Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dead Mans Party: Honoring Ancestors 101


You can keep your plastic gloves full of stale popcorn and shredded dress shirts caked with corn syrup body fluids.

At my house, October is all about dead people. 

As in Ancestors. Remembering, venerating, visiting, learning and loving all of the people (and companion animals) that have Passed On. 

Want in on the party but feel squeamish or unsure where to start? Here are a few suggestions to get started and celebrate your dead!

My 2016 ancestor altar

Write letters to the dearly departed. This can be a great way to engage in ancestor healing or bring feelings of closure to unfinished business. Is there something you wished you had said during their Life? Ask forgiveness? Or offer forgiveness? Maybe you simply need to send kisses and check in to see what the weather is like.

Write your letter and place it on an altar, leave it at the cemetery, drop it in a mail box, stash it under your pillow, bury it in the yard, tuck it in the pages of a book, or just keep it somewhere that feels right to you. You'll know what to do.

Do you know where your kin are buried, stored, scattered, resting? Visit your ancestral resting places. Go with friends and make it a R.I.P Round Robin!  Bonus points for tending to graves that need TLC.

Have Lunch in the Cemetery. Grave yard picnics aren't just for mall goths! This is a long standing tradition in many communities and makes for a lovely afternoon. Sunshine, grass, a blanket and a box of donuts can be a great way to talk to our kids about family history and provide a safe place to discuss issues like death and dying.

 It's strange to think how little many of us know about our familial history beyond a single generation. Take a free trip in the Way Back Machine and do a little research about the towns, countries and continents of your origin and be bamboozeled by what you find.

Invite your dead to dinner. Make a meal in homage of your ancestors. You may feel inspired to recreate a memorable dish or experiment with recipes that nod to your heritage. Or perhaps your style is more casual...

My favorite way to celebrate a meal with my grandfather is to cut a cardboard thin frozen pizza into saltine cracker sized squares and crack open an off-brand orange soda-- just like we did as kids. 

Don't worry. You can't mess it up.  


Broadcast to the Otherside by creating a playlist your loved ones would enjoy. Blast it often. Include songs they loved, tunes that make you think of them or maybe music that have ties to earlier descendants (i.e. folk songs ). I have a polka power station I use to honor my family's polka booster past.
 

Animal companions are family.  

Anyone who says that pet deaths aren't "real deaths" are probably sadistic androids plotting your demise and you should get away from them as quickly as possible. 

I include companion animals on my altars beside family because they are family.  

Honor their gentle furry, feathered and scaly souls by sprucing up or making a "proper" marker for their resting place, framing a favorite picture or support a shelter by donating in their name. (I personally purchase new toys for my Spirit Kitties to place on my altar and later gift them to my living fur babies.)  

Make an ancestor altar. An altar may be as ostentatious as a pile of memorabilia, snacks and knick-kacks or as simple as a framed picture or lit candle. Creating a communal altar as part of a Halloween party by asking guests to bring an object or a picture that relates to their ancestry also yields interesting results. (P.S. Kids love this. They want to help. Yet another opportunity to discuss death and family.)

Don't worry about making it perfect. Make it your own. Need inspiration? Here is a quick video tour of my altar.


Care for dead strangers. Maybe your family lives far away. Perhaps there's plethora of complicated and painful reasons you are no longer in touch with your tribe. Maybe you're just a weirdo who loves a good wander about the cemetery... 

Be a custodian of your local ghosts by sweeping away crispy grass clippings from fallen headstones, 
read the names on the markers out loud,
trace their names with your fingers,
spend a little time with people who have no one left
or have been long forgotten. 

 Make up your own traditions. All of the traditions we celebrate started that way-- someone made them up! If you feel drawn to honor your ancestors and loved ones by standing under the full moon with sparklers in your ears and playing the tuba...DO IT. 


Anything we do--no matter how silly it seems-- 
is sacred when done with Love and Intention.


There is no wrong way to express your love and appreciation. 


Go forth and venerate your dead! 
How do you honor your ancestors, Moon Babies?
 


Love, Kisses & Graveyard Dirt,



 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

DUMPSTROLOGY//TRASH ORACLE


Welcome to the October edition of DUMPSTROLOGY// TRASH ORACLE: A collection of divine knowledge and profanely inspired divination scavenged from the Gutter.

 ARIES// CREEPY BABY MAGAZINE PHOTO

This month will be full of opportunities to get in touch with that
 tutu-rocking-screaming Inner Child. Seek out places to be gross, 
be playful, be LOUD, muss up the house and be delighted by the chaos.

 
TAURUS// SIDEWALK SPOON
 
The Universe wants to feed you! Prepare yourself for sustenance in the form 
of opportunities and inspiration. Are you doing everything you can to help yourself 
and meet the cosmos half way? Here comes the air plane!


GEMINI// GUN-4-HIRE














Do you need to relax? Ya seem a little tense...
This month will be about finding constructive ways to channel any excess energy or 
aggression into labors of love or creative expression. This intense energy can also 
be directed to bust through procrastination and take care of business. 
But before you do that...deep breaths...really.


CANCER// CO MINGLE DUMPSTER














October will be your time to rub elbows with new humans! Follow your intuition
and let it help you wind up in the perfect circumstances to meet new faces,
potential conspirators or sexy friends.


 LEO// TAPE CASSETTE IN SHRUB














Let music soothe the savage beast: create it, listen to it, dissect it, experience it live. 
You'll be privy to nuggets of truth and inspiration by listening closely to lyrics on the 
airwaves in the coming weeks. You may experience bouts of nostalgia--
ride the sentimental wave and enjoy it. *This cassette was discovered in a gas station shrub, 
suggesting you will be fueled creatively this month!*


VIRGO// PAIR OF CHAIRS



October will a time of leave-taking. Don't fret, you'll be happy it happened. 
Someone in your life who has been taking advantage of you, or simply being 
a nit witted drain on your life force will make their exit. 
Don't be afraid to help this process along...

NO, you can't sit here.  


 LIBRA// PARTY CUP





It's okay if you've been feeling a bit low, flat or drained, because this is your time to refill 
that giraffe cup! Use your instincts to fill yourself back up to the brim and fatten up your 
depleted reserves. Drink more water than you think you should and take that nap, damnit. 
Seriously. It's your time to spill-eth over.

 SCORPIO// BOYS WITH FEELINGS + BLINDS














Loneliness gets the best of us. Keep the faith! Your tribe or partner is out there! 
The gutter wants you to know that you are loved, and that there are many squeezable 
spirits in the sea--but don't be "blinded" by glamorous strangers. Keep your wits about you, 
be discerning and Love--or fun-- will show itself.


SAGITTARIUS// NO CUSHION CURB COUCH
 
It's time to stop beating yourself up. Where are you depriving yourself comfort? 
Are you denying yourself joy or company? The cosmos wants to give you physical comfort 
and peace of mind--meet it in the middle by bringing down the walls and being nicer to yourself, okay?


 CAPRICORN// CICADA CARCASS















It's taken a looooong time, but you're ready to shed your skin, trash that shit 
and step into the next phase of your complicated, exquisite, generally confusing
 and gorgeous existence. Let dead fuddy duddy ideas fall away and feel the sun 
start to shine on your life and kick the old carcass to the curb. You're ready, don't hesitate!

 CAPRICORN// PADLOCK















Let's be real. It's time to quit procrastinating, Capricorn. Unlock your bodacious 
potential by getting organized and taking real action. Don't underestimate the 
power of baby steps! Keeping your radness a secret is doing you a serious disservice.
 Light a fire under your ass and show us what you're made of.


 AQUARIUS// BAT U-HAUL















Bat can navigate the dark--and so can you, Aquarius. 
Pay close attention to your dreams, read between the lines
and hang out in the shadows and in-between places to get the information you've been looking for...
Keep your ears open!


 PISCES// THE WING


A recent defeat or ugly memory may leave you feeling flattened or broken.
 It's okay to rest, take a break and gather yourself. Trust in cycles, trust that 
Change is the only certainty and remember your circumstances are FAR from permanent. 
Wait this time out...you'll be glad you did.



Your Trashy Oracle,  XOXO