Oct 16, 2023

Celebrating All Hallows Eve in a World of Chaos

In a time when we pray for world peace, when the veil between the worlds is at its very thinnest, how ironic yet symbolically typical it is that I continue to participate with like‐minded groups, and of all things sewed a chair cushion for my loft healing haven and sewing nook. (And started another journal cover as well!)

Surrounded by my many prayer and peace altars of  momentoes and gifts from the earth and loved ones for connection to life as well as death and loss amidst increasing global chaos we live in many dimensions of our selves and in many worlds at once.

The months of October and November are filled with celebrations, traditions, and rituals many of us  participate in: Halloween, Dia does Meurtes, All Saints Day followed by Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

There is a combined focus on life, death, family, traditions and ritual that connect all of these. 

Perhaps not as well recognized is the practice of "Memento mori" that often infiltrates many of our Autumnal celebrations without our even thinking consciously about it.

Memento mori translates from the Latin as "remember you have to die". 

If you believe in "life after death" as in a heavenly place or state of peace or if you believe in "life after life" as in reincarnation or that energy can neither be created nor destroyed (Albert Einstein) then perhaps life as we seem to think or perceive it is something very different indeed.

In fact there are a number of belief systems or religions that do not use the term die except as "die into ourself" but I'll leave that up to your  under-standings or sense of faith or  cosmology. 

Those who believe in death as the end of a journey or at this world physical journey there was the creation of many different rituals around the subject. The creation of rituals and the development of entire belief systems or additions to various religions as ritualistic honoring of the passage between one world and the next as well as an expressed need to express in any number of ways those world or cosmological views.

This finds such ritual expressions as in the rites of Ash Wednes-day when ashes are placed upon the worshipers' heads with the words,

"Remember Man that you are dust and unto dust, you shall return."

My paternal Finnish Grandparents said to their children and my dad passed on to the five of us "mää vetta" or as he said in English "the earth draws me."  It was years later that I learned that our Finnish last name "Savikko" also symbolized this concept as "savi" translates to clay earth/dirt/loam. And even more synchronisticly, my grandfather's original birth surname Saustamoinen also means clay, earth, dirt, loam.

I am of the earth in my physical body and to it I shall return. I was reminded of this many times but never more so than when my dad began to age and have long discussions with me about death and dying after we realized my mother had Alzheimers and was slowly starting what is called "the long goodbye".

My dad fought to stand up-right and strong staying steadfast all of his senior years until he passed in 2010 and not let his aging body stoop down deeper and deeper towards the almost magnetic pull of the earth.  And then the long ending of the long goodbye when my mother passed in 2013.

Now with war and raging once again and a Day of Chaos being urged and gruesomely celebrated with rioting and warfare I am remembering another strange tradition.

The figurative concept of momenti mori had its earliest roots in the many philosophers, artists of classical antiquity through paintings and architecture.

The use of the symbology of skulls, mounds or wall made of bones, imagery of clocks, coffins, saving strands of hair in lockets or brooches and so on to many Gothic variations.

Strange, yes but truly any stranger than our other holiday rituals/practices

And All Hallows Eve followed by All Saints Day here:

Extra Spooky and Creative Wild Crafting in Alaska

However you celebrate, stay safe and stay well.

May you be blessed with peace and blessings.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands  sharing an imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon and back again. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting "from my heart and with my hands"

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