Samhain 2016 begins on Monday, October 31 and ends on Tuesday, November 1
Samhain can be seen as a time for taking stock of the past and coming to terms with it, in order to move on and look forward to the future.
“Sometimes you can’t have what is in front of you if you are not willing to let go what is behind you”
– James Van Praagh
Traditionally Samhain is about endings, reflecting on mortality and also on the passing of relationships, jobs and other significant changes in life. If we choose to celebrate these things we can take the opportunity to ritualise those endings, as a way of symbolising acceptance and showing gratitude, for both having had that experience and for the freedom that every letting go inevitably opens up. In keeping with the time of year we can let those things go into the fire.
This season also marks the fast approaching midwinter, a time of hibernation and of contraction, for all of nature including US. So it is as well to enter this time as baggage free as possible, the rest will be more complete, the inner work more fulfilling and you more ready for the Spring when it comes.
When we are in the vibe of acceptance and gratitude we attract good things into our life. The same is true when we share our gifts, I would like to invite the women among you to do just that –
Women Gathering: A Woman’s Perspective on Self Care 30th of October 2016.
Let’s share an afternoon of extreme nurturing, lunch then pampering, My questions for you to contemplate meantime are-
What it means to you to be a woman, what do you need to be nurtured as a woman, and what formed you as a woman.
Samhain: Gaelic or Pagan festival
Samhain, pronounced sah-win is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. The Celtic roots of Halloween, it is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, observed in Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). To most modern Pagans, while death is still the central theme of the festival this does not mean it is a morbid event. For Pagans, death is not a thing to be feared. Old age is valued for its wisdom and dying is accepted as a part of life as necessary and welcome as birth. While Pagans, like people of other faiths, always honour and show respect for their dead, this is particularly marked at Samhain. Loved ones who have recently died are remembered and their spirits often invited to join the living in the celebratory feast. It is also a time at which those born during the past year are formally welcomed into the community. As well as feasting, Pagans often celebrate Samhain with traditional games such as apple-dooking. Death also symbolises endings and Samhain is therefore not only a time for reflecting on mortality, but also on the passing of relationships, jobs and other significant changes in life. A time for taking stock of the past and coming to terms with it, in order to move on and look forward to the future.
Blessings at this time of balance, traditionally balance between night and day but on this the morning of the historic Scottish independence referendum I hope it is the dawning of balance for so much more.
So I offer a short blog having written little having directed my energies towards the yes vote. Intentions were placed in the Spring but the summer was time for action. However I’d like to share are some of the symbolic messages received in that time.
An owl that flew across my path while searching out addresses for campaign knock ups. Two birds of prey – one in the woods and again in front of the car from left to right. These were on successive days. Another day in a moment of doubt I looked up and there were 5 deer looking straight back at me, in their vulnerability they held my gaze until I understood, and today a young deer ran with me for a good 10 yards – unbelievable. Since the early spring when the spiritual significance of our destiny properly caught my attention there have been constant signs like these. So whatever results were I KNEW the direction was clear. Read more
The year turns fast and I’m sure, like me, you find it difficult at times to keep connection, I mean connection in the deepest sense. Connection with yourself, with nature and with kindred spirits. yet these things are what keeps us on track.
I’ve already shared that I have written my first book and taken time out to complete it. Well I seems the “after book” takes longer than the writing did. Once that particular penny dropped and I settled into the post writing phase I realised I needed to re-establish connection. So I set up a monthly meeting for women to connect, talk, meditate and relax. The theme is different each time, the next one, on the 29th is Women Gathering: The Long Summer Sleep The event will always be posted on Facebook so make sure you have liked and get updates from my fan page then you can join us when you fancy. Read more
The full moon is coming up, a time of illumination, when we can see what is often the hidden aspect in our psyche. Use that energy, that revelation as a space, an opportunity to do something different. Decide what you want instead and use this cosmic energy as a spring board to something better…. Read more
Spring Equinox has always been a special time for me and many of them have been spent at the sacred site of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis. This year I will celebrate in private so allow me to share the ritual and guided journey I presented last year as well as a little background.
Equinox is the time of year when lightness and darkness are in equilibrium. Equinox means “equal night,” and anywhere on the Earth, given a level horizon, the Sun rises due East, and sets due West. Equal day and night. Then the balance tips and light dominates the days. As the days become brighter and warmer, new life emerges, birds sing and we all wake from the gloomy spell of winter – spring is here!
With this movement and re-awakening from hibernation we naturally want to stretch, to reach out, to sense what we want for ourselves from the abundance of the coming year. This feeling is a joy to establish in our lives, the feeling of the new energy within nature and the world. Every one of us has felt this since childhood directly or through the natural world around us, we will each have our own memories of it. Equinox is a time to consciously re-connect with it, to meditate in search for a sense of renewal and direction, to heal the heart and soul after the darkness of short days, to allow ourselves to blossom and grow stronger for the forthcoming year. Take this time to spring clean the mind, get rid of winter- blues and unwanted past influences, to concentrate on new plans. As those seeds planted when the autumn leaves turned and lay dormant through winter are now visible above the surface of the Earth so the ideas we’ve been nurturing over the winter become manifest to others. Celebrate them in this new phase of life. Read more
Being a therapist I can use just about any reason imaginable as an opportunity for change. I particularly love if that’s tied in with the cycles of mother nature.
So mark the turning point of what can seem like the long haul from Christmas until spring. Take time out on the 21st to gather with friends, meditating, relaxing or simply making a promise to yourself to do nothing at all can be a welcome respite from the exhaustion and tedium of commercialised Christmas.
It may help alleviate the dread of the long winter months just knowing that on this day we were already half way to Spring Equinox and the return of the sun. Honestly I look forward to it more each year. Read more
The days are shortening and the temperatures are dropping…. Does it make you long for the cosy fires, crisp winter walks and quality time with friends and family? Or dread the cost of Christmas, inevitable weight gain, remorse, and January blues? Whichever way you look at it you cannot deny this season brings out both […]