Ancestor Work: Elevating the Dead
“Elevating the dead does not necessarily refer to moving them up spatially, but rather to elevating their consciousness or vibration. In general this change is from heavier states of fear, constriction, and confusion to more elevated states of love, expansion, and clarity. Rituals may focus om improving the internal or psychic state of the deceased rather than the relocation of their spirit…”
Place a representation of the ancestor (or dead person) you would like to elevate on an appropriate altar or sacred space. This could be a physical link, such as a personal object or dirt from their grave, or a symbolic representation such as a piece of art or something they loved in life.
Set offerings of clean water, a white candle, and appropriate consumables next to their representation. Flowers and incense are also wonderful. Ideally you would cleanse these offerings.
Offer up a heart-felt spontaneous prayer to feed and strengthen your selected ancestor. This can be followed by relevant religious prayers / mantras / chants that would be appreciated by said ancestor. It is important to be mindful of their religious expressions, whether you identify with them or not.
This process should be repeated for at least nine days to get the process started. Each day, be sure to physically elevate the representation of your ancestor (move it upwards) and to replace the offerings before reciting your prayers. You could conclude the ninth day with a more elaborate spirit feast.
In Jason Miller’s framework, a useful model for stages of elevation is:
- forgotten dead
- honored ancestor
- venerated ally
- non-personal mystery and family deity
Ref: Ancestral Medicine (Daniel Foor)