Welcome to the Samhain Blog-Hop of 2013! Please click on the labels at the top or bottom of this page in order to visit the other amazing blogs in this circle!
Our wrangler for this hop, Alison Cross, decided to get wild and crazy and pull away from more traditional Samhain themes in favor of something more universal: Love. A very nice topic! So as I was pondering what I love, in tandem with the time of year we're currently in, I realized that there is a durable connection between Love and Holidays for me, and a few other things (like Tarot!) that I'll discuss in this post!
I was born the day after Christmas, and so that particular holiday was always deeply special for me. I loved the sense of celebration that permeates the air that time of year and the seemingly endless parties. One of the most important aspects of this holiday for me was the tradition. My mother cultivated a beautiful set of holiday traditions that I came to adore, and to count on. The environment was imbued with mystery and sacredness, and the activities during this time helped support those feelings - the connection to the past that has always been dear to me. Tree hunting, the smell of pine needles, the first snowfall... hot chocolate and mulled cider, and spicy pfeffernusse cookies. Decorating with my mother's mother's ornaments, and my own ornaments from my first few years on the planet. Christmas Eve with a cozy dinner in front of the fire. And Christmas morning was always a flurry of excitement. My sister and I would wake up early, and always obeyed the rule we were given that we must not go downstairs...BUT we could stay on the stairs and *look.* My parents grumbled and fumbled with the coffee maker. First, presents (youngest goes first), then much later, after we'd almost forgotten them, the stockings. Then dinner (the traditional pesto lasagna) and then..... I'd remember that the next day was my birthday. Yesssss........
So now, my oldest daughter's birthday is December 27th; it just got better and better.
Now let me back up a bit.... Halloween/Samhain, Thanskgiving, and Christmas/Yule are my Big Three favorite holidays of all time. Yes, it's true, I LOVE them. I love the fact that every month from October to December (and even January if you want to count New Year's) there is a big, wonderful holiday steeped in tradition.
Samhain has always felt to me like a wonderful mix of sacred, haunting spirit with fun creepiness, and some excitement on top. There's something wild about the night, about the fact that we dress up in disguise, and just at the time when we'd normally be eating dinner and settling in for the evening, we're venturing out into the world in pursuit of adventure, and, of course, candy. When we would come back from trick-or-treating my mom always had a pot of chicken-and-dumplings on the stove. We'd separate our candy into piles, compare the goods, and warm ourselves within with a big steaming bowl of stew.
|Halloween a few years ago...|
Thanksgiving carries the same blessed weight of tradition, and one of my favorite memories as a child was watching my mom prepare her special Super Apple Pie and the pumpkin pies the night before. The next morning I'd sit in the kitchen from morning to afternoon making cranberry sauce, checking the turkey, stewing the onions, peeling the potatoes. The windows would steam up. We'd sit around the table for a feast, and later stroll around the neighborhood. Then on to pie and coffee, and days to come of leftovers.
And then we arrive back at Christmas!
So now's the time to mention how much I love my children three: Isabella, Lourdes, and Gabriel. It has been a great joy for me to raise them with the traditions that I so adored as a child, and to watch their eyes light up each holiday in anticipation of what's to come. I'm passing down to them the traditions that I inherited, and perhaps adding a few of my own touches along the way.
So to recap so far, let's review what I love:
-I love holidays.
-I love tradition.
-I love my kids.
-I love passing holiday traditions on to my kids.
And now..... for divination!
I love the connection I feel to spirit, and I love the ability to find guidance and confirmation and advice through the tool of Tarot. In fact Tarot itself is a tradition which started with my mother, and was a beautiful element of my life growing up. The first cards I ever used were my mother's Medicine Cards (Jamie Sams), though she herself had the strongest relationship to her Mythic Tarot (Juliet Sharman-Burke, Liz Greene, Tricia Newell). And now I am passing the art down to my girls (and when my son grows, perhaps to him as well). They love Tarot, and I must say that my 6-year-old is quite the intuitive reader!
So I want to bring in my favorite deck, which is the Wildwood (Mary Ryan, John Matthews, Will Worthington). This is a deck that is steeped in a tradition of sorts...spiritual, shamanic tradition of the sort that resonates deeply with my soul. (To translate: I love Wildwood Tarot).
Mark Ryan, John Matthews, Will Worthington
Sterling Ethos, 2011
The card in the Wildwood that represents tradition is the Ancestor, commonly known as the Hierophant in other decks. Not unlike the Hierophant, she makes spiritual traditions accessible and pass-onable. But to me the Ancestor offers some additional, crucial elements. The Ancestor is primal; she represents the core of who we are - our spirit connection that goes back before the beginning of time. She reminds us that we're never truly alone, for the ages of humanity that came before accompany us always. When I look at her image I hear the words "Remember who you are." Remember who you really are, which goes far beyond, and yet also embraces, the traditions that we choose to practice.
So, here's to what we love, and here's to Samhain! May the Blog-Hop forces be with you!