Breaking Open a Lock

Just as Adam and Eve ignored God's command in the Garden of Eden it was inevitable that Blue Beard's bride would disobey him and use the one key he explicitly instructed her not to use. From the outset, we knew that she was going to go through a door into a room containing a terrible … Continue reading Breaking Open a Lock

Lemuralia – Banishing Malevolent Ancestral Spirits

Lemuralia, also called Lemuria, was a festival observed in ancient Rome to banish malevolent spirits of one’s ancestors from one’s house. To cleanse the house, the head of the household had to wake at midnight and wash his hands three times. Then, while walking barefoot throughout the house, he would throw black beans over his … Continue reading Lemuralia – Banishing Malevolent Ancestral Spirits

Bon Odori Festival Japan

"Old fathers, great-grandfathers, Rise as kindred should ..." (Yeats) Bon Odori is a Buddhist custom that lasts for three days, most commonly celebrated on the fifteenth of August. The Bon Odori Festival has been celebrated in Japan for over 500 years and is meant to honour and commemorate dead ancestors. The festival originates from a legend in … Continue reading Bon Odori Festival Japan

Make Descansos to Honour Ancestors

Traditionally Descansos (Spanish for ‘place of rest’) marked the place of loss. Often we pray that the one who has died will rest in peace. In truth, it is those that are left behind that face the challenge of resting peacefully. Descansos is also a way to mark a loss and a space to find peace. … Continue reading Make Descansos to Honour Ancestors

Visit the Isle of Ancestors Tonight

I come to the island tonight to remember blood that runs in my blood all those whose footsteps marked their passing sailors who travelled far and brought their stories teachers who told the tale babes who listened cuddled safe in strong arms young wives who became grandmothers grandmothers whose young lives were cut short for … Continue reading Visit the Isle of Ancestors Tonight

Honouring Ancestors

All Souls’ Day was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny in 993 CE and quickly spread throughout the Christian world. People held festivals for the dead long before Christianity. It was Saint Odilo, the abbot of Cluny in France, who in the 10th century, proposed that the day after All Saints’ Day be set … Continue reading Honouring Ancestors