PDU - Life and Death/Ancestors/Samhain
I’m very late on the PDU posts so I’ve decided to combine the last three topics together. I also think they all correspond to one another in one form or another. I’m not even sure what to write really, maybe I’ll just type and see what comes out.
Life & Death
Interestingly, I don’t fear death. It’s an inevitable part of life, perhaps it’s the consequence of living or maybe the reward. Could it be the journey’s end when one has accomplished everything or the full stop to a life of regret? I fear the manner in which I might die but I think that’s natural, overall it’s not something I give a lot of daily thought to, why borrow trouble? Perhaps being Pagan I tend not to worry overly much about it because this realm, this life is only one life in the many that we have, will have or have had. I’m a student of the mysteries, a wild mystic who sees beyond what is now. I’m also studying Past Life Therapy (among so many other things) so it does lend itself to a thought process of there being more beyond what is currently this life. I believe in the ancestral soul, which means that our memories, our past lives, perhaps even the very core of who we are is passed down in the blood, we are so much more than just the sum of our parts, we are also parts of those who walked before us and we carry the soul knowledge of them and also the soul knowledge of those who will come after us. In some ways we are immortal, because whether it is past, present or future, we all live on in some form. So essentially, I would say my final thoughts of life and death is that we live, we die, we love, we share, we cry, we hurt, we grow and we eventually return to the darkness before moving to wherever it is our souls move on to beginning the process of existence once again in whatever form that happens to be.
I don’t really do ancestor worship, it’s not something I as yet feel comfortable doing because my ancestors are just names on a page – my family is not the closest. What do I think when I think of my ancestors? Mystery – yet I also know some of them better than I know my own blood. I’m descended from convicts and immigrants. My maternal line has a rather interesting lot of characters in it. Four of them were all First Fleeters - two former slaves – one African American (thought to be very musical, especially on the harmonica and tambourine), the other either West Indian or Carribean – although some also claim Africa American as well. One found guilty of ‘felonious assault and putting him (the victim) in corporal fear of danger of his life’ (English) and finally the future (English) husband of the felonious assaulter who was transported for ‘felonious stealing’ – he was originally intended for America but due to ‘mutinous behaviour’ on board the ship was put to trial again and sent to Australia. The two Johns (both slaves, a.k.a John R and John M) must have become quite good friends as John R’s daughter married John M. There was also the dear George Bowerman who was eventually hung for highway robbery. John M's daughter Mary married George's son George Jnr and their daughter married Mary's sister's son John (guessing the options for spouses must have been quite limited - and John was a popular name). There is plenty of Irish and English in my maternal line, explains why I burn like a tomato instead of tan, my lucky brother on the other hand must have inherited the darker genes from the Johns, as well as my Spanish ancestor – he tans not burns.
On my paternal side was a Spaniard who immigrated to Tasmania, his daughter had 3 husbands – I’m descended from husband number #2 – a little mystery surrounding one William Carroll (very generic Irish name), some say he came to Australia escaping the law in Ireland. We’ll never know because no one knows anything much about him. My paternal line, outside of that, is mostly English with a rather large Cornwall contingent. I’ve investigated a little bit, I know names, places, dates but I don’t particularly get the essence of any of my ancestors, so perhaps one day, I’ll come to think about working with them but not right now.
Not particularly working with the Beloved Dead or Ancestors, my Samhain is generally reserved for seasonable observance and nothing more. It’s an indicator on the path of Autumn, the time when the shades of trees begin to change and the weather cools. I don’t even recognise it as a time when the veil is thinnest because being a hedge witch, you tend to always be one side of the veil or the other. Perhaps that will change; I’m still learning which seasonal observances I truly wish to honour.