Samhain- a Pagan Honoring of the Ancestors, and Death | parliamentofreligions.org

Tags:

Ancient faith was influenced by the natural world. Originating in ancient Europe as a Celtic Fire festival, the Pagan holiday of Samhain marks the end of the harvest season, heralds the beginning of winter-the dark half of the year, and honors death. Samhain, (pronounced SAH-win, or SOW-in) is also the Gaelic name for the month of November, the literal translation being‘summer’s end’.

Being largely a pastoral people, the Celts observed the season of Samhain as the time when the earth was dying. The crops had already been harvested and stored; the fields lay barren, and now cattle and sheep had to be moved from remote areas to closer pastures and secured for the winter months. Those who kept livestock would assess the stored bounty of the two prior harvests, of field and orchard in order to determine how many animals could be adequately fed through the winter. Those not able to be cared for were butchered, which would help to feed the family during the dark days ahead. It is partially due to this practice that Samhain is sometimes referred to as the ‘blood harvest.’

Cultures across the world embrace holidays with themes of death; Los Dias de los Muertos, of Mexico; the Buddhist Festival of the Dead in Japan, which is called Obon, or just Bon, the Hindu

READ MORE HERE:

https://www.parliamentofreligions.org/blog/2019-09-13-1206/samhain-pagan-honoring-ancestors-and-death

How to Honor the Dead – Alma

By T Kira Madden

Here’s a secret: I wear my father’s clothes every day. Not entire outfits, but a garment or two, always. I wear his striped t-shirts to bed at night, his vibrant dress socks under my boots. I’ve tailored his button-up shirts to fit me in the shoulders; I’ve removed a link or two from his bracelets. Yes, I am ashamed to admit, I have even worn his underwear. But that was only once, and, well, I happen to wear Calvin Klein briefs, too. I wear his jade pinky ring on my ring finger, and his army tag necklace never comes off my neck.

I thumb the words: MADDEN, JOHN L, #11500138, JEWISH.

Why the hell does it say Jewish? I asked my mother when she gave me this tag.

Because they had to know how to honor the dead, she replied, in case he died.

My father has been dead for one year five months and 12 days, as I write this. It was his lungs, not the army. I don’t have to check the calendar, or count, because my body knows. Each day, I think, I am not doing grief right. I am wading too slowly through this, or, at moments, too quickly, or not at all. My grief is selfish, my grief is smaller than other griefs, it is unjustified, my time for sadness is up; everybody dies, so it’s absurd to feel this bad, that my situation is unlike all others. Spoiler alert: That is grief talking, and none of this is true.

Every single day since November 2, 2015, I have asked myself that same question: How do I best honor the dead?

Because that army tag was incorrect. My father didn’t want a religious ceremony

READ MORE HERE:

https://www.heyalma.com/how-to-honor-the-dead/