I will be blessed this year with a chance to celebrate Samhain/Halloween/Winternights three times this week, twice with children. In all of them, I will honor ancestors of blood and spirit (and sometimes even fiction). I have done this long enough and toasted several often enough that I can now use keyword triggers to call them up in my mind and do not have to proclaim things the way I might have done in sumbel years ago (although I still can).
Take this time to remember those who have passed on, be they recent or ancient. Also, as a dear one taught me, consider taking the time to cast into fire something it is time to be rid of. I tossed away a large chunk of anger, fear and failure at my first Samhain. I only regret that it was a place and time that didn’t allow me to be quite as fierce as I might have but I am much calmer and content.
So, I mentioned keywords. I will do my honoring here as a different example. I will list the phrase that reminds me of them and only break them out as blood, spirit or story. The volume of each does not matter and some of my ancestors of blood did not give me taglines but other things.
I thank all of those who have made me who I am. NONE of us stands alone.
ANCESTORS OF BLOOD
“And then, we flew over Berlin.”
“You’re not going to do that, are you boy?”
“You slept as much as you needed.”
ANCESTORS OF SPIRIT
“Enjoy every sandwich”
“Every morning, you look in the mirror and decide whether you shave or cut your throat.”
“Flesh always gives way to steel.”
ANCESTORS OF STORY
“A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”
“As you wish.”
“Honor is the gift a man gives himself.”
“Sleep, rest is a weapon.”
Now, I thank you for having read this. Go forth and honor your ancestors.
I reblog this mostly as an example as these are clearly not my ancestors but it gives you a good frame of reference. I will be posting something shorter later today.
Our mighty Mothers here we honor
From womb to womb since Worlds’ beginning
Hail Alice Parcel, my great aunt, my mother’s father’s sister.
Aunt Alice was a very well educated, intelligent woman who served the US Navy as a Russian translator during the wars (I believe WWII and the Korean War, but I’m not certain). By the time I met her she was an eccentric, elderly woman who lived by herself in Capitola, never having married or born any children. She made absolutely beautiful decorated eggshells in the Russian style, and gave them to family members. I still have a couple, and my Mom has at least one more. I inherited her craft supplies when she died.
Aunt Alice would invite us to come out for the annual Begonia festival to see the floats in the parade – actually covered in fresh cut flowers and floated on boats in the…
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I saw this today and wish to briefly hail this woman. Some of us wear symbols that could easily be misread and we could be blamed for the hatred of others we would never deal with. His case is less clear, but she threw her body in anyway. Be prepared to stand AND the help others back up in whatever way you can.
Remember that Anger and Rage have purposes. A feminine view of rage and forgiveness.
I found that the hour plus praying (nine prayers in total) along with the new song actually took a lot out of me OR the laying down of burdens did. I did one last song and went to bed.
The next morning, I sang again and offered Heimdall coffee next to the whiskey I poured the night before and did something guardian related which I had procrastinated on for a long time.
I was reminded again of all the things that led me to this path but also inspired by Heimdall and the following traits:
Clearly, I will need to make Ninth Night a regular practice and re-visit Heimdall. Sometimes the basic work is the most easily forgotten.
A friend tied to Odin honors the Ninth Night of every month and I have decided to do the same with gods I feel the strongest call to. Tonight is Heimdall and I have much to do. I have started this evening with nine prayers, a candle and some good bourbon on his altar.
While most of what I said is private, I did sing the following more than once:
I also recited a poem to Heimdall from an old issue of Idunna.
I asked a favor for a friend whose friend will soon pass from this life.
I remembered the Fires that first put me on this path, so long ago that I had forgotten the details until recent events reminded me.
There is more work to do, but I must return to my family until later.