Starting and ending with grace

Day of the Dead – A Day of Remembering and Honouring

It’s a few days before Halloween and you can feel the excitement. There are fairies, witches and super heroes already out and about and you can feel the excitement in the air. I hear fireworks in the distance and it takes me back to the firework shows that the neighbourhood held together when I was a kid. It seemed that we all got very excited when the burning of the schoolhouse was lit.

It was a few years ago that I was in Joshua Tree over Halloween with a group from the Four Winds Society studying Conscious Dying. It is said that this is a very powerful time of year where the veil is thinner between the physical and the non-physical.

I’m sure this is why the celebration of The Day of the Dead or in Spanish the Día de Muertos is held now. This is a Mexican holiday that takes place on November 1st and 2nd and is celebrated throughout Mexico, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. This holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

The Day of the Dead started thousands of years ago with the Aztecs and Toltecs. They felt that mourning the dead was disrespectful. For these cultures’ death was a natural part of life. The dead were still members of the family and part of the community. They were kept alive in memory and in spirit and they returned to the earth during Día de Muertos.

The main focus of the celebration is an altar which is created in homes and or in cemeteries. These altars are not for worshipping the dead relatives, they are for welcoming them back to the realm of the physical. These altars are filled with offerings such as favourite foods of the deceased, water, family photos, and a candle honouring each dead relative. Marigolds are the main flower that are used to decorate the altar and their petals will be scattered around the altar and the gravesite. They believe that marigold petals guide the souls back to their place of rest. Copal incense (made from a tree resin) is used to purify the area and for prayers.

The Day Of The Dead is a beautiful act of remembering and honouring the deceased. It’s a physical demonstration of merging the physical and non-physical realms because when we hold a ceremony or perform a ritual, we are working at the soul level. Ceremonies are a way for our souls to connect. This realm is not mental so we cannot logically figure our way in or out of it. You have to let go of the mind and trust the body because it’s about feeling and knowing. The spiritual aspect of self is just as important as the physical aspect.

Why not create your own ceremony for your loved one on November 1st. Holding a ceremony by yourself or with family will honour the deceased person’s life in an extremely intimate way and will unifying the family.

Did you like this blog article? Leave me a comment below and let me know how this has helped you. To go deeper with this particular topic, listen to my radio interview on All Business Media FM.

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