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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ancestors

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Do the Dead Still Speak to Us?

Do the dead still speak to us?

Of course they do.

I, Steven, who do not believe in life after death, I tell you so.

They speak to us in memories. Have you ever heard your grandmother's voice in your head, counseling one course of action or another?

They speak to us through their deeds. Through stories, through their remembered actions, the ancestors tell us today how to behave or how not to behave.

They speak to us through their words and songs. We live by the Lore, and through the Lore their words and ways come down to us. In oral cultures, memory is passed down in songs. Many covens have a Book of Shadows; we have a songbook.

They speak to us through their artifacts. Although here in North America, relations between First Nations communities and archaeologists have (and understandably so) been contentious, the Mapuche of Bolivia love the archaeologists. “Through them, the ancestors speak to us,” they say.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When it comes to belief, I'm very much of the "Value Added" school of thought: let's go with what we know for sure. Then if there'
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    I like your philosophy, and agree! Blessed Be and a Good Samhain to you also. Tasha
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    I must respectfully disagree. While I honor your belief I hav so much evidence of "the dead" speaking in the past umpteen years to

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Who Are the Ancestors?

We all have many kinds of ancestors.

Ancestors of the loins. These are our physical forebears.

Ancestors of the heart. These are those forebears whom (for whatever reason) we love, though they are no blood kin.

Ancestors of the head. These are our intellectual forebears.

These are only some kinds of ancestors, of course. (The ancestors of the tongue are our linguistic ancestors. Those of us of the Tribe of Witches have forebears in the Craft: the ancestors of the blood.) We are all the children of many lineages.

As pagans, we are intimate with our ancients. Living by their lore, we engage with them in our every waking moment.

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  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    It's ADF, there's no consensus. But we were satisfied to see the trend picked up by other Groves so we're happy. (wand drop)
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, pagans. Did a consensus ever emerge, or is it still an issue?
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    We say "blood" vs "loins" but .. ya. Oddly, this was a somewhat controversial idea in ADF not many years ago when we did the main

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Part 1: The Question

It is October,ipad-pix-107
the veil is thin
the year is waning
the leaves are turning
I am trying to say goodbye
to my grandmother
she is dying.
I do not know what to say.

...
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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Beautiful, and what I would have said is "Au Revoir, until we meet again."
  • Dianne Ross
    Dianne Ross says #
    If I were a dying grandmother, if true, I would love to hear you hope, if souls are reborn she will come back to be your grand.oth

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Honoring the Dead

Silly costumes, trick or treating, horror stories have never been my thing.  Even as a kid, I never really liked Halloween the way it’s celebrated.  My father died in late October in 1984.  The grief from his loss lingers and always makes me a bit sad during this time of year.  Instead of celebrating with the silliness of trying to frighten yourselves, I find ways to honor the dead. 

The veil between worlds thins and allows a connection to bridge across the worlds.  For me this bridge is always there.  No I don’t see dead people.  I’m not claiming to be psychic.  I do attempt to honor those who have passed.

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Samhain in the South: Honoring our Beloved Dead

As the Wheel of the Year turns and I begin to feel the veil thinning once again, I’m reminded of one way the beloved dead are honored throughout the South. Drive through the countryside, and you’ll likely see church signs announcing “Homecoming and Decoration.” It’s an invitation to those with relatives buried in the church cemetery to spruce up the graves, put flowers on them, and enjoy a potluck meal, sometimes referred to as “dinner on the ground.” Though meals are usually served in a fellowship hall now, that term originated from spreading out picnic blankets and dining on the cemetery grounds.

I’m sure you can see some parallels with our Samhain traditions and Dia de los Muertos. A major difference is that southern churches tend to hold decorations in May rather than October. I find that interesting, since May is also a time when the other side is more accessible. Beltane and Samhain are opposite each other on the Wheel of the Year, and both carry that liminal, otherworldly energy in different ways.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lunar Cycles and Healing

It is no secret that we witches are deeply connected to the cycles of The Moon.  We use lunar cycles to make decisions about planting and tending herbs for healing, food for nourishing our families and communities, and what kind of magic is appropriate to do personally, communally, or politically.

 

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    yes, thank you Ted, blessings on your ancestors and all their descendants
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Divine love, compassion and hope to all who suffer, from those whose families have been touched by the same scourge.
Release the Pain, Keep the Wisdom

         I was receiving acupuncture to address some ongoing health issues.  At one point in the treatment I had a deep visceral experience of a vortex or portal opening up around my belly and the words “Release the pain, keep the wisdom” came into my head.  Those words continued to run the next day as I had a long session with a powerful practitioner of magic who does her healing through deep body work and massage.

 

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  • Leanne
    Leanne says #
    Maybe it was Anaconda, Montana. Fairmont Hot Springs is close by. Thank you for your essay. Makes me ponder my own ancestral pain
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes it was Anaconda - thanks for catching that - I just corrected it. They eventually had a ranch outside of Whitehall. Blessing

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