Showing posts from October, 2017

Ancestors, All Souls and the Modern World

Ancestor veneration is practiced around the world in many countries. The rites and rituals are based on the belief that our ancestors, as well as the souls of those who have gone on before us, still play a role in our daily lives. 
Thousands of years ago, my Celtic ancestors honored the dead during the observance of Samhain (pronounced SOW-in in Ireland). They welcomed their dead home, asked that the harvested fields become fertile once more, and warned off restless spirits with grotesquely carved turnips.
A sacred fire was lit atop Tlachtga, while on Tara members of the Irish tribes gathered. All the fires in Ireland would be extinguished at this time. Families would light a torch from the great fire on Tlachtga, bring it home and relighting their home fires, which were kept burning year round. 
This was a time of endings and beginnings. A time to gather in and cast off. A time to remember and a time to forget. Summer and all its glories were past; winter was at the door with its long, …

'Tis the Season

There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen In September, the season of Light, Love and Gratitude began. This month, people around the world celebrate - the harvest (Sukkot), grateful for the bounty they have been given; the Light (Diwali), observing Light and darkness; and the love of ancestors (All Soul's Day/All Hallows' Eve), remembering our dead and giving thanks for their lives with us. As we move forward towards the end of the year, the feasts and festivals of Light, Love and Gratitude continue.   This year, there is a greater need to observe these days, together. The world is very "dark" in so many places due to natural disasters, hate, oppression, and greed. Observing these Holy days, reminds us that even in the darkest night the Light of millions of stars illuminates the sky. These times together remind us that Love is eternal; that those who shared our lives are always with us. These celebrations remind us to be Grateful for…

Prayer AND Action

Photo Credit: (c) 2017 Band of Angels - L M Neas
The last nine months have been increasingly difficult for so many around the world. Politics aside, there have been numerous natural disasters that, at times, have made it difficult to feel safe, let alone know what to do. But, when random violence is added to the mix, our security bottoms out, leaving us all vulnerable and filled with fear.
Random violence with hand guns and automatic weapons in the United States has become daily news. Our schools, churches, and venues of entertainment have all been placed in the cross hairs of someone's gun sight.
During these times, the first thing many people do is turn to prayer, which is exactly what happened this past week, when a killer let loose on innocent victims in Las Vegas. This time, however, there was a torrent of memes on social media disparaging prayer. "Get off your knees and do something!" one such message read. Another stated, "The time for prayer is over. Do somethi…

To Be Content

Why is it that we find contentment to be so elusive? Why can't we simply be happy? 

I believe that much of this feeling of discontentment comes from the media. The world of advertisement keeps us all in a constant state of want. Consider the copy in these ads:

"The joy of winning."
"Things go better with C..."
"Smart way to go places."

Without even knowing what is being sold, you can come to the conclusion that if you purchase whatever is being sold, you win; things will be better; and, you will achieve your goals.  No wonder being content is so difficult!  Now, add to the copy photos of smiling couples, sexy bodies and images of wealth and privilege. What you end up with is a formula for keeping the public wanting more, constantly.

Let's face it, the job of advertisers is to sell. How do they get people to buy product? By seducing the public into thinking they need whatever it is that is for sale. The truth is, we don't "need" most of wha…