Wake Up Dead
(Or, as they used to do with Bullwinkle: Ancestor Ahoy!)
Toss a coin to—no, wait. We did that. I need a better opening line. Something like… The night was—no, wait. Throw Mama from the Train used that opener for those old enough to remember it. I need some type of Wiccan or Witch who can talk to ancestors for a catchy intro line.
I’m some kind of Witchy Wiccan!
Ancestor, Ancestor, hear my cries! I need an opening line that doesn’t stink like lies.
Okay, that sucked too. Guess I’m on my own. The point was to be tongue in cheek, but I want to discuss how we’re often found celebrating with loved ones. Friends, family, hell. Even dreaded coworkers (as long as they pay the bar tab) can be considered loved ones. But did we stop our celebration with only the living?
Not all of us did. Some have lost relatives over the years. Could it be that they’re watching us, watching over us? I know One is; I hear her often. In my experience, the Dead have a way of transcending their bodies to spiritual energy to pass on wisdom, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost all their human traits.
Enter the smart-assed ancestor. Maybe he or she is asking if you’re actually going to wear THAT to dinner with your family when you know your Aunt Flo will gossip behind your back while smiley glad-handing you with the charm of a pimp. Or maybe Uncle Darryl is telling you how Public you are for your dining choices. Or great Aunt Dorice knows about the curtains and carpet.
Given the chance that ILVN will make me strike ONE line here, I’ll admit I come by my snark naturally and it was a trait passed through many lines of Illyvich wolves. It only makes sense that I’d be the one talking smack if I were to watch over my offspring, or those I loved, when I finally decided it was time to take a nap until the next life. I’d be more pissed that your dumbass needed guidance when you should know better, and “I” had to wake up to yell at you during Ritual. Or in dreams. Maybe you’re driving. Or having sex.
Jokes aside, the power of a strong family line cannot be understated. Our ancestors went through similar times with different circumstances and had to learn powerful lessons for their ascendence to whatever plain that allowed them to stay where they were; as hallowed Energy. Don’t believe me? The Sto(n)ck Market Crash of 1929 happened to one generation. For mine, it was ’87. For Millennials, March 2020. That wasn’t even a crash. Three generations, plus those in between, had to learn lessons about the world that would carry over and allow us to pass them on, even if it were from the Spirit World. Not all of them are so inclined to be as boldly forthright as I have suggested. A kind word during prayer or request for their aid during ritual may yield excellent guidance for the questions your soul ponders. But your ancestors may be the strong, silent type.
The holidays are lonely for many of us and we often cannot take comfort in our past, as the results we have today are because of our actions in the past.
We could say the same of our Ancestors–the paths they’ve taken may have mirrored our own and if we’re listening, their words could guide us to better outcomes.
While I make light of waking up the dead, the truth is often stranger than fiction. Think about it, what are those Ancestors doing while watching over us? Sleeping? Shooting craps? Observing? I’ll be finding out soon as I embark on a journey of deep soul work through the tarot and channeling my ancestors.
I can’t say I’m entirely thrilled considering what I learned the first time I drew cards.
Enough about my personal struggles! If you’re here, you’re probably here for the Paranormal fun, hence why you’re reading my stupendously tremendously original article and you know I’m a PNR writer. Tell me though. How many ancestors’ tropes are there in romance?
As long as I’ve been writing paranormal romance, I never stopped to think about that. Honestly, I don’t have an answer for you as much of my work deals with deities and wolves. When reading (cough*researching*) Nora Roberts’ Circle series, ancestors came up in the character arcs and helped push through destiny in that world as Queen Nora saw fit. Or perhaps her Ancestors were in her ear telling her what to write. Who knows?
The Drake Sisters series from Christine Feehan started me on the path of thinking about ancestral lines since magic came down through bloodlines. JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series often flashes back to memories with ancestral vampires. Imagine the fun of unraveling a mystery based on current events and clues left only by your Ancestors. Author Luna Joya wove a similar tale when she released Tides of Time. Witchcraft, astral projection, a steamy romance, violence, AND passionate sex? What’s not to like?
The point I’m making is that during any time of the year, we can remember our ancestors and see examples of them everywhere. From books to little clues left in our personal lives, they’re present. Perhaps not just judging our poor clothing or life choices, but enhancing them.
What are your favorite paranormal romance novels that have ancestors as a powerful theme?