Black Spirituality Religion : do you have an ancestral altar:

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Sekhemu, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Share your experiences and insight
     
  2. Knowledge Seed

    Knowledge Seed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My Egungun are awesome!
     
  3. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    First in? No. Sighs.

    Greetings Elder Sekhemu,

    It is an interesting coincidence that you have posted about this because of late I have been thinking of creating a new one. All the preceding ones that I had just did not feel right, and I suspect that it is because I followed the basic guidelines that are based on West African practices. Being East African, I think I should stay true to my own traditions. Would you say this is a reasonable conclusion?

    In lieu of my own personal experience, I offer this one by the fantastic shabless1000000, a true Queen. In this video, she teaches how to construct an altar and talks about her experiences with her altar.

    Click on this link; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW0A42gis0o

    I hope you shall one day initiate a discussion on Deity/Orisha altars, or if you have already done so, lease let me know and I shall search for the thread.

    Peace,

    Alexandra
     
  4. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes sistah it is reasonable to stay true to your ethnic traditions, however there a few things worth careful consideration before erecting your altar

    If at all possible consult a priest and ask him/her specific questions about elevated or upstanding ancestry.

    Secondly make sure your altar is in an area where the flow of traffic in your home is essentially non-existant, including pets

    I'll repost the thread on ancestral traditions in a few
     
  5. Blaklioness

    Blaklioness Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother....How DO you set up an effective alter that includes homage to the Creator and filters out dishonorable entitities (including ancestors)? What are you looking for in terms of the communication process when using/building an altar?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Setting up your Ancestral (Egun) Shrine

    What is an Egun

    An Egun is a person(s) who have distinguished themselves morally and ethically. Great respect is given to them and are seen as great models for the living. They're the impetus to good conduct for us and we in turn honor them by offering libations and naming our children after them. We DO NOT worship Egun, nor are Egun the final authority in all matters. However we do revere, honor and respect them, not as Orisa, but as spirits and predecessors...who are next to Olodumare.


    Reincarnation is seen as an extension of the ancestral experience. In Yoruba the word of this is Tunde. Babatunde (Father returns), Iyatunde (Mother returns) are examples of the recognition of the spiritual essence which part brings itself back. The greater importance is not the focus on the plane of souls reliving on and on through Karmic planes, but on the constant reliving of morals and virtues. There is the saying that one strives to live righteously so that they can return from heaven to earth. By returning to the earth, good ancestral souls strengthen the lives and the spirits of their surving offspring.

    The soul of a deceased person either journeys to Orun rere (good heaven), or orun apadi or orun buruku (bad heaven). Souls that are taken before their time become ghost upon the earth UNTIL Olorun (owner of heaven) comes and delivers them to Orun. The Odu Ifa says a good life is brought about by revering and emulating the ancestors and that life on earth does determine life beyond death.

    There is the understanding that human beings (eniyan gidi) contain a number of souls. That upon death, these souls are released and are each placed in the heavens or the earth according to the person's life and depth of wisdom. The elders say that, "death to those who die knowing is not like death to those who die unknowing." Those who have lived a cruel and abusive life go to the place where their souls can never be restored. They can never again return to the living. People who commit suicide also fall into this category.

    So Blackliones and Alexandra, with that being said. Before you select a sacred space for your altar, smudge your entire home with Sage or Frankencense and Myrrh, from top to bottom.

    Before designating an area for your shrine make sure the area is free from the ebb and flow of human or animal (pets) traffic. Try not to give the appearance that you're trying to hide your altar from the prying eyes of family members or visitors.

    If you have the space, find a clean straw mat and place it on the sacred area, if this proves to be inpractive you can also use a shelf or even a table top.

    Place 9 glasses of water on top of a white cloth, along with white flowers, 9 white candles and a photo of your ancestor(s). If at all possible, find and place an item that held a strong sentimental connection to them, for example their favorite coffee cup, maybe even a favorite fountain pen, just as long as there is a strong and positive connection.


    When making an offering to your ancestors, you want to be cognizant of a few things, One of them being the kinds of foods he or she liked, what did they like to drink. Do you have any 1st nation ancestry, if you do, what nation(s) do they belong to. As a rule of thumb, corn and tobacco make good offerings to 1st nation Egun, unless you have information relative to their specific dietary habits. If all else fails, go with your gut feelings.

    The offering should always be placed in a white dish (never plastic or any other synthetics) In fact all the dishes and cups on the shrine should be white.

    Note: (blacklioness) before conducting this ritual always smudge with sage or frankencense and bathe preferrably with black soap. This is the means to protect you and your home from negating forces

    Before placing the offering on the shrine kneel down placing your right knee on a pillow using your left hand to pour libation, in front of the center of the shrine in a wooden bowl if possible, if not the floor will do.

    After pouring libation light the 9 candles, raise the dish to your forehead then your heart and offer it to Eshu BEFORE your ancestors (This is a Must).

    Say your ancestors name and speak from your heart(continue kneeling but on both knees now), talk to them as if they were physically standing in front of you.

    When you've finished place the offering on the white cloth, then kneel and place your forehead on the floor and give thanks again then say Ase, Ase O, Ase

    Offerings to Ancestors should be done on a regular basis, once a week would be good, never let the food or flowers on your shrine deteriorate.

    When removing the offering from your shrine place it in a brown paper bag and take the offering to a wooded area and leave it next to your favorite tree.


    One last thing, Egun also serve as emmisaries between Olodumare and the living, there is no need to petition the creator directly. When we make offerings, sing praise songs and dance, the creator is honored and venerated.
     
  7. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings Elder Sekhemu,

    Thank you for taking the time to post these instructions. I have a few questions.

    When offering the dish to Eshu/Exu, does it matter which direction one is facing when doing so? For all spiritual matters, I tend to face the East, or whatever direction that Entity rules over.

    I have often heard of tales where neither the food, nor the flowers have gone off. That is, and in particular the flowers, stay as fresh as the day you placed them there. This has usually been taken to indicate a strong ancestral presence. Are you able to confirm this please?

    Thank you,

    Best wishes,

    Alexandra
     
  8. Blaklioness

    Blaklioness Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    So Brother....smudging the area will 'disarm' negative forces to speak? This includes ancestors who were not benevolent? If you are not sure of who you are dealing with in terms of ancestors, how do you know on whom to call and whose pictures to use on the shrine? What about the more ancient of ancestors...how do you address them if you don't have knowledge of their specific presence?

    Thanks again...learning as always.
     
  9. Akobundu

    Akobundu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yeah me and my brother made it...our lives have improved so much ever since...Bless the Ndichie/Sheps...
     
  10. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sister if you feel more comfortable facing east when presenting an offering, by all means go right ahead. Just be sure to present to eshu before egun

    With respect to flowers never dying on an altar no, I've never heard of that
     
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