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Apples & Roots-they are common enough items and yet they have a great deal of magic, mythic, and folkloric value assigned to them-for healing, hexing, blessing, and all manner of ritual & religious uses.
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Decoration Day-A May-time Dia de los Muertos

Earlier this month I was researching the meaning of May-talk about a magical month rife with folklore and folk magic traditions! I noticed and recollected that many of the themes of May deal with similar themes that we encounter during the opposite time of year-as the sun enters Scorpio and we head into the season of Samhain, All Saint’s Day, and Dia de los Muertos.

 

Fortunetelling and forecasting are performed at both points in the year, faeries and the Hidden Ones are believed to be more active as the veils between the world are especially thin, the changing (and changeable) seasons offer both blessings and risks for those intrepid enough to venture out into the green wood, stark desert, or city streets.

 

And, in the Deep South at least, there is one more tradition that binds the two points of the year…Memorial Day, or as its often called in my family, Decoration Day.

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Though Memorial Day is specifically associated with Veterans who have passed beyond the veil, there is evidence to suggest that it was adopted and officially brought into practice by the Union after the Civil War ended on the inspiration from Southern traditions that may pre-date the Civil War.

 

Of course nowadays Memorial Day is a day off from work, a Monday when the banks are closed, and a great time to bar-b-q, but for those in the South there are family traditions that take out time during this time to honor and celebrate ALL of one’s dead ancestors.

 

Its not unusual for a whole family to travel to the cemetery with rake, shovel, spade and plants-or if you live in a dry climate like I do, fake flowers and other decorations, and take time to clear away debris, clean up, and generally care for the gravesites of those who have passed whether they are veterans or not.

 

Families may bring a picnic and make a whole afternoon of the process-especially if multiple ancestors are buried in a cemetery. I’ll be spending part of Memorial Day tending the grave of my grandfather who happened to be in the United States Air Force.

 

I’ll make him offerings of his favorite food and beverage, singing a few Gospel songs to him, and catching him up with the latest happenings-what are your plans?

 

 

________________________________________________________________________Image credit: gravesite in the Terlingua, Texas cemetery by Bri Saussy © 2010 all rights reserved

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Howdy! I am full time intuitive counselor & root magic ritualist living in San Antonio, Texas with my amazing family. My website, Milagro Roots is a popular destination, featuring my latest writings on spirituality, ritual, magic, nature, and divination. I run a small in-house spiritual boutique where I craft ritual oils, cleansing baths, sachet powders, charms, amulets, charm bags, and botanical talismans for clients around the world using many herbs, roots, and zoological finds that I cultivate and grow myself. My writing has been featured on the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (where I am one of the founding members), Elephant Journal, Roots of She, Kind Over Matter, Witches and Pagans, and Plant Healer Magazine. I sometimes refer to my work as high-end hedgewitchery–because I work with many established professionals and artists who wish to use intuitive arts like Tarot and ritual earth-based magic to improve their lives. Everyday I wake up and feel so incredibly blessed to be doing the work that I know I was meant to do-whether its working in the garden, cuddling with my son and beloved husband, or talking to the most fantastic clients ever–every moment is saturated with love & devotion to my calling and those who make my work possible.

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