On All Saints Day. . .

All Saints Day in the Philippines
All Saints Day in the Philippines

On November 1, let’s start saluting our ancestors, and thenceforth make it a daily or weekly habit. We have a saying that before you can love others, you must first love yourself. By extension, when you love and honor your ancestors, you also love yourself because your ancestors are you, and you are your ancestors.

For starters, you put up a shrine for the ancestors, where you offer them water, which is basic, and the other ancillary things like a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, candy, or any food that you wish to offer. It also helps if you know the primary ancestor spirit that is in your court. In my case, I had to have an ancestor investigation, which added to my appreciation of whom to dialogue with. Yes, dialogue, because the primary ancestor spirit is a conscious being, albeit ensconced in a different dimension.

Plate, silverware, glass of water, candle and offering of 24-k gold on ancestor shrine/altar.

Here are the basics to saluting the ancestors.

1. Hold a glass of water on your right hand and a lighted candle on the left. Face east and take three deep breaths and utter: “To my ancestors, mother’s-side, father’s-side, LOVE, HONOR AND RESPECT.” Then bow and pour some of the water to the floor/ground. (Parenthetically, you may also verbally thank the ancestors for their help or favor.)

2. Turn clockwise to west and utter the same prayer, bow and pour out some of the water.

3. Turn counter clockwise to north and utter the same prayer, bow and pour out some of the water.

4. Turn clockwise to south and utter the same prayer, bow and pour out some of the water.

5. Place the remaining glass of water at the center of the shrine plate, where a spoon, a fork and a knife form a triangle. And place the lighted candle in front of the glass of water.

You may do the ritual salute to ancestors daily or once a week. The important thing is that you have a connection to the ancestors, and the ritual reinforces that.

And it is a most empowering thing that you can do to love yourself. And loving yourself is basic before you can love others.


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