Ancestral veneration is the demonstration of love and respect that one has for their ancestors. It is a way to honor them by giving them recognition through ritual, which could consist of giving offerings, saying prayers, and spending time at a dedicated shrine.
All of us generate mostly from an African tradition from one place or another and one
continuous thing about African tradition is that we all share the necessity to propitiate the
ancestors. We collectively understand that there are those that came before us and that they
are still there to assist us in the process of whatever it is that we came to do in each
incarnation. The ancestors or as we say in the IFA/Yoruba tradition or the Lukumi/Afro-Cuban
tradition, Egun, want to be included in our lives and our daily decision making. The process and action of ancestral worship is very real and is the basis of everything else, even Orisha have ancestors.
It is important to address that one should not go past their own ancestors to go deal with the
higher order forces and then go to do things that are diametrically opposed to the energy that
their line comes from. The ancestors are there to assist us in understanding where it is
individually that we belong, how it is that our people do things, see things, view things, and
what their individual talents are that trail back into the communal talents of their particular
We honor our ancestors in part to bring the energy of familial talents closer to us so it is an
integral part of our daily experience and to extension, part of our daily success. This is part and partial why people in families end up doing the same things, even when they try to separate themselves from their families, these are not accidents.
I admit that I was not the best at spending time with my ancestors. I just didn’t know how to do it. I mean, in general, I didn’t spend time with my family that was here let alone the family that wasn’t here. I would think to myself whenever I didn’t spend enough time with them, “Well, they know that I love them and that I just not good at expressing myself.”
The fact of the matter is this….your ancestors want to love you, help you, and guide you in
order to contribute to your overall success. The best order of business is to set a specific time aside that is dedicated to spend with them. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time and it doesn’t have to be everyday but it should be consistent, for instance, if you set aside 5 mins every Monday morning at 8 am, the ancestors know to expect you and this will help bring some structure and stability to your life.
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