Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tea Time with my Ancestors

Each month, The Pagan Experience devotes one week to writing about 'deities and divinity'.  I feel it's important for me to not only write about my Gods, but also the other divinities that I honor.  For me as a Heathen, the Gods are of course a big deal.  But the spirits I feel closest to, in a more intimate, familiar way, are the land wights and my ancestors.  For me, the Gods often need to be called, welcomed into my home and heart.  But my ancestors?  They're already there - have always been there.  They are just as much family as my brothers or my children.

For quite awhile now, I've been following the old tradition of leaving a bit of the family meal out for the ancestors.  My husband is an atheist and slightly uncomfortable around religious rituals, so the plate isn't left on the table.  Instead, I make a point of placing it on my altar before sitting down to dinner.  This lacks a feeling of 'sharing' though - as if I've sent part of the family to their room and am serving them there.

Recently I've begun making tea for myself in the morning.  It's cold
outside, and the hot beverage is awesome - but I've found that few minutes of time to myself while I watch the water boil is just as valuable.  It occurred to me a few weeks ago that this was a fantastic ritual to share with my ancestors.  I pour the tea into two cups, one to place on my altar.  As I wait for mine to cool, I welcome my beloved dead and offer them the drink.  Then I will stand for awhile, sipping my tea, looking at their pictures and belongings - remembering their stories, their voices.  It's such a strong moment of communion, one in which I can completely focus on something I really care about.  It's calming and almost meditative, a quiet moment when the spirits speak to me through memories.

2 comments:

  1. What a lovely, homely and down to earth ritual, offering a cup of tea. It makes sense. Thanks for sharing!

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