Reimagining Our Ancestors for Samhain
Samhain is next week, so whom should you honor? This is a question many people ask, especially if they are adopted, from a non-pagan family, or did not have a good relationship with their family members before they crossed the veil.
Your ancestors do not have to be your flesh and blood. There are many types of ancestors. You have your family through DNA, this is your biological family, your flesh and blood. Have you considered your chosen family? What is a chosen family, you ask? They can include your in-laws, a neighbor that had a positive influence in making you who you are today, Godparents and close friends. Personally, I include as my ancestors one of my best friends that recently passed away and my brother in law. But the limitations do not end there. There are many ways to honor those who came before us.
I like to honor “ancestors of place.” These are the spirits of where you live. You can choose to honor the person that lived in your home previously, or previous land owners, the person that originally had the house built. My “ancestors of place” include my uncle’s in-laws, as I live in the house they did previously.
You may also choose to honor the “ancestors of path.” These would include: other witches, authors, historical people and public personas. “Ancestors of path” are basically those who helped forge your magickal path before you even walked it. They helped lead the way, to bring you to where you are now. For me this list includes Alex Saunders, Scott Cunningham, Margot Adler, and Ellen Cannon Reed.
The last group of ancestors I want to discuss are “ancestors of inspiration.” In this group, I include people I have worked with, and public, non-pagan personas that have inspired me. My “ancestors of inspiration” include: Robin Williams, for always bringing me joy as well as Florence Nightingale because I work in healthcare.
I hope this inspires you to think about your ancestors in a new, expanded way. Maybe you can even add a few new faces to your altar. I wish you all a Magickal and Blessed Samhain!