Ancestor Worship for Modern Times

June 2, 2008


Previously, whenever I read or heard a reference having to do with ancestor worship, I reacted with immediate scorn.  Although I have an interest in religion generally, I never investigated ancestor worship because it seemed so misguided.  I knew for certain that none of my ancestors were even remotely close to being god-like or deserving of religious worship, and I did not think there were very many other ancestors out there deserving of such a reverential status either.  As I discovered later, however, it was the word “worship” that threw me off.  This concept could be better understood at the outset, perhaps, if it were referred to as “ancestor communing.”

Ancestor worship is commonly practiced around the world, especially among indigenous peoples.  The established organized religions of the world condemn it as being too primitive, but the reality is that it is too powerful.  I am neither African nor African American, but most of the information I have been able to put together about ancestor worship comes from native African sources.  It seems to work really well for them, and that is good enough for me.

I discovered what ancestor worship is while reading a book about the Yoruba people of West Africa.  Ifa is the name of their religion, and Ifa is the name of their oracle as well.  I was reading the book because I am a diviner, and I am always investigating new and different ways to divine.  I read in that book an explanation of what ancestor worship actually is, and it instantly seemed to be not so outlandish after all.  In fact, I thought I would give it a try.  It seemed not to take much time either, and I had nothing to lose by putting it to the test.  The author explained in his book that ancestor worship consisted of a full third of what the Ifa religion is all about.  Another third of that religion is the frequent use of the Ifa oracle.

Getting Set Up

All the equipment you need for doing your own ancestor worship ritual is a glass of water.  The container holding the water should be clear glass, because the connection with your ancestors is powerfully activated by focusing on the water while you are addressing them.  The water should also be cool or cold.

When you do this daily ritual, you can set up a permanent altar for yourself if you wish. I do not. I usually do my daily ritual at my kitchen table. You may also place photographs of your deceased relatives nearby, but those photos must include no living person other than yourself. I was told through my divinations that the inclusion of photographs of your deceased relatives does enhance the effectiveness of the ritual. I also did a divination about whether or not it is acceptable to use photos that include people still living, and I was told that this would be detrimental to those people.

If you set up an altar table, most African sources will advise covering it with a white table cloth. I double-checked this by doing card divinations about it, and I found that your deceased relatives do not care what color table cloth you use.

If you would like to burn incense during this ritual, that is fine.  But you must definitely not light a candle.  I had this confirmed for me through a divination.

Time Considerations

You should do this ritual each and every day.  You can do it at any time of the day, and you only need to do it once daily.  Doing it twice daily does not intensify or accelerate the effects.  There is no specific amount of time that you need to spend doing it.  Most of the time, doing the entire ritual takes me about ten minutes.

The Ritual

The exact words I use vary somewhat from day to day, so you need not memorize how I do it word-for-word.  You should use your own words, and speak from your own heart.  However, it is important that you stick quite closely to the gist of what you read here.  I begin by making a statement of intent.

“Through the ritual I am about to perform, I am going to effectively and powerfully communicate with my deceased family members.

“I send blessings and love to all my deceased relatives, to all my ancestors.  I send my love and the deepest best wishes possible to my mother, Dorothy Nammack.  I send my love and boundless energy to my father, James L. Nammack.  I send blessings to my sister, Blaine Nammack, and I send you all my love and best good wishes.  On my father’s side, I send love and the most wonderful blessings possible to my grandmother, Dot, and to her husband whom I never knew.  I also send all the love I have to my great-grandmother, Bobbie.  And I thank you, Bobbie, for being so fond of me while you were still living.  I send my love and the deepest blessings and best wishes to my great-aunt, Laura.  On my mother’s side, I send all the love I have to my aunt, Sis, and I thank you for your friendship.  I send blessings and all my love to my aunt, Lil.  I send all my love and all the energy possible to my aunt, Emma.  I send my love and my blessings to my uncle, Bub, and I send great love and great energy to my cousin Richard. I send all of you all my love and all the positive energy of the Universe.  I also send all my love and blessings to those deceased relatives of mine whom I never knew.  I miss your presence in my life, and I truly appreciate your friendship and your love for me when you were with me here on earth.  In many ways you strengthened me, and I thank you for that.

“I ask each of you to guide me so that……………………….”

At this point, practitioners of ancestor worship begin asking for various things that they would like to have help with from their deceased relatives.  For a long time, this is the way I did it too.  But then by accident I discovered a more effective way.  The most effective way is to ask your deceased relatives for help in one matter alone.  You then thank them for their attention to you, and you drink the water.  At this point you should do a divination using an oracle of some kind.  The divination will tell you to what extent your deceased relatives are making manifest the wish you just made to them.  If your divination tells you that they will be granting to you the whole of your wish, then the next day you can move on and ask your deceased relatives for help in a different matter.

And, once you begin doing this ritual everyday, you must not skip any days, no matter what.

Speaking From Your Heart

The emotions you are able to summon up when conducting your daily ritual makes all the difference in the world in terms of the results you will see becoming manifest in your daily life.  Most people sit down when conducting this ritual, and this is fine, but you might want to try it standing up sometimes.  You will usually be able to perform the whole ritual with greater emotion if you stand up while doing it.  You need to make a deliberate attempt to well up great feeling while sending your love to your deceased relatives and while asking them to help you.  Each and every day when you perform this ritual, you should do it as though your life depends on it.  For maximum results, you need to throw your heart and soul into it.

Of course, you do not HAVE to conduct your ritual standing up, but I encourage to do it this way from time to time in order to maximize the emotion you are able to well up within you.

Blood Relatives Only

You must not mention in your daily ritual anyone who was not a blood relative.  Do not include references to deceased people with whom you felt so close in life that they seemed like family.  Insofar as this ancestor worship ritual is concerned, they were not family, and must not be included in your daily ritual.

Concluding Your Ritual

After you finish with your ancestor worship ritual, you should drink your glass of water.  I also confirmed that through a divination.

How It Works

By making positive, heartfelt statements about sending your deceased relatives your love, warm blessings, and your positive energy and so forth, you will be bringing your vibrational frequencies into alignment with the vibrations frequencies of  your deceased relatives.  The more in synchronization you are with each other’s vibrational energy, the easier it will be for your deceased relatives to have a positive influence in your daily life.  This is something they will naturally want to do.

The Sky Is the Limit

As you continue with your ancestor worship ritual day after day, your life will continue to change, improve, and become progressively more deeply fulfilling.

My First Personal Experience

I finished reading an interesting book about ancestor worship on a Thursday night, and the next day I drove to Louisville, Kentucky to participate as a reader in a psychic fair.  That evening in my hotel, I performed my first ancestor worship ritual.  On Saturday morning before I left for the psychic fair, I performed the ritual again.

Regardless of how busy I am doing readings for people at psychic fairs, there are always lulls, and during the lulls I like to walk around the fair and check out what the other vendors are doing.  On this Saturday during such a lull, I decided to have a reading done for me by a lady who advertised herself as being a psychic.  One of the first things this lady told me was that I had someone near me at that moment, a deceased person, one whom I used to be quite fond of.  She described for me the person’s physical appearance, but it did not ring a bell at all.  Then in a few moments I had one of those Aha! moments.  The person she described was a perfect fit for my great-grandmother, and she had passed away sixty-two or sixty-three years ago.  I asked if it was “Bobbie,” our name for her, and the psychic confirmed it was.  The psychic told me that Bobbie had had a strong interest in things of a mystical nature, but she mostly said little about it because in those days such interests were darkly frowned upon.

In the ancestor ritual I had conducted the night before and that morning, I had included mention of my great-grandmother.  That was the first time I had thought of her in years.

Copyright 2008 by James L. Nammack