For four years now, I have been focused on, (some might well say obsessed with), Ancestor veneration. The late Elders of my line have been most constantly in my thoughts, dreams and practices, to the point where I have come to believe that I am by nature, far more attached to the Dead and to the past than I am to the living, or to the future.
Earlier this week a peculiar train of thought emerged during my meditation:
“Focusing on memories, holding fast to the works, the relics and writings of the Dead, thinking daily about the loss of a planned or imagined future, is tantamount to carrying the flesh and bones of the Dead on your back. This is not venerating the Ancestors. Venerating the Ancestors means approaching the Path in the spirit that They approached the Path, and aspiring to the level of adepthood that Their lives manifested through the inspiration and praxis of the lineage They inherited, lived and bequeathed to Their initiates.”
I put this in quotation marks because there was nothing familiar about the thought; it had the aura of an intrusion, it was something outside of my insight, contemplation and experience.
It may be that it is not a new practice, or shrine, or fetish that will evoke and connect the Dead with we who are still living, but the practices that they knew and worked in life.