Listopad / November and connecting with the ancestors

The Feast of “Dedi” (grandfathers) is linked to the tradition of autumn, when this world and the underworld are interconnected, opened.

While the warm part of the year is marked by physical work, potent energy, passion, the colder part of the year is dedicated to calmness and self-reflection, deep analysis. Of thyself, the work. In the foreground is the feminine element of water. In winter, however, all three worlds are connected, so due to the autumn clearings, we can later receive many insights and connections with the highest forces that lead us to a better, new cyclical year.

The holiday “Dedi” in our country is not more concretely attested than, for example. bonfires at the summer solstice or spring holiday or resurrection of god and goddess from the underworld, which are well documented and survived into the 20th century.

However, we have fragments of traditions that say that people used to put lights / candles on the windows, or in front of the door, so that the the dead could find their way home. In some places, the dead were also left with food and treats.

Native faith followers gather at the annual milestones and include in their spiritual rites the same elements as our ancestors: from jumping over the fire, weaving wreaths, intercession, thanksgiving, ritual bread and very importantly – folk ritual songs.
In our country, the “Feast of Grandfathers” is tied to individual practices and memories, when we light candles on the window in memory of the ancestors of both the immediate family and the ancestors of our nation. The flames symbolically illustrate their souls, according to tradition they should return to this world at this time and visit their homes. Lighting a candle also means the light that helps them find the right path in the afterlife, so that they can find their peace.

In the west of the country, the ancient religious tradition says that we even decide for ourselves what we will be born into in the next life.

In some parts of Europe, a turnip was cut out and a candle was inserted into it. It is interesting that turnips in our country in the western part of Slovenia are later included in the winter ritual. Baked turnips were ritually enjoyed because it cleanses the body and spirit.

For Poles, Belarusians and Lithuanians, the feast of “Dedi” is still relevant today in public celebration. According to tradition, people used to go to cemeteries, bring food with them, and feast together with the deceased. They were remembered in stories, not only of what good they had done during their sojourn on earth, but also of what they had failed to complete.
This holiday is celebrated in some places in the mirror part of the year in the spring and is known as “Rodonica”. The name comes from the root “genus”, which of course refers to ancestors, family and at the same time the oldest creative force / deity Rod, that was never personified.

We must know that the ancient religion, ie the nation’s own ethnic religion, is not a homogeneous whole like the monotheistic religions with their dogmatic rules. It is tied to the worship of nature, which is a little different everywhere, so there are many local differences, although we are all united by a similar base, based on the spiritual principle of Trigav / Tročan / Trinity.

In the Karst, for example – in the autumn, they actually know the custom of carving pumpkins, which is tied to pre-Christian times.

A time of open worlds, reassurance, and deeper connections with ancestors, both our own family and the nation’s ancestors, gives us the opportunity to be more receptive to their messages. They can help us understand many things if we only know how to listen.

And especially at this time, as we calm down and deepen ourselves, trying to understand our complex nature as Man, it is the flames of our ancestors and the flame of folk tradition that can illuminate the darkened parts of our being to accept ourselves fully and act in accordance with the cosmic forces for the Supreme Good.

written by: Irena Petrič (maiden name Urankar)
slovenian version:

the artwork: © Irena Petrič
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