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Ancestors: Dead don't mean gone. A good introduction to ancestor…

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Ancestors: Dead don't mean gone.

A good introduction to ancestor venetarion by Mambo Chita Tann.,
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On February 5th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC), witchchild replied:
Fixed it, thanks for the catch.
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On February 5th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC), volva commented:
That the dead can never become gods simply isn't correct. In my culture a dead could (and among some of us still can) be deified and given (or assume) a particular role (to secure continued protection and fertility, usually), not only for the relatives and particularly the descendants, but sometimes even for the community as a whole (or even the country itself - like in the well-known case of Olaf Geirstadalf). It didn't happen often, and I can't think of any case during my lifetime, but nearly every farm used to have - and many still has - a deified ancestor who is given particular treatment and attention during certain times of the year or when something extraordinary happens. Regular humans are not seen as regular humans any more after death, either - they're not "just" humans who happen to not be among the living any more, but have become something else, something more, and there is reason to tread very carefully around them because of that.

I can see how somebody who mainly knows the word "worship" from a Christian context might interpret it as "submissive to a higher power", but I use it gladly about my devotion to both deified and regular dead - and to powers who have never been human in the first place, and who by many are called gods - without putting any of us in positions above or below the other. Both etymology and definition agree with it.

That said, I agree with many of the points the author gives about the practice, and it's good to see somebody write about it who doesn't feel a need to go to "pre-Christian times" to find ancestors worthy of attention.
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