November 1st, 2016

Honoring the Dead

altar-day-of-the-deadEvery year I travel to Mexico to talk to the dead. And this year I want to invite you to join me.

This time of year is called Samhain in the Celtic traditions and Day of the Dead in Mexico; in both places it is considered a time when the veil between this world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. This is the time to honor our ancestors, talk to our beloved dead, and remember the preciousness of life and the inevitability of death.

In late October/early November our group journeys to Teotihuacan, the pyramid complex outside of Mexico City, where we take part in an ancient initiation ceremony and also build altars to our beloved dead. We place flowers, photos, candles, water, tequila, bread, fruit, statues, candy on the altars which are created with an abundance of bright orange marigold and dark maroon cockscomb flowers. It’s magical to be in a room filled with the photos and altars honoring our ancestors and departed friends.

Join us in honoring your beloved dead… for the next two days we will be sending prayers and blessings to our ancestors. Post a picture or share a photo in the comments of anyone in your life who has crossed over and we will speak their names and put them on our community altar.

Post pictures and stories here:

And remember one day, we will be the ancestors for those who have yet to come.

We can try to manage life, limit our loving, create barriers against loss. But all we are doing is numbing ourselves and missing the exquisiteness of being fully alive—because life is death, and death is life. They are the same. When we try to pretend that death doesn’t exist, that it won’t come for us and everyone we know, we have our heads buried in the sand of avoidance. When we welcome both life and death, we can bring our wonder and gratitude to the ebb and the flow. Our grief at someone’s passing then becomes a holy, sacred garden filled with the scents and colors of those we shared it with.

The Toltecs have a beautiful goddess of death that we call the Angel of Death. The Angel is not some scary grim reaper figure, but a compassionate, loving being who walks with us all the time. She loans us our life and everything in it, from our children to our car to our physical body, and at any moment she can come and reclaim what is hers. We learn to not be afraid of her, but to see her as a true ally and friend. She reminds us to stay present, to show up fully, to not be complacent. ~ The Warrior Goddess Way

Blessings from Teotihuacan…