This is What Tradition Looks Like

Iam writing this I sip chile mocha lattes and warm apple cider, I dream of Barn Owls, the ghost birds of Cherokee tradition as told to me by my grandfather, and I hear my ancestors stirring with bone and bead rattle.

I thought that a good way to prepare for/celebrate the Days of the Dead would be to share some choice quotes about death and all that it entails, in order to better honor our own Beloved Dead…and to accompany those quotes with some pictures of public altars in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”- Linda Hogan, Dwellings


“I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different.” – T.S. Eliot


“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”–George Eliot

“Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the grave.” — Joseph Ha



Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. — G.K. Chesterton


I would only add indeed, especially to the last quote by Chesterton. I prepare the pan de muerto and we all sing the old songs of remembering once more. If you would like another way to connect with your Beloved Dead, check out this Ancestor-informed Tarot Reading.

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