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The Day the Ancestors Have Made



ancestor altar at Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville, NC

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, in honor of this rapidly-approaching Samhain season–

Today is the day the Ancestors have made. Rejoice in it and be glad!

It’s a rip-off of Psalm 118, of course, but came to me as I meditated on the season and the day ahead. We are living in a place of such doubt and confusion, it seemed as if it was time to engage a different sort of energy.

Here in the US, we are again electing a president–one of the longest, most expensive and most annoying processes in the world. Since this decision is made on the first Tuesday of November, every four years we spend this solemn and sacred season in the midst of liars, frauds and idiots.

So, we must always find ways around the frustration and the fear, so that we can listen to our Ancestral voices and find our own ways to stay grounded and focused.

We’re in the midst of the debate mini-season now–a fashion show of desperation and inadequacy, as far as I can tell. The careful parsing of the weasel words from idea to idea–talking around major issues and never truly engaging on any one issue. It would be distressing except it is so expected. They have to be so careful that they don’t say something that will offend–who? The advertisers? The sponsors? Their corporate masters?

No way of knowing, really. But what we can know is that the harvest is in, the season of the Ancestors is upon us and we can anchor ourselves in the lives that came before ours, learning from the people who struggled more than we have and found ways to triumph within and in spite of their challenges and disappointments,

They can show us the way to stand strong and work hard, to find compassion for those less fortunate, to strive for something greater than ourselves.

Long day, friends. A long day in a long and frustrating season. Best we grasp for the joy we can, to share that with those we love, to comfort the stranger and practice radical hospitality.

Today is the day the Ancestors have made. Rejoice in it and be glad!

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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