'I am tomorrow's ancestor,
the future of yesterday,
and what I am goes rippling out all ways,
goes rippling out always.'
- Brian Boothby
I lovingly invite you to journey inwards. Connect to your root energy, dive through your psyche and reflect on all the things which have changed you, inspired you and scared you. Commemorate what's past and leave the dark doorway ajar to invite the future in.
For many people, Samhain is a festival of remembrance. But it needn't be just about paying your respects to loved ones who've crossed over. You can also make room in your life to remember the places, people and experiences which have shaped you along the way. Samhain is a good time to be thankful for even the most traumatic and painful of life events through examining your battle scars and witnessing how you've survived, strengthened and continued to live. You may feel that your darkest and most difficult moments have led to your most clear understandings. If so, you are an example of the incredible power of post-traumatic growth.
As the sun was setting on the last October evening of this year, I thought about all the incredible clients I've worked with, all the friends I've supported and encouraged and all the courageous human beings who've crossed my path in one way or another to remind me that I can always rise again after a fall. I also thought about the truly restorative power of release work. Saying goodbye to what no longer serves and sweeping the psyche clean of anything rotten and bitter has been a big part of my journey towards this Samhain celebration. I hope that you have felt able to do the same.
The life-death-life cycle is one to be truly honoured and loved. It reminds us of the constant stream of potential. It reminds us that rebirth and renewal is ours for the taking and that every cell in our bodies is living its very own life-death-life cycle; as within, so without.
For me, Samhain is the most potent and important festival of the Pagan year and I have been preparing for it avidly. It has a tendency to make things very clear and simple for me. I become much more aware of how my energy is being spent. I waste less time. I honour what's truly important and forget the rest. I go into my own darkness where my ideas are incubating and where my dreams dance long before the sun comes up. I meet myself there and become more familiar with everything. I trace my fingers over the objects of my memories. I find strength, solitude and stillness.
There are many themes which really come into focus at Samhain. One major theme is release. I relax my grip on things, even if it's difficult, and this year more than any other, I've truly done that. I've come to know that I'll always have the music, but not the people I used to dance to it with. And that's ok. It's a journey. You can't take it all with you. The truth is that I have already experienced death many times. I've mourned the passing of so much joy, I've mourned the old versions of myself which once seemed to make so much sense, I've mourned ideas which didn't materialise and connections which ceased to flourish. Tonight, in my sacred space, spirit wins out over ego and I succumb to a state of just being. Sometimes, lost and found can be exactly the same thing and that's usually the point at which you realise that you can let go and still be whole.
Samhain is also about facing fears, for me. I am about as comfortable as someone can be with the premise of physical death, and yet of course the unknown is always frightening. So, Samhain is a chance to explore that and to find peace in my own incredible ignorance. To be curious about the other side, rather than terrified, is the best I can hope for. I prepare for death every day. Death is what gives life meaning.
I have also been thinking a lot about the importance of being right. It doesn't matter a jot if you're not happy. Your ego can insist on being correct, being superior, being the best.. But if your spirit is crying out for nourishment the entire time then it's likely that your priorities are skewed. I recommend using the sensationally potent energies of this night to think about what's important. Big picture. It's amazing how much shit you stop carrying around with you once you're one with Samhain and everything it means.