As a old style conjure woman I learned at an early age how important my ancestors are. They paved the way for me to get where I am today. My family has always cleaned the graves of our dead in the graveyard and  we decorate their graves. There is more to honoring your ancestors than setting up an altar. If you are interested in making your own ancestor altar, here are some instructions that will help. I want to point out first that this is a very important step. Do not take this lightly; it is a great responsibility you are taking upon yourself. You can’t just put an altar together and throw a few things on it. This space has to be cleansed and treated as you would any Holy place. It is your responsibility to keep the altar clean, to feed your ancestors, and offer them candles, prayers and other offerings. If you cannot do this then please don’t set up an altar until a time when you will be able to tend to the altar as it should be taken care of.

There is one rule that you need to follow. Never place a picture of a living person on your ancestor altar.  You should never place the living among the dead. Other than having a white cloth on your altar you can place whatever you want to on the altar. Here are a few ideas for your altar. You can place flowers, a cross, pictures of your loved ones who have passed,and things that your ancestors like to have around them. If you don't have pictures of your ancestorsThe list can go on and on. Do what feels right to you. You can’t go wrong.

Update: I was taught salt would keep the spirits away but I have found that some spirits like a little salt in the food you serve them as offerings. You will have to test this out for yourself.

Once you get all the things you will place on your altar, pray over the items asking your higher power to cleanse them. Now place them on your altar. Once you have everything in place, using a spray bottle, spray everything on your altar.

Every Monday I change out my flowers and offerings and say a prayer for them. You will have to decide how you choose to honor your ancestors. This is just to give you an idea. Always do what works best for you.

If you find the information on this site useful, donations are welcome.

Serving Our Ancestors