The Ancestor Altar

I know I haven’t updated this in a while.  Here’s to me getting back to it.

I have recently set up an ancestor altar, and have been doing nightly devotions. I have a small table, covered in a black cloth, with pictures of my grandparents, great-grandmother, father, and dogs – the honored dead. There is also an incense burner, candle, and cup of water as offerings. Each night, I give the water as a libation outside, light the incense and the candle, and place a fresh cup of water on the altar, with prayer. I have also recently joined and so far its been a good experience.

I think that ancestor veneration is one of the biggest pieces missing from a lot of Neopagan practice, especially considering how important it was to the ancients. We become so focused on the Gods, that we forget that the Gods were not the only – or even the primary – focus of ancient Pagan worship. Paganism is practical, if anything, and the rural people of ancient and Medieval Europe worshiped the spirits who could most directly help them – the spirits of nature, and the blessed dead. I look at it as maintaining and nurturing a relationship. These are the people who loved us when they were alive. That love goes on, and they guide us still. Ancestor worship helps to maintain that connection.


About Fred

Fred is a Licensed Massage Therapist, and also holds a BA in Anthropology. Over the past twenty years he has studied and practiced various Neopagan, Occult, and New Age systems of magic, religion, spirituality, and healing, including Reiki, Druidism, Wicca, Ceremonial Magick, and Thelema. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, dog, two cats, a parrot, two gerbils, and a small collection of tarantulas.
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