Sunday, October 28, 2012

Everyday Medicine: Ancestors

The sky is heavy today, feeding a melancholy mood. Earlier, I pondered an afternoon's raking of the never-ending leaves from the grandmother maple in the back yard, yet I was not inspired by this choice. I have been feeling restless, unable to settle into an activity for any length of time. I hate this mood of distraction. When it strikes, I feel completely unable to get anything accomplished. Even sitting and doing nothing feels off. So as I sat in my rocking chair, stuck in anxious indecision, I looked over to my ancestor altar. And it occurred to me that perhaps some active meditation is what I needed. And surely enough, it was.

There were two altars I wanted to make for All Hallows this year. One is dedicated to my ancestral and spiritual lineages and would involve setting up a more elaborate altar than my daily ancestral altar. The other is something different. I've been pondering doing specific altars for the blessed dead who inspire me, as a group or individuals. This year I wanted to do a separate altar honoring the women of the suffrage movement, both in the UK and US. This subject is very near and dear to my heart, so it seemed fitting to honor them during this time of the year. So that's what I worked on this afternoon.

These altars will be works in progress through All Hallows and a few days after. I did a bunch of work on them today and not-so-oddly-enough, I feel much more grounded and embodied. Crafting the collages helped channel some of my blocked creativity and creating the offerings helped settle my energy. I want to get some flowers for my ancestral altar and some lace to put around the edges of the collages. I will probably dig through my stickers and see what kind of late 19th century style art I can find to use as well. And this week, when I make my morning tea, I will be sure to make a proper cup for those women as well.

Sitting back, with a cup of peppermint and nettle tea, I realize that coming back to basics (like the blood that thrums through my veins and the reminders of the sacrifices made so I can live a life I want) is such an incredible gift. And as I type this, the sun breaks through and I see a hint of blue sky. Maybe doing some raking isn't out of the question after all. It is definitely easier to consider now that I have a lighter heart.

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