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Honoring the Ancestors: Samhain and Beyond

By Galina Krasskova

There’s a great deal of focus around Samhain on honoring one’s ancestors, and honoring the dead in general. Whether we celebrate Samhain or Winternights, that’s what this holiday is all about, right? Well, yes….but ideally the celebrations that mark the end of October, should be the culmination of a year spent regularly and consistently interacting with the dead, honoring them, and recognizing their role in the continuing evolution of our spirituality. Honoring and interacting with the ancestors isn’t just a Samhain “thing,” rather it’s an every day “thing,” and one of the fundamental underpinnings of a strong, nourishing, resilient spiritual practice.

Many traditions pay special homage to their ancestors, to those who have come before us, to those who, by their struggles and failures, victories and joys have contributed to the common threads of being we all share. Honoring one’s lineage is the first and one of the most important steps in developing a strong spiritual foundation. It is a place of beginning. We all have ancestors. We can all tap into that connection. Ancestors may include those connected to you by blood, but also those who, while a blood relationship might be lacking, were nevertheless close enough to be kin. These are our teachers, mentors, and friends—our spiritual kin. No one lineage is better than another. Paying homage to one’s ancestors is not, in any way, shape or form an excuse for racism, rather it is a means of honoring the process of one’s spiritual journey, honoring those whose actions and lives helped create our own, shape our own. It means honoring those who shed blood for us, so that we might remember and also learn to craft lives of honor. It is an acknowledgement that we are all connected through the Holy Powers, through the cycle that Hela governs. We honor the continuity of Divine presence throughout the course of our lives. We honor their strength, courage, wisdom, struggles even as we seek to learn from them.

Read the original article at: Pantheon

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