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Author Topic: Ancestor Worship in Modern Society  (Read 22804 times)
Collinsky
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« Reply #30: January 30, 2010, 09:49:53 pm »

And if I take Cyndaquil's observation about learning history as a form of ancestor worship, then I've been worshipping ancestors from several great eras whenever I study history from all the times I am fascinated with

Me too... and perhaps this type of thing can be a gateway for me to have a better connection with my ancestors in a more traditional way? Or simply a deeper connection than I have felt up till now.

And I love historical sites... one of my favorite places in college was a fort (one of the revamped ones set up as a living history site) where with each step I really felt like I was treading where people walked hundreds of years before. It was pretty powerful. (I was not in a religious path that thought honoring ancestors was at all important, or even good, at the time -- I would love to go back now with a different understanding.

I admit I feel that in that region I might have had an easier time feeling the presence of my ancestors, as it's where my family was born and buried for generations. It's where my roots are, and I think that a lot of things would have felt more natural to me there. Which is sort of an aside thought!
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« Reply #31: January 31, 2010, 02:55:03 am »

So what do you think that should be exchanged with?

When I originally said frith I didn't mean "inherited luck," I meant... well, frith. Or what I suppose you could classify as specifically "family frith." Is there a better term for "family frith"? I don't claim to be very familiar with the concepts of either orlog or hamingja, but from what I can quickly glean they're not quite what I meant; they seem to have more to do with wyrd.

I'm sorry if I'm only increasing confusion. ha. Help?

I went back to the thread I linked from AL and read it carefully... to summarise (credit - BoarsHeart from AL):
Orlog is the actions laid down in the well. Your own and your family's going back to your ancestors.
Hamingja is luck or the tendency for the Norns to weave good or ill for you and your family.

So Hamingja might well be the most appropriate term for the family luck, but the family orlog also comes into play. 

I'm going to have to go back and carefully re-read this thread...  Cheesy
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« Reply #32: January 31, 2010, 08:52:26 am »

I went back to the thread I linked from AL and read it carefully... to summarise (credit - BoarsHeart from AL):
Orlog is the actions laid down in the well. Your own and your family's going back to your ancestors.
Hamingja is luck or the tendency for the Norns to weave good or ill for you and your family.

So Hamingja might well be the most appropriate term for the family luck, but the family orlog also comes into play. 
Agreed (and good, useful summary!). But frith does not equal luck... so I'm not sure where the luck thing came in exactly. So then when orlog (which in turn contributes to hamingja) was first mentioned it made more sense to me to exchange it with how I was using wyrd.
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"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #33: January 31, 2010, 10:46:14 am »

Agreed (and good, useful summary!). But frith does not equal luck... so I'm not sure where the luck thing came in exactly. So then when orlog (which in turn contributes to hamingja) was first mentioned it made more sense to me to exchange it with how I was using wyrd.

I'm another one who thought you meant Hamingja, and I think the misunderstanding came to be because it seems to be more tied to the ancestors than frith. I had never read anything like "family frith", and when you said that you actually meant "frith", at first I didn't understand what you meant by it.

Now, I think I have an abstract idea of what you may mean, but I have no idea how to put it in English.

Here's an article on Frith, maybe it can help clarify a little.
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« Reply #34: January 31, 2010, 12:42:33 pm »

Agreed (and good, useful summary!). But frith does not equal luck... so I'm not sure where the luck thing came in exactly. So then when orlog (which in turn contributes to hamingja) was first mentioned it made more sense to me to exchange it with how I was using wyrd.

I think the confusion possibly arises where you said this in your first reply to me:
Quote
What, if any, do you consider to be the role of family wyrd or frith?
I (mistakenly) thought you were using wyrd and frith mistakenly as near equivalents, and that the 'family' attached to both the words after it. Sorry  Smiley

So... how did you feel frith came into it? Does one maintain frith with ancestors or is it just something between living kin? I've realised I think of it as happening between living people, not ancestors, not sure where that impression comes from though!
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My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink
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« Reply #35: February 01, 2010, 07:01:18 pm »

I'm another one who thought you meant Hamingja, and I think the misunderstanding came to be because it seems to be more tied to the ancestors than frith. I had never read anything like "family frith", and when you said that you actually meant "frith", at first I didn't understand what you meant by it.

Now, I think I have an abstract idea of what you may mean, but I have no idea how to put it in English.

Here's an article on Frith, maybe it can help clarify a little.
So... how did you feel frith came into it? Does one maintain frith with ancestors or is it just something between living kin? I've realised I think of it as happening between living people, not ancestors, not sure where that impression comes from though!
This ought to reply to both of you! Smiley

I see honoring one's ancestors as a way of increasing frith, especially within one's family since it is so closely tied to kinship. Selegna, I've read that article before, and in there it talks about "frithweaving," which is basically what I mean here. I see learning about or reflecting on or honoring one's ancestors as a way to increase one's frith within your family in the now. And I also see this engagement with the past as contributing to the cumulative frith of the family's future... in this respect I suppose the more usual term is hamingja, although like I said I don't really mean that.

I'm understanding now this may not be a common way of thinking about frith, but for whatever reason it seemed like a natural shift to me. Am I nutty? lol. Is frith "inheritable" or is it a present-tense phenomenon? Any other thoughts on how ancestor worship interacts with frith (or orlog or hamingja)? Smiley
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"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
Collinsky
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« Reply #36: February 01, 2010, 07:41:35 pm »

This ought to reply to both of you! Smiley

I see honoring one's ancestors as a way of increasing frith, especially within one's family since it is so closely tied to kinship. Selegna, I've read that article before, and in there it talks about "frithweaving," which is basically what I mean here. I see learning about or reflecting on or honoring one's ancestors as a way to increase one's frith within your family in the now. And I also see this engagement with the past as contributing to the cumulative frith of the family's future... in this respect I suppose the more usual term is hamingja, although like I said I don't really mean that.

I'm understanding now this may not be a common way of thinking about frith, but for whatever reason it seemed like a natural shift to me. Am I nutty? lol. Is frith "inheritable" or is it a present-tense phenomenon? Any other thoughts on how ancestor worship interacts with frith (or orlog or hamingja)? Smiley

The way you're looking at it resonates with me, so I don't think it's nutty  Cheesy... hopefully others will have input on it!
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« Reply #37: February 01, 2010, 09:02:44 pm »

This ought to reply to both of you! Smiley

I see honoring one's ancestors as a way of increasing frith, especially within one's family since it is so closely tied to kinship. Selegna, I've read that article before, and in there it talks about "frithweaving," which is basically what I mean here. I see learning about or reflecting on or honoring one's ancestors as a way to increase one's frith within your family in the now. And I also see this engagement with the past as contributing to the cumulative frith of the family's future... in this respect I suppose the more usual term is hamingja, although like I said I don't really mean that.

I'm understanding now this may not be a common way of thinking about frith, but for whatever reason it seemed like a natural shift to me. Am I nutty? lol. Is frith "inheritable" or is it a present-tense phenomenon? Any other thoughts on how ancestor worship interacts with frith (or orlog or hamingja)? Smiley

No, I don't think you are nutty. LOL. I think what you're saying makes sense, and that's more or less what I was thinking but was unable to articulate (the "abstract idea" of my previous post). I got this idea of what you may mean by re-reading the article (I had also read it before). I think you (general you) can increase your frith, increasing your family's frith that way, and so increase your descendants frith as well, but I fail at seeing how honoring ancestors would increase your frith. Of course, if you can increase your frith by honoring the gods, I suppose honoring the ancestors should do it too... Am I writing nonsense?  Huh
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« Reply #38: February 02, 2010, 12:26:38 pm »


No, makes sense Smiley

I'm not sure about 'heritable' in that it would pass on directly, but I think strengthening bonds with family, alive or dead, is likely to strengthen bonds with other members too. A sort of frith osmosis? Tongue I've found my studies of genealogy have already strengthened my relationship with my parents, and my (dead) grandparents and ancestors. Would this fall into the category of frith do you think?
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My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink
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« Reply #39: February 03, 2010, 12:30:03 am »


~ Why do you honor the Ancestors (big A or little a)? If you don't, why not?

Because they are a part of me.  They shaped my parents, grandparents, etc. and whether directly or indirectly made me who I am today.

I only knew my grandparents and they and my parents are gone now.  I was brought up with the idea that family was important.  It's hard to explain, but I feel that connection.

Quote
~ How do you honor them?

I have a few items that I inherited from my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents that I display in my home.  I want to set up some kind of ancestor shrine, but I haven't worked out the what and where yet.
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« Reply #40: February 03, 2010, 04:23:11 pm »

~ Why do you honor the Ancestors (big A or little a)? If you don't, why not?
~ How do you honor them?

I have a candle on my altar and a bead on my prayer beads for my ancestors. Most often, I end up remembering my Beloved Dead - people I personally knew. Sometimes I honor spiritual ancestors, too. Sometimes it's a bit more abstract and going back further in time.

Part of me honoring my more immediate ancestors is healing some generational issues - my family actually started this work.
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« Reply #41: February 03, 2010, 07:26:23 pm »

I think you (general you) can increase your frith, increasing your family's frith that way, and so increase your descendants frith as well, but I fail at seeing how honoring ancestors would increase your frith. Of course, if you can increase your frith by honoring the gods, I suppose honoring the ancestors should do it too... Am I writing nonsense?  Huh
I'm with you on the part I italicized. As for increasing frith by honoring the ancestors vs. the gods... I agree  with your conclusion there's not a terrible amount of difference in the case of frith. I could even see honoring the ancestors maybe even more appropriate, since frith is so particularly connected to family/social bonds. At least how I see it, frith is a more immediate, earthly thing and less a divine quality. I'm not sure I'm expressing this exactly as I want, but hopefully you get what I mean.
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"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #42: February 03, 2010, 07:27:53 pm »

I'm not sure about 'heritable' in that it would pass on directly, but I think strengthening bonds with family, alive or dead, is likely to strengthen bonds with other members too. A sort of frith osmosis? Tongue
Yeah, I'll buy that. haha. I see how frith isn't a concrete, inheritable thing that gets directly passed down or something. So I think osmosis is as good a way of putting it as any!
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #43: February 03, 2010, 07:39:05 pm »

I have a candle on my altar and a bead on my prayer beads for my ancestors. Most often, I end up remembering my Beloved Dead - people I personally knew. Sometimes I honor spiritual ancestors, too. Sometimes it's a bit more abstract and going back further in time.
I also like the Beloved Dead vs. Forgotten Dead terminology Juni mentioned earlier. Seems a bit more appropriate than ancestors vs. Ancestors (or are there other Heathen terms I'm missing?!). Do you or anyone else know the origin of these terms? A quick search didn't turn up anything obvious... for some reason I thought it was Kemetic. ?!? lol.

Quote
Part of me honoring my more immediate ancestors is healing some generational issues - my family actually started this work.
This has been expressed in passing a few times here I think... what do others find: Does studying or honoring the ancestors help your present family connections? How so exactly?
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"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #44: February 03, 2010, 09:05:21 pm »

Yeah, I'll buy that. haha. I see how frith isn't a concrete, inheritable thing that gets directly passed down or something. So I think osmosis is as good a way of putting it as any!

Here's an interesting article on frith.

http://www.friggasweb.org/frith.html
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