October 31, November 1 and November 2

October 31, November 1 and November 2 are wherever you live in the world the days when we remember our departed family members with joy and blessings. If we cannot forgive old wrongs(and sometimes to forgive is to say what certain relatives did to us especially in childhood was excusable, which it is not) a time to let the ancestors who hurt us go in peace and so set ourselves free.
Whether it is the coming of winter or summer in your land, we welcome deceased as well as living family members to our family table and ask for their blessings as a continuing part of the family.
Only in the modern world is the idea of family ghosts celebrating the turning of the year with us regarded as strange. Yet even in today’s world a number of people recall how a friend or newcomer at a family christening or wedding has asked about an older man or woman who was peeping into the infant’s cradle or watching the bride throw her bouquet, with a proud smile. Then the figure seemed to disappear into nowhere. Invariably the description of the older person matches a deceased relative who has returned to share the occasion.
Indeed societies where departed ancestors still play a significant role are those where the living elderly are well cared for and respected by younger members of the family.
During these three days, set up a small table covered by a white cloth near the centre of your home where you can keep mementoes of loved ones who have passed on to the Afterlife. For example, you could display a piece of jewellery or watch, medals and photographs of your family ancestors. Start a memory box of old certificates, ration books, reminiscences about the idiosyncrasies of those who may be just a name to the new generation. Keep fresh fragrant flowers there and on each of the three days and afterwards once a week on a Friday or Saturday light a white candle..
· As you light the candle send your deceased relatives blessings, perhaps read aloud their favourite poem or prayer or play their favourite music and ask for their blessings on your life and family.
· On Halloween, whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, cook traditional family recipes, get out the old family photos(and maybe post one on Facebook with a memory of an eccentric relative), tell the old legends. For it is said so long as our name is spoken so shall we live.
In those lands, too many, where we still can’t see our relatives except on Skype or Facetime because of pandemic restrictions where there seems for some no end, contact an older relative who may be alone or sad, even if they are difficult. Leave flowers on a lonely neighbour’s doorstep
These hard times have made us realise how important family is and how each of has a place and a responsibility in the ongoing story- and how we can’t bear grudges through the years however justifiable. The words too late or if only are scant consolation and often innocent children can be caught up in family quarrels by the adults especially where divorce is involved and lose contact with grandparents or cousins.
So, at the time of the ancestors, let’s strengthen our family tree even via computer or phone so it will blossom in our own lives and flourish strong in those of our descendants.

2020 HALLOWEEN Samhain

A very special bitter-sweet Halloween time approaches, spanning Samhain heralding in the old Celtic New Year and colder days in the Northern hemisphere and demanding its place also in the Beltane celebrations, the coming of the summer in the Southern world, both lasting from the evening of October 31, until sunset on November 2, All Souls’ Day.

Even more magical this year October 31 also marks a Full Blue Hunter’s Moon in Taurus at 14.49 UTC(seehttps://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/for the time in your region)
The Blue Moon is so called because it is the second full moon in the month (there are 13 full moons this year) and so it is said to grant wishes.

Although there are Halloween full moons every 19 years, this is the first since 1944 that can be seen in nearly all the world’s time zones and so Mother Moon this month shines her light on all. Significant perhaps the previous almost global full moon occurred at a time when many parts of the world were still reeling from the destructive effects of the Second World War, bringing her promise that war would end and life return through in a very different form.

Now in these times of a worldwide pandemic, Lady Moon embraces the world once again on All Hallows Eve, the night of the ancestors, when the dimensions open and we celebrate our loved ones by cooking their recipes, buy their favourite flowers to set next to their photos, getting out the old photo albums and embellishing the family legends.

Though this Halloween moon is especially poignant, when as in 1944, death is ever-present in the world, Mother Moon tells us we cannot cower in the shadows but must rejoice in every day our loved ones are granted health and safety, a blessing and a bonus. Though other Halloween full moons will wheel though the skies, hundreds of years hence our descendants will still make wishes upon the blue moon and hopefully rejoice in a freer better world at the seasons’ turning as they look upwards at the fires of the ancestors in the stars.

Jack, recalled in Halloween and Samhain, in the Jack o’ lantern, was asked three times during his life by the loveliest of the Morrigu Fate sisters to go with her across the river of death to immortality. But he was too afraid to take her hand even in his last moments on earth; so it is told he walks between worlds with his small light, now recalled in the Halloween pumpkin. But all was not lost -it never is- six months later he is reborn as the wild Beltane Jack ‘o’ Green, who seizes life, free as the burgeoning woodland greenery and crowns the maiden goddess with wildflowers. Both Jacks are one, are within us and the choice is not always easy; with the buffets of seemingly sometimes unfair fate; but even in the darker times we can make decisions based on the resources and the knowledge we have right now, using the past to weave the garland of the future and when that garland breaks, repairing it again and again.

If we can live authentically, beautifully and eternally in bad times as well as good, in our words, our kindnesses, in those we try to influence for the better, in our unique foot and blueprint we can still rejoice and build upon small pleasures that are our treasures in this most bittersweet of moons

May you be safe and your wishes fulfilled.