Our Ancestors reach back in an unbroken chain billions of years long, including both good and bad people, and many more. Today our Ancestors speak to us, and we speak to them.
Death, the dead, and our Ancestors fill our minds today.
Recently, I’ve seen more people realizing that some of their Ancestors were horrible people, and so they don’t want to honor them (“pruning our roots“). This is actually a very good sign – it means that more people are thinking about their Ancestors, and thinking about them based on evidence. For all of us who realize this (including myself), I offer encouragement.
No one should ever feel compelled to honor anyone whom they don’t want to honor. With that in mind, the enormity of our Ancestry can help us out here. From 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 Great grandparents, to 16 GG grandparents, 32 GGG grandparents, and so on, we have literally thousands of Ancestors just within the past few centuries, millions before that, all the way back through non-human primates, furry little mammals, lizards before that, and so on back.
Every single one of us has some horrible people as Ancestors – rapists, murderers, abandoners, and so on. We also all have some wonderful people, and wonderful non-humans as well. In the face of those mountainous numbers, we all have nearly exactly the same proportion of good people vs. bad people. Regardless of you history one way or another, all of us approach Samhain with both good and bad Ancestors. In fact, if one goes back just a few thousand years (a mere blip in the history of life), we all have exactly the same Ancestors prior to that, to the person (see the research by Chang, et al). All of us, regardless of history, can, and should acknowledge both the good and bad in our Ancestry, in the huge human story. While this past is set, we make the future.
Some of the ways many of us are celebrating were published a few weeks ago, and at least for my family, celebrations are ongoing, with a party last Friday, pumpkin carving Saturday, the Anishinaabe Spirit Feast coming up November 3rd and our CUUPS ritual November 4th. I feel the connection between life and death, and see the echo of my grandparents in my kids. And did you see the Edinburgh Samhuinn Fire Festival? Wow – thousands of people celebrating Samhain! I’d love to make it to that some year – it would be a spiritual pilgrimage. For some of us, the celebrations will be later this week – the actual midpoint between the Equinox and the Solstice is November 6th. However you are celebrating, may your be celebration be blessed.
This is an updated version of our annual Fall Equitherm post.