NOTICE: Please don’t assume this permission for appropriating
Death has become familiar to me this past year with the traumatic death of my brother Jorge, the shooting of my cousin, and the ridiculous reality for people of color in this country.
The death we’ve seen plague these communities is something to grieve and not be silent about. Their deaths cry for justice at the hands of white, heteronormative, supremacist ideologies – that are the pillars of this country. This suffering, loss, and injustice should not be ignored.
All this has led me to consciousness about the spiritual practice of Dia de Los Muertos.
This day invites us to remember, resist, honor, and heal.
Dia de Los Muertos is a rural indigenous tradition dating back to Aztec culture in Mesoamerica, a rich healing practice and deep in spirituality. Spanish colonization tried to eradicate the practice as it challenged their notions of death and the spiritual, observing it as barbaric and pagan. When their efforts failed, Spanish conquistadores tried implementing Christian elements to this day in order to salvage the lost culture and heathen souls.
Today, Dia de Los Muertos mocks death and gives a different account to our Western Christian teachings of life after the one we see on this earth.
Celebrating Dia de Los Muertos today, like our ancestors, is resisting the imperial theology that attempts to systematize our relationship with our Creator, a Loving Mystery. To believe is resistance, to practice is resistance, to celebrate is resistance, to introduce a different relationship with the Creator and each other is resistance. Resistance to white, heteronormative, ideology of the Divine. Resistance from the indigenous voice that has been silenced, ignored, and massacred.
In celebrating this day, we decenter that which pushes everyone to the margins. And we have an opportunity to join in an unfamiliar, festive communion with the Holy.
#DecolonizeYourMind #DecolonizeTheStory # DecolonizeTheChurch
Dia de Los Muertos is about remembrance of our ancestors, those who came before us; those whose life and love was motivated by our current existence and flourishing.
It’s about remembering our abuela, and tio, and prima, and brother, who have left this life. We celebrate the significance and beauty they added to our lives, and the values we hold because they taught us. We remember their legacy.
We cannot remember our loved ones without listening to their stories. His story. Her story. Their story.
On this day, if we listen, we remember the story told of our past, our people, our nation.
American Empire pretends to suffer of historical amnesia. I refuse to believe this country’s conscious is not pulsing with a fever with the amount of bloodshed on it’s hands. The story told of our past is fabricated by powers of oppression as a way to help us forget.
As long as we exercise our memory, we remember what they lived for, we remember the movements they led. And we remember what they died for, be it for their pursuit of freedom and justice or be it for another’s pursuit of money and power. That memory drives us to ask dangerous and liberating questions. And it leads us to pick up after them. Their legacy is guidance to our life.
It’s why remembering is our greatest weapon. It’s why remembrance is a spiritual practice. It’s why this day is an invitation to never forget, their lives and their stories.
#BlackLivesMatter #OrlandoPulseShooting #1492
HONOR AND HERMANDAD.
Food, flowers, candles, and sugar skulls adorn an altar in honor of these beloved family, friends, and heroes. An altar is a place to honor, a space to dignify, to respect, to surrender the self and be about another, It’s a symbol of love.
In other words, it’s a communion table that fosters solidarity, connection, and hermandad. We are inherently dignified and honored. But only in relationship to one another are we stripped of worth.
American Empire has clearly stated that Black bodies, Queer bodies, Trans bodies, Immigrant bodies, Native bodies, Muslim bodies, don’t matter. In life, their dignity is stripped. In death, their honor is taken.
On this day, we lift them up. We honor them. We reclaim their worth and beauty. It’s a spiritual practice of our deep love for them. Like that of taking the Eucharist, it’s our commitment to the body of Christ.
#CommunionTable #StandWithThem #BeTheBodyOfChrist
Spiritual practice heals.
She had to muster up all the courage in her to walk over to the grave. So many thoughts must have prevented her from going to see his lifeless body. Endless tears and a hole in her chest kept her home, in bed, in darkness. But she went to the cemetery, in spiritual practice. And
Mary Magdalene encountered the Divine.
On Dia de Los Muertos, we engage our spirit in a practice that breaks outside the norm of how we understand the Divine and death. We observe the dead, we observe the cemetery. We sit in what we don’t understand. And we listen.
The Spirit always will always lead us to freedom and empowerment.
On this day, we listen to the legacy of people before us and we find direction. We resist oppressive ideology by celebrating the dead, eating and singing in their honor. And we make a choice to dignify the complete body of Christ.
The Holy will always lead us to freedom and empowerment.
It’s been in remembering Jorge that I have found some of the richest depths and truths about God. It’s in sitting with his loss that I’ve been challenged to understand life and death differently. It’s in meditating him that I’ve found the future means something different.
The Loving Mystery will always lead us to freedom and empowerment.
Enter Dia de Los Muertos with an educated mind. Dress yourself in the colors of resistance. Stand with Black lives. Honor Queers lives. Dignify Immigrant lives. Let your spirit meet the Divine. Dia de Los Muertos is among us, inviting our liberation.