Welcoming Fall ~ Celebrating Samhain
Blessings to all as Fall enters our worlds. The turning of the leaves, the winds dancing through the trees creating a vision as the leaves fall like snow to Mother Earth, pumpkins ripening ready for carving, frosts begin to appear dusting the landscape – all signs that the turning of the wheel has once again brought the abundance of our summer toils to fruition. My heart sings with delight as I watch the trees display their foliage of burnt oranges, deep burgundy, flame reds and yellow hues. It’s my favorite time of year. It reminds me, once again, about the impermanence of life. Letting go of what no longer serves us, cleaning the ‘cobwebs’ from our lives as we prepare for the coming of winter. It’s a time to remind ourselves if we have hopes and dreams of inviting new ways of being into our lives, we must make room. And sometimes, that looks much like how the trees look as the last remaining leaves fall to the forest floor laying bare the limbs so the new buds will have room to flourish in spring.
Each season brings with it a time for reflection. In Spring – new beginnings, fall letting go of what no longer serves us, summer welcoming father sun to feed our souls so the new beginnings in spring have an opportunity to take hold, winter a time of turning in – resting our heart and souls as Mother Earth turns inward healing, nurturing herself so that when spring arrives there is the energy and readiness to take on what will come forth.
Part of my listening to the mysteries of life is paying attention to the messages that await me. And for me, this past year I received strong messages and so I answered the call to Scotland and Ireland spending nearly a month traveling to sacred sites where my heart was touched and my soul fed. Ireland is the land of my spiritual ancestors and being there is akin to spending time with the spirits of the land and communing with the ancestors who have been a part of the landscape for millenia. When I speak of the ancestors I speak of the two-leggeds, four-leggeds, tree and star people, those whose bellies brush against Earth Mother as they move from one place to the other, the winged ones, the stone people ~ in essence all of Earth Mother’s and Father Sky’s inhabitants. There is much to be learned from the richness that awaits us if we open ourselves to what they have to offer. And much was given to me through my latest pilgrimage.
One such time was at the ruins of a wedge tomb near Lough Gur – the lake of the swans. My dear friend Candace and I spent time simply being – not doing. We each were in tune with what was being offered to each of us while ‘being’. A dragonfly dove at me a number of times. She was definitely trying to get my attention. As we were leaving the site the same dragonfly came at me again and so I stopped near the stone wall that was part of the site. She landed near my left hand. As I moved my hand a bit towards her she flew off however, landed once again near my hand. As we stood there, I continued to gently and slowly move my hand towards her but this time she didn’t fly away. I continued to move closer and closer eventually she allowed me to slip my finger under her wings. Her gossamer wings were magical. As we communed I knew I was in the presence of the Divine. I’m still unpacking the messages she brought and as the days bring more clarity, I’m beginning to get a glimpse of the mysteries she awakened in me. As I let go of some ways of being that were no longer serving me as I journeyed on this pilgrimage, I have no doubt by letting go, I had made room for this most magical and mystical experience.
The magic of life surrounds us and is often embraced as we stop and honor the turning of the wheel. Samhain (sow-in) or modern-day Halloween is October 31st – November 1st. It is a time to slow our busy lives and honor those who have passed, by welcoming them into our homes and hearts. It is a time when the veil between this world and the ‘other world’ is the thinnest making it possible for the spirits of our loved ones to come visit. A place at the table would be set for the ancestors that would be visiting. It was a time of honoring those who had gone before and in doing so kept their lineage alive and the memory of those who had contributed to their very being.
I invite you to take some time this Samhain and reflect on those loved ones who have passed over onto their next adventure. Reflect on the memories you hold dear and celebrate the essence of their souls that live within. Their presence in your life helped form who you are as you are contributing to those who are coming after you. (remember ancestors are not just the two-leggeds) Maybe if we had kept this practice alive, we wouldn’t need DNA tests to find our people - we would know who they were. We would know and honor the land our ancestors worked – the four-leggeds and winged-ones who have touched our lives – the forests, oceans, rivers, mountains and so much more that have helped shape who we are today. Maybe one of your ancestors is someone you actually never met but were told stories of them by others who did. I often share stories about my grandfather who passed over 30 years ago, my beautiful Doberman Chandra who died over 25 years ago, the park where I spent many hours during my youth and the majestic trees I found such solace in and my grandmother who passed over 60 years ago yet left an indelible impression upon my soul. Reflect, Honor, and Embrace your heritage.
May your Fall be filled with the abundance of living. Listen as the winds dance through the trees. Watch as the winged-ones fly by. Play in the beauty of the leaves. Drink hot cider. Find joy.
Many blessings ~ Janet (aka Crone)