Ancestor ceremony.

Sharing with you the ancestor ceremony shared for Samhain at Cae Mabon 🙂












The intention for this ceremony is to honour the gifts of the ancestors that have come before us.
And, as future ancestors of generations to come, sending our wishes for future generations for the gifts we would like to gift them if they would like to receive these gifts.

Ingredients of the haywarikuy/anrhegion/despacho include:

~natural, burnable/compostable items to represent the gifts we are honouring and offering e.g. leaves, twigs, fruits, herbs, quinoa, corn, pasta shapes etc.

~a large piece of paper folded it into nine squares (into thirds vertically and then horizontally), and then unfolded and placed flat on the floor for the ceremony.

drums, incense, other sound makers (optional)

(plus intention, presence, gratitude, wishes 😉 )

The Ceremony.

The ceremony could be said to begin in the gathering of the ingredients, particularly if done with care and consideration. The ceremony opens ‘officially’ with the opening of sacred space. calling in elemental energies of creation, and our connection to these energies to hold the space in sacred space.

Then, gathered around the paper and ingredients, we use our intention and our breath to blow the essence of our gratitude and wishes into the natural, burnable/compostable items, which are then placed on the paper.

 To do this we bring to our heart our gratitude/wishes for a particular gift, and then, using our outbreath, we blow into these items this gratitude/wish, releasing and informing with our breath.

 With this ancestor haywarisqa ceremony, we blow in our gratitude for the beautiful gifts our ancestors have given us, and the wishes of the gifts that we would offer future generations if they would choose to accept them.  
  The ancestors who have given these gifts can be our parents, our parents’ parents and so on, and further back even to the plants, rocks and stars that played a part in the formation of the earth, and so our physical bodies too and so on…whatever speaks to and from your heart…

The first layer of objects blown into and placed on the paper is a layer of k’intus** (three leaves placed together). into these k’intus are blown our initial and general gratitude for the gifts our ancestors have given us.

Then, the second layer is another layer of k’intus, blowing in some of our general wishes of what we would gift future generations, if they would choose to accept these gifts.

For the next layers, we use whichever burnable/compostable items that we choose to represent our gratitude and wishes. the framework of layers are permeable layers….if on reaching the air layer, we think of something we would like to give gratitude for that is connected to the earth, we can still do so. 

We first work with the earth layer – blowing into our natural items our gratitude for the gifts of our ancestors and wishes of gifts for future generations that are connected with the earth.   

Then the water layer – blowing into our natural items our gratitude for the gifts of our ancestors and wishes of gifts for future generations that are connected with the element of water.     

Then the fire layer – blowing into our natural items our gratitude for the gifts of our ancestors and wishes of gifts for future generations that are connected with fire.   

Then the layer connected to the air element – blowing into our natural items our gratitude for the gifts of our ancestors and wishes of gifts for future generations that are connected with the air.   

And then the source/creating energy layer – blowing into our natural items our gratitude for the gifts of our ancestors and wishes of gifts for future generations that are connected with ‘source’ ‘creating energy’ [insert name that you use for this source of creation/creating/life force energy here 😉 ].   

Then we have another layer of k’intus full of gratitude and wishes….

Then, if you choose, you can add to these offerings of gratitude and wishes with drumming, singing, blowing into the haywarikuy with your breath…any way that you wish to bring into the haywarikuy your intentions of gratitude and wishes (this can, of course can be done throughout the layers too if feel to do so).

then we take a moment to look at the patterns that have been created, noticing what there is to notice, feeling what there is to feel.

When ready, gently fold up the pieces of paper into a parcel or leave open.

 A k’intu of any forgotten wishes/gratitude can be blown into and tucked in

If you choose, you can tie the parcel with rope, string or a ribbon. this time, we felt not to, perhaps this was because this was also about unbinding***.

Then, if put into a parcel, and if you choose/feel to, the haywarikuy can be wrapped in material, and one by one, clockwise around the circle, worked with to ‘smudge’ each other with the haywarikuy, cleansing the participants energy fields, and infusing and informing the energy fields with the gratitude and wishes of the haywarikuy.
To do this we move the haywarisqa from the crown to the feet on the front left, front right, back left and back right of the body. when i do this i feel that from underneath the haywarisqa the energy field is being cleared, bringing ‘hucha’ energy to earth for release, then its place from the top of the haywarisqa light sami energy infused and informed by the gratitude and wishes of the haywarisqa, informing the energy field.

Then, when ready, the haywarikuy is unwrapped from the material and placed in the fire.
this can be done by two people, or, as we did, with all of us together holding onto it, then letting it go.

Then, symbolising our letting go of all of this, that these are our wishes and gratitude, offered with non attachment and the letting go of the outcome, we tend to turn away while the offering is burned and transformed through the fire (as well as through fire, thia can be given to earth – placing it under the ground, or to water, placing it in a river, lake or similar).

We followed this with drumming and other sound healing and celebrating….

Then when ready to do so, closing sacred space, offering gratitude to the connecting energies that assisted the holding of sacred space.


extra notes:

In honouring these gifts from our ancestors, we can allow the ancestors in their ‘place outside of time’ to know that they have been heard, and their gifts recognised and appreciated. …freeing them from feeling they have to hold on to us in order for us to learn from their experiences, and freeing ourselves from being held by their past experiences, assisting the clearing of the old stories and accepting the valuable gifts that these experiences gave (if we choose)

  And in voicing the gifts that we would live to give to future generations, we are able to sing our song of our learning and experiences, and release ourselves from feeling that we have to keep voicing these gifts for future generations to learn from the lessons we have learned. in doing so, assisting us release our potential hold on future generations, freeing ourselves, and freeing future generations from being potentially held by us. by offering them the gifts that have come from our learnings…can also assist us, as well as them, release the stories of past experiences…in their place, offering and embracing the gifts.

K’intu is three leaves put together…representing the annwfn/ukhu pacha (inner world), the kay pacha (‘middle’, material, refined living energy world) and the hanak pacha (‘upper’ world – the ‘divine’, ‘higher self’ sami energy world), and/or representing the past, present and future.

Traditionally, in the andean tradition, these three leaves are coca leaves, the four winds society use bay leaves, but any suitable leaves can be used. in this particular ceremony it felt good to work with a combination of various beautiful leaves, from oak to yarrow, hazel to plantain.

haywarikuy  – also known as a despacho (despacho is the spanish name for this ceremony) – an offering of gratitude and wishes. for more information on these:

 hucha energy = heavy, stagnant energy that no longer belongs in the energy field

 sami energy = light, free flowing life force energy that flows through the energy field.

(any questions, suggestions, ideas etc you can contact me through and


3 thoughts on “Ancestor ceremony.

  1. Pingback: ancestor work :) | openingsacredspace

  2. Beautiful Ceremony thank you for sharing it.
    Tthought you might like my machinima animation Samhain Song,
    a celebration of this magical pagan festival

    Bright Blessings By Star & Stone ~

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