This is the time of year when The Dead are closest to us.
I've posted some pictures of the centerpiece from the dumb supper that my circle celebrated on Samhein. GWPDA sent me pomegranates from her v. own trees. The food of the underworld, so delicious that they kept calling Persephone back for part of every year, pomegranates seemed somehow appropriate for a dinner with our beloved dead. We told stories about our dead, those who passed this year and those who passed long ago and are still remembered. We remembered both the Ancestors of our DNA and the Ancestors of our Spirit; I invoked Molly Ivins and Madeline L'Engle, who passed this year.
Then, last night I attended a celebration of Dia De Los Muertos, hosted by my dear friend, R., aka the World's Best Cook, and her friend, Javier. It was a wonderful evening, spent mostly with people I'd never met before, from an incredible variety of backgrounds, and a few old friends from my tradition. M., who led the ceremony, invoked Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and smudged everyone with incense (both of which steps made me feel right at home), before telling a wonderful story about her grandmother. Next, a v. young man told about the time when he was 14 and his grandfather let him drive the riding mower. He was enjoying it so much that he cut down some of his grandfather's flowers, but his grandfather didn't get angry at him. Each person shared a memory and then picked someone else to tell a story, share an experience, recall an ancestor. I was struck by how often the ancestor being remembered was a grandparent who was not at all extraordinary, but was simply kind. After the stories came the feasting: delicious tamales, a wonderful mole, a mango sauce for the empanadas that was out of this world, Angela's fantastic corn pudding, and on and on and on.
R. and Javier are already talking about expanding the event for next year; I was v. honored to get to attend and to listen to so many wonderful stories of the Dead. I've posted a few pictures of the wonderful altar, for which everyone brought a picture, some flowers, a small item of remembrance.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."