Yesterday in The Kindly Ones I spoke about why I emphasize Kindly over other parameters in my interaction with the Dead.
One of the concepts that are foreign to myself as a Mediterranean folk practitioner. Is the automatic absolution or transcendence of a Spirit on death.
A Spector is a fragment of a person. usually linked to a traumatic incident surrounding death. This is also largely what we interact with in haunted places. You’ll notice the theme in these hauntings is that the Spector will ‘loop’. It will not remember you from one manifestation to the next. This is the typical entity that you’ll meet on a ghost tour .
A Spirit is cognizant of its ‘surrounding’ and is able to mostly be spoken to much in the same manner as any other aware humans.
Categorization of Spirits can be helpful, but it falls into the trap of limiting a Spirit in function.
The purpose of Ancestral Veneration is largely the empowerment and even healing of our loved ones.
For example, if you have an Ancestor that when you begin working with them could be called Wrathful. Does the elevation of the Ancestor divorce them of their time in Wrath? Not at all.
The same social rules and complexity of individualism that applied in life still apply in death. You can be benevolent and kind to one person and cruel and wicked to another. The same applies to a Spirit. If they are the remembrance of a whole being. It stands to reason that the retain all their biases and preferences.
To make an Ancestor ‘well’ or to elevate them is a Work of dedication. You pray for them, make offerings to them, discuss their grievances, seek resolution or even absolution. But just as you have the choice to do this work. The Spirit has the choice to not participate.
I’ll use my own family as an example. On my birth father’s side they are devote Spanish Catholics. My birth mother’s family are partially Secular Animistic Necromancers, the rest are Roman Catholic.
On Abuela’s death she did not visit me. Concerned I looked for her in the Astral Sea. She was sitting quite comfortably knitting and observing her family as they grieved. I asked her ‘Why did you not say goodbye?’. All she offered me was ‘You were never part of this family’. Now to describe my father as absent is overly generous. But my Abuela had scrap books of every tiny achievement I had made in my life.
When I turned 18, left home and came out as gay that entire side of my family wiped me clean from the records. To the point I was excommunicated from our family church.
I have had enough readings from my own Elders, and other traditionally informed practitioners of Ancestral Veneration to confirm that She is objectively Well, Healed and entirely unable to forgive my blasphemous queer witch soul.
The Roman Catholic Ancestors? Not a worry in the world. I pray for them and we have a mutually loving relationship.
Death does not equal enlightenment. It is more common for a Spirit to hold onto their identity. Blood does not make a family. Love does. Not everyone will wish you to live your version of happiness.
Especially starting out working with Spirits you will want to work with Kindly Ones. You can have an Ancestral reading done by practitioners of ATR’s and there are many surviving lineages of Ancestral Veneration through Asia and Europe. Having a veteran of the practice start you off is the safest bet.
But there is no reason you can not begin your journey alone. Be mindful of who you invite into your space. Set parameters, and where possible use protective wards, talismans and materia. Invite in your Kindly Ones, and they can help you smooth out the path you walk.
And remember that those who are Kindly to you, may not extend that courtesy to others.
Love and Manyfold Blessings