Time:3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Details:Dress Code:Whatever You Want
ID Required: No
The Create A Basic Altar for Your African Ancestors workshop is designed to be simple yet effective. It is an invitation and invocation to your ancestral spirits to be more consciously and practically present in our lives. If this practice is already initiated by you, this workshop re-energises your work. For the few hours involved you’re in active stillness and oneness with the ancestral energies guiding your life. They hear your call and see your readiness to engage their powers in aligning you to your Divine Calling (Purpose). It is a poweful transformation from theory to practice, without which the light enhancing energy remains under a bushel of uncertainty, confusion and often fear. This workshop enables you to feel confident that what you know intuitively, what you have been doing is Divine and IN TUNE – this confidence is needed to advance your spiritual practice, especially in an African centred way.
Whilst others see no issues in honouring their ancestors, for Africans this life-sustaining practice has been denied us. The traumatic tensions that build during discussions about our African ancestors is rooted in the period of enslavement and colonisation. Africans suffered (continue to) overwhelming denigrations about the way we have traditionally expressed our spirituality. The forced impositions of the Abrahamic versions of religions also bear on the way we see our ancient cultural expressions. We were lead to believe, for example that “when you’re dead, you’re dead.” Dreams and seemingly random messages from those family members who have passed into transition continue to be vigorously dismissed or considered signs from the ‘devil.’ How many ancestors, appearing in dreams to their descendants were chastised and told ‘you’re dead,’ thus being banished from consciousness, but not the spiritual world where they will always be, watching, waiting to ‘be made active’ by your WILL to do so. Although we may choose to disregard our ancestors, however, they remain with us, guiding, guarding and protecting us through our life’s journey. Colonisation in that sense has never ended as it continues to impact Africans in so many ways – especially our minds which are still yoked to disparaging ideas about our spirituality.
Our forced dispersal from Africa has generally involved disconnection with some of those traditions we cherished. One of these traditions was the respect and honour we showed our elders in recognition for their maturity and wisdom that (aught to) come with life changes. Even if ‘wisdom’ wasn’t evident, our elders were respected. When the elder passed on we continued showing them respect, seeking their counsel and interventions for ameliorative purposes.
Africans do not need to apologise for venerating, honouring and remembering our ancestors. It is time we proudly embraced this spiritual connection.
This practical, interactive and relaxing workshop will:
outline the significance of honouring ancestors
outline basic principles of African spirituality in relation to ancestors
show you how to create a basic altar to your ancestors
overview the symbols used in creating your altar
provide examples of how to develop your altar after the workshop
What you will need:
Rectangle of white cloth (about the size of a small table – that could be in the corner of a room)
white candle (and a holder – tealight if you wish)
Picture/s (of your ancestor)
Clear white glass (tumbler shape, not too large)
Crystal or stones (optional)
flowers (small vase)
Memento of your ancestor you’d like to add to your altar
It’s time to take pride in the memory of our ancestors: our immediate familial line ancestors who were positive, those that perished during the Maafa (enslavement); those freedom fighters that fought and died so we can have our (relative) freedom and a life in which it is evidently possible to either eschew our traditions or honour them; those of the distant and remote past, whose names are lost to us. We have misunderstood and been deliberately taught to disregard the significance of their eldership but with active spiritual intelligence we can embrace what has been too long denied. A very simple way to do this is by creating an altar for our ancestors, and in so doing begin our lifelong journey of spiritual awakening from an African centred perspective.
Light refreshments included.
Facilitator: Michelle Yaa Asantewa