calling to the ancestors

VIDEO: Calling to the Ancestors Song

If you’re new to animism you might be wondering what to do at your ancestor altar. Maybe you wonder what you’re going to do for this upcoming Ancestor Day.
Today I have a song for you for calling to the ancestors. You can use it on Ancestor Day, at your altar in the mornings, when somebody has died, or just when you want to reach out to the other side.

The Beat

The beat is a polka, so one, two, three, one, two three. It’s designed to be sung anywhere and any time. You don’t need an instrument. As long as you can clap and stomp, you have your rhythm. You stomp on the one and clap on two and three.
If you want to use an instrument, a drum is great. You can also use finger cymbals, a tambourine, sticks, shakers or anything at all.

The Lyrics

The lyrics are as follows. You start the call with:
Ancestor, ancestor calling to you
Ancestor, ancestor hear me true
After that you can say whatever is on your heart. In my culture, the mourning songs are all improvised. There’s not a set thing to say. I know most people don’t like winging it -especially if it’s something new. They want a template. So you can use this:
Ancestor, ancestor calling to you
Ancestor, ancestor hear me true
Thank you thank you for all you do
Sending gratitude.
Most of us can honestly say that. So you can use that to get you started until the feeling gets flowing and you can find your own way to express your truth.
Just be sure to also match the tempo, pitch, and mood to the words. So if you are feeling joyous, it might be fast and happy. If you are feeling mournful, it might be slow and sad.
Group Version
This song can be used for a group too. To start, designate someone to be the group leader. The leader taps out the rhythm. The rhythm is going to be the
same in the entire time.
Then the leader is going to create the melody or tune. This will also be the same the whole time. If you are soloing, you can change it all you like. It doesn’t matter, but with a group, the only way you can improvise and keep everyone together is to keep the same melody all the way through.
So the leader calls in the ancestors singing the words listed above. Everyone else is humming along in the background and clapping and stomping.
The leader then sings her own words until she’s expressed her sentiments. When she’s done, she joins the group in humming and the singer passes to the next person in the circle.
Be sure to give everyone a chance to get over their shyness, get in touch with their feelings, and find the words to sing. It may take a while. The whole process can induce trance, which is great for reaching a space of catharsis, so make sure you give yourselves time for things to unfold.
Don’t worry about your singing voice! This is not a competition. Nobody is judging you. It’s not about how beautifully you sing, but calling to the ancestors and speaking your truth.
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  1. Pingback: How to Celebrate Ancestor Day - Pan Society, LTD

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