Daily Practice: a Weekly Reminder 10/29/2023

Samhain, Halloween, All Souls and All Saints Days. All describe a point on the Wheel of the Year when the veil between worlds is thinner, according to the ancient Celtic calendar and other traditions. Inwardly, it’s a time to remember that the world we live in is many worlds, many layers, constant connections between life and death; continual birth, continual growth, unending relatedness even among the cells of our bodies. Because even at the cellular level everything is in motion and constantly changing, we are not so much beings as “becomings.” The parts of Life we “see” and what we think we know, are fragments. Sometimes it takes being in the dark, like now when night comes sooner, being in states of “not seeing” to begin to feel the depth and breadth of our connectedness.

At the Fellowship we take time to honor ancestors, to bring to mind those who have died, to feel how the past and present are intertwined, to feel how we are connected to the lives of those who came and went before, to feel how we carry their lives in ours. We think about ourselves as ancestors and of our parts in this great progression. We think of what we may now be setting in motion for those who are coming after us.

We can do this with attention to breath – the coming and going of it, to us, through us, not of our own making. We can realize that waves upon waves of lives are carried on each breath, and that what we call “my life” is really simply Life moving in everything. We can let ourselves be carried.

This can be a daily practice – to give thanks for all the lives that are carried by each breath, which carries the possibility of “me” and all who are coming after. May we ask for the courage to be ancestors worthy of those who will live in the world to come, sources of peace and loving kindness, expressions of love, examples of compassion, nurturers of justice. Knowing that we are ancestors together, and that we are all carried by the breath of Life, may we bow to this day with gratitude.

Flowers deposited on All Saints’ Day in tombs in the cemetery of Cambados, Spain
A Neopagan celebration of Samhain