Continuing our series in discussing the ancestors, what if you're adopted? What if you don't know your birth family and have no way to trace them?
Your adopted family's ancestors would still be considered your ancestors from one vantage point, and I think it's fine to honor them. In fact, through adoption, one ends up having the possibility of multiple sets of ancestors.
The important point to take away here is that our conception of ancestors needn't include only genetically-related individuals.
There's a conception within some traditions of Paganism of the "Mighty Dead" and refers to spiritual ancestors- that is, teachers and practitioners who have vastly influenced the tradition.
One could also extend this into another direction: for members of various communities, advocates for those communities who helped bring greater freedom through political and spiritual struggle could be seen as spiritual ancestors of sorts.
Because the effects our ancestors have on our lives are so complex and can't all be pinned down exactly, I think it's important to honor ancestors of all kinds.
In the next entry, we'll discuss the Ancestral Powers.