Sharing birthday and Day of the Dead happiness — a gift for you!

My birthday, and Day of the Dead, were Monday November 2nd.

And I got to have an altar at the Berkeley Day of the Dead (DotD) festival.

I want to tell you how amazing this evening was. Even though I was freezing; even though there was thunder, lightning, and rain for two hours during and after set-up; even though it was a long long day; it was amazing!

Day of the Dead

Here’s how the amazing Day of the Dead event went.

I went and dug up some graveyard dirt (why yes, I am a witch) and placed it in the bucket with the sign on it at the table. I had paper and markers. I expected that maybe a few people would stop by and, in DotD spirit, write the names of their beloved dead on paper and throw it in the dirt. What I offered was clearly more resonant than I thought it would be — I almost ran out of the slips of paper I brought with me. After a while you couldn’t even see the dirt in the bucket. People were moved, and thanked me, reverently. Some asked what I would do with the names, and I told them I would burn or bury all the paper this week, respectfully — “Your ancestors deserve no less.”

In the lulls as people walked by I thought about whipping out my phone — y’know, play a little Words with Friends, or otherwise entertain myself. Most unusually for me, I never did. I just sat there and held space for the depth and reverence available in this interactive offer — because I felt called to do so. My presence made the connections I had with people (from little kids to older folk) throughout the event deep and hella sacred. I thanked people when I feel so grateful and so blessed! Once or twice I found myself saying “Thanks for playing” in a way that was totally in keeping with the joyful reverence.

My birthday — a gift for you

I have a birthday gift to offer you!

I’m giving away six free coaching sessions, want one?

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Happy Birthday Sue! Sounds like you had an wonderful time. Thank goodness they celebrate “good witches” these day instead of burning them at the stake! Can’t stop the Goddesses any longer….the divine feminine is here to create shift! xo

    • Thank you Andrea, it was pretty lovely. And continues — two more birthday celebrations scheduled.

      Love to you.

  2. I’m glad to hear you had an amazing day, and that your altar got such a great response. I’ll share your offer, so you can get the people you are looking for 🙂

    • Ck, absolutement! Thank you so much for holding down the fort with me through those crazy weather conditions. Blessings to you!


  3. Sue, I was unfamiliar with this beautiful tradition. It is very similar to the Dumb Supper held on All Hallow’s Eve in that it gives loved ones an opportunity to include their passed over loved ones in a celebration of love and remembrance. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

    • Kathleen, yes, very much like the Dumb Supper, which I just learned about a few years ago. Also hella sacred.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Love and light,

    • Welcome, Lure, lovely to see you here. Thanks for the birthday love. I love this — celebrating all week!

      Love and magic,

  4. No I didn’t know you were a witch Sue but good for you! I am always fascinated by various rituals, which is probably one reason I became so involved in the local culture here in Hawaii. Very inspirational read. 🙂

    • Marquita, Ah, Hawaiian culture…. another important part of my spiritual stew. I studied with a kumu hula for three years here in San Francisco.

      Much love to you,

  5. What a beautiful way to celebrate your birthday, Sue…and what a beautiful way to hold space for others. Love seeing the picture of your altar…and imagining how your offering unfolded, as passersby “buried” and remembered their beloved.

    • Shulamit, I’ve been driving to remote corners of cemeteries to get dirt for years. Haven’t had a problem yet.

      LOL is right.


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