Some months ago a few of us within Brython began sharing a simple lunar ritual for the ancestors. The details vary between us but at its core the ritual involves sharing a cup of tea with the ancestors. The following text describes my own ritual practice for these devotions.
At the dark of the moon in the afternoon or evening I empty out the kettle and run the tap for a little before filling the kettle with fresh cold water. Then I put it on to boil. While the kettle heats I gather together two china teacups and saucers, a milk jug, tea pot and some good quality loose leaf tea. These are placed on a clean surface in the kitchen.
When the kettle is hot but not yet boiled I pour a little water into the tea pot to warm it. I also pour some milk into the jug. Once warmed I put a teaspoon of tea leaves into the tea pot and as soon as the kettle is boiled pour in the water and leave the tea to steep.
While the tea is steeping I pour a little milk into each cup and I usually add a spoon of sugar too. I know that most of my more recent ancestors drank sweetened tea and I always have sugar in my tea.
Once I feel the tea has steeped enough I pour the first cup for the ancestors (through a tea strainer) and a second cup for myself. The cup for the ancestors is placed on a shelf where I have photos of more recent family ancestors and I then stand in front of the photos drinking my own cup of tea.
From the moment I begin this process to the time I finish my cup of tea I keep silent. As I stand with my cup of tea before the photos I think about my ancestors both those I have known and those I never knew but have names and snippets of stories about. I honour the lessons their lives have taught me, the genetic inheritance they have given me. I often think about things I would share with them if they were sitting beside me drinking that cup of tea. The focus for me of this rite is my close ancestors, the beloved dead of my family.
The cup of tea that I placed on the shelf is left for the ancestors until the next morning and then poured out onto the ground in my back garden. The used tea leaves are also emptied out in the garden usually by my lavender bushes.