The Celts believe we reincarnate into our family or tribe….reborn again and again into the bloodstream of our Ancestors. This belief helps us to understand how lessons good and bad can be repeated over and over again within a family. We carry not only the DNA of our family, but the deep laden lessons.
When we come back into a bloodline over and over again, or bloodlines for certainly we have that melting pot going on we are able to connect to community more deeply. We share lessons with our Ancestors or perhaps ourselves. This brings us to the belief that when we heal ourselves we not only effect those who come after us, but those who walked before us. I personally love thinking about this stuff as it is truly mind opening. Families after all carry lessons that belong to the whole family, such as a struggle with addiction or a feeling of deep spiritual service. Yes these things are influenced by how we are raised, but there is a deeper current running through the picture, that of soul rebirth. I recently had a client who recognize her great, great, great grandfather when I described a life of hers in Colonial Boston. Her Ancestor/Grandfather was part of a family of masons. He however chose to be a Doctor. Interestingly my client was a person with a lot of natural healing ability. She chose at that point back in Colonial America to be a Doctor…she shifted her line & her family line expanded. I certainly am not sitting here believing I have all the answers, I am instead sharing my awe. Awe at the experience of witnessing people recognizing themselves in their ancestors.
This brings me to my topic….Honoring our Ancestors. When we show honor for our family we are simultaneously giving honor to ourselves, our blood and the blood that runs through our Tribe. Connectedness folks that is what is needed, a belief and understanding that we are part of a larger picture. This understanding of connection to our family line and the possibility that we are our own Ancestors also gives us an understanding of how healing ourselves, contributes to the healing of our entire family line.
Giving Honor to the Ancestors-
Samhain/Halloween is a time known for honoring the Dead. This is primarily due to the fact that the world around us is heading into the deep slumber of Winter. Traditionally this is a time when people share memories of their loved ones path. Here is a simple and beautiful way to honor your Ancestors and Beloved Dead.
Create a Family Alter-
Altars are places we designate as Sacred (deserving veneration), they are places we set aside from our every day life…places to give honor to things we love and care for. A family Altar can be set up on any flat surface such as the top of a book shelf or window sill. My Altar (or one of many) is a small shelf behind my kitchen sink. I like to do my dishes by hand, specially in the winter when hot water is a treat. The shelf is eye level and it holds my sacred things. Family members who are close to me in Spirit have a space their year round, but during the Samhain season my whole alter is connected to my Beloved Dead & Ancestors. I place items of memorabilia & photos on the Atar and back wall. These act as reminders every time I walk into the room….reminders of the people I love and miss, reminders of where I have come from and who has helped shape my path. I often place items they enjoyed on the altar with them such as tobacco for my father and grandmother. These offerings are my acknowledgement of appreciation. I love these people, and what they have contributed to my life. In recognizing our Ancestors I also give honor to them, my self, and the generations that follow us.