Honoring Ancestors: Exploring the Tradition of Ancestor Bank Notes

In the tapestry of cultural traditions around the world, the rituals surrounding ancestor veneration hold a special place. One such tradition, deeply rooted in Chinese culture, is the use of joss paper, also known as ghost money or spirit money. These ancestral bank notes are more than just paper; they represent a profound connection between the living and the deceased, offering a glimpse into the intricate tapestry of beliefs and practices that define Chinese spirituality.

Origins and Symbolism: The practice of burning paper replicas of money and other material goods for ancestral spirits has ancient origins in Chinese culture. Historically, it was believed that the deceased would require material possessions in the afterlife. Joss paper evolved from this belief, serving as a symbolic means of providing for the needs of ancestors in the spiritual realm.


Types and Varieties: Joss paper comes in various forms, ranging from simple sheets resembling currency to intricate replicas of luxury items such as houses, cars, and even electronics. Each type of joss paper carries its own significance, with some intended for general use and others tailored for specific occasions or purposes.

Ceremonial Use: The burning of joss paper is typically performed during special ceremonies or festivals dedicated to ancestor worship, such as the Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day) or the Hungry Ghost Festival. These rituals often involve elaborate offerings of food, incense, and other items alongside the joss paper, symbolizing respect and filial piety towards deceased relatives.

Meaning and Significance: Beyond its practical function as a form of spiritual currency, joss paper holds deep symbolic meaning for those who practice ancestor veneration. It serves as a tangible expression of gratitude, remembrance, and ongoing connection with departed loved ones. By offering joss paper, individuals seek to honor their ancestors, seek their blessings, and ensure their well-being in the afterlife.

Cultural Continuity and Adaptation: While rooted in ancient traditions, the practice of burning joss paper continues to evolve and adapt to modern times. In addition to traditional forms, joss paper now includes replicas of contemporary items such as smartphones and credit cards, reflecting changing societal norms and material aspirations. Despite these adaptations, the underlying reverence for ancestors remains constant, underscoring the enduring importance of familial bonds in Chinese culture.

Conclusion: In the age-old practice of burning joss paper, we find a profound expression of reverence, continuity, and cultural identity. As descendants honor their ancestors with offerings of ghost money, they bridge the gap between past and present, ensuring that the legacy of their forebears endures for generations to come. In this way, joss paper serves not only as a form of spiritual currency but also as a testament to the enduring power of familial love and remembrance.

You can shop for the ritual kit here: https://rb.gy/suaxso

For a quick tutorial, check out this reel on Instagram here: 


Today I'm sharing with you how I make my monthly energetic abundance deposits to the bank using ancestral bank notes. In a secure and stable area I use my fire proof vessel, here I have a pan to burn my ancestor notes on my ancestral altar.

Make sure to always practice safety and common sense when working with fire.

Once the ashes have been collected throughout the weeks I grab a regular envelope to put the ashes in and start adding my special ingredients.

Starting off with gold magnetic sand to magnetize, followed by gold glitter to reflect light, sesame seeds to open the way, I always chant "Open Sesame" when working with sesame seeds. I also add some chocolate gold coins to keep it sweet; you can also add actual coins if you'd like. I then add It's MY Fucking season oil by my good Goddess Sharon of @Eclectic soul Organics.

Then to secure the ingredients I use my sealer aka "honey for the money" to seal and glue the envelope, you always need a lil honey to seal the deal.

Now we get real visual about what we value as abundance in our lives, opportunities, clarity of mind, success in honorable endeavors. Be clear about what you want this abundance deposit to manifest.

Once your deposit is ready make your way to the nearest bank's trash disposal for your bank "deposit". You're not going to actually jam the ATM machine and deposit this, but you know that most ATM's have a trash disposal, use that as the deposit vessel. Or use any trash can near a bank.

YouTube Tutorial Here: 


Share this:

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published