Samhain/Dia de Los Muertos

It's that time of the Year Circle again............when the spiral spins into the darkness of winter, and the veils between the worlds are thin, and we remember the Beloved Dead. I want to share some images and the beautiful music of the Spiral Dance, which was just danced in San Francisco by Reclaiming; this beautiful ritual I myself participated in a number of times, and created many sacred masks for. "The Circle Has No End". If the video link above doesn't work, follow:


Where do the dead go?

The dead that are not corpses,
cosmetically renewed and boxed,
their faces familiar and serene.
Or pale ashes
in elegant canisters.

I ask for the other dead,
those ghosts that wander
unshriven among our sleep,
haunting the borderlands of our lives.

The dead dreams,
The failed loves.
The quests,
undertaken with full courage
and paid for in blood
that never found a dragon,
a Grail, a noble ordeal
and the Hero's sacred journey home.

Instead, the wrong fork
was somehow taken, or the road
wandered aimlessly,
finally narrowing to a tangled gully
and the Hero was lost,
in the gray and prosaic rain,
hungry, weary, to finally stop
glad of bread, a fire,
a little companionship.

Where is their graveyard?
Were they mourned?
Did we hold a wake,
bear flowers,
eulogize their bright efforts
their brave hopes
and commemorate their loss with honor?
A poem? A stone to mark their passing?

Did we give them back to the Earth
to nourish saplings yet to flower,
the unborn ones?

Or were they left to wander
in some unseen bardo,
unreleased, ungrieved.
Did we turn our backs
on them unknowing,

their voices calling,
whispering impotently behind us
shadowing our steps?