Excerpt from What is Remembered Lives
“It would not be possible to talk of the ancestors without spending a moment on the forgotten dead. Millions of people have died that no one remembers. Millions. There are more forgotten dead than remembered dead. Giving a nod to those that have been forgotten feeds the deep ancestral well that we are all connected to.
There are also the forgotten dead of the Craft. The Witches, teachers, midwives, herbalists, wortcunners, root doctors, and priestesses that hid their practices in the dark. Those Witches that were brave enough to teach what they knew to at least one other person. There are those Mighty Dead that did the work of lineage building and torch bearing when no one knew what they were doing.
It is to these forgotten dead that we owe more than we can ever fully comprehend. It is to these dead that we own gratitude and love, those whose names are gone and whose lineages have been lost to the sands of time. We mourn them in order to avoid losing any more.”
You Can Remember
Ways to honor the forgotten dead:
- Go to the oldest cemetery in your area and clean up the oldest graves you can find. As you clean up, speak out loud the names on the grave stones.
- Do a little research about the land you live on. No doubt you are close to an area where a battle or other bloodshed took place. Go to this place and make offerings to the innocent or wronged that died in that place (only make biodegradable offerings that won’t harm any wildlife).
- Start researching your own family tree. Go back as far as you can – for some of us that may only be a couple of generations or less. Write down the names of the oldest ancestors you can discover. Speak them out loud and light a candle for their remembrance.
- Have a feast during Samhain-tide in honor of the forgotten dead. Set a place for them at the table and toast to them.
Even when we don’t know their names or their stories we can honor their lives and their passing. It is the reason for the season. What is remembered lives.