Ancestorwork has been getting a lot of attention, and can be very helpful, but in modern American society many of us look at it in bafflement. In every workshop on ancestor work taught from the perspective of a tradition where ancestor veneration is part of the cultural fabric there are people who look at it hungrily and say “But I don’t know anything about my family. I’m an orphan. I’m adopted. All my immediate relatives are nasty people. My parents won’t talk about their ancestry, or they don’t know. Or this is for a particular ethnic group and I don’t belong to it. I’m a little bit of everything. What can I do?” Physical ancestors are not the only kind of ancestors you can work with. Ancestors of spirit are a valid path, and can provide many of the same benefits as ancestors of blood, but you get to pick them. They’re the people whose lives have inspired you, venerated teachers, shining examples of the things that are important in your life. We’ll talk about how identify them, and what you can do with them. We’ll also look briefly at the idea that you may be one for someone else someday too.