Ancestors – Holidays, Culture and Tradition

*disclaimer: I’m speaking from an American perspective

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
W. Somerset Maugham

I find in today’s society there is this sort of emptiness. Longing for meaning but finding none. Making everything meaningless, and something that can just be thrown away.

I came across this article.

Now to be frank, I’m not a fan. There is this sort of demeaning tone to that I’m not fond of, and I’m really not fond of the phrase “Cultural Appropriation”. It gets over used and not in the correct context. But it has a good point I want to touch on.

I’ve always had a fascination with Dia De Los Muertos, it’s always resonated with me and I absolutely adore Day of the Dead artwork especially sugar skulls. I haven’t really realized until recently why it resonated with me so much. I have no tradition in my own culture, in my own family that celebrates and remembers the dead. Or at least, not anymore. It has all been lost. It’s something that something deep inside of me, something ancient, yearns for. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

Personally, I don’t know anyone who has any kind of real family traditions. I’m talking ones with real meaning. I know mine certainly doesn’t. In the early stages of this country there wasn’t just “white people”, you had Irish people, Germans, Polish, etc. Somewhere along the way where we came from didn’t matter anymore and we all became just white. Now this could be arguably a good thing considering the persecution certain people would get like the Irish. Mixing isn’t a bad thing, but we lost our culture in the process.

Now people are starting to reach out for something, something with meaning. Now it’s become a bad thing to be white, people who try to take pride in their culture, their tradition are thought to be racist. But you can’t touch another’s culture or it becomes “Cultural Appropriation”.

We are told that our tradition doesn’t matter. We find some tradition that interests us because it speaks to us on a deep level, that same voice comes in saying it doesn’t matter so it gets treated accordingly.

This is part of why I think Ancestor Veneration is so important. I think we need to look into the traditions of our ancestors to really be able to find meaning. Once we find meaning in our own, we will be able to see the meaning in the traditions of others.

Now let me clarify, sharing is a good thing. I think cultures should be shared, mingled even. It brings more color to this life and will help us understand each other that much more clearly. But not mingling so much that it loses meaning. That is all just becomes one thing.

The ancient traditions, the holidays, were gutted so much in the name of converting people to Christianity that they lost all meaning. It started before the United States was even created. Industries have now taken advantage of this so much that we have the shell of holidays we have now like Christmas and Halloween. They are big business holidays now, times for them to get us to spend as much money as possible.

I believe traditions like Day of the Dead should be shared but in a clear way, in an educated way. I believe that is the problem the author was getting at, not the fact that white people are sharing in the tradition but that they are turning it into a shell. They are paying no attention to its origins or its true meaning.

I understand where she is coming from in this aspect and I believe we should fight along side her. To keep other cultures from disappearing and becoming one with this homogenous blob. To become a shell of its former self with no meaning.

 In this fight we should work to find our own in the blob and pull it out, dust it off and bring meaning to it once again. Not to hold it tight to ourselves in that it can only be ours, but that we can take it and show the world. Share it with others that we too have meaning.

You will find me call it Halloween instead of Samhain like most pagans do, and that is deliberate. Unless you intend to celebrate it with at least some of the traditional aspect, I don’t feel it right to call it by the traditional name. Actually it is a bit disrespectful in my eyes. So while I am limited (living in the bible belt with my Christian parents) I will continue to call it Halloween. That will change once I am able to celebrate it in a modernized fashion of the way my Ancestors who rightfully called it Samhain or Winter Nights did.  If you call it Samhain but still celebrate it exactly as others celebrate Halloween then you are now draining what little meaning Samhain has left in our times.

As far as Halloween itself isn’t all bad and in the family sense has a bit of its own tradition. Kids dressing as their favorite super hero, princess or idol going out with their parents in a night of fun and candy. If you look at it closely it is a sort of family tradition. Still very commercialized, but kids being able to be kids and have fun is never a bad thing.

I think this all came out just a little jumbled but I hope the point is clear.

Advertisements

October is approaching

Just a little side note first.

I might be a little on the inactive side. Fenrir is requesting I keep some of the relationship work private (understandably so). I will try to post when something starts itching and needs to be shared. But as far as my relationships with Thor and Fenrir, I’m going to be very selective in what I share. Just working on the relationships and with the way things are going right now it is a bit on the sensitive side. Thor has been pretty rare in appearances as of late, working, so that is making things just a tad more difficult (I’m not complaining, its just a fact.)

In other news, I’m starting to feel Skadi touching at the edge of my senses.

I think she is coming back! Seems The Hunt starting so early is bring her around a lot earlier as well.

Any way, now on topic.

October is definitely my favorite month.

First of all, autumn. All things Halloween-y. And just the feel in the air is like pot to me (not crack because it is incredibly relaxing). Fenrir is showing me he has some pretty strong ties to fall as well.

I’m a lot more active spiritually, physically and emotionally during fall. Summer heat drains me to where I’m barely functional. I hide inside in the AC (plus I burn incredibly easily) and just watch TV mostly. During fall I actually go out and do shit and it really lifts my spirit. Not to mention it means the holidays are on their way and I love the holiday season. Just has a warm fuzzy feel to it that I can’t get enough of. My boyfriend tried saying he was a scrooge.  I made sure he knew that wasn’t going to fly with me. I pulled the “you’re going to be happy about the holidays whether you want to or not, and you’re gonna like it!” He doesn’t seem to be too upset about it. I’m getting this Christmas sweater I found. On it it says “Fa la la la la, Valhalla la” with a shield, axe and sword on it. I showed it to him and he wanted one too. I joked about having matching sweaters and he even actually agreed to taking a picture with me of us both wearing it (he hates taking pictures) so I think he is okay with it all.

I’m starting to make plans for October.

I’m going to Pagan Pride in the city. Super excited about that. Going with my best friend and this is the first time either of us has gone. I don’t know what to expect but it will be nice being surrounded by other pagans.

Planning some trips to the local graveyards. I’m going to be ordering soon some crystals for offerings to the spirits. Not so excited about going to visit my grandmother’s grave. I haven’t gone in a long time, and I know it will be emotion filled. She died on my ninth birthday, with me being mad  Freya is pushing for me to bring my boyfriend with me for that reason. What he sees of my is about 70% independent woman who has been single forever and very much prefers to take care of things herself, and about 30% giant dorky goofball (I am the master of weird faces). She insists that he needs to see a much more vulnerable side of me. Not looking forward to that. Not so good at showing my vulnerable side. I’m a Cancer, I hide in my shell when I’m vulnerable.

I’m going to go out and spend as much time as possible outside before it gets too cold.

I’m going to try working getting my tattoo somewhere in there, or at least in November. It is more of a money issue, plus not sure where I’m going to go. Probably going to try the artist that did my best friend’s tat. Also still trying to figure out exactly what it is going to be.

That got a bit rambly.

Until next time loves.

Happy Thor’s day!

Yearning

I think the people in my life are sick of hearing me say how much I can’t wait for summer to be over and fall to begin.

Have I mentioned Autumn is my favorite season?

I feel an almost homesickness type yearning for fall. Like it is the place I truly belong, but it’s a season not an actual place so it is a rather complicated feeling.

I just love everything about the fall.

The colors.

The smell in the air.

The sound of the crunching leaves.

The weather, I love jacket weather.

Halloween, because what is there not to love about Halloween?

Pumpkin flavored everything (yes, I am one of those people).

Just the feel to the season.

You know that warm fuzzy feeling people get around Christmas time? That the same way I feel that way about Autumn and Halloween. Not to mention my style works better in the cooler weather. I am not a summer girl (despite my birthday being smack in the middle of summer), I don’t do well with heat. Not to mention I don’t like warm weather clothes. I don’t do sleeveless shirts (without some sort of jacket over) and shorts. I just don’t like the way they look on me.

Plus, usually starting in October is when new episodes of my shows come on. The list has been growing. First and foremost, Supernatural, then (in no particular order) Flash, Arrow, Reign, American Horror Story, Gotham, and Originals. I used to watch Witches of East End, but unfortunately Lifetime cancelled it. It was one of my favorite shows.

But in Autumn I actually go out more. One of my favorite things to do is going to the park, but when it is hot, well screw that. Also going to be taking more trips to Old St. Charles. This is where the Celtic store and one of the only metaphysical shops I’ve been able to find is at. It’s nicer to go when you don’t have to walk around in the heat. I really love it up there, despite the almost hour drive it takes to get there.

The only good things about summer is swimming, Irish Fest and the Renaissance Faire. I wish they didn’t have those events in the summer, but I have no way of doing anything about that.

I just can’t wait until this heat passes.

In the meantime, I’m trying to do some studying up on The Wild Hunt. That’s what I do, research.