I have an ancestors altar
I keep it all year long, and add to it every year.
I add to it when one of my beloveds passes. A couple of years ago, I added my father to this altar, and now I’m the oldest person in my family. A powerful and grave shift to make, and one for which I wasn’t really prepared. There’s even a term for that, it’s called moving into the Terminal Generation. I experienced a huge release and acceptance at this turn of events in my life. Ownership of all I’ve learned. Reverence for all the lessons and love (however mistaught and misguided) received from those who made and cared for me. Releasing and transforming some of my attachment to youth, especially this persistent idea: that I would be rescued and carried by others. Another big one: I was able to finally know, understand, accept and act on what I have learned I am here to do. To claim my sovereignty. To be of sacred service.
I also add to my altar because it’s part of my birthday ritual. Today, Day of the Dead, is my birthday, and every year I make a pilgrimage to Corazon del Pueblo in East Oakland and treat myself to another piece for my altar, and I also buy a tin heart for my collection. This year, since it’s a Saturday I will also get to walk the Fruitvale Dia De Los Muertos Festival—look at the altars and join the raucous and reverent celebration.
This New Moon is all about release and transformation
Let’s see, where are we? Oh yeah! We are in it! This is a major transformation time.
- Samhain was Thursday, the veils between the worlds are thinnest right now
- The New Moon Solar Eclipse is tomorrow (at 11º16’ Scorpio at 4:50am Pacific time)
- Mercury is still retrograde until 11/10 (and they thought to launch the Affordable Care Act website during a Merc Rx, and expected it to work?)
This New Moon / total Solar Eclipse happens in Samhain season, when the Sun is in Scorpio, the sign of death and rebirth. The veils are thin, and the flow of past, present and future may feel less like separate states to you than usual. Everything we got from our beloved dead is in us — their bones, their blood, their tears, their joys, their stories, their tragedies, their mistakes, their victories. This is a perfect time to release what you are still carrying around as pain, injustice and resentment and transform it to forgiveness, gratitude, and respect.
Yes, you can choose to change the way you think about past slights. Choosing forgiveness, gratitude and respect is a triple-powerful way to heal and let go of old wounds. It lands you powerfully in acceptance. When you let go of your yearning for what should have been, and deeply surrender to what was, and is, you are set free.
Suggestions for your New Moon working: Release to transform
When you release something, especially old pain and hurt, you create an opening for new energy, you get unstuck.
Write down what you are ready to release. Let it go one of these ways:
- Fold the paper up small and tuck it into a venerable tree’s branches—give it to the tree. Be with the tree, connect to it. See its leaves—where is your tree in its own season of release?
- Burn your paper, and watch the smoke dissipate, knowing that it carries away what no longer serves you.
- Ritually release it (on biodegradable paper, of course) into the water.
Pay slow attention to the process. Be gentle with yourself as you release these deep emotions.Is there regret? A tightness? Sorrow? Or simply relief? Let the event teach you something about yourself.
End your ritual when you are back in your sacred space at home. Light candles in a dark room, give deep thanks to your beloved dead, and for the gifts of this moment of transformation, for all that you have received through grief, death, loss, release and transformation.
How is this Samhain / Scorpio / New Moon Eclipse time landing for you, beloved? I love to hear from you. Please, talk to me in the comments!
And always, always, there’s gratitude
- I am deeply grateful for the birthday love that is pouring in
- I am grateful for my family and beloved friends — if all goes as planned, I will see my daughter tomorrow and that makes me so happy
- I am grateful for deep acceptance of my changed health, and for the knowing that it will continue to change (and for surrendering to the humbling understanding that I don’t get to know how or when!)
- I am grateful to be alive and present to this dance of life, even so so much older than I ever planned to be!
- I am grateful for the foundation this gratitude practice gives me.
I love to hear what you’re grateful for today, right now, in this breath. Jump into the comments and let me know. Blessings!