I’m finally really seeing and appreciating the connection with ANZAC Day and Samhain.
In Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC Day is the day we commemorate those who went to war, those who fought and died, those who may or may not have returned home.
From an Australian perspective, it feels as though Samhain is no longer a one night event. For me, it begins with ANZAC Day, a country-wide honouring of those past, and it continues for 5-6 nights to our Samhain on April 30/May 1. It’s a week long time of honouring the departed, for preparing for visitations, and then peaks with honouring those close to you.
In regards to ANZAC Day, my grandfathers didn’t go to war. One was too young (yet tried anyway) and another still became a prisoner of war in his home country for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, I have worked for an organisation who was subcontracted to Veteran Affairs. I was a home care Nursing Assistant, aiding those with basic tasks such as showering, dressing, taking meds. They either fought, or were widows of those who fought. Some told me their stories with pride, with laughter (one captured the day he landed, thought it was hilarious), others with, “well, it happened.” Those I assisted have passed on now, so I add them to my honouring at Samhain, especially the one who insisted on coming to my handfasting.
Samhain is such an important time within our calendar, whether you follow the traditional wheel or not. It is so important to honour our past, those of our bloodline, those we grew up with, those who have had an amazing impact on our lives, and those of the land we live. Gliding Seal Events hosted a Samhain gathering this year in Sydney, and althought I was meant to attend and lead a meditation, my health stopped me (and I’m still annoyed). Those who did go would’ve heard Julie Brett talk about the three ancestors – of Bloodline, of Inspiration, and of the Land. When she blogs about it, I’ll link to it.
Personally, this Samhain is hard. I’m still feeling incredibly disconnected, I’m hormonal, I’m having a losing battle with so many internal arguments. It’s also the first Samhain in years that I’ve been visited before ritual, and it left me in tears, thanks to the thinning veil.
In a dream a few nights ago, I was standing on my front porch watching my Nan and Pop come up the driveway. They were holding hands, happy, and then they turned to watch three young kittens playing in our garden – a white fluffy, and two gingers, one missing an eye.
The white fluffy is Scruffy. He was a few months old before he was killed in a driveway accident. The ginger is Luna, he died of the cat flu at 8 weeks. And the one eyed ginger is my baby boy, Pirate, Luna’s litter brother, who I was adamant was going to come home after disappearing this time last year.
Nanna joined Poppy in the spirit world in February, and between her health and Poppy passing in 2015 they were never able to visit us here in Sydney. In one night, they came to visit, and showed me that three of our furbabies still call us home.
Samhain is a beautiful, and difficult, time of the year. Some see it as the Witches New Year, and given the goings on in my life at the moment, this is going to be one tough year. But at least I know my Pirate-boy came home, even if coming home wasn’t in this physical plane; and can happily tell my family that yes, Nan and Pop are together in the spirit world, happy as ever.