What is Ancestor Money?
It has different names depending on the cultural tradition some of its common names are ghost money, spirit money, Joss paper, hell notes (mistranslation), heaven notes etc. Most of them will have the image of the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor is a Higher God in the Taoist pantheon and is considered the deity over all money on earth.
Ancestor Money is paper money that is typically made from Joss paper (however, I have noticed most vendors currently are not using traditional joss paper and I digress).
How is Ancestor Money Used?
This paper money can be burned on your ancestral altar to honor your lineage. Which is used as a way to uplift our Ancestors by sending energetic currency to your lineage that is now part of the non-physical world. The ancestors will be able to use this energy to pay for their debts on the other side.
This ritual is most common in Asian cultures and is abundantly used in funerals to honor the dead and during the hungry ghost festival.
What is the Spiritual Significance of Burning Ancestor Money?
The spiritual significance of doing this is that you are making a deposit into the spiritual world at the beginning of your day.
Typically it is done when people want to have financial freedom, they deposit money into the bank so that they may draw upon it when the time is necessary.
However a deeper meaning and purpose for burning Ancestor money is that while the Ancestors are no longer here in the physical world, there is still work to be done in the non-physical world. We are interconnected begins and therefore the up-liftment of our lineage rests with the Ancestors and those currently living.
When we make a deposit in the spiritual world the Ancestors will be able to use this energy to pay for their debts on the other side, whether these debts are karmic debts from their past lives that keep them trapped in a cycle, or debts that the took on during their incarnation.
When these debts are not cleared or taken care of they may be passed down to you in your present life time. Helping your ancestors' be bright and well allows for blessings to rain down upon you because it makes space for you to receive. When there is static energy that is preventing opportunities there is no room to receive, in order to fully receive we must make room for it.
Shouldn't I just burn real money?
DO NOT BURN REAL MONEY!!! However tempted you are to do this burning real money will result in you jinxing yourself as real money carries a different energy!
Remember that everything holds its own energy & frequency and therefore it is most wise to use energies for the intended purposes to the best of our abilities in order to create the optimal reality.
What is the Best Way to burn Ancestor Money?
For maximum results, it is advised that you spend time with your ancestors at the start of your day before you do anything, go to your altar, light candle and burn your ancestor money.
How to fold ancestor money
Ancestor money should be folded in half towards you. When you fold towards you, you are drawing blessings towards you. When you fold away (you guessed it) you draw things away from you.
Remeber, that you must Always call in your most Holy & Honorable Ancestors to join you at your ancestor altar. Not all ancestors are highly elevated and not all ancestors are suited to be guides.
To help you begin the ritual you can use an altar bell for 4 purposes:
- To call in your Holy & Honorable Ancestors
- To clear away any negative energies
- To open a ritual & prayer
- To close the ritual
To learn more about the spiritual significance of Altar bells read our blog post here.
What can I burn ancestor money in
Ancestor money needs to be burned in a heat safe bowl this can be a cast iron cauldron, copper bowls, soap stone, polished horn
How much ancestor money should I burn?
The denominations (numerical value) that you burn varies depending on your preference and or what is available to you. Keep in mind that the larger the denomination the more energy that it holds. For instance, 50 million is less than 10 trillion and 1 quadrillion is more than 98 trillion. When you are burning larger notes you are sending in more energetic currency to the ancestral bank. Typically larger notes are sent during ceremonies such as day of the dead or at a funeral to commemorate the life of a love one.
What Prayers do you say to your Ancestors when burning Ancestor Money?
After you have called in your Holy & Honorable Ancestors to your altar you'll want to burn a sheet of ancestor money for your:
- Currently passed - may those that have passed within the last year may they have peace & blessings
- Maternal Lineage - may they have peace & blessings
- Paternal Lineage- may they have peace & blessings
- Currently living
- For protection - from any and all negative energies that surround those passed & currently living
- Wholeness- may the lineage be happy & whole
Doing this ritual this way ensures that you are honoring your lineage in a way that incorporates both of your blood lineages and includes those currently living who are an extension of those of the past. Regardless of your relationship to those currently living as the chosen living Ancestor you must do your part.
What do you do with Ancestor Money Ashes?
In some spiritual traditions it is a common practice to burry ashes or place them at a dedicated tree or plant, however, it is not entirely necessary as some of us may live in apartments or do not have access to privacy. It is completely okay to simply discard in a garbage bin. Simply thank the ashes for assisting you in your ritual and dispose of them as you would any other item.
What to do if you do not know your Ancestors
While it may be possible that not know all of your lineage, you can start with those that you do know of. It's okay if you don't know everyone's name -you can always say after you mention the names you do know say, "to those known & unknown and those lost and forgotten to history".
Additionally, if you have familial ties that rejects someone from one side of the family or are disconnected from either your maternal or paternal lineage that indicates that there is some work to be done. Whether or not you choose to honor them depends on the work that you are currently doing in your healing and whether or not that is part of the work that's in your soul's contract to work through.
As always please use your own intuition to guide on whether any of this is appropriate for you to do. Your intuition is your best tool for you to follow.
If you are adopted or have chosen family that is not blood related to you and you feel called to honor them by all means venerate them.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Wishing you peace and blessings,
Roxy is a curandera and folk magic practitioner with a background in Communication, Master of Psychology and is perusing a doctorate in Psychology.
**DISCLAIMER**: All information contained on this website is meant to be for entertainment purposes only, and in no way constitute legal, financial, medical or other advice.
Thank. This was very helpful. I know my family had blockages where money is concerned. I want to heal the relationship with money for my family past and present. So those that are newly born into both lineages well prosper and not suffer with the same struggles. Please, I welcome the knowledge you have for me.