In a recent discussion in one of the business masterminds I’m in, we got to talking about children and various things about raising them in a magical household.
Most days, it’s complicated.
One topic that we’ve actually touched on at home recently that came up was ancestor veneration.
Have you seen the movie Coco? One of the big features of Dia De Muertos is the ofrenda, the altar that deceased loved ones come to visit as part of the celebration. The idea that we must remember those ancestors is key to the story, and it’s a key to ancestor veneration too, though we can take it a step farther and call on ancestors that we don’t know.
Ancestors are a pretty concrete idea for most kids – they know that their parents also had parents (their grandparents). It’s not much of a stretch to understand that their grandparents also had parents and grandparents, even if they never met them.
So hearing that family tree, and stories surrounding those people, help make their memories come alive. This is why people tell stories. Every year at Samhain I tell my kids stories about relatives who have passed on – relatives they knew, and relatives that they never met. I have grand plans to make a book with photos and everything….but so far it’s a pile of scrap booking supplies.
The question then becomes, how do we talk about veneration with our kids?
At our house, there are two parts to that answer.
The first is that on a regular basis (theoretically daily, but we’re in a not-daily mode right now), we light a candle and incense, and we ask all the grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles, all the nature spirits in and around our home, and our gods and goddesses, to protect us and our home and our extended family.
The second, which has come up more recently, has been asking them for help. My daughter suffers from severe anxiety, and she’s an empath. One thing we’ve talked about during a recent flare up of her anxiety is that she can ask all the grandmas and grandpas to help her be brave, and to help her see which feelings belong to her and which ones don’t. And we’ve talked about how she can ask the grandmas and grandpas to help her carry her big feelings when they’re too big, and to help her let go of feelings that aren’t hers.
It’s big picture. It’s not subtle and nuanced. But right now, it’s working for her, and giving her ways to make the energetic connections, and tools to help her control her anxiety.
How about you? How do you approach teaching your children about ancestors?Check out my new energy work page, http://www.facebook.com/GoodVibrationsEnergyStudio