Basic Mediumship: 4 Simple Steps to Commune with Your Ancestors

Honoring your ancestors, like any practice that deals with spirits, is a lot like cooking. Anyone can do it, not just people with special training. (That's a big part of the reason why I wanted to write a book about it!) But whether you're an amateur or a trained professional, you still need to stay in the moment and use your senses—or you might end up burning something.

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Honoring the recently deceased

My Papa died at the end of June. He was my mother’s father.

At times like these, I feel relieved that honoring my ancestors is part of my daily life. The death of a loved one is difficult enough. Going through it without the stability of a spiritual practice that encompasses death, grief, and memory is even more difficult.

I’d like to share with you some of the ways that I have been honoring him as a recently deceased ancestor. I hope that anyone else who is grieving a loved one right now will find some comfort and support in hearing about my process.

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Blessing in Theory and Practice

Folk healers in my ancestral homeland are often called benedetti, meaning blessed ones. It comes from the Latin word benedicere, “to speak well of” or “to praise”; in other words, “to worship”. Their tools are simple: prayer, olive oil, salt, holy cards. Lots of sacramentals, like the candles that Catholics around the world will bring to be blessed at Candlemas services today. Candlemas candles are lit in times of crisis such as during storms or serious illness, and at the bedside of the dying.

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Ancestors, animism, and the life-changing magic of tidying

I recently joined my friend Devin Person, professional subway wizard, on This Podcast is a Ritual to talk about ancestor veneration. During our chat (which you can listen to here or on iTunes), Devin asked me how listeners new to the idea could start honoring their ancestors. I shared a quick ritual for getting started. But talking about that first step got me thinking…

What is the second step in honoring your ancestors?

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