October 12, 2020

Honor your ancestors and welcome abundance: How to use Ancestor Money

By Heather Scott
Honor your ancestors and welcome abundance with this guide to the why, what, when, and how of ancestor money.


October is the month that veil between the living and non-living thins. Therefore, it’s a great time to discuss ancestor money. Also known as joss paper, ghost money, spirit money, or heaven notes this money looks much like toy money but has representations of actual money on the front. Originating from Chinese tradition it is believed that, much like here in our reality, our ancestors require money to get the things they need in the afterlife. It is also believed that when a person passes away with debt that their debt karma is distributed amongst their living descendants, as if we need any help in that department, right?

ancestor money photo

By burning these notes, you are caring for your ancestors needs in the afterlife and thus, your ancestors will care for you and yours. An exchange of energy, if you will. It is said that by giving this offering, you can also dissolve your own debts or financial worries. That seems reasonable right? So how do you go about offering the goods?


First you’ll want to setup an ancestor altar. This may or may not be like your current altar, it will just be specifically setup to honor/communicate with your deceased loved ones.

Some things you'll need:

  •  -Table (you choose small or large)
altar photo

  • -Pictures of your relatives or items that they owned
  • -The elements need to be represented on this altar- small bowl or glass for water, incense (air) one containing Frankincense would serve well, Crystals or coins (earth), and a candle (fire)
  • -Anything else you feel needs to be added. Listen, if something else needs to be there, they will likely “tell” you, you’ll feel it.

Put it all together:

If able- choose a dedicated room, avoiding the laundry room, bathroom, bedroom, or garage…think family area. If this isn’t possible don’t fret and put your table where you can.

Place your items on your altar. Water to the south, candle to the east, air to the north, and earth to the west. Any pictures or personal items can be placed as you see fit. If you don’t have pictures or items, simply write the names of the ancestors you wish to send offerings to and place it on your altar.

Here is where offerings come in. You can offer up food (meats, potatoes, rice), liquor, beer, cigars, or tobacco (especially if you have a relative that had an affinity for these items.), flowers, and ancestor money. The bigger the denomination the better, and this ritual can be done daily or simply as you feel necessary.

The Ritual

To perform an ancestor money ritual, you will need a cauldron or fire safe container in the center of your 4 elements.

Light your candle.

  • -Hold the money over the flame in your right hand, this is generally the hand of giving energy. While lighting say “This is for my ancestors known, and unknown.” You can also recite the surnames of your relatives.
  • -After lit, place the money in your cauldron/fire safe container with your right hand and visualize a door opening above the flame. Picture your ancestors there to receive the energy you are sending.
  • -Continue to place the notes in the cauldron as many you feel appropriate, while maintaining the above visualization until they burn out. The money will burn quickly, and it is said the faster it burns the better received it is.
  • -Give thanks! Tell your ancestors thank you and that you appreciate and love them.-Once it has burned out, you can snuff out your candle or let it burn out. (Supervised, of course.) 

That’s it! You can perform this ritual as often as daily or as you feel appropriate. Keep in mind that as you are helping your ancestors dissolve their negative debt karma, you are freeing them up to help you out as well. This ritual is also said to help you dissolve the “lack” mindset that leads to thoughts and actions that perpetuate that mindset. Meaning, you will be free to attract more of what you want, with a little help from your loved ones. Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

 Ritual enhancers:

Stones (earth): Angelite, Clear QuartzSnowflake Obsidian

Incense (air): Frankincense, Myrrh, or a combo

Candle (fire): Spirit reiki charged, Gratitude reiki charged


  • Paulina on November 27, 2022

    Thank you for the information, this helped me a lot. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Mazet on October 09, 2022

    Thanks for information very clear an direct

  • Barbara Curry on July 08, 2022

    Very informative, you explained your information very well. Thank you.

  • Gwen Lawrence on March 18, 2022

    I find this most interesting,knowledgeable and i most definitely will be incorporating it my life this year 🙏

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