I have done Spirit Communication in front of large crowds, and I have spoken to the dead under some unusual circumstances…I once did a Seance in a trailer in Florida, while the cable guy did an installation. But this was my town, and the corner I sat on was in front the cafe that houses my studio. It’s a busy part of town, and as my neighbors walked by they called out “Hi Sali”, oblivious to the fact that I was deep in a conversation with dead people.
The family I sat with had arrived at my studio for a Seance, but there had been a miscommunication, they had not heard me say that it was above the Grindstone Cafe, which meant upstairs. They had their elderly mother with them; a woman close to 90 who was being pushed in a wheelchair. As the cafe, itself is too busy & close quartered to offer the privacy needed for such services, and they had traveled a long distance, we were left with only one option…the picnic table outside.
The weather was chilly, so I offered up a warm, fuzzy blanket from my healing space to help keep the family matriarch warm. When her daughter draped the red blanket over her head and tucked it in around her frail body her appearance changed, she suddenly looked more like a priestess then grandmother. I found myself thinking of the importance of the role of elder. How wisdom and memory are gifts of time that only some of us are fortunate enough to experience.
It was a family of women I sat with; a mother, 2 daughters and a granddaughter. They had come to communicate with the menfolk of their life, who had already departed for the world of spirit. The women sitting together around the table with me had a strong bond with one another. In fact, the family matriarch lived with her daughter and granddaughter, multiple generations living in one home. I have lived this way, both as a child and as a grandmother. I lived with my parents and grandparents a couple of times in my childhood, and both of my children have come home to live with me, bringing their children with them. Although I do not live that way now, I know it and appreciate it.
In my work as a Medium, I have been introduced to many interpretations of the word family. Some families are very small, consisting of one parent and a couple of kids, some are large including nieces, nephews, and grandparents/great grandparents and every kind of 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousin you could imagine. Family is something we all want, even if the one we are born into is not healthy for us, we still find ourselves missing it, or at least the idea of it. There is something about shared history that helps us to accept the toll of time, and the dance of death. By remembering those who have come before us, and watching those who have come after us, we see that we are more than this lifetime. We are part of something greater.
When I was in Ireland, I had the opportunity to stay with an old Irish family, the O’Hanlons. They were fantastic people with a rich family history, documented for over 1000 years. I was blown away by this, and envious of the wealth of information they had on their ancestors. Most of us are lucky to know if we who our great-great-grandparents were, let alone dozens of generations.
The example that stands out the most clearly for me is this…The woman I was Reading for had a past life in which she came into the Boston during the early days of settlement. She was a man in that life and had been born into a family of blacksmiths. She, however, did not take the family path, instead deciding to become a doctor. As I told her of the life I saw for her, she got excited and said: “That was my great-great-great grandfather.” She had been doing some genealogy work, and as I spoke of her past life, she recognized an ancestor along her family tree.
Ancestor honoring is something I am quite passionate about. Not because I see them as superhuman or close to deity, but because without our ancestors we would not be here. We, humans, are genetically made up of the bits and pieces of our family DNA. We are amazing beings, and we don’t know shit about the complexity that we are. Over the next couple of blogs, it is my hope to share a bit of my own practice of ancestor honoring, and the simple ways in which I recognize the family that has gone before me. Today’s tip is about food, drink, and smokes.
The dead love to remember their favorite foods, beverages, and smokes. If they were a smoker in life a simple way to give honor to them is to put a cigarette on your altar, or if you smoke yourself sit and have one while thinking about them. If they loved to drink coffee, have your morning coffee while talking about them.
Yesterday I went out into the woods near Lake Willougby with my sister Sandy. We were heading out to make offerings to the Fae Folk/Fairies and brought some snacks for ourselves. As I crossed the bridge near her house, on the way to pick her up, my father (who is dead) exclaimed out of my mouth “Beef jerky Kid”. He mentioned beef jerky 3 more times before I got to the store, and finally was satisfied when I bought a meat stick (more of a slim jim/then beef jerky). At the lake, my sister and I both ate some while we talked about him. I wasn’t surprised at all that he wanted to be included in our excursion as he had a deep love of the woods, that and my sister was wearing one of his flannel shirts when I arrived to pick her up.
Honoring our ancestors is in many ways honoring ourselves, for without those who walked before us, we would not be here today. Our blood sings with the songs of our elders. Some of the songs may be hard, sad songs, others soft and beautiful. But whatever the song, it is our song and we are here to add to it, change it, carry on with it, in whatever way is ours.
I hope you enjoyed the read folks. I will be writing more on ancestor honoring over the next couple of weeks.