I've got that Samhain afterglow, poptarts! I feel rejuvenated. I feel like I actually gave myself the time to really survey my psyche, think about my desires and worries, and make some deals with myself. It was a holy time, and I know that it's not quite done yet - it's not cut-and-dried. The reverberations keep rippling, don't they? I'm sure that some of the peeps reading these words know exactly how it is.
Samhain is sacred as fuck in my world. But it doesn't always produce the easiest experiences. One of the notable topics in my seasonal Q&A video was the way in which the thinning veil affects us differently - how it causes people to feel distracted, open to all kinds of messages which pull them from consensus reality and into an ethereal middle ground between here and elsewhere. Some see and hear spirits. Some experience lucid dreams, intense dreams, prophetic dreams, nightmares.. Some can't sleep. Some find that they are being called by projects, missions, plans or actions which they can't fully explain their need to carry out but which keep tugging at the clothes and clouding up the vision. We can definitely exclaim our love for this magickal stuff whilst at the same time realising the potentially disconcerting nature of its potency.
I felt like writing down just a few of the things I have experienced this year. It's been a while since I 'stretched my legs' on this blog. Since I made the decision to focus on my channel as my primary 'hub', the blog here has been demoted to a list of updates, reminders and the occasional 'final thought' on a video that I uploaded. But, as someone who deeply identifies with the word 'writer', it's nice to know that this place is here if I feel like tapping my heart out as the clock draws me towards midnight.
First and foremost, the emotions. Damn! It's been a little bit like a tiny bout of the worst kind of PMT. (In my world, PMT is real and it's raw. No, I will not be told that it's unnatural or that there's some way to completely get rid of it by chanting or eating some combination of foods or supplements. It's ok to be hormonal.) I really tuned in to myself and everyone else. I really felt the pain of strangers thousands of miles away. Or at least that's how I would describe it. I'm not saying that this never usually happens to me, but with it being the run up to Samhain, it was certainly more notable and intense than usual occasions of empathy overload or empathic experiences. (You can learn more about my own journey with the word 'empath' here and here, by the way.) I let these emotions come over me like waves, resisting the temptation to run from them. I noticed that Samhain this year seemed to create a space for me to feel anger towards people who have wronged me, and feel it in a way which could be described as a 'release'. Don't cling onto it, let it go. Didn't realise it was even there? Well, there it is! And now, it's sailing away, because you coughed it up..
I wanted to sleep a lot a lot a lot -tonnes- in the run up to Samhain. Certainly, my dreams were vivid and often well worth mentioning to the people in my life as a point of conversation, so it's likely that I was being called to the dream world to have those experiences. But I also have to state that Samhain was almost pushing me to sleep in a motherly way, insisting that I let my batteries charge fully rather than constantly pulling the plug out before the charge had reached 100%. Upon realising this, it occurred to me that October had been a time of late nights and early rises, hitting the gym pretty hard and generally feeling 'high on life' for the most part. (Imagine a kid heading gleefully towards Christmas and you'll get the sense of how I feel on the way to Samhain.) So it was almost a counterbalance, and it felt good to just snuggle under the brand new fluffy-as-a-million-kittens blanket that I purchased in October and get some decent naps into my days!
The Samhain dreams themselves -the ones which took place in the week leading up to Samhain- were very much rooted in my concerns about women's rights, abuses against women, the tension and paranoia that so many of us are experiencing as human beings, and the violence which is maiming and killing so many across the world. Heavy shit! In some of the dreams, I was in danger, and I had to figure out ways to keep myself alive and safe in the face of predators and scary scenarios. In other dreams, I had to help and comfort others. Or I found that I could not be that source of support, which felt terrible. I couldn't reach a person who was being harmed and it made me feel desperate, scared and disempowered. And really angry. These dreams have made me realise that I am being called to do whatever I can, and that I can do more than I think. These dreams also reminded me that being a witch doesn't just have to be something personal. It can very much be something political. In fact, for me, divorcing the word from politics seems almost laughable now.
Something else that happened on Samhain was that I ended up in receipt of some news, via social media, which made me feel all kinds of weird, nostalgic and emotional. It was happy news concerning an important ex-partner of mine who had an extremely profound effect on my life, and has now moved on with his, as have I. At first, the intense, uncertain feelings which washed over me felt shameful and confusing. So much water under that particular bridge. And I'm so happy now. Why would it have any effect at all..? But then it occurred to me that my reaction wasn't about him or his partner or wishing that things could have been different. My reaction was about that younger version of me, ten years ago, when we broke up.. That version of me was on a self-love journey but still wasn't wholly convinced that I was worth loving if he didn't love me.. That version of me needed a hug in that moment. That little shard of me that still lives inside my psyche stepped forward, in tears, and needed to be told that she is worthy as fuck, even if she was never going to be the one he would grow old with. An appropriate experience for Samhain. It was almost sent to me, it seemed. That's the kind of work that Samhain calls you to do.
I purchase a Samhain gift for myself every year. I really enjoy doing this! Something symbolic - a deck, a piece of clothing, a book of poetry, a little trip somewhere. For a while, I've been seeing a friend of mine who, like me, is on the festival and rave scene, wearing the most radical pompom headband I'd ever seen, so I eventually had to ask her where the hell I could grace my head with some that goodness. It arrived in time for me to be a pompom queen this Halloween - I did a rhyme! Check it out over on my IG! It only occurred to me after placing this fabulous creation onto my head that I was indeed symbolically crowning myself. But, upon realising this, it gave me a lot to reflect on. I really have carved out my own thing, and I freely and passionately encourage others to do the same. It's more than a little important to me that I continue being the sovereign of my spiritual world. I embrace Samhain because I love it and it resonates with me, not because it's a non-negotiable part of the Wheel of the Year. The parts of the Wheel of the Year that I'm not really vibing with are not featured in my practice. I want every single piece of my path to be fizzy as fuck. I have placed myself into a position which leaves me no one to whom I need to apologise for that.
That's about it, apart from some of the key messages from my super long Samhain reading this year.. At least, some of the ones which I feel called to pass on in the spirit of sharing:
- Focus on your own shit. Don't look left. Don't look right. Look straight ahead of you. Remain in your lane, even if someone tries to swerve obnoxiously into yours. What do you want to achieve? What is your chosen destination? That's what really counts. Centre into it.
- Because you know that you can always choose differently, you really have no excuse for blaming others if you continuously choose the thing that's unhealthy and unhelpful for you. This is tough love, and it's about time.
- Whenever you fear meditation, it's probably because you fear your feelings. When you create a space for your feelings, your feelings will fill that space. But that's ok. That is not undesirable. It's only nightmarish because you decide that it is. Decide differently. Meditate.
- If you're up shit creek without a paddle and you need to ask for help, absolutely no one should be permitted to give you their assistance with a big side dish of judgement. People who do that can be kept at arm's length. No one -in either a personal or professional capacity- should enjoy watching you in the midst of difficulty. Nor should they ever use your trials as an opportunity to come up smelling of roses. Those people don't deserve their name in the acknowledgements. Ever.
Big powerful messages, right?
Over and out, sweethearts!