Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
For A Religion So Opposed to Paganism, You Sure Stole a Lot of Our Stuff!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
The Beltaine Storm
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
Ostara...It's Not Just For Kiddies Anymore!
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
Ostara: Enter the Light!
A Celtic View of Samhain
A Story For Autumn
Samhain: Learning to Release
A Summer Solstice Primer
The Oak King and the Holly King Revisited
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Witches Lost in Halloween
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Sacredness of Halloween
The Theme of Mabon
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
Don’t Waste That Pumpkin!
The Samhain Experience
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Beltane Beyond Sex
Solstice Swim at Beach 69, Puako, Hawaii
A Samhain Dance
Yule and the New Year
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
Planning A Good Death: A Samhain Process
The First Yule
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Unity During Samhain
Season of the Blues
Yule...and Saturnalia Smurf Hats
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Easter is Pagan
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
Groundhog's Day is American for Imbolc
Preparing for Summerland During Samhain
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
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: 4,569
Times Read: 19,686
Author: M Macha Nightmare [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 21st. 2001
Times Viewed: 19,686
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 1997-2014 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).