Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Daily Goddess Awareness
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Yule and the New Year
A Celtic View of Samhain
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Solstice of the Soul
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
The Holiday Season, The Constitution and What's REALLY Important
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
Unity During Samhain
The Sacredness of Halloween
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
A Samhain Dance
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Blood is in the Land
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Promise of the Harvest
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
The Call of the Crone
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
The Wheel of the Year: A Journey of Eight Sabbats
Back to Basics: Imbolc
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
Like Bread for Lughnasa: A Letter
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
My Yule Views
The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Mighty Dead, the Beloved Dead and Us
Article ID: 3673
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,119
Times Read: 24,598
Author: M Macha Nightmare
Posted: October 21st. 2001
Times Viewed: 24,598
The Mighty Dead, the Beloved Dead and Us © 2001
by M. Macha NightMare
Recently I've been giving a lot of thought to our concepts of the Dead. A seasonal musing each year around this time.
I don't know how many other Craft traditions have these concepts, but both of mine do. Surely everyone has Beloved Dead, meaning those we've loved who've passed on from this realm. We celebrate these ancestors every year at Samhain. We grieve together and we often communicate directly with them, as well. The Mighty Dead are a bit different. The Mighty Dead are said to be those practitioners of our religion who are on the Other Side now, but who still take great interest in the activities of Witches on this side of the Veil. They have pledged to watch, to help and to teach. It is those Mighty Dead who stand behind us, or with us, in circle so frequently.
In some cases, the Beloved Dead and the Mighty Dead may be the same people. For instance, two late friends of mine, Raven Moonshadow and Judy (Calypso Iris) Foster, now are revered as Mighty Dead amongst many Reclaiming Witches. Raven was a powerful priest and a talented teacher, complex and possessing of human foibles like all of us are. Judy is also among the Mighty Dead of NROOGD tradition, although I'm not certain that NROOGD uses this concept. The point being that Judy was a priestess, and a very influential one, one deeply involved in our work and our evolution as a faith tradition, of both traditions.
Another recent example - one no one would quarrel with - is the late Victor H. Anderson (May 21, 1917 - September 20, 2001) , oldest known practitioner of Faery/Feri tradition Craft. I have no doubt, and neither do the many other Witches he's trained, influenced or who've descended from him, that Victor's over there, and that he'll come dance with us in the Marin Headlands on Halloween.
In past years, at Samhain, I've called specific Mighty Dead into our circles. In general, I don't make a distinction between which particular tradition "own" individual Mighty Dead. So I've called Grandma Julie (Tower Family tradition out of the San Jose area, now having two lines) and Gwydion Penderwen (Faery tradition), for example, to Reclaiming Samhain rituals.
One year at a Reclaiming's Women's Samhain, after the Quarters had been called, I faced each Quarter and called one of the four women of the Golden Dawn - Moina Mathers, Annie Horniman, Florence Farr and Maud Gonne - into the circle. Although I don't consider them technically to be Mighty Dead of the Craft, I do indeed consider them to be prominent among our magical foremothers. It was for this reason I called them.
At this ritual, we had set up a central tiered dining table set with beautiful plates, silver service, seasonal vegetation (pumpkins, squash, Indian corn, grapevines, Autumn leaves). Women wrote on place cards and put their place cards at the settings on the table. So I wrote the names of each of these magical foremothers on place cards so that they had an honored place at our table.
I believe it behooves us to honor such people. And what better time than at Samhain, when we honor our ancestors and mourn our Beloved Dead.
M. Macha NightMare
Sunday, October 22nd, 2001
M Macha Nightmare
Location: San Rafael, California
Author's Profile: To learn more about M Macha Nightmare - Click HERE
Other Articles: M Macha Nightmare has posted 9 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email M Macha Nightmare... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2018 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).