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The Next Step. . . .

[x-posted]

This afternoon I was reading the chapter on Purification in War and the Soul, and it suddenly started triggering insights and ideas. I'm going to skip explaining the context and just focus on what it brought up for me.

Despite all the work that I've done to heal from my grief over the past two years, I've never formally, ritually done anything to 'observe' Lohain's death besides the brief but potent memorial the day after his passing. I've never done anything to ritually reconcile myself to his death and the permanence of it. Frankly, I don't think I could have endured the pain of that admission until recently.

I don't like using words like "taint" or "pollution" -- but ancient and tribal cultures believed that being around the dead, involved with death, left their mark on the soul, and some of what was left on the soul needed to be cleansed, for a variety of reasons relating to the soul health of the individual and the community.

I feel like I've finally reached the place where I am ready to purify myself of the leavings of Lohain's death. . . letting the grave shrouds and the scabs be washed away.

I want to take a ritual bath and dress in a new white robe. I want there to be white candles and incense and multi-colored roses. I want to lay my husband to rest out of this life, while celebrating the life that goes on. I want to formally, ritually accept that he is dead and that my life goes on. I want to ritually celebrate a marriage with him that accepts and celebrates the fact that our union crosses the boundaries of flesh and spirit, instead of simply mourning for what I can no longer enjoy in this life.

This kind of thinking is not normal for me. Usually I simply analyze everything into the ground or have flashes or insight or sudden experience. It's very rare for me to yearn for a ritual observance of this degree of intention and formality.

I think it's going to come after my vigil next week. The vigil will affirm the depths to which his death has taken me, my connection with Ereshkigal, the path I'm all -- all the positive qualities of darkness and the underworld which I embrace and affirm. And when the dawn comes, I'll observe this ceremony, a purification and rebirth.


I think this is part of what I was moving toward with the re-naming of this journal. . . But in ways I can't put into words. . . Maybe that Autumn is the inevitable aftermath of a Summer that can never return. We can only move on to new cycles, and if we can not reconcile ourselves to our losses, then we cripple ourselves.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
rin_x_x
Aug. 10th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that your post has inspired me to think about my own purification. I'm entering a part in my life where I really need to shed a lot of things that have held me back and stifled me so intensely I didn't want to live (one of these being a relationship that ended badly and because abusive for a time afterwards that I wasn't really able to get over until nearly 4 years later).

I wish you good luck and good health. *e-hugs*
qos
Aug. 11th, 2009 05:41 am (UTC)
Thank you.

And best wishes on your own ritual process.
sharpchick
Aug. 11th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
I know this sort of ritual does not fit neatly within your own spiritual practice. I found it to be very healing for myself in a similar situation after I lost my love.

A give-away riutal - in some Native tribes and clans, after a year or so has elapsed since a loved one's passing, survivors have a give-away ritual of possessions belonging to the one who departed.

Not gifts given to loved ones, but actual articles of clothing, tools, etc., that still have potential for good use by others.

I do not know if that sort of thing would appeal to you or not, but thought I would suggest it anyway.
qos
Aug. 11th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for suggesting the give-away, but Lohain had very few possessions when he died, and _storyteller_ took care of distributing what wasn't specifically willed to others within those first few weeks.
watcher457
Aug. 11th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
This makes me think of something I should do. I'll talk to you when I see you, but it's making me think.
qos
Aug. 11th, 2009 05:41 am (UTC)
Always happy when my thoughts spark ideas for others!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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