The ceremony remembers those who have gone before us, those who have created the conditions for our lives. We honor all beings who have passed from our lives, as well as those who are yet to be born. In the great Circle of Life those yet to come are are also our Ancestors, just as we are theirs. During the ceremony we request healing for all beings who wish or need it.
This year, we dedicated the ceremony to the victims of the Sri Lankan genocide, both the living and the dead. We placed South Asian foods and fruit on the altar, alongside the various food offerings brought by those who attended the ceremony, and lit a central candle in remembrance of the victims.
A central part of the ceremony is a time given to sharing stories about the Ancestors. Each year, profoundly moving stories are told; often, these generate more deep stories from those listening. This year was no exception, as stories flowed in the felt presence of the spirits.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a potluck meal is shared. Thus, both the spirits and the living share a meal in warmth and safety. This year we continued to trade stories as we ate together.
Now we move further into the Winter season, a time when the Ancestors are close, and w , the living, enjoy the warmth of hearth, friends, and family. We will tell the old stories, share many meals, and give gifts. We hope those who are the Ancestor,s both those close of kin, and those who differ from us by family, species, or culture, will take pleasure in this.