Ancestral Altars & Musings on Spiritual Voyeurs

Anyone here have an altar for their ancestors? I’ve been thinking about setting one up but am just mulling over the specifics.

Some tutorials say to put it in a place that you go by often so your ancestors can still feel like part of the family, like the living room, but warn not to put it in your bedroom (one account I read had a deceased grandfather be so aghast at seeing his granddaughter naked while changing clothes that he didn’t speak to her for weeks :laughing:) Others say, however, that placing it by your bed next to your head can be a good source for dream communication and visions, and to just cover it with a white cloth when about to do anything that might be considered indecent. This line of thinking rapidly leads to the somewhat disturbing image of a ring of ghostly spectators cheering on the action whenever my girlfriend and I start getting jiggy with it, or viewing the proceedings with utter disgust! :open_mouth: (link brought to my attention courtesy of @Lady_Eva)

Also, there appears to be conflicting information as far as offerings go. Some sources say that ancestral spirits do not enjoy sharing their offerings, so one must place a cup of water for each separate spirit being venerated. Others simply say to have a single candle & cup for all your ancestors. Going along with this, some tutorials say to mention all your ancestors by name that you can, whereas others say to only venerate those that you find worthy & actually had a good relationship with while they were alive.

Thoughts/experiences? What do you guys suggest?


Never thought of it this way but my father has something just like this in his living room. Low key ancestral veneration although I doubt he is doing it the magic intentionally.

Edit: The things I did in that living room :zipper_mouth_face: hope my deceased relatives don’t hold a grudge


I was planning to make one when I moved into the renovation house. I was going to put it in a library room that I’m sure will be heavily trafficked, but has little to no risk of nudity occuring. I was also planning to invite and keep up a guardian/helpful house spirit (like those in old school folklore) and have it a special faery house made as a place of offering in the house. And any evocations I might do in the future, I planned to do outside in a clearing in the woods. I was going to look for a stone with a nice hollow on the land to make offers to land spirits too as I plan to farm there and not having problems would be nice. It’s going to be a whole process.

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Sounds awesome! Are you planning on making your altar for your ancestors in general, or just for a select few? And what’s the process involved in inviting and maintaining a helpful house spirit?

I was planning to make it for my ancestors in general. I do genealogy research as a form of veneration now, and so I know, in a shallow research sense, a good number of them. Way too many to make spaces dedicated to each one. I would probably connect most with more recent ones though, since I knew them in life and will have some of their belongings on the altar (a crochet doll one grandmother made, a jar of old Job’s Tears seeds a great grandmother collected by hand, an unopened pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes a grandfather purchased, a child’s push car that a great grandfather made for my mother, etc.)

I’ll have to do more research about how to invite a friendly house spirit in, but some of the old folklore speaks as if most houses have them anyway, and the difference comes from how you treat them. If you treat them nicely, they will help you with keeping the house safe, clean, and unharmed, if you treat them with disrespect, they may steal things, let uninvited things in, and strong ones may even behave as hauntings.

I’ll look up some of the stuff I’ve read before and see if I can post some of it in this thread.


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That sounds like it’ll be a badass altar. Yeah, dedicating a one-to-one space gets rapidly ridiculous, especially if you take into the account that the number of your ancestors keeps increasing exponentially the further back you go. I think I might offer up a candle/cup to a few particular ancestors I had special connection to during their life, and then another space for the rest of my bloodline in general.

Thought this section was interesting in the Domovoi article:

Sounds like the “small, bearded, and covered in hair all over” domovoi might be the spirit of some kind of caveman/early hominid ancestor!


I remember reading something somewhere also about either the domovoi or it’s equivalent in another culture that said never to trick them into showing you their true form/face. Allegedly, it will offend them, and it will give you an eyeful of a corpse carrying whatever wounds that killed it. Again making it seem that they are ancestors.