It’s been a funny few weeks in our lives (my husband and I) if I look back on it. Friendships changed and/or lost, family ties severed and a few “why is the bill that big?” moments. But that’s how life is, a series of tides and eddies that alternate between bringing us onto land or taking us back out into deep waters. And on further contemplation, the family ties thing seems to have started to be it’s own cyclic thing. It was around this time last year that we had this going on as well. Now that we’re wondering if it’s cyclic, we can be prepared for it next time, yes?
We’ve just acknowledged the Christian celebration of Easter; the crucifixion and resurrection of their Lord, Jesus. For many years, I couldn’t figure out the reason to celebrate his death by crucifixion, and it was only this year when hubby made the comment that he didn’t understand the reasoning behind it either that I understood it to a degree and found a way to describe it. I’ve opted to consider ‘Good Friday’ as more of an Irish wake. The Christians are keeping a representative vigil with Christ’s body, and are remembering his life to that point. Then, on ‘Easter Sunday’ they celebrate that he’s returned from the dead. If I offend anyone with this, sorry, but I think it’s how I’ll explain it to any children we might have too, should they wonder at why people are celebrating someone dying in a horrible and tortuous manner. Besides, the hot cross buns are a yat from the old pagan equinox buns – take a look; the crosses are equal armed, representing the balance between night and day. If they were crucifixion celebration buns, wouldn’t the crosses be more along the lines of a longer post with the arms 3/4 of the way up? 🙂
It’s interesting to see our Northern Hemisphere friends all talking about the arrival of Spring and accepting that the symbolism of eggs, chicks and rabbits abound. But for we here in the Southern Hemisphere, the fertility imagery doesn’t seem to work well in a time when we’re heading into the chill of winter, least-ways not for me! I think the incongruity of spring imagery at this time, and winter imagery at the height of summer (ie: Christmas) is part of why I opted to practice my witchcraft Southern Hemisphere style. It’s so much simpler to be in touch with the celebration of Samhain/Halloween at this time when the harvest crops and pumpkins are available than it is to celebrate Beltane/May Day. Personally, I’d have a lot of trouble dancing in the moonlight in appropriately Beltane-styled clothes at this time of year – it can get nasty cold of an evening and I ain’t gettin’ any younger you know LOL!
We did something a little extra beyond the usual chocolate fest this year. We invested in some spring bulbs and planted them, so we have spring representations at the right time of year for us – Easter symbols at what is for us, Easter season. I’ll take some pictures when they flower and share them.
Samhain/Halloween for us is lined up for next weekend, April 30/May 1. It’s also our wedding anniversary. Gosh, a whole year already… but enough of that sappy reminiscing, or I’ll digress! Today in Australia and New Zealand, it’s ANZAC Day. It’s like the equivalent of the Memorial Day in the USA; where those who have fallen in wars and conflicts are remembered. Interesting timing with Samhain coming up really.
Samhain is a harvest festival, celebrating the last harvest in for the year before winter really sets in, and it’s also a time to honour one’s departed family and friends/ancestors. See where I’m going with the link between ANZAC Day and Samhain now? 🙂 It’s also considered pagan New Year – well at least as hubby and I see it, we can’t say for anyone else. So next weekend, we’ll be setting up the photos of our family members gone ahead and lighting the ancestor candle we used at our wedding as their representation at that celebration. We’ll also be lighting our candle as well, as a symbol of the continuity of life as well as a reminder to us of the promises we made each other. Who knows, over time, perhaps any children we have may use our candle as their ancestor candle…would be nice to think that, wouldn’t it?
Another year passes, the wheel turns again!