Monday’s rite

I was going to do this writeup on Tuesday, but my family had a medical emergency (everyone is okay now) so I had to postpone things. Luckily I had made some notes so I remember what I want to say. Always make notes!

~

Monday’s rite was pulled together last minute. I wasn’t planning to do anything, but the thought of ancestors came up, and then I suddenly got very emotional, with a sense of urgency, like “Do the thing, and do it NOW.” So I went out, got the flowers and bread, and did the thing.

It had been a long time since I’ve spent any time with my akhu. I keep meaning to do something for them, but I never know what to do or what to say, so I kept putting it off.

I thought I might do something for The Beautiful Festival of the Valley, but didn’t, as usual. That was around the 20th, I think. After that, things started…coming to my attention. There was one particular ancestor who was on my mind a lot. No reason for it, she was just…there.

And then the 25th hit me pretty hard, being both Memorial Day and The Glorious 25th of May. Yes, the latter is a fictional holiday. The Discworld quotes made me cry, which they’ve never done before. And then the crows. There were crows everywhere. At that point I said “Alright, I hear you, I’ll do the thing.”

I had had plans for Monday. But no, “We’ve canceled your plans, you’re doing this now.” Alright then, time to get to work.

I cleaned the room and changed into clean clothes, and felt like I should wear something red. Then it was off to the store. I thought bread would be a good thing to have, so I ran out for a fresh-baked bun, and also some flowers. I was thinking carnations or something, but I ended up with roses. I do not like roses, but that’s what came home with me. Well, they’re not for me, so whatever they like, right? I also unexpectedly picked up some strawberries.

I notice there was a red theme. Red roses, strawberries, red bowls, red candle, and me wearing red. I’m not sure if the color co-ordination was coincidence or not. If it was purposeful, I don’t know the reason for it. There’s the obvious connection of blood, but maybe not.

This day was for all of those whose actions have made it possible for me to be here. Not just ancestors related to me, but anyone whose life has had a part in bringing me to where I am.

The candle burned from 6pm until after sunset. That idea of taking the light into the night also came up unexpectedly.

Other than making the offering and inviting any who were interested in being present, I didn’t do much, basically just thanked them. I said a bit more than that, but that about sums it up. I also tried to be open to them talking to me, but didn’t get anything. Which is how it usually goes, but I try. Although it was mostly uneventful, I did sit with them for the full three and a half hours. That time spent together felt very important, and I wanted to give it–and my dead–the attention they deserved.

For my honored dead

I thank those who came before
and paved the way for me.
I would not be where I am
if it wasn’t for all of you,
both ancestors and strangers,
whose actions have made possible
that which I have today.
May you never be forgotten.

 

A cup of water, bread, strawberries, roses, and a candle.

I’ll post a longer writeup of this tomorrow.

Reblog: Loitering at the Gates of Paradise

GODS & RADICALS

By Linda Boeckhout

What exactly do we want from the animals and the plants? At first sight, it seems we have tried very hard to distance ourselves from the natural world we were once a part of. We wear elaborate, impractical clothes. We make sure our houses have comfortable savannah microclimates. We cook and process our food, undoing it of its natural flavours. Our bodily functions are usually locked out of our social discourse or distorted, buried in conventions and assumptions. Yet, at the same time, we cannot seem to leave the animals and the plants alone. Throughout the year man hunts, without being hungry. We have bred a whole class of domesticated animals that are exempt from having any function at all. We treat them as children, albeit disposable ones when we have no longer any need for them. We prefer to wear the skins that belonged to others…

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