Honoring the past.
Honoring our ancestors.
Honoring the goodness in people now departed.
In this world that often feels chaotic and crazy, holding on to the ideals of the good people who have come before us can be a small lifeline of grounding and stability.
I hear from people all the time who don’t feel as if they have this within their family lines. Maybe their family ancestors, at least those that they know of, aren’t who they want to be or who inspires them. That’s why I think sometimes a spiritual practice can be so helpful, and All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day can be wonderful stepstones towards thankfulness and gratitude.
On All Saints’ Day, we remember those known and unknown who were holy. I often think of how I can align with those known and unknown saints who stood up for the the right, the visionaries, the idealists. What is my right, my vision, my ideal? What people showed courage over fear, bravery over cowardice, and made a difference in the world?
In the Celtic Calendar, this day was called Samhain and was the beginning of the New Year. This beginning implies that it is a space that hangs between the Old Year and the New. This is how we began to see the boundary between the living and the dead can be blurred as we offer our great respect to those who have come before us. The tradition of offering “soul cakes” to the dead began out of great respect for the dead in many countries. I also think this ties in with the warmth of the season – how do we show respect to the life before us? Is it food, remembering, lighting candles, offering a prayer? Death is part of Life, and finding a relationship between those two things is often something people try to avoid. Yet, this is something that should be propelling what we do today – how do we take care of each other and the Earth as we don’t have forever here physically.
Create a beautiful harvest, an altar of remembrance, have a harvest dinner, plant some flower bulbs for the promise of spring! Happy All Saints’ and All Souls’ from my family to yours.
Blessings and love,