Connecting to the Ancestors on May Day

photographer: Faris Munandar

Connecting to the Ancestors on May Day

May Day (May 1) is upon us. That means it’s a great time for connecting to the ancestors. How do we do that? Let’s take a look.

Clean the Graves

If you know who your dead people are and where they are, May Day is a great day to visit and clean the graves. Modern people are very disconnected from death now. We send our dying to a hospital where they are cared for by strangers. They are prepared for burial by professionals. After death, their graves are dug and cared for by others.

One way to get reacquainted with the circle of life and those who have gone before us is to tend the graves of the dead. This very personal act is a very loving gesture that sends energy across the veil and let’s your dead know they still matter. They still belong to you. While you are there, if it’s permitted you can decorate the grave, sing songs, and tell stories. Treat it like a visit.

Make an Altar

We generally erect altars for temporary use in rituals and holy days. Creating an ancestor altar for May Day requires some thought and can put you in spiritual contact with your dead. Start with a table top or any flat place. Cover it with a pretty cloth. Arrange items that represent your family and can make them feel welcome. This could be photographs, flowers, foods that they used to like, trinkets that belonged to them, or statues or figurines that represent them.

Get creative. Do what feels best for you. If you feel death is another birthday and cause for celebration (as I do), you could make it very festive. Bright, happy colors and items are a way to welcome them back to visit. You might choose to burn incense or use an essential oil diffuser to give them a way to find you. Some like to offer alcohol or other drinks to help celebrate.

Interact With Them

Singing, dancing, praying, and talking with your ancestors is another way to get to know them. Call them in. If you know their names, speak them. (May Day and Ancestor Day are the only days I’d recommend doing this if you aren’t sure if they are well in spirit). Call to the ones whose names you don’t remember. Even if you don’t know them, rest assured that they know you! They want an opportunity to be recognized again and will welcome the contact.

Ask those who are well in spirit to help guide your life. They want to help. Ask them to make themselves known to you. Listen and look for evidence of that contact and trust it when it comes. They are here. They’ve always been here. May Day is one of the times when it’s easiest for both sides to communicate. So take advantage and learn how to hear them.

Feast on Traditional Foods

If you don’t eat the food of your ancestors regularly, this can be a treat for you and them. Find recipes and make food the way they made it. Savor the exotic tastes and smells. Through this experience you can invite the past to visit the present in a most delicious way. Once I had a past life regression where I experienced some medieval food. While preparing for a family medieval theme party, I happened across a very similar recipe and had some interesting de ja vu experiences. Who knows what memories might be awakened through food? But even if this doesn’t happen, food is love. What better way to honor the dead than through their food?

Get a DNA Test

If you are really curious about your ancestors, get a DNA test. This will provide you with a lot of information that may create some mysteries and clear up some old wives tales. It’s important that we don’t lose our people’s stories. If we have, it may be possible to regain them. We carry their strengths and trials within us. If we don’t know what they are, we can’t heal the wounds and can’t profit from their power and talents. Knowing our ancestors helps us to know ourselves.

Talk to Your Elders

Your elders hold valuable information about your family traditions and histories. Talk to them! Most are glad to share memories that are long forgotten. You may think you know it all, but I continue to be surprised by all that I don’t know. I’m sure your family is no different. Elders are a treasure trove of information.

Seek Information In Your Inner World

You can always have an inner reunion. If it feels right, do some sort of purification and grounding practice. Go into meditation. Create a sacred meeting place in your mind’s eye. Call to your ancestors and have a party in your inner world. Ask them questions the same way you would of your living relatives. Share what’s going on with you. Ask what you can do for them or their other descendants.

When you come out of meditation, apply discernment to the information that you get. Don’t act on anything you hear until you have proven it to be true. Sometimes we tell ourselves stories that we want to hear. It takes a while to learn discernment. Test everything until you develop an ability to trust what you receive and know how to tell the difference between delusion and a true message.

May Day is primarily a fertility holy day, but we got a request for information on how to connect with ancestors, so this article focuses on that aspect of May Day. Whatever you are doing to honor this day, we hope it is fabulous. Let us know in the comments below.

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