Ancestors

We have crossed the threshold and now dwell in the dark half of the year. The”spooky” season is here, and we believe the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. Halloween, or, for some Samhain, is just around the corner. During this time, there is much talk, also pressure about honoring our ancestors. It is believed by many to be the time that the spirits of our ancestors our among us.

Has anyone stopped to question this?

Why would our great ancestors come through this veil (that separates us from the spirit world) to be with those they have never known? Why would they care? Haven’t their souls moved on? At Walpurgis/Beltane, the veil is also thin; why don’t we bring out our ancestral altars during that holiday? Why do many believe their ancestors are only going to be present now? What if you’re adopted? Do you truly know who it is you are honoring?
I might sound like an atypical witch posing these questions, but I like to bring some reality and food for thought into my witchcraft practices. And I hope that I am inspiriting you to put some thought into yours as well.

If you don’t feel connected to your ancestors or feel uncomfortable having to revere immediate family who crossed the veil, then don’t do it.

With concern to immediate family, many don’t get along with their family when they are alive, so why should one feel obliged to honor them because it’s “that time of year”? If you didn’t want to give someone the time of day when they were alive, wouldn’t it be hypocritical to do so after they are no longer in their physical bodies? Especially if you’re doing it because you’re following the herd mentality that states it’s the time of year to do so.

Regarding distant relatives long gone, those ancient ancestors you have never known and who have never known you nor even had presumed the existence of your immediate family, why honor them? What do you know about these distant bloodline ancestors? Aside from where they originated. Ask yourself, would you have gotten along with them? What type of person were they? Is their spirit worthy of your time?

Let’s face it, like with an immediate family, many of us got unsavory distant ancestors. Nobody, witch or other, is obliged to lend time and energy to one who might not have been a good human. Just because an ancestor is distant or ancient doesn’t make them any better or more powerful than those in your immediate family. In many cases, one’s immediate family are far better humans than their great ancestors were. It doesn’t matter what accomplishments an ancestor might have made. Some of our ancestors brought harm to others, were cruel, racist, discriminatory, or have committed great crimes without remorse. Would you really want to honor someone like that? In my opinion, prior to lighting a candle or giving an offering to an ancestor, it is best to find out as much as possible about them personally, their character and how they treated others. Know that you don’t owe the past anything.

In my personal practice, I don’t worship nor connect with ancestors from my bloodline, but instead I light a candle in respect to those who have suffered and died in the name of witchcraft; and what that consequence has entailed for those practicing and terming as witches today. I also lend respect (not worship) to the spirits of the land and dear friends who have passed in recent years; and to the witches and magicians who have influenced my practice; through their works, they have served indirectly as my mentors. You should know; I don’t do this on October 31st, for it is Halloween. On this day, I rededicate to the Devil and His Bride, then I join a few sister witches for a dumb supper, followed by a session of scrying and some other seasonal activities that witches do. The entire month of November is when I light a candle each day to hold respect for those mentioned.

Know that with this article, I am not attacking anyone’s personal practice but that I’m just sharing my thoughts on the matter. It is in my nature to get people to think and take a peek outside the collective bubble rather than blindly follow the flock. In my opinion, it is perfectly fine to revere a grandparent or other family member with whom you were close to. There is nothing wrong either if you keep a permanent space, like a picture with a candle and some flowers on a small table, for example, to honor those who meant something to you on a personal level, be they a blood relative or not. I also encourage those who have pets that crossed the rainbow bridge, to do the same for your fur baby. Just know who it is you are paying homage to.

*To clarify for those reading this who are not current with what the dumb supper is.

Dumb Supper: Dumb is a synonym for mute or silent. So, the essential rule of a dumb supper is to remain silent while dining. Usually, during a dumb supper, a plate of food is put on the dinner table for a spirit that wishes to join, if there is one. In some traditions it is customary to fix a plate containing the first cuts of the meal, and place it outside the front door. The premise behind setting this plate is to nourish a spirit while on it’s journey towards the light/beyond the veil. Know; that there are witches that will invite a deceased loved one to join them, the latter; isn’t what my friends and I practice.

*Something interesting for those who celebrate Samhain, did you know; that the Earth Spirit almanac, which follows the astrological dates of holidays, Samhain actually falls on November 7th it begins at 5:45 am eastern time zone.

Whether you revere your ancestors or not, I wish everyone reading this a Merry and Blessed Halloween and Samhain. Feel the magic in the atmosphere and embrace the dark season.

*Keep in rhythm with the season, follow this link to read an article put out by Lufolk, about Samhain. https://lufolk.com/blogs/paganism-and-folklore/samhain?goal=0_a1bda45e47-fa9511bd95-356697745&mc_cid=fa9511bd95&mc_eid=09aa86448c

Copyright Kindra Ravenmoon

Published by Kindra Ravenmoon

Kindra Ravenmoon is an esoteric writer and witch. She is the author of Gems of the Adversary, Faces of Lucifer, Natural Satanic Witchcraft, Gaia's Little Book of Crystals for Healing & Magic, Lucifer a Devotional, and Gems of the Adversary (Revised edition) A Witch & Warlock’s Guide to Working with Crystals and Other Treasures of The Earth. The devil, witchcraft, and folk magic are the elements she brings into her contemporary writing and personal practice. Best known for her books on witchcraft and the occult, her interviews and articles have appeared in scholarly journals and numerous publications such as Wyntergreene, 8 Sabbats, Montreal's Magical Circle, Spider's Web, Bizarre, Brutalism, Elle Magazine Quebec, Alt. Fashion UK, Bizarre Girls UK, Embracing the Darkness, Metal Queens Black Metal Edition, Vamperotika, Noir Fatale, Dark Romance Gothic, Devolution UK, Old Nick, Queens of Scream The New Blood, Dark Spy, Cemetery Gates, and Ninth Gate. Kindra inspires others with what she shares through her books, blog, and select social media outlets. She also offers consultancy through tarot and the crystal ball, helping people develop their spiritual path for a more enlightened and prosperous living. Residing in Canada she finds joy in having an independent practice of witchcraft, experiencing the witches' devil and the spirits of nature within this country's four vivid seasons. To know more, visit her website at kindraravemoon.com

14 thoughts on “Ancestors

  1. Well said kindra and this blog is well done and I totally agree. I personally dont care about my ancestors, nor care to learn about them. They never appeared to me in my sleep to make contact with me so no point to connect with any of them. Halloween is a very special day and night for me that I prefer doing rituals for the devil and for myself🖤😈🤘🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ave! Thanks for reading and liking it. I’m glad this resonated with you. I actually added a small bit more at the end and included a link about the Celtic Samhain, which happens on Oct. 31 as well. It’s a short blog article that you might enjoy if only to enhance your knowledge further.
      Darkest Blessings, may your Halloween be wickedly delightful (:

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do like all your thoughts and questions about ancestors. Never thought of this perspective before. I concur about respecting and not worshiping them, after all, they’re not Gods! I completely forgot about the “Dumb supper”! Sounds cool. What will you be preparing the spirit? From which world cuisine? A nice, exotic dish, I hope lol Good luck with the scrying. Will you be following any of the John Dee customs on that? I only live down the road from the British Museum where his famous black mirror is displayed 🙂 Wishing you and your coven a MAGNIFICENT Halloween, Kindra!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ave Titus! Thanks for reading and sharing. I so wish to visit that museum and see that. I especially miss England during this time of year. My friends and I will be doing water scrying over a large black cauldron. As for feeding the spirit (or maybe nature spirits like fairies might attend in place), it will be served what we will be eating of course. Herbed and slightly spiced potatoes, green salad, and root vegetables like honey-glazed carrots, turnip, and sliced beats, baked cheese bread loaf, and escargot! The friend whose home we’ll be doing this at is hollowing out a pumpkin and filling it with garlic-buttered escargot. We’ll be scooping out a heap of that for the spirit. For dessert will be a homemade pumpkin pie and maybe an apple pie too, for some variety Lol! No world cuisine just a seasonal combo potluck Lol! Before opening the front door in an opening ritual, to invite a spirit in, we set the table while walking backward, from the kitchen, and then around the table while placing the items and setting out the food in a buffet style. Usually, we have background music of dark haunting/witchy instrumentals. All goes silent after we open the front door and walk the spirit to its place at the table. Someone rings a bell 3x to signify the beginning and end of the silence. There is more to it that we do in ritual and during the dumb supper but this lends the basic outline.
      If you’re interested a added a bit extra near the end of my article here, and at the very end included a link to an article about Samhain. If you’re curious to awaken your knowledge on that, it’s a good short read (:
      Darkest Blessing, may your Halloween be mysterious and decadent (:

      Like

  3. Much food for thought. I know that the deceased family that I’ve known in my life aren’t worth honouring, and I don’t really feel a connection with ancestors from long ago.
    Last year on the lunar Samhain I did have an experience involving my late wife that brought me some peace of mind.
    As always, Satanic Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Salutations Rhonda (:
    What you experienced last year is beautiful. I’m glad my article has given something to ponder upon. Thank you for reading, I appreciated you sharing also.
    Darkest Satanic Blessings. May your Halloween/Samhain be hauntingly beautiful

    Like

  5. Interesting article. I respect people who want to honor their ancestors, but personally I don’t feel any connection to my own. The world today is so complex and divided, and siblings will move hundreds, even thousands of miles away from each other. I think in the old world, life was more simple, they stayed together, and had a stronger sense of community and unity. Personally, I feel completely disconnected and out of touch with the modern world. I resonate more with the 18th and 19th centuries. Thanks for sharing about the Dumb Supper. I always enjoy learning new things. On another note, I went to an old cemetery late on Halloween night. I had what I call the Ichabod experience (after Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman story). This is when your eyes and ears play tricks on you, and you are so scared, almost on the verge of panic. I saw and heard scary things, and loved every moment of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for reading, glad that you appreciated it (:
    Your Halloween night sounds like it was awesome! Thanks for sharing that. It’s too bad that moments like that cannot be captured and revisited.
    Many Blessings.

    Like

    1. Hi Leonora, First thank you for reading, and glad you enjoyed it (:
      I have no idea why your initial comment isn’t showing. I never received a notification for it. Check again to see if you had hit the send button properly, unless, maybe you had accidentally deleted it without knowing? Either way, apologies if this were the fault of this server. Thank you for taking the time to share, I appreciate it.
      Darkest Blessings.

      Like

  7. Thanks. I have a particular history with this cemetery, so it was especially frightening. I have a policy to face my fears, so I went back. Many months ago I was there at night, and it was so dark, I could barely see the ground. I was about in the middle, and I suddenly saw what appeared to be a woman in the right corner in a black robe and hood, standing there facing me. I was absolutely terrified, because when I had entered, there was no one there, and I didn’t see anyone come in. I think it was a tall tombstone, but because it was so dark, and my anxiety was so high, my eyes played tricks on me. I quickly exited the cemetery, trying to negotiate the ground as I walked, because it was so dark. When I was near the entrance I made one more glance at this mystery woman, and I saw what appeared to be two little dogs with her, and this supports the hypothesis that it was a real person. But I went back the next day and solved the mystery. What I thought was a woman in black, was actually a tall tombstone. However, this doesn’t explain the small dogs. I think what I thought were dogs were small tombstones that looked like they were moving as I existed the cemetery. So I’m almost 100 percent sure that my eyes had played tricks on me that night, and the woman was just a tall tombstone. But I can’t be absolutely certain. It’s a very scary mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, amazing! Thanks for sharing this intense experience. I think it could have been a bit of both. There might have been a slight apparition for a moment but the tombstone along with your eyes playing tricks, along with the fact it was so dark, could have greatly enhanced it; prolonging the visual also.
      Either way, stuff like this doesn’t happen every day. In my opinion, it’s good to cherish the memory of the experience and not dwell upon if it was real, fully real, or a total illusion.

      Like

  8. There are indicators that what I saw might have been a manifestation of Hecate. Sometime after this experience, I was doing research on Hecate, and learned that she is accompanied by dogs. I was shocked when I read this, because the mystery woman I saw had two small dogs with her. She is also associated with the night, the moon, graves and crossroads. All of these were powerful factors in my experience that night.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hecate did come to mind as I was reading about your experience. Interesting indeed. So many possibilities could explain what you saw that night. I wonder what the planetary alignment was that night and what energy was influencing the moon.

    Like

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