taste to suggest it, but if he or his work had a positive impact on you then perhaps...

Robin Williams?

I don't think it's in bad taste or trivial. He was a great master of his art. I'm not sure that he means enough to me personally that I could spend an entire day of every year meditating on him, but that's exactly the kind of thinking I'm trying to embrace. Thanks :)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 04:10:16 am by SunflowerP »

Earthworm

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 02:55:18 pm »
Many of the figures I honor as ancestors are Catholic saints, so they come with their own feast days already built in. However, in the case of those who are heroes (like Finn MacCoul), if I wanted a particular day to celebrate them on, I would personally choose the feast day of a saint who is either traditionally syncretized with the hero or one whose attributes and patronages were close enough that it seemed to make sense.

Some of the other ancestors I venerate are personages of nebulous natures who introduced themselves to me in dreams and the like. In one of those cases, I honor her during the time of the moon that shares her name. For example: if she were called The Cold One or somesuch, I would honor her during the moon cycle or full moon of December, one of the names of which is the Cold Moon.

Quote from: Materialist;155971
Also in Religio there was the Rosalia,  when roses were in season and wreaths were made for graves.

This is very interesting and gives me another idea similar to my moon practice. Let's say your ancestor is LGBTQ-identified and has some association with lavender (these are the first things that came to my mind), whether mythically/historically or by UPG. A google informs me that lavender blooms in late spring/early summer, and a cross reference to a Wikipedia list of LGBT holidays informs me that there is a specific holiday in that time period, being International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th. Something like that might also be a method you could use for finding particular days on which to honor your ancestors.

As a final note, rather than actively looking for ancestors to add to your calendar, I would find days that suit the ancestors I know I want to venerate and simply wait for more ancestors who represent things I want to emulate to speak to my heart.
"A driving thirst for knowledge is the forerunner of wisdom." -Robert Cochrane

MattyG

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 02:03:48 am »
Quote from: Earthworm;156288
As a final note, rather than actively looking for ancestors to add to your calendar, I would find days that suit the ancestors I know I want to venerate and simply wait for more ancestors who represent things I want to emulate to speak to my heart.

 
That is definitely a possibility. The main problem for me is, whenever I have to deal with lists of people, I wind up always feeling like I'm forgetting someone :p I guess this thread is me hoping someone will spark my memory.

Holdasown

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 08:25:07 am »
Quote from: MattyG;155553
I'm currently working on making my ancestor worship more specific, so I'm trying to add days to my calendar to focus on honoring specific (generally pagan, though I make concessions for the occasional non-pagan) human beings whom I feel a special affinity for. I've never really had a great connection to my larger family and most of our history past the last generation or two is completely lost to me, so I'm focusing more generally on people from history who I find impressive. The trouble is actually sitting down and narrowing down the list :p I'm trying to get one person per-month. So far what I have is:

January 8th: Emperor Norton (so far the only Christian on my list, but I make an exception for him because I find him so fascinating and heroic in his madness).

March 17th: Fionn mac Cumhaill (The people don't necessarily have to be real, but they do need to be human)

May 25th: Douglas Adams (An atheist, but his works mean a lot to me and I think it's a tragedy that he died as early as he did)

June 26th: Emperor Julian (I'm not really a Hellenic pagan, but I find Julian fascinating and find it tragic that he died so suddenly when he was probably the last opportunity for polytheism to survive in the West)

These are currently the only 4 I have on solid days. I'd like to include an equal amount of women as men (I have Boudica and Emer lined up, though I have no idea what days of the year would be appropriate). If anyone has any ideas about either specific days that are good, other people I should consider, or anything else related to ancestor worship, that would be great.

In the Heathen tradition we have Mother's Night which is the first night of Yule in December and the night before the solstice. You could honor any women who are mothers and any women who you look at as guides. I do a Memorial Day and Veterans day ritual for those in my family who have served.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 08:25:34 am by Holdasown »

MattyG

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Re: Ancestor worship and calendars
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2014, 01:50:54 am »
Quote from: Holdasown;156412
I do a Memorial Day and Veterans day ritual for those in my family who have served.

 
That's an excellent idea! Thanks!

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