Magic and Folklore with Ben Stimpson

Magic and Folklore with Ben Stimpson

Welcome back to the Gothic Heart! This episode is special as we dive deep into the world of ancestral veneration with an extraordinary guest, Ben Stimpson. Ben is an author, therapist, spiritual practitioner, and folklorist historian. His wealth of knowledge is fascinating, and I can't wait to share our conversation with you. 

Understanding Ancestral Veneration

Ben shares with us the concept of ancestral veneration, which is completely different from just grieving or mourning. It's about recognizing that our ancestors are still with us in some form and can actually interact with us.Ben’s book, "Ancestral Whispers, a Guide to Developing Ancestral Veneration Practices," explains how we can connect with our ancestors in our everyday lives.

He even draws parallels to Pixar's "Coco," which beautifully illustrates the Mexican Day of the Dead. It’s a time when families build altars and invite the spirits of their ancestors back into their homes. This practice isn’t unique to Mexico; lots of cultures worldwide have similar traditions. Unfortunately, in most Western cultures, we’ve kind of lost this connection and often push the dead into the past.

Everyday Magic and Ancestral Connections

Magic, as Ben describes it, is all about learning how to pluck certain strings in the universe to create change. And guess what? This isn’t just about the mystical stuff; it’s in our everyday superstitions and rituals. Think about a baseball player wearing lucky socks or someone carrying an amulet for good fortune—those are forms of magic!

Ancestral veneration can involve wearing heirlooms passed down through generations. For instance, wearing a ring from your grandmother can become a lucky charm and a way of connecting with her spirit. This practice is a form of blessing and magic, bringing us closer to our ancestors.

The Role of Ancestral Veneration in Therapy

Ben, as a spiritual psychotherapist, really brings ancestral veneration into his practice, especially when tackling family trauma. He shares how understanding family history can unlock some deep insights, fostering empathy and compassion. Ben even opens up about his own experience of discovering patterns of workaholism and perfectionism in his family line, tracing back to ancestors who struggled in debtors' prisons.

Engaging with ancestors through rituals and practices can help individuals find their place within their family history and separate themselves from negative generational patterns. This connection can be profoundly healing and empowering, providing support and guidance from those who came before us.

Bringing Ancestral Practices into Modern Life

Ancestral veneration is not just about the past; it’s about building a living practice. This can include creating shrines, using colors and symbols, and performing rituals to connect with the spirit world. Safety is crucial when engaging with the spiritual realm, and Ben's book provides guidelines for protecting oneself during these practices.

Bringing ancestral veneration into your daily routine can seriously boost your mental and emotional well-being. It makes you feel part of a larger, loving community, supported by generations of ancestors. This sense of connection and belonging is incredibly grounding and comforting.


This episode opens up brand new doors to help us understand ourselves and others on a deeper level. Being true to yourself and staying authentic can only be enhanced by learning where you and others came from. Communicating with those who have lived and learned before us is a fantastic way to gain perspective and advice.

If you’re curious about these ideas, definitely check out Ben’s book, "Ancestral Whispers, a Guide to Developing Ancestral Veneration Practices." It’s packed with insights on building a practice that honors our ancestors while keeping things safe, culturally relevant, and spiritually fulfilling.

Thanks for joining us on this journey! Stay tuned for more enlightening conversations, and don’t forget to share this episode with anyone who might find it interesting. Like, subscribe, and follow to keep the Gothic Heart beating strong. Until next time! 🌟✨

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