Friday, September 26, 2008

To Dance The Dances That Our Grandmothers Danced, And To Dance Them Upon A Changed Earth

I've bitched before about how badly many Pagans use YouTube. Too many slideshows of sexy fairies set to Lorenna McKennit and too many completely embarrassing, "debates," and not enough informative, creative, inspiring video that gives everyone a chance to learn from Pagan teachers and conferences. So I'm delighted to learn from Jason's blog that Starhawk's got a great new YouTube (actually up several weeks ahead of the event! Take that!, you advocates of Pagan Standard Time!) to publicize San Francisco's Spiral Dance and to explain why Pagans care about Samhein.

It's, IMHO, quite good. There's a lot that I love about this work, including the amazingly lovely prayer for the coming year at the end. I love that there are so many people shown. Scary Sarahwants to come for us, she's going to have a big job. (Since I practice in a v small circle, it's always lovely to re-learn that there are so many of us!) I love the altars with apples, and the dances, and the fact that people have been publicly dancing the Spiral Dance in SF for nigh-on thirty years. I love the pictures of the dead and I love the mother dancing in the middle of the Circle with her completely contented little baby. To me, she says what I wish all mothers of new babes could say to their community: "Look! Look what I've begun! I'll raise a new human to be a guardian of ALL THAT IS!" And the community says back, "Thank you, Demeter! We are here and we will help."

Samhein's coming. For witches, it's a time to remember our beloved dead ("What is remembered does not die," we say), to welcome new babies born, to communicate through the thin veils with our ancestors. This year, Samhein comes just before an historic election, one of the first in a while that WON'T be happening in the middle of a Mercury Retrograde. It comes at a time when, for many of us, the veil appears to have begun an early thinning. I'm not sure why the veil began to dissolve before Summer was even gone; I wonder if it's because our grandmothers are standing on their side of the veil, shouting as loud as they possibly can: Pay attention! Listen! Act! (OK, and mine are saying, "Push your hair out of your face. Stand up straight. Don't slump. You're failing. Look out! Duck! Work harder!") You know what we really lack? We really lack good historical records of this kind of thing. Hidden BoS don't lend themselves to good research.

My beloved circle of amazing women will have our traditional dumb supper, work magic, call our beloved dead and newly born, work magic, have fun, make resolutions (Samhein is the witches' new year), work magic, and prepare for "a year of beauty, a year of plenty, a year of planting, a year of harvest, a year of forests, a year of healing, a year of vision, a year of passion, a year of rebirth, [a year of renewing] the Earth." May it be so for you.

1 comment:

Sarah S. said...

Beautiful! I wish I could be there. And, I think you're right; the veil is thinning because we have an important task ahead and the ancestors want to be heard!

p.s. I also have a question--- why is the pagan new year in October/November and not in the spring?

Sarah S.