Practical Magick

Ancestral Altars

In the Western mystical tradition this is a new addition adapted from other cultures and traditions.  Vaguely similar to a “memory shelf” or “family wall of pictures” some people have in their homes.

In Mexico, they make Ofrendas, Calaveras and other sweets in the shape of bones or graves to celebrate and honor the dead.

Ancestral Altars

Ofrendas are family or home altars dedicated to their ancestors.  Decorated with flowers, butterflies, skulls, skeletons, religious relics, candles and sweets.

During the holidays All Saints to Dia De Los Muerte, the family graves are visited and cared for.   There are ancestral altars in South American mystical traditions also.

Japan has a similar holiday, usually April 6th, where some go to their family tombs to clean and care for them.

Shinto has a shrine home for the spirits of their ancestors that gets put in the family home with the Kamidana which contains a special scroll that was blessed and purified by a priest.  The Spirit of the deceased gets transferred to a wooden tablet called Senrei Sai.  The tablet after death is kept in a special altar for almost two months as it is believed the spirit is volatile and unclean immediately after death.

Eastern traditions also have spirit money to be burned so your ancestors and the local deities can have an astral currency.  Gold notes are burned for the recently deceased and silver notes are burned for the ancestors.


Leave a Reply - please be respectful. All comments are manually approved.