Samhain Ancestor Prayer

from thought.co.com

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before.
Tonight I 
honor my ancestors.
Spirits of my fathers and mothers, I call to you,
and welcome you to join me for this night.
You watch over me always,
protecting and guiding me,
and tonight I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins,
your spirit is in my heart,
your memories are in my soul.

With the gift of remembrance.
I remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within me,
and within those who are yet to come.

Ancestors October 19, 2017

I don’t need the impetus of Samhain to feel the pull of the ancestors. That’s pretty clear from my posts. I’ve addressed why I (all of us) need to work with ancestral lines to clear our own paths. What is becoming clearer now is, the ancestors are stepping forward for their own reasons.

Granted, every morning I greet my ancestors, those known and those I do not know, those of the spirit and those of the land. Recently, maybe because it’s October, my invocations are becoming more intense. I ask those who have lived well and died well and have gone on, to step forward and let me stand on their shoulders.

You’d think I was undertaking a Herculean task, like developing some cure for cancer.

No. I am just trying to get through my daily life – like we all are – and deal with the assaults and fall-out from an administration that seems bent on cruelty and greed. Hundreds of thousands of kids lose their CHIP coverage on December 31. People of color face assault on a daily basis. Women’s bodies are curated by old, white men. And patriotism is limited to a flag, a song and the military, not to be shared with people of color, with mere office workers or mill workers.  And Las Vegas.

So I am sure that my ancestors – and yours – have gone through stuff. As I’ve said, I trust my ancestors because I am the result of a thousand thousand acts of love, and they have a vested interest in my success.

 

Today my father’s grandfather called to me. I found his grave on Findagrave.com as well as the graves of dad’s uncles and aunts. One sibling was missing from the listing – my own grandmother, dad’s mom. Her grave is not located in that cemetery, but I was able to email the administrator and ask that it be linked.

grandma

On my lunch hour, I visited the cemetery, and this is an old cemetery. There are no markers for sections and rows. Another ancestor is buried here, so I parked near that grave and just started walking. And found four out of five graves easily.

mullane

Why am I doing this? These ancestors wanted to be recognized, or I would not have felt the call and spent the time looking for them. Why they want this, I don’t know yet. Maybe it’s just they wanted the acknowledgment. Maybe there is more to come.

The veil is indeed thin now, perhaps it is thinning in a way that will be permanent. Take the time to check in with those ancestors, even if it’s a thought or a candle lit in their memory. You, too, are important to them, and if you have children, you have an even stronger reason to affirm your line of ancestors. Not all will be willing to help you – but if you’re skeptical of angels and guides, you know that ancestors actually walked the earth. The ones who love you also have your back.

Sláinte

ps. You can do anything . Together, we make a difference.

hedgehog1

More Ancestor Work

 

Please check out Christina Platt’s podcasts “Why Shamanism Now” for the background on this post.

Christina’s latest podcast was about ancestor work and this entire year I’ve been drawn to that topic.

I really believe our ancestor offer a great and unique opportunity as guides and reference points. For one thing, as I’ve already written, they have a vested interest in your success. After all, you’re their legacy, just as you will one day be an ancestor to your descendants.

They are also “real” people who lived – as opposed to angels, spirit guides and beings of those realms we read about, but may not feel connected to.

But the ancestors can cast a long shadow over us in a negative way. Not everyone who lived, actually lived well. Nor did they die well. And by that I mean, they had unresolved issues that were passed down.

Let me stop here and say, not every family problem is an ancestor problem. Sometimes people are assholes period.

But, maybe you do see a family pattern and wonder if there’s a way to clear that up. Alcoholism and abandonment issues run in my family. I hesitant to bring up health patterns although Christina’s podcast touches on that in a much better way than I ever can. I am Miss Skeptic about a lot of things, so I’m going to use examples from my personal experience.

There are many, many books out there on ancestor healing, Daniel Foor, Christina Pratt and Gretchen Crilly McKay also offer training. Anywhere you start is a good place.

For myself, I set the intention to find an ancestor who lived well and died well to come forward and help me with those two issues.  To be fair, I can certainly live my life pretty well, even around this fear of abandonment, and while I am a social drinker, I’ve seen some serious alcoholism/addictions in the family.

But I feel like the fear of abandonment, even though I recognize it, may be stopping me from living my life fully. (I have no idea what that means – except there’s this little haunting thought as I make decisions “who’s going to get mad, maybe I don’t really need to do this fun thing for me. I should go do dishes.”)

Now, for the record, I don’t have kids, so I’m doing this for me and allegedly this will carry forward to decedents of my siblings (families are already experiencing what I saw with my grandparents/parents/self).

We’ll see how this goes. I will keep us all posted.

 

More Ancestors

I continue my exploration down the Ancestor Lane.

A couple weeks ago I randomly thought of my grandfather’s two brothers. They both died pretty young, one before my mom was born, so that’s the early thirties. Other than names, I had no information on them. I sat with the “random thought” for a day or so to see where this might lead. Sometimes these things go away.

It didn’t. It didn’t become a full-blown mania, like the time I emailed my great-aunt’s picture to about 30 convents in the Ohio/ Pennsylvania area, in my quest to find out more about her.

But, the thought persisted.

When I stopped to visit my mom, I asked her about these men. She said John died quite young and Anthony and Jeff (my grandpa) were close. She remembered him being around when they lived in Dayton during her first grade. But, he died shortly after. She had no real memory of his looks or voice.

When in doubt, I ask for direction. In my experience, long-dead relatives don’t just pop in to say hello, they generally need something, or recognize YOU need something. Since these gentlemen had been gone awhile, that may be why my impressions from them were extremely subtle, but strong enough for their energy to be recognized.  I have a lot of beloved dead, as do we all, but there was enough of …something… for me to discern them.

monasteryAnyway, after a few days I had the thought to go to the local monastery and light a white candle for each of them. Why this action? I played 20 questions a couple times, mentally asking “how about this?” “what about if I do that?” The candle at the monastery brought a peaceful reaction. Again, nothing was really strong about this experience. The monastery worked, I think, because the family was Irish Catholic and a couple of the women were nuns.

Why do the dead contact us?

In my case, I am looking for help to release some patterns that may (or may not) be a family pattern. I like to keep an open mind, after all. And so far, I’m not getting relief from my “go-to” practices: exercise, breathing, reading, meditating, pretending nothing is wrong. So – I am asking the ancestors for guidance. It is not surprising to receive not-so-random thoughts. They inspire me to be aware of help. Shortly after this experience, I dreamed I was being chased, near the house I grew up in. The scene shifted to the inside, where two men, back-lit by golden light, were there to protect me.

What does honoring the Ancestors entail?

I have an Ancestor Altar on my sacred tools altar. Yes, I am doubling up, but it’s a space issue. Three altars are a lot for one room. Anyway, in the dedicated ancestor space are items that mean something to me, most of them came from journeying. Every morning, since early summer, I sit with the ancestors, those of my blood, of my spirit and of my soul. I smudge the area with Palo Santo smoke and thank them for living well, and dying well, and for the guidance they give me. I am the result of a thousand acts of love. As we all are. And it’s in both of our best interests for me to succeed in my life. Then I ask them to guide me in releasing these patterns. I have a particular Tarot Deck that I draw cards from when I am with them. It’s like a Cliff Notes version of a conversation.

A second experience

My second venture with the ancestors was with my Grandmother Anna. This is my dad’s mom. She died two months before I was born. This is kind of funny: she died in 1958 and I am going to be 58 on my next birthday, so it’s been 58 years since she walked this plane.  I had never been to her grave. One reason was, I thought she was buried in a different cemetery, and it wasn’t all that close. I used to visit the beloved dead on my birthday, to give thanks and honor them. Of course, that’s the day before Halloween, so a win for me that the veil is thin around that time of year.

Anyway, I used Gravefinder.com to find her correct cemetery and Google maps to get me there on my lunch hour. I took her white carnations. It was actually a lovely headstone, and talking to her brought some tears up, so there’s some healing there.

She actually came to me in a dream shortly after my dad died. She was quite radiant, so I know she crossed over well and I have confidence that she will give me proper guidance as I move forward.

What does this mean?

It means the dead are never removed from us. The ancestors have a vested interest in our well-being, and can be a valuable source of support and guidance. A caveat: not all ancestors lived or died well. Discernment is the key when you call on ancestors, just as with any entity from the spirit world.

RAOK

So… tragic week in U.S. again. Still.

This isn’t going to bring anyone back, and it surely won’t change any laws-gun or LGBT protection – but it usually brings a spark of light into a pretty dismal world. Today, practice a Random Act of Kindness.

Smile at the checkout clerk, pet a dog, pickup some trash, give a couple bucks to the sad-looking teen or oldster who’s sitting by themselves. Offer them a smile too. When you’re heart is breaking, offer a piece to the person next to you.

Last week I was missing my dad. A lot. And out of no where, someone gifted me with a hand-made Hamsa (shaman’s hand, healing hand).Kitchen 2

Several weeks ago, she had heard me say that I collect them, thought of me, and brought it to a meeting. I was really overwhelmed, not just by her kindness, but by the fact that I know my dad was hearing me miss him, and this was his way of hearing me.

So last Friday, a friend posted that it would have been her brother’s birthday, the first birthday since he had died this winter. She had some plans for her mom, because it was going to be a really tough day for her. Her mom, Mary, is my neighbor, and this loss…well, burying a child…there are no words.

Anyway, for some reason I remembered this bracelet I had purchased last fall that had angel wings, hearts and green stones. It was intended as a gift, but never made it out of the house at Christmas. I stuck it in my pocket when we walked Miss Penny, and thought I’d give it to Mary if I saw her out walking. Well, I didn’t see her and had some errands to run, so we we drove over to a small town for some produce. And there was Mary buying apples.

Coincidence? I don’t thinks so. After a hug, I tucked it in her hand. I think we both knew it was from Joe, her son. But we didn’t need to say that. So, my day got 100% brighter, and maybe her grief lifted 1%, but that’s ok.

Here’s my challenge: go RAOK like mad this week. It won’t make up for what’s happened to the Orlando families, but it will make you feel at least 1% better.

 

Do pets grieve?

footprint-1084875__180

A friend emailed me after her much-loved dog had crossed.

“Do the other dogs miss her?” she asked.

I thought about this for awhile, because, you know, death and grieving don’t really have words. They are States of Being. And I wanted to honor those States of Being. I went to my guides for information.

I told her that at this time*, I believe that dogs live in the present moment. They are very much aware of “now.” And in her household, her other dogs could still smell Lily, but they could not see her physical presence. When I checked in on them about this, they expressed confusion. “Lily is not here, but we smell Lily.”

My friend was disappointed, because of course she was heartbroken over Lily’s death. She wanted confirmation that this loss was also felt by the other dogs in her house.

“They will be able to see Lily when she is present in spirit-form,” I told her. You’ve seen dogs and cats just stare off at something, they have a more refined set senses than we do. So for them, it is not the same emotional trauma. They understand loss, as in “not here” but they do not dwell on that.

This is a tough subject – well, death is always so, in our culture – but with pets, we really want to imprint human characteristics on them. Believe me, I do it all the time. In many ways, they are so much more advanced (spiritually) than we give them credit for.

I wanted to reassure my friend that everything and everyone was ok, (they were and so is her beloved pet in spirit), and that she shouldn’t judge her other pets’ behavior based on her very raw emotions.

  • This is my disclaimer: My beliefs are always evolving. This is what I believe now, based on my experience up to now. Someone else’s experience may be very different, so please honor everyone’s perspective.

 

Penny from Heaven

Many years ago, I lost a beloved companion animal, one that took my heart – she was my heart. She was just a special soul, in a special way, at a very important time.

Her presence was so meaningful for me, and the loss so keen, that I contacted another animal communicator to reach her and see if she would one day return to me.

The conversation was a long one, and the upshot was, when I learned the lesson of Lassie’s life, and death, then she would reincarnate with me again.

So. There was work to be done to see what those lessons were. And they are irrelevant to this post. What is relevant, is that the bond of love never dies, whether it’s a pet or a person.

Several years ago, I felt it may be time to touch Lassie and see if she was ready to come back to this plane. In my mediation, she showed me a dog that had half of it’s face shadowed by darker fur, and she showed the tail as short or darkened somehow at the base.

I really really wanted her to come back.

26525_371362828274_609114_n
Rhett Butler and me in 2009

We currently had a senior rescue coonhound that we loved dearly, Rhett Butler, an amazing soul who would probably have tolerated another dog. Rhett was so afraid when he came to us – and me being me, I wanted him to have a name that would give him dignity and respect when uttered. So, Rhett Butler he became.

Rhett collapsed in our house during the Super Bowl last year. He couldn’t use his back legs at all, and it was a horrible Monday morning that we released him to spirit at our vet’s.

Meanwhile I was caring for my dad with cancer, and my mom with dementia. And working. So why was I trolling through rescue sites looking for a dog, when the last thing I needed was another soul to care for.

I journeyed to my Wise Tree. “Why am I obsessed with this, what can possibly be a good outcome for bring a new dog into our home in winter?” And Tree showed me playing in the yard with a small dog.

Playing. Something I hadn’t even thought of since my dad had gotten sick, when my days were spent at hospitals or my parent’s home and my nights were filled with worry and anxiety and tears.

A month after Rhett crossed, I applied for a beagle at a rescue. They were so sorry! that dog had been rescued, could they interest me in a little mix? Cattle dog and Rat Terrier?

We emailed information back and forth, and almost didn’t consider her, even though her picture, well, it was really close to what Lassie showed me.

11390559_10153936520488275_5461169790477310545_n
Penny Lane

 

She had been abused, was dog aggressive, her previous owner said she tore up stuff. Almost the exact opposite of Lassie’s behavior. But the rescue *knew* we could help this little girl. They tested her at their house for destruction – there was none. They let us have a trial run. So of course, we fell in love. Her name was Penny.

There was a lot of synchronicity in this story and I’m afraid I haven’t told it well. You may ask, well if this is Lassie, why is she different? My answer at this point in my understanding is, there is part of the soul-of-Lassie, and other parts of SOUL as well. Lassie was a shy dog, one who went nutsy during storms. Penny is not shy, very protective of her (and our) space. So, I see balance – for and for me.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in reincarnation or not. But I know a lot of people who grieve for their pets so deeply and so badly want that pet to come back. This is my story, and I hope it helps someone.

 

Losing a pet

Today’s Blogging 101 assignment is to compose a post, based on a comment I made yesterday.

 

Cammy’s furkid transitioned to spirit. When I read her post The Dignity and the Mystery, I was really touched, because we lost our Rhett Butler this time, last year. He was a gentle soul, a rescued coonhound of middle age back in 2009, and dearly loved.

26525_371362828274_609114_n
Rhett Butler, October 2009

There are no greater optimists, then those who love an animal and bring them into their homes. You know they will leave you one day. And despite this heartache, we do it again and again.

Why is this?

Everyone will have a different answer. For me, it is because I cannot imagine life without a dog.Their love is unconditional. And a rescue dog, well, you save a life and that will allow another dog to be rescued and find their forever home.

I was with Rhett at the end, and before him, with our basset hound Aerosmith.

1914113_177959668274_5087853_n
Aerosmith, summer 2008

This is sacred time. And through the tears, we told each of them how loved they were, and how we would miss them, but that we understood. When Aero passed, I felt his spirit lift and a sense of a gold/yellow presence ran off to go chase a scent. Through the tears, I realized he had given me a great gift, the gift of feeling his spirit run free, and the knowing that life never ends, it just changes.

 

And from their lessons, I learned to cherish the sacred time I had with my dad, before and as he transitioned. We should all have this gift, this reverence for life, as it comes in and as it transitions forward.

 

Why am I here?

 

I was going to turn this into an existential post, since that seems to be part of my spiritual unfolding.

It’s true, of course. I am blogging to connect with “like-minded” people. But more importantly, I am gaining confidence to share whatever gifts and talents I have.

This blog will probably hit a lot of different topics, including animal communication and shamanic healing practices, traveling your spiritual path and probably a lot of end-of-life thoughts.

The end-of-life topics are probably the last thing people want to hear about. But I have spent the last 18 months seeing my dad through cancer treatments and his passing, and now, caring for my mom and all the paperwork that goes with selling her house and moving into an assisted care facility. Which she did not initially embrace.

It’s a lonely road and often heartbreaking. But it helps to have the tools to deal with it. So, I will be exploring that, a lot.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to be of service.

Karen