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Michele

Egun [Ancestors] by Awo Flokun Fatunmbi

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Has anyone read this? I know there had been questions in the past about setting up an ancestor alter, how to start communication, etc. This is a Yoruban tradition book, and I thought it had a lot of interesting information.

 

Another book I'm totally enjoying right now, that also has a lot of excellent info on ancestor work (including if you have past hurts and abuses or don't know who your ancestors are, or were adopted, etc.) is Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa by Tobe Correal.

 

M

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That is by the same fellow but not the same book... some of those invocations are for possession by the ancestors, which would only work if you had someone else with you because the possessed person has no memory of the possession so you'd need someone else there to write down any messages, etc., since you would not remember them, lol. So far I am really enjoying his work. Being as I live in S Fla and there is such an influence of the Afro/Cuban religions here I can really relate to his stuff.

 

M

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These books seem very interesting. Although I am completely unfamiliar with the religion, I have been attempting to commune with a particular ancestor of mine whose lineage I know nothing of, as he was adopted about the age of 2 around the year 1904 in Louisiana. He came from NYC via the orphan train and despite great efforts of my family to uncover who his parents were, we still know very little. I am also unfamiliar with any way to properly set up an altar for ancestors, or how to initiate communication in the first place, but I will continue to make attempts as I learn more methods. I am still very new to all of this and none of the fluff I have been studying the last few years mention much about working with ancestors. Thanks for posting this!

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Ancestor altars are personal. I've read there are specific ways of setting up one if you're part of a tradition, but for the most part, I set mine up the way I'm moved to. And it's changed throughout the years as my practice has grown. I used to have a set up similar to the Ifa tradition of the Yoruba of Nigeria which would be either a white cloth (which I currently use) or white shells (preferably cowrie shells) acting as a border. This is to keep any non-ancestral spirits from entering. I have two dishes, one for water and one for offering. A few pics but not a lot and some things for my ancestors (empty flask for my grandmother, etc.). I used to have a dish with a little bit of water in it and some body fluids but that's no longer on my altar.

 

As for communicating with ancestors, I'd start with ones you were closer to at first. I do work with an ancestor I've never met (passed way before I was born) but that's because I have a connection with him through doing family research. He's actually led me closer to my ancestral lineage.

 

As for the above mentioned book, I haven't read it but have read a few of his other writings. One was a tiny book packed with more information than I thought I'd be able to find and actually confirmed a hedge riding experience I had.

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Hibiscus - if you have nothing else, I suggest offering something which gives a "body" such as a glass of water and some basic food (oatmeal works nice I find, as do eggs). Blood is better as a means to find the spirit than it is as an offering until you get to know the spirit, in the way I practice. I'm sure others have plenty of different methods.

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I'm in the process of setting up an ancestral altar for the first time.  I've been feeling a pull toward this.  I only know anything about my grandmother who has passed over, so she's the one I'll be focusing on.  I'll be putting a photo of her on the altar with a candle and a daily cup of tea as she loved that.  Also leaving the occasional chocolate gingers because they were her favourite.  She also taught me how to make necklaces with paperclips, so I'll be making one while sitting near the altar and talking to her and then putting it on the altar.  I will also leave flowers for her and also for others, inviting other ancestors to join.  I used a pendulum and was told not to leave tobacco on the altar, which could be because she never smoked.  I'll see where it takes me after that.

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