One sunny fall afternoon in Austin, Texas, as I walked into a Walmart with my 3-year-old son, we heard the sound of laughter and music to our right. My son dropped my hand in the parking lot to point to a graveyard that I had never noticed before. “I want to go ober dere,” he said.
When we walked over to take a closer look, the smell of bar-b-que and the sight of balloons greeted us. My son wanted to know why there were so many parties out on the green lawn that day and it took me a moment to realize that we had stumbled upon a Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Some of you might already have an ancestral altar or otherwise continue your relationship with departed family members. What was so compelling to my son and me that day was the communal and festive nature of the celebration. This was no stale church service, but instead a colorful weaving of the reality of death into the fabric of life.
So this week, in the midst of a deadly pandemic and just before a consequential national election in the US, I invite you to join me for a virtual version of a communal graveside picnic.
Nothing brings life into perspective like celebrating our love and the memory of those who have died, and Lord knows we could all benefit from some laughter, tears, and perspective about now.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of the dead that originated in Mexico and coincides with the Catholic feast days of All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day.
It is customary in Dia de los Muertos celebrations to offer trinkets, favorite candies or drinks to the deceased at the grave. See if you might track down something for your beloved(s) to offer in the circle.
Also, sharing a picture of your loved one(s) would be appropriate. If you wish to remember an animal companion or a spiritual ancestor who has passed on, do feel free to do so as well. Ancestors take many forms.
Our intention will be to celebrate our beloved departed in the circle and then journey to the unseen world to feed our attention, love, and tears to our loved ones through the help of our whole and healed ancestors–the elders–in our line. If there is anything we need to say or to ask, or that they might wish to say to us in return, our elders can safely convey any messages for us.
This is a free, online journey circle offered by Gaia Shamanism on Wednesdays from 4-5:30 pm PDT.
If you would like to join us, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. All skill levels welcome.