All cultures and all traditions have ways of keeping good relationship with ancestors.
In Asian traditions, an altar would be placed on a special place at home.
It could be in a form of some religious picture, a candle, little Buddha, symbol etc.
In front of that altar, they would every day place a small bowl with rice or some other food for their ancestors, and they would pray for them.
In the Slavic tradition, we place an icon on the east wall of a main room, and we light one little candle for every ancestor we can name.
Sometimes, a candle can be lit for ancestors unknown to us, or for friends, and sometimes even for family enemies. Then, while candle is slowly burning ... we pray for them.
One of the traditional Slavic ways to keep contact with ancestors is to make a special holy cake made of wheat flour, walnuts, honey and some aromatic spices like cloves, vanilla, etc. Also a special meal is prepared for that day.
We would do it four times a year for special religious dates, or sometimes even every Saturday morning, if we have special needs like a serious health problem in the family.
Then, all family members would pray loud and mention ancestors by name in their prayers.
Then, we would say this sentence just before we eat: "Our ancestor's please eat with us".
Then, we would eat and try to enjoy every mouthful.
We believe that ancestors are with as throughout all our life, and they are happy if we are happy and enjoying our life.
We believe that our ancestors are energetic source of our life.
But, sometimes, we are not in the right position to use that energetic treasure.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. If we have a very bad connection (relationship) with our parents. That includes even if we have "perfectly good reasons" not to have a good contact with them.
We have to focus on the bright side of life, and try to find a way to love them and to forgive all what they have done wrong to us.
What should be forgiven?
That also includes the worst possible forms of mental and physical abuse like rape, beating, torturing, murder of another family member, etc.).
If your parents left you as an orphan ... that should also be forgiven.
If we look at this as a big lecture for our whole life, and work hard on it, maybe we will win one of the biggest fights in our life. Fight for LOVE.
Treasure of our ancestors will be open for us. We will become successful, healthy and complete persons.
2. Excluded family member.
Sometimes, there is a person in a family who is excluded or conveniently forgotten.
Nobody talks about him/her, no pictures in the family photo album, no name on the list of family members, etc.
Example could be an aborted child, or a relative who made something bad like something against the family moral. It could be a child who died after birth, and who's name was never mentioned again.
Or, a person who was born with a serious physical or mental handicap, and was sent away to some "unknown" institution where he/she died in suffering.
It was common in the past with mentally ill or retarded. It was common just 20 - 50 years ago in many countries. Remember the "Rain Man" movie? The "Rain Man" (Dustin Hofmann) is a perfect example of an excluded family member. He was so much excluded from his family that his younger brother (Tom Cruise) wasn't even aware that he had a brother.
Exclusion of a family member is a big sin. Even after death, this person continues to exist in the energetic field of a family like a destructive force aimed at happiness and health of future generations.
Many times this innocent family victim attempts to communicate with us through our diseases or diseases of our children, or our unhappiness.
But, not through every single one ... just through a sensitive member of a family who somehow identifies with disconnected member.
How can we help ourselves in this situation?
-we can give everyday some part of our food to this unknown ancestor. Leave it for him/her.
-we can light a candle to him/her and say with a real emotion:
"I can see your presence, and I sympathize with your destiny. Please help me, be good and protect me and my family. For that, I will do something good with my life in your name."
After that you have to do something really nice for yourself, what can really make you happy. Otherwise, his sacrifice will have no reason. In the times when you are really happy, you can say:
"Thank you my new family angel".
If you do this with a deep emotion, deep from your hart and with really strong feeling of love, you will transform the destructive energy of that family member (in some tradition called ghost) into your good angel.
3. Family Secrets.
All families have secretes. Examples are: an ancestor may have done something bad(murder, theft, secret love, secret child, secret second wife etc.)
To keep a family secretes, family may lose a lot of energy from the energetic field of a family.
To prevent energy loss, the secrets must be told laud in front of a living being.
Otherwise, family members may feel that they are in some circle and can not make any progress in their life.
If we are able to make a good contact with our ancestors, then we are like plugged into pure LOVE. Everything works well for us. No illness.
If you have some interesting traditional way to make a good connection with ancestors, please share with us.