Ancestors in the modern western world are thought of as those persons who contributed to our genetic make-up, from whom we descend, in a linear fashion. In many tribal cultures though, the idea is expanded to include other-than-human persons, as well as human persons, for so many of them truly contribute to creating who we are today. Further, the concept of ancestors begins with one’s parents, so includes the living as well as the dearly departed. Ancestors means family, and so the concept of relations. Gaelic folk tradition embraces this expansion by noting in the lore of some families and clans that they descend in part from faeries, selkies, or gods who are equated with various Powers of the living world. In Druidry, Ancestors of Spirit are also acknowledged and honored, those from whose spiritual tradition we spiritually descend, whose teachings we study and live by. The ancestors and relations are many, and hence are the sources of blessings.
Contemplating all the persons and Powers which contribute to my being, I count among my Relations all my ancestors of blood family lineage; my ancestors of spirit within Druidic and Brigidine Flametending traditions, including Brìde Herself, as my spiritual foster-mother; the land of Cascadia who nourishes and sustains me, where I was born and live; Grian the Sun, whose light makes my very life possible; the Queen of the Night, the Moon, whose light and power guide my womanly tides; the Plant, Tree, Animal, Bird, and Fish Persons who nourish and sustain me daily with their lives; the Wind and Water Persons who nourish and sing to me; the Tree Persons who teach me their songs; the Herb Persons who feed and heal me with their medicines; and the Green Fire and the Oran Mór which nourish and feed my soul and spirit, every moment of every day and night.
Blessings of health, protection, and wisdom flow from the Ancestors, and for these I am deeply grateful. Belonging also flows from the Ancestors and Relations– we are family, we are connected, we live amongst each other, mindful of each other, supporting and caring for each other, providing context for each other. They are my home, they are my companions, they are my guides, they are my teachers, they are my Makers of Song. Moran taing, agus slàinte mhath.