My partner and I decided to construct a household ancestral altar. Normal stuff. Obtained icons, family photos, created art as a stand in for those we didn't have pictures of and those from the distant past, and crafted a few other items to top it off. My altars have always been a collection of things I've been nudged to either make, purchase new, or thrift and the process of setting up this space for veneration went pretty much the same way as all of my other altars have.
However, over time, the room the altar is in began to feel "heavy" and oppressive but, I kept up with my semi daily offerings of fruit, water, and incense and kept on trucking.
But that heavy, oppressive, feeling began to bleed out into the rest of the house and eventually into my partner and I.
It wasn't until a couple of days ago that something finally "broke" (I guess this is the best way I could put it) because we woke up to the picture of my spouse's great 3x grandfather face down on the altar while none of the other images or objects surrounding him were disturbed.
And I instantly thought, "Okay, I need to move you."
Can you say "sigh of relief?" Because that's exactly how the entire house felt and it was the sense I got from the other occupants of the altar as well.
Now grandpa, a former veldwachter and, according to family oral history, absolute hard ass- has his own shelf in a different section of a house along with an image of the town he called home.
The whole house feels infinitely lighter and this man, who shares my husband's name, has gotten the attention and movement he desired while I've offered apologies to my own ancestors for ignoring my gut and contributing to everyone's discomfort.
My partner and I have a couple of theories as to why all of this occurred- with cultural and ethnic conflict being top of the list but now it's a matter of making meals to soothe everyone; a good old fashioned southern soul food dinner for my clan and his distant ancestors (who seem to be fine? I guess pre-Christian Dutch people were relatively more chill? Who knows? LOL) and Stamppot for grandad.
So, sharing some of my lessons learned:
-Listen to your intuition. If shit starts to feel heavy don't hesitate to start questioning why.
-Some spirits/ancestors don't just become love and light once they've passed on- they'll still retain aspects of who they are and there could be incompatibilities if you're trying to blend cultures/people together.
-Crotchety old men will demand crotchety old man food.
Happy Friday y'all!