How to Build an Ancestral Altar

Ancestral Altars are a part of African and Indigenous spiritual practices. It's a way of connecting with and honoring the righteous Ancestors who came before us. Ancestral veneration is key to success, healing, and the restoration of Ma'at (order& justice).

Items Needed

-Names and photos of your righteous Ancestors

-A candle

-A cup of water

-A location for your altar (it can be an area on the floor, a table, a night stand, a counter top, a shelf or bookshelf, or wherever is suitable for you and comfortable for your Ancestors)

-Items that your Ancestor's owned, such as items they left after they passed

-Offerings of food, song, dance, incense, and whatever they enjoyed while they were living

What to Do

  1. Take the names and photos of your righteous Ancestors, a cup of water, the items that you'd like to offer, and a few of their belongings to the place where you'd like to build the altar.

  2. Place the photos, names, cup of water, and the offerings in your altar space.

  3. Light the candle and call on the names of your Ancestors. Let them know you are there to build your connection with them.

  4. Make your offerings to the Ancestors by placing it on the altar.

  5. Pour water into the cup (this is called pouring libations).

  6. Pray for their healing and for all your needs to be met.

  7. Repeat this step regularly for best results.

Some important things to know:

- Ancestral veneration is the Afro-Indigenous way of life and it is highly beneficial to connect with your righteous Ancestors for healing, success, and to reclaim their ways for the betterment of society

-Please note that we only call upon righteous Ancestors. This means we only connect with spirits who lived in a noble manner, those who were spiritually gifted, and who did good in their lifetime

-It's best to ask your Ancestors what types of offerings they'd like so you can truly appease them and meet their needs

-Food offerings should only stay on the altar for a night or two to avoid bugs

-Water should be changed daily

-The altar space should be kept clean and free of clutter or dust

-Only items of the Ancestors should be kept on the Ancestral altar

-Your Ancestors speak to you through your reflections, dreams, and thoughts. Listen closely and you will hear them.

-When first connecting with them, it's important to do an Ancestral Elevation Ceremony.

Read our upcoming blog to find out how this is done and why it is beneficial

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