Monday, October 29, 2012
Steve Nelson, an astrologer I like, has said these are cleansing winds, meant to claim what is not needed. I think they are more than cleansing. A cleansing wind will leave the the place, well, clean. Free of detritus and debris, a slate wiped smooth by the hand of God. This is a destroying wind, a power meant to take down the unbidden and unnecessary. The winds of change leave no any leaf unturned. When a power such as Sandy comes through, it will take even the leaves.
And so I use this power to focus my inner eye and ask myself what is changing, what is leaving and what will be here when this passes? This storm arrives on the week of Samhain -- which is also All Souls, Fet Ghede and my birthday. A gateway to the otherside, where the dead live and love, reaching forth for us. I have seen a rise in pagan groups honoring the Ancestors at this time of year. I like the way they are embracing this practice, but I remember a time when Samhain was regarded as the New Year in Wiccan cycles.
Never doubt the power of the Dead. They reach past the living to infuse everything around us. We honor them with eternal flames (Kennedy, Elvis), monuments and buildings, tours and parties. The most famous dead of all reside in Egypt and even they can't get a moment of peace for all the tourists traipsing through their homes and tombs. The Dead infuse all parts of our lives. They speak to us through music, art and literature. One of the most popular books in modern times used a Dead King's army to over throw a living one. Even the Bible speaks of Saul commanding the witch of Endor to call up the Dead. King Solomon was not immune to the use of the Dead for his own ends. And despite a rise in Afro-Caribbean religious practice, there are many left handed practitioners who are calling upon the dead for personal power and gain. Where is the balance in all of this? Having found a pathway to the other side, the Dead should be honored for their lives, acknowledged for their experience and left in peace.
I can not help but wonder if the many oddities in life, religious practice and personal sentiment I keep hearing about have anything to do with the unrest of the Ancestors. I know they are feeling the pull of the living and the pace of life speeding up. Surely they sit in Ginen wondering what the hell we are all doing. I can not be the only one who's parents occasionally come through with a slap on the back of my head and the admonition to stop and think about my actions.
Do people genuinely think you can pull the Ancestors off the shelf at Samhain, offer them a glass of cheap wine and hope they'll leave satisfied for the rest of the year? If so, then people are sadly mistaken. And trust me, the Ancestors are really mad. Its been building for a while, and its coming to a head. I wouldn't want to be in the way when it explodes, either.
The wind is getting stronger. I think I will go walk the dogs before they refuse to go outside. And I will hunker down with my peeps, light a candle and say my prayers. I know they've got my back.
May all your Dead be fed well and true this Samhain week.