In the spirit of the holidays as well as our continued meandering through the past, I thought I would talk about the Samhain/Halloween holiday we all just experienced. This is a time where in our half of the hemisphere, the northern half, bits and pieces of the world are getting ready to sleep. It is also a time of year to remember and honor those we loved, who have passed on. Samhain is also considered the Celtic New Year.
To show respect to the men and women who were accused of witchcraft and thus killed way back in the day, my family and I took a jaunt down to Salem Massachusetts on the Thirty-first of last month. We do this every year, but this year in particular really affected me. One of the ways we show our respect, is to visit the “famous” cemetery. Now, the men and women who were killed for practicing, are not actually buried there. There are actually a couple of judges who proclaimed their treason buried in that cemetery. I do not know where they are all buried, but the hill they were killed on, is in the near-by town of Danvers, MA which is where all the “action” occurred in that time.
Upon our arrival, I was shocked into a deep dismay. There may be an excuse. I’m not sure. If people know that the judges who ordered the innocents killed, whether they practiced the Craft or not, then maybe that explains a little bit what I saw. It is possible. To me, it was one of the largest shows of disrespect I have ever seen in my life.
People were walking right across these ancient gravesites. Whether the people beneath were famous or not shouldn’t really matter, nor what for, the shells they spent their lives in were under these people. Young men and women were partying on top of these graves. I watched as one young women smashed her cigarette out on top of one of the graves she was sitting on. They were not rubbing the headstones, they were just partying on graves.
Other people, families, and just adults, were being just as dis respectful. One couple in particular really bothered me as they were sitting atop an above ground grave, swinging their feet back and forth watching the throngs of people around them. Did they not realize there were bodies right inside the concrete they sat on? Maybe they did and it didn’t matter. I hope, they didn’t realize they were “hanging-out” on someone’s grave.
To myself, and my family, it didn’t look like Salem was honoring the dead, remembering maybe, but with so much festivities, carnival with a Ferris wheel included no less, it didn’t seem like anything or anyone was being respected, but rather exploited. It seemed like the great big classic tourist trap that you’d read about in old books. It was quite disheartening to see.
This author honestly hopes, that you and your own family honored someone. Remembered a loved one, while you enjoyed your treats. To the Celts, I wish a Happy New Year. To read more, or comment on something you read, feel free to visit the author’s site at http://www.kerryamorgan.com, and email her there.
Kerry A. Morgan