Apples & Roots-they are common enough items and yet they have a great deal of magic, mythic, and folkloric value assigned to them-for healing, hexing, blessing, and all manner of ritual & religious uses.
That is the idea behind this blog-to fuse the everyday and seemingly ordinary life with the strong currents of your soul-work, spirituality, and magic. We will talk about religion, ritual, magic, divination-and how these mythic arts feed and inspire our lives and how our lives as a result grow richer, deeper, and more purpose flled.
Decoration Day-A May-time Dia de los Muertos
Earlier this month I was researching the meaning of May-talk about a magical month rife with folklore and folk magic traditions! I noticed and recollected that many of the themes of May deal with similar themes that we encounter during the opposite time of year-as the sun enters Scorpio and we head into the season of Samhain, All Saint’s Day, and Dia de los Muertos.
Fortunetelling and forecasting are performed at both points in the year, faeries and the Hidden Ones are believed to be more active as the veils between the world are especially thin, the changing (and changeable) seasons offer both blessings and risks for those intrepid enough to venture out into the green wood, stark desert, or city streets.
And, in the Deep South at least, there is one more tradition that binds the two points of the year…Memorial Day, or as its often called in my family, Decoration Day.
Though Memorial Day is specifically associated with Veterans who have passed beyond the veil, there is evidence to suggest that it was adopted and officially brought into practice by the Union after the Civil War ended on the inspiration from Southern traditions that may pre-date the Civil War.
Of course nowadays Memorial Day is a day off from work, a Monday when the banks are closed, and a great time to bar-b-q, but for those in the South there are family traditions that take out time during this time to honor and celebrate ALL of one’s dead ancestors.
Its not unusual for a whole family to travel to the cemetery with rake, shovel, spade and plants-or if you live in a dry climate like I do, fake flowers and other decorations, and take time to clear away debris, clean up, and generally care for the gravesites of those who have passed whether they are veterans or not.
Families may bring a picnic and make a whole afternoon of the process-especially if multiple ancestors are buried in a cemetery. I’ll be spending part of Memorial Day tending the grave of my grandfather who happened to be in the United States Air Force.
I’ll make him offerings of his favorite food and beverage, singing a few Gospel songs to him, and catching him up with the latest happenings-what are your plans?
________________________________________________________________________Image credit: gravesite in the Terlingua, Texas cemetery by Bri Saussy © 2010 all rights reserved
Please login first in order for you to submit comments