We can strengthen the support of ancestors who have gone before us. Certainly, they already pay attention to us at times. Yet we can develop our relationship with them. Many cultures have traditions that do this and the fall is the general time of year especially attuned to this work. Helpful ancestors can include unknown ancient ancestors with various talents, teachers and dear friends, as well as blood relations we have lived with and known.
Strengthen by Celebrating All Saints / Day of the Dead
Two well known traditions in our culture revolve around the ancestors. My friend Kathy recently shared that in New Orleans it is a tradition on All Saints Day (the day after Halloween) to visit and bring flowers to the tombs of ancestors. Similarly, this is celebrated around this time in Mexico as Day of the Dead. People gather at the graveyards, even picnic there with some favorite foods and drinks of their departed loved ones.
Strengthen by Prayers, rituals and charity to support Ancestors
In the Hindu tradition this time of year is Pitru Paksha. It follows the moons and this year it fell September 20 – October 6. This time of year is for mourning the dead, doing prayers and rituals to support them in the afterlife, and doing acts of charity in their name. These practices an certainly work at any time as well, but go with the energies of the year at this time.
Strengthen Relations with Ancestors on Samhain / the Roots of Halloween
Ancient Celts believed that on Samhain (now celebrated as Halloween) the good departed souls came back to earth to visit their living relatives. Honoring and welcoming them, you can make a special altar – photos of them, some of their favorite foods, a candle, and maybe some rosemary sprigs, symbolizing remembrance. You can also do some of their favorite activities in memory of them, giving them a chance to re-experience them through your actions.
Strengthen by Celebrating Your Ancestors’ Death Days
You can do all these activities on the person’s death day as well, to honor them individually. Some traditions do this very importantly on the year anniversary of the death.
Following these traditions will amplify your relationship with helpful ancestors. You may then notice little signs of their input through signs and intuitions. Or you may hear or see them in a vision. You can call on them for support when you are feeling low or facing a big challenge. The give and take between you and your helpful ancestors is supportive to both of you!
For more work with the unseen realm, including farther back helpful ancestors you may not know about, consider the Shamanic studies and support offered by Terra.