James Duvalier

author, spiritual counselor & paranormal researcher


Archive items Tagged ‘ancestors’

P’chum Ben: A Celebration of the Ancestors

P'chum Ben Candles

I attended elementary school and high school in Amherst, Massachusetts where there is a large Cambodian community and every April we would have a school celebration for Cambodian New Year where students would perform traditional Cambodian dances. My favorite was always the Monkey Dance in which the participants would fly acrobatically through the air imitating monkeys. We would also eat Cambodian foods and listen to Khmer folktales. Years later, when I was working as a 5th grade…
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Obon: A Japanese Festival in Honor of the Ancestors


In the past, I have written about several Asian holidays where the ancestors and the dead in general are venerated and presented with offerings, most specifically Qing Ming and the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.  On the latter, it is believed that the souls of one’s ancestors are able to return to visit family and also another class of spirit known as “Hungry Ghosts” are particularly active as well.  These are the spirits who have nobody to…
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Conjuring Good Luck in the New Year!


As the New Year approaches, we tend to pause and reflect of various goals we wish to accomplish which often involve drawing more luck, money and love into our lives.  These are commonly called New Year’s resolutions.  I would like to share with you a few simple spells, spiritual exercises and even foods you can prepare and eat to help drawn luck into your life.  This year why not back up your resolutions with some strong spiritual…
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The Role of the Ancestors in Voodoo

Ancestry Table shown in a book

It is a common belief in Voodoo that when we die we remain close to Earth, close to loved ones and it is the responsibility of those still living to care for the dead and elevate them closer to the light, to Heaven…toward God. We elevate our ancestors through prayer, having masses said, lighting candles and leaving glasses of water, flowers and perfume as offerings. We believe that the more we help the dead, the faster they…
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All Souls’ Day


It is common in New Orleans and many places around the world to visit the cemetery and honor departed family and friends with offerings of flowers and candles.  In Mexico, November 2nd, El día de los muertos, takes on an almost carnival like atmosphere with colorful decoration and sweet treats molded in the shape of skulls, coffins and bones.  This is to mock the idea of death, which is an inevitable for all, but in reality is…
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