Sunday, November 2, 2014

All Hallows Day

All Saints' Day in Poland
My personal and spiritual continually unfolding myth includes both the Pagan celebrations, such as Samhain or Hallowe'en, and the Christian celebrations, like All Hallows or All Saints' Day. Both encourage the honoring of the ancestors, of those who have already passed through the veil from this world to the next.

The image above is of a graveyard in Poland where there is an honoring of those who have died. Flowers and candles abound as far as the eye can see. It reminds me of a variety of festive days: weddings, family birthdays, funerals, graduations. Any of the days we choose to celebrate are decorated with floral arrangements and honored with lit candles.

I knew few of my ancestors. My maternal grands died when my mother was a teenager. My paternal grandfather died when I was perhaps five. I recall very little about him, except that my brother and I would play on his sick bed and he enjoyed our company. My maternal grandmother died when I was seventeen. My high school graduation was her last family event. I have stories of all of them. Images and words surface in the dreamtime, arising from that stored genetic pool of memory. This is a day when I can sit within that dreamtime, connect with them, talk through my day, the course of my life, gather tidbits of wisdom from them. At the close of day, I blow out the candles with a heart filled with gratitude, joy and grief. What an amazing time.

How do you honor your ancestors? What do you feel when you think of them? What would you like to say to them? to ask of them? to share with them? What do you want from them? Are you pleased with their responses?

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