I have started back making the podcasts on ‘I Think Speech‘
And here are a few recordings with an All Souls Theme: for the ASA with Laura Scapattici & The Connection Between Epidemics, the Souls of the Dead, & the Spiritual World & Our CRC All Souls
For a whole collection of recordings go here
On this All Hallows Eve, do you have the courage to look beyond the mask of the material world, into the spirit realm, the place of our beginning, the time of our unborness, the abode of our ending, when we shuffle off this mortal coil, only to begin again & yet again, as we strive toward the eternal…?
Take heart my friends, for every ending is a new beginning. At All Hallows–tide we stand at the Cross Quarter between Autumn Equinox & Winter Solstice, a time when great transformations are possible. Since with the veils between the worlds so thin, the power of all the worlds are available to us.
What is it like to bring awareness to this most important human initiation, this true rite-of-passage? Can we work to consciously “Cross the Threshold”, as we do in meditation, in sleep & ultimately in our life between death & rebirth..?
As far back as ancient Persia, Mesopotamia & Sumeria, we find many initiation myths like the Epic of Gilgamesh, & the Descent of Inanna, that describe communicating with the dead & a journey to the underworld.
In Ancient Egypt we find: The Book of the Dead = ‘Book of Coming Forth by Day’ also called the ‘Book of Emerging Forth into the Light’; an ancient Egyptian funeral text illustrated with vignettes depicting the deceased & their journey in the afterlife. It was placed in the coffin or burial chamber. The Book consists of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person’s journey through the Duat, or underworld, & into the afterlife. It was written by many priests over a period of over a 1000 years.
Perhaps since in our time now we are recapitulating this epoch we might gain insight by looking into this text with modern eyes.
From ancient Greece we have the story of Demeter & Persephone, as Queen of the Underworld, connected to the secret festival of Thesmophoria, celebrated exclusively by the women. They dressed in white robes & observed strict chastity before & after the ceremony. According to Greek mythology, Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, was gathering flowers one autumn day when she was taken by Pluto, god of the underworld, to his subterranean kingdom. This was re-enacted as an initiation rite of death & resurrection. The 2nd night the women fasted & lowered wild boar, sacred to the goddess Circe & Hecate, into chasms in the earth as a sacrifice.
On the 3rd night the bones from former festivals were placed on altars & mixed with seed corn, which was then sown in the fields as a kind of magical fertilizer to ensure a good crop. Then they had a big feast. They would also cast herbs on their beds & sit on the ground to promote the fertility of the corn.
Although this festival was sacred & solemn, there was a lot of rather bawdy jokes in the style of the wild Crone Baubo, the sexually liberated Goddess of Mirth, who jested with Demeter to try & cheer her up after the loss of her daughter, & get her to bring fertility back to the earth again.
The Romans had a similar festival in honor of Ceres. Also with the Eleusinian mysteries, we see initiation rites enacted to gain inspiration from the gods & the ancestors.
Traditionally, the hunters are out in force. After the end of the breeding season, & before the severe weather comes to kill off many of these creatures anyway, they were taken for the cooking-pot, to supplement what might otherwise be a rather meager winter diet.
With all this death around, it is not surprising that people’s thoughts turned to human death.
The Celtics call All Hallows Eve or Samhain their New Year. Autumn is also the time of the Islamic New Year. Likewise for the Jewish people, with their New Year Rosh Hashanah; & at the end of the High Holy days Sukkot is celebrated, where they build a hut & invite the ancestors & the elemental beings to come to the feast. When you think about it, it makes sense to let the old year die away like the plant life, during this transition into the dark.
It is also traditional to look toward the future, & to dress up as what you want to Become for the New Year. To ask questions, like: Who have I been? Who am I now? & where am I going…? Who do I want to become?
And these are the kind of questions we can ask our beloved dead.
In Wales the souls of the dead are known as ‘the Silent Company’, but when they are welcomed with bwyd cennad y meinv, “the food for the embassy of the dead.” They become our helpers.
We can think of our ancestral allies in 3 ways:
1. Ancestors of the Blood – A common ancestral guide is a relative whom you knew & had some kind of positive connection with in this lifetime, quite often a loving grandparent or great-grandparent.
2. Ancestors of the Soul – This is an ancestral guide from a past life who may have been some kind of teacher or mentor to you.
3. Ancestors of Humanity – These were heroes whose lives were dedicated to the service of human evolution, like Casper Hauser or Jeanne d’Arc. They can be called upon in times of crisis, as Dion Fortune & her group called upon King Arthur & Merlin during the 2nd World War.
Dear friends, let’s take this opportunity to part the veil – letting go of our sense bound thinking, to consciously work with our spiritual helpers in this time of need. Let us set the table with our intention to join together in communion to celebrate the feast of life in all its aspects; as we build a picture of wholeness on the inner planes, which will ray out into all worlds.
31 October 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The constellation Orion, accompanied by the Witch Head Nebula, rises from the eastern horizon before midnight on Halloween. Scientists think it might be an ancient supernova remnant. The Witch Head Nebula is categorized as a reflection nebula, or one that shines with the aid of a nearby star. In this case, Rigel shines its bright light on the gas and dust to create the reflection that we see. The dust reflects more blue light than red, which gives it its eerie purplish-blue hue. ~earthsky
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
ALL HALLOWTIDE II
The Ripening Of Creative Powers
The light from spirit depths
strives outwards like the sun,
becomes life’s strength of will
and shines in senses’ dullness
to liberate the forces
that ripen creative powers
in human work the soul initiates.
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The first day of All-hallows-tide, observed until November 7 (Western Christianity)
Halloween (Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom, United States etc…)
Hop-tu-Naa is a Celtic festival celebrated in the Isle of Man on 31 October. Predating Halloween, it is the celebration of the original New Year’s Eve (Oie Houney). It is thought to be the oldest unbroken tradition in the Isle of Man
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season & the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is the cross quarter between the autumn equinox & the winter solstice.
The Mound of the Hostages, a Neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara, is aligned with the Samhain sunrise. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature & many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain.
It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures & when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit.
Like Beltane, Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world & the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could more easily come into our world. Offerings of food & drink were left outside for them.
The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend & a place set at the table for them.
Mumming & guising were part of the festival, & involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food.
Divination rituals & games were also a big part of the festival.
The first day of the Day of the Dead, celebrated until November 2 (Spanish: Día de Muertos) The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family to pray for & remember members who have died, & help support their spiritual journey.
Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, & the favorite foods & beverages of the departed, & visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead.
683 – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba, catches fire & burns down. The literal meaning of the Arabic word ka`bah (كَعْبَة) is “cube”, or “House of God”, considered the most sacred site in Islam, a similar role to the Tabernacle & Holy of Holies in Judaism.
503 years ago, on Oct. 31, 1517, the story goes, that the small-town monk, Martin Luther, marched up to the castle church in Wittenberg & nailed his ‘95 Theses’ to the door, lighting the flame of the Reformation — the split between the Catholic & Protestant churches. Luther’s act is one of the cornerstones of world history, & remains a lasting symbol of resistance.
Nearly all of American history bears the imprint of that act of protest. Luther’s challenge, the protection he obtained, & the reformers he inspired laid the foundation for the establishment of colonial America.
In 1934, an African American pastor from Georgia made the trip of a lifetime, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, through the gates of Gibraltar, and across the Mediterranean Sea to the Holy Land. After this pilgrimage, he traveled to Berlin, attending an international conference of Baptist pastors. While in Germany, this man — who was named Michael King — became so impressed with what he learned about the reformer Martin Luther that he decided to do something dramatic. He offered the ultimate tribute to the man’s memory by changing his own name to Martin Luther King. His 5-year-old son was also named Michael — and to the son’s dying day his closest relatives would still call him Mike — but not long after the boy’s father changed his own name, he decided to change his son’s name too, & Michael King Jr. became known to the world as Martin Luther King Jr.
Another dynamic measure of the influence of Martin Luther is the quintessentially modern idea of the individual — of our personal responsibility before ourselves & our God, rather than before any institution, whether church or state. This was as unthinkable before Luther. The contemporary idea of “The People,” along with the democratic impulse that proceeds from it – The more recent ideas of pluralism, religious liberty, & self-government all entered history through the door that Luther opened.
Luther’s second unyielding act of courage was at the ‘imperial diet’ held in the city of Worms in 1521, when he made it clear that he feared God’s judgment more than the judgment of church leaders in that room.
And suddenly the individual had the freedom & possibility of thinking for themselves.
Martin Luther was not inclined to tilt at papal windmills. In fact, until about 1520 he was a vigorous champion of the church. He desired desperately to help Rome elude the fate it ended up experiencing. In fact, in a case of Oedipusian irony he became the very man who brought about everything he had hoped to avoid. As his story illustrates, it was a sublime & ridiculous decoction of forces that created the perfect storm that burst over the European continent, creating what we now call the Reformation.
Today the Catholic & Lutheran churches are taking the memory of 1517 in hand. Pope Francis joined leaders of the Lutheran World Federation in Sweden to hold a joint service in a spirit of unity after 500 years of division.
1517 – Deathday of Fra Bartolomeo, Italian artist
1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards. Riots break out in New Delhi & other cities – 4,000 Sikhs are killed.
POD (Poem Of the day)
~My soul duels with worms
Hidden in the clay of being
That would gnaw the scroll of mythos
Witch I carry in my heart whole
& speak thru the living word…
I will cut bait & continue singing…
Look for me there, in the dark…
Homework: Dress up as who you want to be in the coming year