Tis the living that I fear.

It’s Samhain! That “scary” time of the year when the veil between and betwixt is at its thinnest, and many of us are honoring our ancestors and others who have crossed that veil. And in some cases, even communing with them. I put “scary” in quotes because this Witch doesn’t find anything scary about that. Tis some of the living that truly terrify me. It wasn’t the dead who tried to exterminate the Natives of this country. Nor did the dead rise up and keep slaves, and fight for the right to continue doing that. It wasn’t the dead who lynched others during the Civil Rights Era. Nor did the dead murder those in Salem during the REAL Witch Hunt. Nor did the dead gas millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust. 

All these truly horrible, really frightening things were done by the living, not the dead. So, this Samhain I will remember and honor those this happened to, and commune with any of their ghosts who want to commune with me. I will love those tragic ghosts, and fight so that others do not join them. I will fight with my words, and with my vote so that others are not forced to cross that veil by the real monsters who walk this earth. Like those murdered so very recently by two very real monsters. 

Because I have learned that Jewish people do not really believe in an afterlife, I will honor the Jewish people murdered by those monsters by simply remembering them, and the lives they lived. I will honor them in a way that respects their beliefs by focusing on the lives they lived. I will do that because it does me no harm to honor them that way. But, it could harm the spirit and souls of the living should I insist on trying to honor their dead in a way that insults their belief concerning death. 

I will honor my Pagan Ancestors by remembering the reality is, we ALL have Pagan Ancestors, no matter what religion we may, or may not follow now. I will think about ancient cave paintings that show a desire to create beauty, while also recording what were important events in their lives. Like the Harvest, and the Hunt. Those important events insured the survival of their people through the long dark cold winter. That’s why our ancient Ancestors took the time to celebrate and record them.

I will remember and honor those innocent souls murdered during the days of the REAL Witch Hunts. I will bow my head and pay my respects to those put to death in Salem, when the wall between Church and State crumbled, and was no longer there to protect them. I’ll also remember all those victims of the Spanish Inquisition. And let their deaths be a lesson to me about what happens when Church and State combine for the purpose of exterminating those who do not believe the “Right Way.” And I will fight with my last breath to prevent that happening again. And by Badbh’s black skirt, I will vote in EVERY single election from now on. 

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Happy Yule!

Earlier tonight I was sitting outside thinking about what the Winter Solstice meant to my ancient Pagan ancestors.  Those people to whom the long dark winter often brought death to weak and the old.  Those people who hunted their meat with spears, and with bows and arrows.  Those people whose very lives depended on the success of those hunts.  Those people who worshiped a Horned God not because he was the Devil, but because nearly all they hunted for meat had horns.  He was the God of the Hunt.  The Horned God of the Hunt.  The God they prayed to, honored, so that the hunt would be successful, and their family, their tribe, would survive.  So yes, red and white are colors of Yule.  The white of snow, the red of blood staining it.  Blood from the hunt, that would give life to the people. 

And fires, oh they lit fires, to keep from freezing, and to help welcome the Sun back so that once more Spring would come, and the people would again know plenty.  The lit Winter Solstice bonfires, and drank, and made Merry in the midst of cold darkness to call the sun back.  To help the light be reborn.   Sometimes, in the form of a child, who grow to become a God.  

And they decorated the evergreen trees.  Sometimes outside, with blood offerings meant to honor the animals that had been killed in the hunt, and that would be killed in the hunt, so that the people would live.  And they decorated their homes with greenery, to remind themselves that even the midst of darkness and death, there is light and life.

All this went through my mind as I sat outside thinking about those ancient Pagan ancestors of mine, and of yours.  Oh now don't let your head explode there my little pretty.  We ALL have ancient Pagan ancestors.  It's just some of us, still follow their ways.  Then I came inside, and while scrolling through my FB feed found a video about the real origins of Yule.  And I welcomed the Winter Solstice listening to an old radio program that so perfectly matched what I had been thinking, feeling, it just blew me away.  And I wept a little because I was so glad haven't forgotten the old ways.  So very glad I still honor those ways, and those ancient ancestors. 

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