Last night I had an unexpected visitor. I was next door watching people's reaction to the worlds most elaborate Halloween display. A family of three strolled up the sidewalk to take in the scene. I had a feeling they may have been Mexican and inquired. They were indeed. I asked if they would be interested in seeing my Dia de los Muertos altar, which they were.
45 minutes later we were hugging each other goodbye. Her name was Yolanda and she was in the neighborhood with her family trick and treating. It turns out Yolanda was from Michoacan and grew up with all the rituals associated with Dia de los Muertos. She really liked the altar but proceeded to share other items I might consider adding. Slowly we refined the altar, adding a glass of water in case the spirits were thirsty, sea salt to keep the path clean, placing the candles in a bowl of water for keeping the vibrations high, and adding an apple and orange for nourishment. She spoke of the importance of having the 4 elements present on the altar...Fire, Water, Earth and Air. She also sprinkled the copal (incense) over the altar. It was truly an amazing experience and now I feel that the altar is finally complete and ready for welcoming of the spirits tonight, November 1st, the official start of Dia De los Muertos.
(note Yolanda's angel earring)
And Yvette, you asked if the altar would be up for the critique group next week. I am happy to say that Yolanda said it was important to keep it intact for 9 days...so yes, it will be up.
Yolanda's mother lived to 120 years old.