Are ancestors our spirit guides? Are they the same thing? How would you work with either? Hopefully, we can answer all your questions.
There are plenty of different traditions that honor ancestors and work with the spirits of past loved ones. Spirit guides, are those spirits – related to you in any way or not – that form a spiritual team that helps guide you through life. You can read our full blog post on that here.
Our ancestors can be part of spiritual team, so yes, ancestors can be spirit guides.
Though, working with them may be slightly different.
While it’s generally accepted that all spirit guides have been on the earthly realm before, our ancestral spirit guides are more closely tied to us – they run in our blood. That’s why a lot of people who choose to work with them decide to give them things such as offerings, gratitude, and create specific altars for them.
While these things are definitely not required to work with ancestors, it’s highly recommended.
An ancestor altar might include pictures of the past loved one if you know whose spirit it is and have photos, or items and symbols of your past culture if you have information on that. It can be textiles from that culture, handmade items, photos of the country or land, houseplants that would have been native in that area.
Common offerings are ancestor paper and money, libations, and prayer. Anything that the person may have liked when they were on earth is also good, like cakes and cookies that would’ve enjoyed. Candles are also another good one.
If you’re interested in reading more about working with your ancestor spirit guides, you can definitely check out the books we have here.
Your ancestors will try and guide you just as well and just as lovingly as a spirit guide you may not have ever been related to. Then may be just as much as part of our spiritual team as other beings of divine light.