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Author Topic: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors  (Read 3554 times)

PetitAlbert

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Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« on: August 18, 2012, 05:44:13 pm »
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?
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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 05:58:22 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices of which they probably didn't approved in life.

 
This very thought used to bother me a lot, until I realized I was looking at it the wrong way. I don't compel or force my ancestors to be present at rituals, or to accept offerings. I give the gift, I invite them to the table, to the fire, what have you; being dead does not negate their ability to chose. If they are uncomfortable with whatever I am offering them, or inviting them to, it is well within their power to refrain.

It's also a matter of common sense. Am I doing something or asking assistance in some endeavor that my ancestor(s) would not approve of? If so, why involve them? I don't. I ask my Beloved Dead for their support, for their guidance and advice, for their protection, for their love. All of these things they did for me in life; in death the only thing different is how.
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Jezebel

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 06:02:26 pm »
Quote from: Juni;69694
I ask my Beloved Dead for their support, for their guidance and advice, for their protection, for their love. All of these things they did for me in life; in death the only thing different is how.

This.

I'm still a little unsure on involving ancestors in my practises because it's not something that had been very prevalent for me, especially not growing up but with a homestead orientated path I can see how important it is.

I don't think they'll be highly offended by you asking them to join you for an evening/ritual/hour out of the day when you ask. Like Juni said, if they don't want to attend then they won't, but to me it doesn't seem much different from saying something like, 'I have a job interview, wish me luck?'
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 06:03:16 pm by Jezebel »

Nachtigall

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 06:16:07 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?

 
Some of my ancestors probably wouldn't approve a lot of what I am now, be it religious or political beliefs, or general world-view and lifestyle choices. Just as I don't agree with all they did in their lives - and I don't really worship them, just as I don't worship my relatives who are still alive. Still, they are the reason I am alive today; and in turn, I am the reason a part of them is alive today. So, they get their honor; I've been taught that the ties of blood are still strong, no matter what.

I don't honor the ancestors in my religious celebration though; mostly its just through some folk customs or non-religious practices.

monsnoleedra

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 06:46:31 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?


Not at all.

Quote
I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices of which they probably didn't approved in life.


For me its never a matter of it being consensual or non-consensual.  I invite them to attend any ritual / ceremony not demand or order them to attend.  I also look at it as I am the living future born of all my ancestor's regardless of how they were seen by their immediate family.  As such the pathway I walk is not the point of focus as much as the way I walk it and the intregerity and honor I bring to my life in the walking of it.

I am the next link in a countless chain of links that ever moves toward a distant future.  That I fathered two children and push my line forward via them commits my spirit and energy to the betterment of that line.  The same commitment and sense of forward moving energy that my ancestry passed onwards to me.

In many ways it is somewhat oriental in that I see my success as their success, my failure a potential disgrace upon thier face and name.

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 07:06:57 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

 
As others have said, there's a big difference between invitation and compulsion: I invite, I don't compel. My (devoutly but very independently Christian) father shows up in response a reasonable amount of the time when the ritual involves something he's particularly interested in or that's especially meaningful to me. (The way he showed up at a bunch of stuff important to me that he otherwise wouldn't care about, when he was alive. Because that's what you do when you love your kid, sometimes.)

I've had other occasional clear identities flicker in - but my family background includes two people (a Jewish great-grandfather who, it turns out, was a serious Tarot reader and a Hungarian Catholic great-grandmother who was widely known as a white witch and healer in her village) where we often have *work* in common, even when we don't share Gods.

I think it's also important to consider what you're asking of them - when I invite the ancestors, I'm not asking *them* to honour the Gods I've invited to that circle. At most, I'm asking them to hang out at the same party for a bit.

And more than that, while I consider the direct blood ancestral line important, most of the time in formal ritual work (i.e. the times I'm inviting various Gods to also be in the space), my ancestor work is usually more general - "teachers of old", "priest/esses of old" "witches of old", and I'm asking for advice from them as want to give it. That sometimes includes ancestors by blood, but often doesn't.

I do think it's sometimes fascinating what you get if you open a door in the right way. I mentioned in the other ancestor thread recently revived that I've also done an immensely meaningful ritual (rededicating some jewelry that was a wedding present from two good friends after my divorce) where I invited, as the ancestor invite, alumnae of my college (one of the Seven Sisters schools, an all women's college with a strong independent streak.)

I *know* - because I know the school's history - that the vast majority of them were mainstream Protestant in life. And yet, it remains one of the most memorable 'presence of ancestors-by-choice' rituals I've ever been a part of (and one that the other handful of people there also commented on.) I wouldn't have dreamed of forcing them, but the invite of "Hi, I'm a woman trying to figure out how to do this thing and move forward in the right way." was something that got their attention in all the right ways.
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Aubrey_Rose

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 08:36:11 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?

 
I've had this thought as well. I often drive by my grandparents cemetery and think I should gather some dirt, and such and have a chat with them, but then I think - they were devout Christians... Who told my mother she needed to block out any "devilish dreams" - she and I share the occasional prophetic dream or two.. but whenever I think of that I think, its best to not do it. I will respect who they were and what they believed.
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Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 06:27:51 am »
Quote from: Juni;69694
This very thought used to bother me a lot, until I realized I was looking at it the wrong way. I don't compel or force my ancestors to be present at rituals, or to accept offerings. I give the gift, I invite them to the table, to the fire, what have you; being dead does not negate their ability to chose. If they are uncomfortable with whatever I am offering them, or inviting them to, it is well within their power to refrain.

It's also a matter of common sense. Am I doing something or asking assistance in some endeavor that my ancestor(s) would not approve of? If so, why involve them? I don't. I ask my Beloved Dead for their support, for their guidance and advice, for their protection, for their love. All of these things they did for me in life; in death the only thing different is how.

I'm quite new to honouring ancestors, but this is how I feel about it. I don't force anyone to be there. And I suspect that they know a lot more now than they used to, and therefore that their view of things might be a bit bigger than it was in life. But perhaps not, in which case they won't come.

I asked how they felt about my Pagan beliefs recently. The impression I got was that they were amused with my need to label myself, just like they needed to, in life. And that they thought I'd get over it one day. :)
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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2012, 10:05:01 am »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?


This has been on my mind lately. All the relatives I actually knew and loved dearly were Christian. Fairly good ones too. I still have pics of them at the shrine and honor them. I decided since they come of their own accord they can not participate. When I honestly thought about my path I choose to look into Germanic paganism to get in touch with my really old ancestors. Both sides of my family have been here since the early 1800's and are pretty American. It is those kin far back who worshiped the gods daily I try to link too. I don't think you need to worry your not forcing them to come do something they would not approve of.

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2012, 05:53:32 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692



Wanna know how I deal with this 'problem'? (Because actually it is not really a problem.)
You hail from a huge line of generations. So many people, why worry about the handful of generations you can be aware of? (Which is a tiny 3-5 maybe, if you're lucky.)

I keep a light for all my ancestors. A light as a visual confirmation of our connection.
This connection exists, no matter who am I, no matter who they were.

And I give a daily offering of water, to which I invite all ancestors, who wish me well.
See? Simple.

I don't force anyone.
I just confirm my place in a line of a lot of people and I offer those who want it, a little libation.

And no matter where you are from, no matter which time you lived in - to offer a guest a glass of water, is always a polite and fitting gesture.
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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 01:23:39 am »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?


Flowers at the gravesites are an offering. Prayers to and for the dead are religious expression.

I'm having a hard time understanding what sort of person would be offended at being remembered as a trusted source of compassion and love. And why someone like that would be honored in the first place?
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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 04:40:49 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?

 
I don't think it is disrespectful... Religion, as far as I'm concerned is just different faces of the same things. My grandmother, for example, was a Christian. She Believed in being a good person and supporting those around her. That was the core of her belief. Love and respect and being good. The core of my belief is love, respect and being good. They're the same. At their core anyway. Most positive religions are. And I believe that once your dead your granted that knowledge.
It's why you call them that it becomes disrespectful. If I called my ancestors down to help me...Oh..I don't know, something bad? Hurt someone. That would be disrespectful, my ancestors wouldn't appreciate that. But if I called them to bless my marriage (as I fully intend on doing) they'll come and they'll be glad that I called on them for it.
So in short, calling them isn't disrespectful, it's what you call them for IMHO

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 05:55:43 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;69692
Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practicioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial rememberance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices
of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?

 
I think it would be more disrespectful not to revere ancestors. After all, they are the reason I'm here. I have peculiar problems with ancestor worship, as most of my ancestors don't approve of my non-married, non-child-bearing, gender-odd lifestyle, but I offer to them in good faith regardless because they are better allies than enemies. I've seen first hand what happens when the ancestors act out of enmity--my life went to crap for a while when they tried messing with me.

Ancestor magic is also extremely powerful. If you have your revered dead on your side, you can wield a lot of power. I've seen ancestors broker deals with incredibly powerful deities and, in some cases, overrule the deity in question which absolutely floored me.

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 11:16:29 am »
Quote from: Tana;70250
Wanna know how I deal with this 'problem'? (Because actually it is not really a problem.)
You hail from a huge line of generations. So many people, why worry about the handful of generations you can be aware of? (Which is a tiny 3-5 maybe, if you're lucky.)

I keep a light for all my ancestors. A light as a visual confirmation of our connection.
This connection exists, no matter who am I, no matter who they were.

And I give a daily offering of water, to which I invite all ancestors, who wish me well.
See? Simple.

I don't force anyone.


I just confirm my place in a line of a lot of people and I offer those who want it, a little libation.

And no matter where you are from, no matter which time you lived in - to offer a guest a glass of water, is always a polite and fitting gesture.


I have to agree with this. I've had some genetic testing done and it showed my family line originated with the first paleolithic settlers of the continent, who were obviously not Christians. So I seek guidance from these pre-christian ones in how to be a better non-christian.

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Re: Is it revere to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 11:28:13 am »
Quote from: Materialist;76455
I have to agree with this. I've had some genetic testing done and it showed my family line originated with the first paleolithic settlers of the continent, who were obviously not Christians. So I seek guidance from these pre-christian ones in how to be a better non-christian.

 
What continent? We have about six or seven of them.
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