Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Halloween - Or Samhain Visted

Merry Meet...again gentle readers...

We are fast approaching Halloween, the ancient festival Samhain (Sow'ehn) which celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of the winter season. This was a time of year where the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest.

In ancient lore, the Goddess enters the place of the Crone. The God dies to be reborn at the beginning of Summer. To some, this would sound absurd. But to the ancients, who celebrated two seasons, this made perfect sense and it was how they celebrated the spiritual. The spiritual for these people infiltrated the whole of their lives. All things living and dead were honored.

In my personal journey, I have found a kinship to this spirituality. I have seen how my life has ebbed and flowed according to the seasons. As I seek to celebrate this Samhain, I am looking for ways to honor the dead who have gone before. Of course there are specific ways to celebrate and one can find them all over the internet. But what makes this personal is finding my own way to celebrate and give honor.

So this week I am seeking wisdom on this very thing. The altar set up you see in the picture above is beautiful. But where to set up an altar where the cats and dogs can't bother it? And where to find the wonderful things that are shown on it? There is a woman who has a booth in our flea market and I can probably find some things there. However, there is a strong sense of nature on this altar. And being in the deep south makes it difficult to find strikingly beautiful fall colored leaves. I am considering evergreens as a sign of the circle of life in which we all find ourselves.

I suppose this should be a blog of great insight and import. I am at a place along this spiritual path of seeking my own way and the immortals that would guide me in that way. Samhain this year will be a beginning of a new path, not necessarily an ending: finding my way through the winter season and learning to communicate with and honor those who have gone before.

To those Christians who would be agast at this journey, remember that your own journey infused these holidays and named them for your own use. What we in the Pagan community celebrate as Samhain, you named All Saints Day. The same is true with most, if not all, Christian holidays. They were borrowed from the Pagans and Heathens as their own. So how can one assimilate Christianity and Paganism? I can't say I understand. However, for me, they do infuse each other into a wonderful tapestry of spirituality.

So I encourage you to study Samhain and see how you can make this celebration your own. Look across the year and seek to honor the dead...and the living. Understand that you are fast approaching the end of summer and the beginning of the winter season. I have come to realize the refreshing that is winter. In meditation and celebration, you will see it too if you have an open heart and mind...and that which is Samhain.

I wish you a blessed Samhain and a refreshing winter season!

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