There are a couple of types of ancestors that have the potential to be worked with and honored. These different types of ancestors have other connections to you and can help you out in various ways. From these practices, you understand that your ancestors are still with you in some form and can still help impact your life. You will be able to honor and communicate with your ancestors to gain insight and understanding that you might not have gotten any other way. You can build relationships with all of those you have a connection with already that you may not even know that you are connected to. As I categorize them here, the types of ancestors are blood ancestors, associated ancestors, land ancestors, and tradition ancestors.
Your blood ancestors are any entity from which one is descended, going back to prehistoric times. You will be able to determine more of your blood ancestor lineage through historical records or DNA testing. Through the power of working with your blood ancestors, you can more closely connect with yourself and your body’s lineage. This includes entities, not Homo sapiens, connected to you from human evolution.
Associated ancestors are ancestors that you consider part of your lineage but are not connected to you by blood. These would be friends and family members that are not blood related, and these individuals are connected to you in such a way that you have considered them worthy of your ancestral veneration. This includes non-human animals.
Land Ancestors are those who lived on the land before you and who also called it home. Land ancestors are knowledgeable about the area and are significant entities to contact if you want to work with the land better. This also includes non-human animals.
Tradition ancestors are ancestors who practiced or were a part of a tradition or group you are now a part of. These types of ancestors are connected via practices and understandings. This would be like practicing magick and then honoring the magickal practitioners before you. These ancestors would be able to provide guidance and understanding around your tradition and the practices of a specific group or way of thinking.
Connecting, Honoring, and Working With Your Ancestors:
To connect with your ancestors, you should first spend time learning about them and how they did things. Look into their lives, the things they did, and the Legacy they left behind. Learn about their likes and interests, and study them as thoroughly as possible. Looking into the tradition that you practice and how they honor their ancestors is also a good way of understanding your ancestors. This information may provide you with insights that will allow you to honor and work with them more effectively. You are also able to pick and choose what ancestors you work with in case you do not want to work with some for specific reasons.
You can honor your ancestors by dedicating actions in their name, building shrines to them, and making offerings to their spiritual beings. You can perform ancestral prayers to communicate, venerate your ancestors, and even ask for aid. You can also invite your ancestors into your dreams so that you may interact in the dreamscape.
Setting up ancestral shrines and altars allows you to make a spiritual connection to your ancestors and to have a place where that spiritual connection is grounded. You will want to make sure that this place is cleansed physically and spiritually wherever you say it up. In these places, you will be able to communicate with your ancestors telling them about your life and being while also being able to provide them with offerings. Through these places of communication, you will also be able to ask your ancestors for help and advice in many aspects of your life, and your ancestors may help you by protecting you and guiding you through the course of your life.
The ancestor shrines and altars can be very simple or can be extravagant. They can include pictures of your ancestors, items that you associate with them, graveyard dirt from their graves, items they owned, or even pieces of them, much like bones or ashes. You would also be able to include things such as ritual supplies and places for offerings. You could go through the process of offering them something that you know that they enjoyed in their lives or things that you think they might like. You can also meditate at these places to bring your ancestors into your meditations so that they will be able to meditate with you, and you will be able to communicate with them in that liminal space. You can go through the process of bringing power to your shrines and altars by calling forth your ancestors to be in this place and bless the area in which it is.