Thursday, 31 October 2013

Samhain Blog Prompt

Image from Pagan Space
Ellen over at Greylady's Hearth has been offering us translations of blog prompts from Berthe van Soest for this autumn season.  I was moved by the prompt for Samhain, and decided I would have to write about it, so here goes:

October 31st: Today it is Samhain.  A day to celebrate and remember our beloved ones who have passed away.  Name somebody you want to remember and pull a card on how you want to keep his/her memory alive.

The person I want to remember is my maternal grandmother.  She died on the 30th of October, so this time of year is doubly relevant - for her actual death, as well as for Samhain and the thinning of the veil.  She was an amazing woman, who trained as a doctor, and who kept on serving even after she retired, teaching sexual education classes in schools to help keep teenagers safe and informed.  She was strong and loving, she baked wonderful biscuits, and she was vain (keeping her false teeth a secret even from her husband of four decades).  At the end, she used her medical knowledge to end her own life, rather than stay chained to a hospital bed with no dignity and no quality of life, taking the time to say a proper goodbye to all her loved ones first.  I find her an inspiration still.

So, how do I want to keep her memory alive at this time?  My answer, from the Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011) is the Warrior Prince.  Having a Warrior (Wands) card come up for my Grandma is not much of a surprise.  She was definitely a passionate and outgoing person, even though she also knew how to keep her own counsel.  Still, having the Prince (Knight) come up was a little more surprising.

Thinking about it, though, I see this saying that I can honour my Grandma's spirit by following where my passions lead me.  Even if, in the moment, that seems a little chaotic or unplanned.  I've been thinking today about my life choices.  In some ways I'm exactly where I want to be, and am doing things my family and society expect of me: having a baby.  In other ways, I worry that I've gone way off-course from what my plans were seven or even two years ago.  Yet, I love what I'm doing right now, even if it is unconventional.

I love, too, that this card is titled the Gift of Spirit.  This openness to living in the moment and following my passion is the gift I dedicate to my Grandma's spirit.

8 comments:

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  2. It was so moving to read this personal story about your grandmother who was so dear to you. Thank you very much. I've decided to do this last prompt for myself. It will be about my dad, but it is too soon to do this in public and he was a very private person

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    1. I wish you well in you're remembering of your father, Ellen!

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    2. Thank you so much Kerry.
      Children don't need words to feel they are loved. It is the loving attention that connects people. She was surely grand lady :)

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    3. Sounds like your father was a lovely man, too. Not everyone manages to convey their love through their attention :)

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  3. Your grandma just sounded so cool. What a legacy and a memory!

    I hope you are doing what is right for you and makes you happy...to heck with the rest!!

    Xxooo

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    1. Thanks, MM. She was pretty cool. I found her a little daunting as a child, she was quite loud and forceful, and for a while I couldn't really understand her as she only spoke German, which I didn't really learn til I was 8 or 9. Yet, we still shared a lovely bond, she was the only person I knew who got up as early as I did and, even without language, she taught me how to bake :D

      As for the rest, I guess time will tell… ;)
      Halloween Hugs,
      Kxx

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