I’m getting a little concerned that my ancestors are unhappy with me. In my Imbolc ritual, I drew four tarot cards asking what blessings were offered: one for ancestors, one for nature spirits, one for the gods and goddesses, and one for Brigid, and the omens weren’t great.
For the ancestors, I drew the seven of wands. This is a card of defense during strife, of fighting back with all your might. It’s not really a card of blessing, at least not to my mind: it’s a card of warning, a card saying you need to dig in and make a final effort. I made additional offerings, and drew the nine of swords, another card that’s not really a blessing. While I have felt a little bad that I haven’t felt a strong connection with the ancestors yet, this card more frightened me than anything else. I made more offerings and drew again… And drew the Wheel of Fortune. I decided to take this one as more of a blessing, because it’s the assurance that even if I’m unhappy with where I am right now, the wheel will turn and things will change.
As a three-card reading, this tells me that I need to dig in; to face, accept, and release my fears; and eventually things will change for the better.
But as an omen, what does this tell me about the ancestors, about my relationship with them? I’m not close with my extended family. My dad deliberately kept us from living close to his family because of his turbulent relationship with his own father and siblings. His paternal grandfather was adopted, so we don’t know much about our family at all. My mother has a huge extended family, most of whom I’ve never met. My grandparents are all still alive. My brother passed away a few years ago, and I always honor him; I think he would be amused with the practice more than anything else.
Somehow, though, I’ve gotten nearly consistent “bad” omens and mishaps when dealing with the ancestors in ritual. Spilled offerings (oats everywhere!), broken bottles, overturned chairs, I’ve done it all. At this stage, I think I should do some sort of ritual to connect with them, but I’m not sure how or where to begin.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m looking for ancestor-specific rites and resources for understanding omens and their role in ritual. I could really use some guidance.