By Frater Barrabbas Tiresius
Pagans from all time periods have engaged in a practice that is called ancestor veneration, where one’s departed forebears are given a certain reverential respect and honor due to their linear importance to one’s own birth and residence within the continuity of a family organization. I think that this is a very natural and basic human sentiment, perhaps somewhat displaced in modern times, but still important. I also believe that it is particularly important to modern pagans, as well as magicians who work with spirits.
In the U.S., there is a decided bias against this sort of belief and practice, and there is a habit of diminishing one’s forebears and putting them into a perspective that everyone who lived and existed in the prior age are inferior to everyone who lives and exists today. We are so devoted to progress that we have learned to belittle and dismiss the efforts and achievements of those who have come before us. This mind-set has unfortunately affected people’s attitudes towards their ancestors. It has also forced our culture to be divorced and cut-off from the people who made our lives and our very existence possible. I find this lack of respect and veneration for one’s ancestors to be not only problematic, but it also has the potential of making a practicing magician a lot poorer and much more isolated. Allow me to explain why I believe this to be true.