Our present lives are formed by all who came before us. We are in-formed by them, whether conscious or not. In PaGaian Samhain ceremony as it has been done traditionally, participants are invited to remember the ancestors in this way:
Let us remember our ancestors, those who have gone before, whose lives have been harvested, whose lives have fed our own.” After all have named those of their choosing, the celebrant goes on: “We welcome all these, whose lives have been harvested, whose lives have fed our own. We remember that we too will be consumed, feed others with our lives. May we be interesting food. We become the ancestors. We are the ancestors.” All then proceed to consume part of a gingerbread snake[i] and affirm: We become the ancestors. We will be consumed – are consumed in every moment – even now.”
Those who have passed are really not so far away as may often be thought and felt, as many have been brought up to believe and sense. The veil between the worlds is always thin, all matter is constantly in flux. It is possible to make an effort to remember, to be our own archaeologists, of our own bodyminds, to plumb our depths. This Land within our own skins holds so much, and it may be jogged by photos, objects and places, but it also may be listened to and felt. Within our own organism is a thread of life that goes all the way back to Origins. We are in fact seamlessly connected to Origins via human ancestors and via the entire Context within which they/us/we/all arise. We come into existence already deeply related: the simple fact of the navels all have in common, speaks of a continuity, a connection that all have back through time, that spreads out into the entire web of life.
Samhain is a holy Moment when we may remember our lineage – the common one we all share, via our Beloved Ones who pass, who pull us back into the Deep to whom we belong. And when I see the Beauty in the new young ones … which I do in my grandchildren and other gorgeous baby beings, I have felt them as the “Promised Ones” – a Beauty to die for! And we do! We become the ancestors – we die for this beauty, make space for the new: we may graciously let go. The future is born of us, in every present action, as we are born of the past. We are the end and also the beginning.
Glenys Livingstone 2020