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Initiating a Connection with one’s Ancestral spirits

Many people ask me how they should initially go about connecting with or opening up to their own Ancestral spirits. Although there are many articles on this sort of thing throughout the internet, I’ve decided to go ahead and write one myself.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask – you can reach me at

Initiating a Connection with one’s Ancestral spirits

Initially – you can start out with a simple glass of water and a candle, set in a space specifically for the connection you’re trying to initiate. Ensure that you only place items respectful of the connection that you wish to have in this space. This is the first overture that you’ll be making with your Ancestors, so it’s important to be reverent and respectful about this space.

It is, after all, going to be a physical representation of their place in your life from here on out.

When you start feeling a little more comfortable with the connection that you’ve cultivated, you may want to upgrade – to give your Ancestors a larger space, or place of honor, within your house and your life.

One of the best ways to do this is to establish and set up a Boveda.

A Boveda is a spiritual tool/shrine that a spiritualist/espiratista uses when connecting with their Ancestors. Although the Boveda is primarily Christian, you can choose to use elements more in tune with your own spiritual path – but, do keep in mind that a great many of our own Ancestors were Christian, and as a sign of respect to them, you may want to keep the Christian elements.

The main elements of the Boveda are:

  • A small table
  • A white cloth
  • A rosary
  • Incense
  • White candle
  • A crucifix
  • Florida water
  • 9 clear glasses and a larger clear glass
  • White flowers

You’ll want to ensure that you set your Boveda up in a quiet, meditative space in your house. It needs to be a place where you won’t be easily interrupted when communing with it.

When initially setting up a Boveda, you’ll need to cleanse and bless the table itself – washing it using holy water or a mixture called blue water with florida water, casarilla, laundry bluing squares and white flower petals. While you’re doing this, you need to keep your intent focused on what you’re doing – do your best to keep your mind from wandering. This needs to be a very mindful, ‘in the moment’ activity.

During the process of cleansing/blessing the table, you can also choose to focus on the spirits in your lineage who have passed who you wish to get in contact with.

After the table has been cleansed and blessed, you’re going to want to draw a small white cross in the middle of the table with either cascarilla or chalk.

Once this has been done, place the white cloth down and begin to arrange the other elements on the cloth.

The large clear glass (I’ve seen spiritualists use large brandy snifters) is usually placed in the middle, with the nine glasses arranged around them.

It should end up looking something like this:


Initially, while your Boveda will look a bit like the one above, keep in mind that it may morph or shift as your connection with your Ancestors grows stronger. Some Ancestral spirits will end up telling you how they want it to look, whether they want certain elements or images added to or taken away from the Boveda.

Usually, the crucifix is placed in the middle glass.

When all the glasses have been placed, you’ll want to fill them as closely to the rim as possible. The water will act as a draw for negative energies around your house, which is why you should refresh the water on your Boveda weekly. Dispose of the water in a way that takes it away from your house – I usually flush it down the toilet, then refill the glasses, taking care to be mindful of your connection and keeping your ancestors in your thoughts as you do so.

You don’t have to keep the candle lit when you’re not physically tending to the Boveda, but there are many spiritualists who always keep a ‘light on’, as it were, for their Ancestors.

Secondary items you’ll want for your Boveda:

Cigars (essentially, an offering of tobacco – my spirits encourage me to smoke cigars when reaching out to them)

Cascarilla (powdered eggshells compressed into chalk that come in little paper cups – you can find them at your local Botanica)



oraciones-para-el-espiritistaYou’re also going to want to pick up a copy of the ‘Collection of Selected Prayers’ paperback by Allan Kardec. The prayers in this book are selected to offer respite for various suffering spirits, and are good ‘catch all’ prayers to read to initiate a connection with your Ancestors.

To strengthen the connection, you can choose to cook special dishes that relatives loved when they were still alive. By offering our Ancestors food from our table, we’re providing an active place for them in our lives. We help them to realize that we still remember, that we still care.

I also play music or sing songs that my Ancestors liked to bring them closer, to integrate them into my life.

For Ancestors who perhaps haven’t been propitiated directly in years, this is a soothing balm to their spirit.

Over time, finding pictures of past Ancestors to place on the Boveda will also work to strengthen the connection.

As you work to establish your connection to your Ancestors, you may start having what seem like very odd dreams. You may want to work to keep a dream journal by your bed so you can write these down. Sometimes these dreams are messages from our Ancestors that can help us with things that we’re currently encountering in our lives.

Your Boveda will be one of your strongest tools for spiritual enlightenment and assistance, so you’ll want to tend it often.

The connection you forge with your ancestors will also be your strongest protection against possible paranormal issues you may encounter in your life.

Never casually dismiss the connection that you’re working to build with your Ancestors – or your Ancestors themselves. It is said that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Through them, our roads can open – but through them our roads can also close.

Class/Workshop: Initiating a Connection with Ancestral Spirits and Dealing with Paranormal Phenomena

I’ll be doing a class/workshop on the basis of initiating a connection with Ancestral spirits and dealing with paranormal phenomena out at Crystals, Candles & Cauldrons on Saturday, February 21st from 7pm to 9pm.

Crystals, Candles & Cauldrons
927B, West 36th Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
(410) 467-4111

Mr. Sucky and Mr. Licky – Bestest Friends Ever

A few years ago, I was doing a podcast. Since I’m a slacker, it kinda fell into the bin.

Here are two tiny stories I wrote, narrated by the lovely Mark Mandolia.

May everyone have a family – either blood or by association, that they can spend the holidays with. May you all be kept in the grace and love of the world and may you always have enough to eat. May your lives be full of things to be thankful for every day.


A couple of weeks ago, at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, I saw this lady with this completely fantastic hat. It was fringed with what looked like lamb fur, with a couple of segments going up the hat that opened at the crown to let her dreads flow out.

It looked COMPLETELY fantastic. Sadly, she said that she had purchased it years ago from a vendor at another faire. I was despondent – UNTIL, I realize that I could probably make one myself.

So I did.

Here is the closest approximation to the hat that I saw. I think it turned out QUITE well, given that I had no pattern to work with and the fact that I just started cutting and fitting things together. It’s a combination of lambskin/fur and teal deerhide with a very fluffy, soft teal lining.

Initial pictures are of the hat itself:



Then me simply wearing the hat:

leatherdreadhat2 leatherdreadhat1actionpose2 – and then we finally progresses into action poses with me in the hat.actionpose1

So, today, while shopping at the HEB, we encountered a checkout clerk that looked like he was about 17 or 18 years old. During the course of our checkout interaction, he mentioned something about the shopping carts – and how his manager had informed him that the plastic carts were more expensive for the shopping purchaser to buy than the metal carts. He then proceeded to the ‘money shot’ portion of the conversation – apparently, the manager told this kid that each metal shopping cart – EACH ONE is $3000. And, apparently, the plastic carts are $2000 more expensive.

The kid was ADAMANT that these were the correct prices.

I’m still laughing.

It’s been a very… enlightening, painful and educational time, this past month and a half.

A great deal has happened, socially, emotionally and spiritually. I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.

The culmination of all of this is a clarity that I haven’t yet before experienced. It’s stripped away a lot of stuff that I was holding onto, as well as opening my eyes to a rather unexpected amount of things that I now can’t unsee/unfeel.

I have endured my gauntlet and I remain intact, but still recovering.

And all the work that I’ve done? Turns out, that was just finding my footing and learning about the real work that lies ahead.

It’s daunting, but doable, and I GOT THIS SHIT.

I just also need Ibuprofin.

May your realizations and your sense of awareness come as you need it – and hopefully not with the force of an adamantium hammer. May your connections to that which you consider divine or spiritual comfort you throughout this time as those of us in the work buckle down, reflect and readjust.

2014 has been a proper, ball busting bitch. May Fall and the coming Winter go gently on you.

“What makes fear of crime so important as a social problem is its consequences for our society. When people take precautions based on fear that restrict their life and their children’s lives, we restrict our freedom and we do so unnecessarily. Fear also undermines the civility and trust in our communities that make civic life possible, and that’s a terrible consequence for a democratic society.” – Dr. Mark Warr

APPEARANCE: October 4th – Crucible – a gathering of Mages, Pagans, Mystics and Occultists

In two weeks from now, on October 4th, Ahmadi Riverwolf and I will be doing a presentation at this event. The topic will be covering Sacred Space, Honoring the Forgotten Dead and Cemetery Etiquette.

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland – an offbeat ‘trip report’

While not really a case for a particular client, this is something I ended up unexpectedly working on during my vacation abroad. Doing this kind of work means that I can expect to be pressed into service by spirit when needed, and I’ve gotten used to going from my ‘every day’ head to my ‘two-headed’ nature during the course of certain days.

I wasn’t entirely certain that I’d be needed to actually do anything on this visit, but had brought all of my protections and everything I thought I’d need, just in case. Better to ‘have a gun and not need it, then…’ – well, you get the idea.

From time to time, I arrive at certain locations, and am directed to do certain things that I’m simply told ‘need to get done’. I get the job done to the best of my ability, and then head on my way.

This was one of those times.