When you are closely connected to the spirit of a loved one, it is nice to find a special way to honor them, other than with just normal day-to-day activities. October 31st is known as the date for Halloween, but it is also an important date for those belonging to Celtic cultures. Samhain (pronounced sow-en) https://www.thoughtco.com/about-samhain-history-2562713 is the Celtic Festival of the Dead. https://myrealireland.com/irish-knowledge/samhain-the-official-name-of-halloween/ It is an important time to honor deceased ancestors and loved ones in spirit.
To celebrate Samhain, I decided to create a meal, say some prayers and recite some readings to honor Robin, his brothers and parents, my grandmother and other loving and close spirits from my ancestral blood line and my spirit line. I consider Robin a being of light from my spirit line. I followed the suggestions written about on this site: https://www.thoughtco.com/ritual-to-honor-the-ancestors-at-samhain-2562699
It was suggested that you decorate an altar or table with pictures and items that are meaningful to your deceased loved ones. I set the table and included some pictures and candles. I also chose a plate with a paisley pattern to serve my loved ones’ meal on. I chose this plate in remembrance of Robin’s ancestors, William and Matthew Gibb, whom I learned about on Robin’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are, Series 8, Episode 7, 2011. William Gibb, Robin’s great-great grandfather, was from Paisley, Scotland and worked as a hand loom weaver, creating the well-known Paisley shawl. Matthew Gibb, Robin’s great-grandfather was born in Paisley in 1849. Several years ago, I found a beautiful paisley plate and since I knew the history Robin shared with Paisley, I bought it and kept it as a keepsake (see picture).
I also set the table with a RAF Bomber Command tea mug that I received as a present years ago.
It is decorated with poppies and this statement: “At the going down of the sun we will remember them.”
I thought that would be a wonderful addition to the table that Robin’s spirit would like (see picture).
I served a vegetarian meal of eggplant with red, yellow and green peppers, onions, tomatoes and some Parmesan cheese. I also baked some kale and served mint tea. For dessert, I made some shortbread or “soul cakes” for the occasion.
I followed the format of the link above, the ritual to honor the ancestors. I recited the prayers given and then I decided to make the ceremony more personal to me and my loved ones. I chose one of my favorite readings from a book called God Calling, by A.J. Russell. It very specifically addresses the importance of staying connected to loved ones in spirit and is one of my favorite passages in the entire book:
September 6 – Your Loved Ones
Your loved ones are very safe in My Keeping. Learning and loving and working, theirs is a life of happiness and progress. They live to serve, and serve they truly do. They serve Me and those they love. Ceaselessly they serve.
But their ministrations, so many, so diverse, you see no more than those in my time on earth in human form could have seen the angels who ministered unto Me in the wilderness.
How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand them better, protect better, plan better, and even plead better their cause with Me.
You do well to remember your friends in the Unseen. Companying with them the more you live in this Unseen World the gentler will be your passing when it comes. Earth’s troubles and difficulties will seem, even now, less overwhelming as you look, not at the things that are seen but at the real, the Eternal Life… (https://www.twolisteners.org/)
I talked with my loved ones over this meal about how much I love and appreciate them and how I do remember them each and every day. I talked with them about the great memories they gave me and how what we shared makes me feel close to them still.
After this, I sat quietly at the table and then played some Bee Gees music. As I sat there, with the paisley plate and the poppy mug side-by-side, the title of this website came to me: Paisley and Poppies! I had not had a definite title before this moment. Every title I thought of seemed boring before this. Since both are important to Robin and reflect him well, I felt that it was a perfect title to honor his life.
Since Paisley and Poppies had never occurred to me until that moment, I decided to do a google search on it. I was so surprised when I saw the title of this book during my search and the synchronistic nature of it: The Power of Things Unseen: Tales of Choosing Crazy Over Normal (Oct 3, 2017) by Leanne R. Wood. This title matched the reading I just gave from God Calling, with the reference to friends in the unseen! Not only that, it had just been published earlier in the month of October. I had a very warm feeling that Robin was with me and very much aware of the celebration taking place to honor him and my loved ones.
The title of the book was not the only thing I found to be synchronistic and divinely orchestrated. I found a reference to both “Paisley” and “poppies” as well. Here is the excerpt from the book where the author mentions Paisley first and then poppies in the second paragraph. The “Paisley” she is referring to is Paisley, Scotland, where Robin’s ancestors are from:
“…And so in the fall of 1993, we spluttered along our way, out of Paisley and across Europe, to start our next adventure in a very old, green Land Rover that the girls had by now lovingly named Grover….”
“…On our fourth day of driving, just as we were chugging past fields crimson with poppies on our approach into Budapest, Grover sputtered and came to a complete stop…”
Another synchronicity I noticed is that a man named Murray is mentioned in her book, which synchronizes with the name of Faye Schindelka’s (Poppies from Heaven) brother Murray. Poppies in the context of another man named Murray is very meaningful for me.
This series of synchronicity was so amazing and electric that I felt that our dinner had gone especially well. My heart was filled with love and gratitude for how Robin and my loved ones had shown up in this way.
I decided to close the ceremony with a beautiful Celtic blessing (see also post on the white dove synchronicity). I wanted to end with a blessing of the spirits I invited to be present and a deep thank you for their presence with me, watching over me. I typed in my google search, deep peace of the running wave to you, because I knew that line was in the prayer I was looking for. I found a book called The Dominion of Dreams: Under the Dark Star (January 1, 1910), by William Sharp, London. Pg. 423-424. In this book, the prayer was expressed in its entirety, so I read it out loud to honor my spirit family.
The next day, November 1st, I browsed through this book again and noticed that the writing was so beautiful. I had never heard of William Sharp and was impressed with his use of imagery. As a result, did some more research on him and made the most amazing discovery: He was born in Paisley, Scotland!
Born in Paisley, Scotland- September 12, 1855
William Sharp was a Scottish writer of poetry and literary biography who, from 1893, wrote also as Fiona Macleod. He was born in Paisley and educated at Glasgow Academy and the University of Glasgow. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/355654.William_Sharp
I was absolutely amazed that I found the book of an author, with the exact poem I was looking for, that was born in Paisley. This is a very precise synchronicity with my choosing the paisley plate for the Samhain ceremony to honor Robin and his ancestors. What an amazing connection. It felt like I was being given a gift back for the dinner and love I showed Robin and my ancestors. It shows that our souls are closely connected, that there was a Divine Order to the ceremony that I did not know was occurring while I was participating in it. It is the magical nature of synchronicity that helps me to know I am being guided in each choice I make. My soul family members may be unseen, but they are very powerful and know exactly how to get through to me!