Mainstream Christianity has tried to convince us for generations that honoring those who came before us is "evil" or "demonic," but we know the truth. Reverence for our dearly departed has always been a love movement.
It's always been the ancestors for us.
One popular Yoruba saying goes, "The Orisha walk in front of you, but the Egun have your back." Orisha are African dietes, and Egun are ancestors. In her book “Mojo Workin’,” Katrina Hazzard-Donald explains, "Reverence toward the departed is a continuation of the relationship between family members."
We speak their names and stories. They're our root systems. We're not new to ancestral homage; we've been true to it for centuries.
With Elders, we value consulting them, and when we invoke ancestors, it's tapping into that same powerful wisdom. Mother's Day celebrations continue to demonstrate this belief in our churches today.
One ritual includes wearing a red or white flower to signify if one's mother is living or dead. Some churches make trips to the burial sites of ancestor mothers and prepare and place special foods on their graves.
The infusion of Christianity within Hoodoo exemplifies that our beliefs can coexist because they already do. We don't have to accept anti-Blackness views of our spirituality.
We have always respected our ancestors. It's a part of who we are, and we must never let anyone convince us otherwise.
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