Adventures in Wortcunning: Speaking of Ancestors

Adventures in Wortcunning: Speaking of Ancestors November 20, 2015

Perhaps it is the season, and perhaps it is the boxes full of Fairies sitting in the living room, but I cannot shake the feeling that my ancestors are very near to me. I stopped pushing 50-years a while ago, and now pull it along behind me, nicely. My parents have passed on, and I am ready for a Croning ceremony, if you know what I mean. Like loosing the perception of a sense, these deprivations have made me more willing, eager and able to listen to the wisdom offered by the ancestors.

Portrait of a happy senior woman smiling at the camera.
Kiselev Andrey Valerevich /

Oh great, she’s talking to dead people now. Any one who has seen the recent Disney film “Inside Out” knows the congruity of our inner ‘selves’ talking to one another. We find in the story that this is normal for every one. We all have internal dialogue with ourselves. In my personal reality, you could add friendly visitations by helpful ancestral spirits to that scene. Gently making a pot of tea in the background, and stopping to pat a shoulder or say some pithy or soothing word along the way.

That would be my grandmother. She is baffled by my spiritual path, but respectful and curious because of my personal dedication to it. And she loves me more than any of these differences, so she visits more frequently than any one besides my dad. He often stops by to check in on me, and loves to help me play pool.

There are others in the company of souls who pass through to say hello, watching in amused amazement at the antics of “kids these days”. You might wonder how it happened that I noticed them in the first place.

When my grandson was born something very odd happened. I simultaneously became aware of his existence and the weight of my own link in the ancestral chain of human life. As my daughter entered labor many miles from me, I stopped my daily routine to sit in meditation, lending her a bit of strength and sending her my love. I knew also when to rise again and resume my day, when all was well again in their little family. And during this time I sent strength to mother and child, and also felt behind me the added love and energy of the ancestors, watching and praying with us.

That is when I realized then the connection between generations is exponential and not merely multiplied. If it were math, you might say the connection to my children is a mighty mama bear (x). This was squared when my grandson was born (x2). I understood then that the connection is not always diminished or lost with subsequent generations, but may in fact grow stronger.

Some cultures have the tradition of venerating their ancestors, others will not speak the name of one who has passed on. In both cases it seems the reason is the same – because speaking their names will call your ancestors to you. I am reminded of the Maury, Hawaiian, and Samoan name chants that go back many generations. I remember too the chapters of “begats” in the Jewish and Old Testament Christian scriptures and I wonder at the power these ancestral chants necessarily hold.

It is said that the Fae likewise inhabit the Underworld with our own beloved departed ones. And in that realm, they go about their daily business, taking occasional interest in our affairs both above and below the soil. Sometimes, being so long-lived, the Fae will pay attention to a human family line, much as we care for pets.

As I mentioned earlier, my mum passed away this year. She also comes to visit me from time to time, but is very busy doing whatever it is that people do on the other side. Still, she will visit every now and again to give me a hug — and invariably I will cry. This is probably why she hesitates to come round much more often. It upsets her when I cry. Perhaps I will see more of her, later. This is the eternal hope, right?

I dreamed of her the other night. And as is usual with dreams, the people in them do not have to look like themselves for me to know who they are. It was a large and bustling dream, with lots of activity. In the midst of all the hubbub a small girl arrived (this would be my mum appearing for her cameo). She became curious about the dozen or so very real boxes full of Fairy statuettes and figures collected by Morning Glory Zell that sit in my living room as they await unpacking and establishment in their new home at the Academy of Arcana.

Oddly, a great deal of tiny noise was emanating from the boxes. This is what drew the little girl’s attention. “They want out,” she insisted, and began to open the boxes before any adult in the room could stop her. We watched helpless as the child pulled the packing tape away and with this small assistance, the boxes burst open from within.

To the delight of the girl, the room was now full of tiny wings and the impish souls that explored every inch of it’s expanse and toyed with the people who watched in amazement. Fae of every shape and size scattered like leaves in the wind, half happy to be out of their confinement and the other half annoyed at the wait. This created quite a mix of activity, as you may imagine. Yet in the center of it all stood a little girl with her arms outstretched in a delighted laughing dance.

Well done, Mum.

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