As I said in one of my last videos, I’ve been working on up keeping an ancestor altar, per the instructions of Martin Coleman in his book Communing with Spirits. I’ve read/looked at multiple books pertaining to Germanic Heathenry, Odinism, etc. but I do not see instructions for ancestor veneration or working with spirits within these texts. We all know that ancestor veneration was almost a cornerstone within Germanic paganism, so I believe that it is under-emphasized within modern heathenry and a practice that should be revived: so I’ve taken to learning how to work with spirits from actual necromancers.
Before I had understood how to communciate with spirits and psychic abilities overall, it was really difficult to upkeep an ancestor altar: it’s a lot of effort, time and money for what felt like at the time, minimal effort, so I got frustrated and gave up. In hindsight, I now realize WHY developing the ability to communicate with spirits (and the Gods) is an important first step to both ancestor veneration and paganism in general. After all, if all of us could communicate with the Gods directly, there would be no need for us to try and patch together our old religion from scraps that Christianity has leftover for us, we could gather this information from the Gods directly.
Anyway, here are a couple more discoveries pertaining to ancestor altars after having actually developed my psychic senses and understood the automatic writing/channeling I was doing a little better.
INCENSE probably MATTERS. OR MOThballs. or taking spirits off your altar.
Yep. This piece of advice I disregarded. I burn all sorts of incense at home. Actually, my favorite kind is not even really associated with any particular correspondences and I burn is almost constantly. Apparently, you have to be careful which incense you burn as some of them can either increase or decrease the influence of the spirit. After hearing this bit of advice, what did I do? Lit a stick of incense from my random bag-o-incense in my living room. I also heard from another practitioner’s video that Nag Champa was a great offering for working with the dead. … I lit some of that too, To be fair, it might actually still be completely fine for ancestor offerings, I just noticed that shortly after I started haphazardly burning incense, things seems dead on the spiritual front. (Weird, unintended pun.) I stopped getting responses from spirits.
Other possibilities for this decrease in spirit presence was the fact that I’d taken one of my spirits’ photos/places off my altar (which is what Coleman recommends for spirits you no longer choose to work with). That spirit happened to be one of the most active spirits. If that is the case, it seems taking them and their momentos off your altar entirely does indeed work. I have not gotten messages from that spirit since.
Another possibility was that this happened shortly after I’d placed mothballs around my apartment, per the instructions of the book. (It reeked like mothballs in my apartment for a week, I swear.) Spirits apparently dislike the smell of mothballs and are repelled by it. If you get mothballs, maybe they’re not the really smelly mothballs? I guess.
Spirits Respond via Dreams.
Since I’d made that last video, I continued to try and work with my ancestor altar daily to try and rebuild the connection/s with them, adding one new spirit to my altar. One thing Coleman warns of in his book is not breaking promises to the dead: if you say that you’re going to do something, you must do it. My grandfather had requested a brand of cigarettes. I believe they may have been ones he smoked while he was still alive, I just know that Marlboro Red 100s were a pretty persistent clairvoyant image I was getting. He was the only spirit on the altar that I believe favored Marlboro brand cigarettes. I’d agreed to get some as an offering for him, prior to losing contact. While I was brainstorming ways to regain a connection with the spirits again, I realized I’d forgotten to get the cigarettes as I’d promised him. I resolved before I went to bed that I needed to go to the store the next day and get some for him like I’d agreed to.
Something about the fact I was going to drive to the tobacco outlet, despite me not smoking cigarettes in 5-6 years now, seemed both weird and powerful. Sometimes, when you’re working with spirits or when it comes to psychic abilities, it’s easy to dismiss things as being “in your head”, or not important. The tangible act of going out of my way to get a present for a spirit solidified the fact that I recognized that these spirits were not in my head, they were almost as real as any living person out there: only that they lacked a physical form.
That night, I had a very real and very positive dream about my grandfather. I don’t remember what happened in it entirely: I do remember my grandmother was in it. Overall though, I do feel like I was just spending time with him: as though he’d come around to spend quality time with me in the astral realm.
This isn’t unheard of, at all. (These are in fact called after death visitation dreams.) While you’re asleep is while you’re most receptive to messages from spirits, Gods, etc., which is why it is important to record and evaluate them at a later date. (Even though I don’t. I record them: I’ve recorded two years worth of them but haven’t gotten around to analyzing 98% of them XD. At best I flip through it and laugh about how ridiculous my dreams are. … I should probably stop that.) One hallmark feature of an ADV dream is that you and the other individual both know that they are in fact dead. You will probably even have a conversation about it. These dreams lack symbolism and have a more “real” or “clear” quality. Some are quite murky, but the feeling that you are left with when you wake up can say a lot. Either way, I definitely pegged this as an ADV dream/visit from my grandfather.
Some might write that off as just a dream, however my grandfather died while I was still a teenager. I can’t say that I’ve had many, if any dreams about him within the past 15 years. I didn’t think he was probably very fond of me when he passed, although I did go to see him in the nursing home before he died. Even when he was alive, I didn’t seem him much after we had moved to a new city when I was in elementary school. So, the idea that such a dream like this would happen when I started working with my ancestor altar and made a resolution to get him an offering as he’d requested leads me to believe he was communicating back with me via dream. He seemed pleasant in the dream and we talked as though he had never been gone.
I also had a different absolutely bizarre and awesome dream the other day, which I’ll write about later because it has nothing to do with ancestor altars. (that I know of.)
You get answers to RANDOM QUESTIONS.
Are they necessarily important questions? No. Are they always correct answers? Also no. Is the information useful? Probably not.
I finally actually did start getting contact from spirits again when I started burning Sandalwood as Coleman suggested to attract spirits. I don’t think Martin Coleman was lying when he said that working with spirits can be boring, or that they can be boring to talk to. I wouldn’t say boring per se, just average and not especially spectacular. Channeling, or gathering answers from Gods, deities, ET’s and other higher beings often yields true information or advice that sheds light on all sorts of things. It’s useful. (I guess if you call piecing together events that happens hundreds of thousands of years ago and human origins useful. … Might be useful in making you look like you’re weird as hell to everyone you talk to. … Whatevs though, that is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.)
I’ve starting to notice though that with spirits who formerly were human, the information is a lot more… “human”. Small talk, answers questions that might not always be accurate, advice that may not always be the best and/or just be something they would characteristically answer when they were alive. They really, I don’t think, get wiser after death: they’re just as they were before they died. Which is kind of a weird feeling: I’ve noticed after death we tend to romanticize a person. To actually get to talk to them and realize that… They’re still just who they always were, is both cool, it relieves a lot of grief over believing that they were just gone, but it’s literally like having another person with you in your house only not their physical body. And they can give you wrong answers to things? Out of the goodness of their heart of course: they’re only trying to help. But it’s not advice you should go acting on.
In my last video, I mentioned getting “drive train” in response to a question about car parts/how cars work, which I assume came from my grandfather, who was knowledgeable in the car department. More recently, in the summer time I have these weird episodes where only ONE of my eyes starts watering like crazy and my eye feels puffy. Not super bad but enough to be annoying as hell. So, when I was really annoyed asking myself “wtf is wrong with my eye” lol I got the word “Stye” in response. I don’t know wtf a stye is. I looked it up and whatever is wrong with my eye is definitely not a style, lol. Although it’s close: eye lid inflammation, although a stye is apparently more of a bump. Furthermore… the word “stye” or as a condition seemed to be an older word and something that happens to farm animals. (?) I’m not sure if that’s true of styes or if I was picking up on the spirit’s own qualities, rather than the word itself. (My great grandmother from what I understand was older and I believe did have a farm at some point, or the family did have a farm) Regardless, this was definitely an answer, albeit probably an incorrect one: possibly due to the fact that medicine wasn’t as advanced during the time she had been alive and maybe it would have been something that they thought was a stye. *shrugs*
That is going to take some getting used to. I’m used to channeling pretty dead on information for the most part that can usually be verified. I’m not used to getting potentially incorrect information coming through. Now I understand why, in many books about psychic abilities, asking to be assigned a “gatekeeper” is important: having a spirit/deity decide who the best spirit/s to connect with to answer a question or guidance is going to be most helpful.
THEY DO draw additional spirits to you.
According to Coleman’s book, again, working with your ancestor altar will bring other spirits to you. I think it’s been about a month (?) of my working with this altar and, while I was meditating the other day I started sensing the presence of other more human spirits. Namely grandmotherly spirits. … The last psychic I saw in person mentioned that I had an elderly woman hanging onto my arm when I came in to see her. … Grandma spirits like me, apparently. Which makes sense, I feel like I an old lady. I wrote down some notes about the information I exchanged with them, but I don’t think it’s interesting or probably relevant to this article.
So, those are the primary things I’ve noticed after about a month (I think?) I’ll continue to make updates as I go through Coleman’s book. I’m a fucking square and actually follow directions and he advised the reader to not go further in the book until they’ve kept up the altar for about three months, so my next couple months are going to be things I notice in keeping up the altar, if anything new.