Ancestral Graces

Honoring one’s ancestors isn’t just a metaphor. It isn’t about chanting their names and pouring out libations (though these things are good in and of themselves as a place from which to begin). At its core it means shouldering their debt, digging into it, eating their pain and spitting up their bitterness and finding a way out and through—for them and for yourself—to healing, reparation, and wholeness once again.

We have no humanity without our ancestors and we carry their sufferings in our flesh, in the scarred skin of our minds, in every strand of our DNA, in the rough deep well of our memories collective and unconscious. It marks our bones, twists our marrow and in the end it lifts us up. Through it all, they elevate us just as we through our rites and prayer and the grace of remembrance seek to elevate them. We carry our dead with us always and they too bear us upon their backs. It begins and ends with our dead and they can carry us to our Gods as well. They have sacrificed themselves for our enfleshment. We can shoulder the weight of their lives.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on June 4, 2019, in Ancestor Work, Ancestors, devotional work, Lived Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Keith McCormic

    Good points. Science is even catching up with this via Epigenetics, which shows that the expression of genes (vs. the code itself) is affected by our ancestors’ experiences in life.

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  2. In Hindu tradition, it is called ‘Pitru Paksha’ or ‘Pitr Amavasya’. Basically, a meal is cooked and placed on a banana leaf (this is the practice followed among my ethnic community), and then offered to the departed ancestors (upto 3 generations ago). If it is eaten by a crow, it is considered to have been accepted by the ancestors (crows are the messengers of departed ancestors).

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