Tea Time Rumination: Holiday

Tea: Hey! Guess who is sick again? I have been sneezing quite a lot, and my boyfriend has as well; therefore, one knows the tea which I am drinking is: garlic infusion with honey.

Songs: I am re-listening to an old (like 2001) album. Positively Somewhere by Jennifer Paige. I was Youtubing, instead of writing, and a nostalgic video came on autoplay. I have been stuck in a loop for a week.

 

Before the holiday discussion, I want to say that I submitted to an actual literary, Rattle, magazine for the first time. Fingers crossed.

Halloween (some will say Hallowe’en which I admit is more correct) is around the corner. I cannot wait to celebrate the first eve after my DNA test results are available. I want to use turnips, garlic, bonfires, and the like for my ritual. What does it mean though (Side note: Here With Me is playing right now: where Ms. Paige asks what does it mean…awkward) for me to have this deeply religious experience whilst knocking on my door from capitalistically raised children beg? I am not sure. I try to distance myself from trick-or-treaters. So far I have been successful, but now I live in a larger city — a Houstonian suburb —, and a larger apartment complex. I may have some this year, but, then again, I live in an immigrant heavy area of the suburb. Who knows?

I think Hallowe’en has been appropriated in some ways. As such, should I be insulted that  others have taken a sacred holiday, and secularised it? This would be different than Christmas since Christmas is based on Yuletide’s timing, or Easter which is based on Eostre’s festival — as far as we know —. I am, however, well aware that I am a minority religious practicioner, and that in the wider non-Judeo-Christian/Semitic religions , and counterculture it is seen as a ‘bairns’ holiday’. Even in the wider occult world, everyone gravitates towards it as ‘Samhain’…the corresponding Celtic (I believe that is the Irish name, and the Welsh name is Calan Gaeaf. I know not the Cornish, or Scottish Gaelic version, and I do not ken at all Manx history) holiday. I suppose then when I hear that so-and-so  is celebrating it as either a capitalistic expression, or as a non-Celtic/non-British way that I have become desensitized to it. It is like shepherd’s pie — side note: I am awaiting my roommate’s shepherd’s pie this year —, fish and chips —a favourite of my half-Arab boyfriend…and one of my least favourites from Britain —, traditional British infusions, and the like. I have seen them in fusion restaurants/situations that I do not know if I would consider them ‘stolen’ at this point as much as ‘spread’ through history — a lot of it quite non-ethically —.

 

I must mention for my own personal safety that both my boyfriend, and my roommate have British heritage, so I am in no way calling them out. Please do not poison my tea, or burn my books.

 

I also see so many cultures around the world happen around the same time for similar purposes. In Texas, for the last five years that I have been here, for example, I see tons of Dia de Muertos (I apologise for the spelling mistakes that I may have made: I only speak one Latinate language) makeup fusions at Hallowe’en parties. Does it annoy me? Truthfully, yes. I, however, have no authority as a Hallowe’en expert. That honour lies with historians, and British heathens/pagans. I am also quite a harsh person when it comes to cultural lines. Yet, having participated in a Dia de Meurtos celebration as a visitor — to make it sounds ‘fancier’ let us call it a cultural attaché—, I wonder where those lines lie with holidays that are so similar in purpose, and have spread to meet each other. I, for one, adore Santa Muerte as a goddess connected to Aztec funeral rites/ancestor worship. She has been depicted as half-dead/half-alive which resonates similarily with Hel. It is like seeing a stranger with the exact same shade hair as a childhood friend: it is difficult not to feel a shred of connection to her.

I, nonetheless, will not honour her on my own. I hope that those without a tie to traditional Mexican cultures do not either.

 

What I do plan to do to honour the holiday:

  1. Honour my ancestors…all of them. Even the christian, atheist, wrong (that means even my child-raping grandfather which will be a first for me, so expect a flood of emotion), cunty (like his wife who is the only person for whom I have no shred of pity that she died in pain), loving, imperfect, known, and the unknown.
  2. Offer to the Alfr, and Disir as is tradition for Winternights. This is the Icelandic holiday around the same time.
  3. I want to try to make a traditional turnip jack-o-lantern if I can. If not, I should still be fine. I plan on putting candles on the banister to help guide the spirits.
  4. Meditation (or in Anglish ‘inwardfare’ which paints a much deeper image…and is a little intense) on the dead. I live near a graveyard, but I do not want to get arrested for trespassing on the 31st, so I may get some grave dirt earlier to hold.
  5. Honour Hel.
  6. Read a poem aloud
  7. Have a bonfire (I may throw a few chicken/animal bones in there since that is where we get our word)
  8. Eat with loved ones whom I can
  9. Guise myself in some fashion

 

Hallowe’en does last from sunset to sunset, so I will try to keep in the mindset until Nov 1 at sundown (18:36), but this will mark the beginning of a new year for me. I hope that it is an improvement on the last.

Non-spirtual notes: I still need to pick a language by then. I am leaning towards a specific one, but I do not know. I will tell one which one next week in my Nynorsk post.

 

Be safe. Be loved. And, for the holidays coming up whether Hallowe’en or some other one, I do hope one has fun, and one is respectful.

 

-J.A. Victor Wilson

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