Honoring our Ancestors

The week of Halloween, class happened to fall on "the day of the dead". So I gave everyone the heads up prior to class by posting on Face Book to bring with them 1) a piece of the natural world, 2) a picture or something that reminds them of a deceased pet and 3) a picture or something that remind them of a deceased family member or friend.  I was very impressed by how many of the Katonah drummers did just that.    At the beginning of class I explained to everyone that when my children were growing up we celebrated Halloween for 3 days leading up to Oct 31st each year.  At dinner time on the 29th we would honor the spirits of the natural world by bringing to the table an acorn, a leaf, a flower, or something from the garden.  On the 30th, we would honor the spirits of any beloved pets that had been apart of our lives but were not in this physical world anymore, and on the Halloween night we would honor our ancestors by displaying pictures of grand parents or friends that had passed away.  So, in drum class this night we were honoring all three.  We put photos and plant matter in the center of the circle and as we drummed throughout class, I would remind everyone to be aware of the energy of the spirits around us and ask for guidance from these spirits as we head in to this darkest time of year.  It was a beautiful thing and am so happy that everyone had an  open mind.  From the feed back I received afterwards, it was a powerful and moving experience for everyone.