Thursday, October 30, 2008

Samhain: From Ending...Beginning

Samhain: From Ending...Beginning

It's that blessed time of the year again: Samhain. Samhain was to those ancients the separation of the seasons, dark and light, dead and living. A time to honor those who have passed over, as well as a time to be thankful for the harvest that would carry the people through to the next year.

The seasons were crucially important to our ancestors. They set their times according to them because their very lives depended on it. Without reverence for the creation around them, they understood that they would not have enough food, clothing...or even carry them through the harsh winter months. They understood that the creation must die to live again. That understanding permeated their worship.

And although there are many ways to celebrate, I think many of us have our own special time and traditions. For me, this is an opportunity to take stock of the year: successes and failures. The veil between the worlds is at it's thinnest and it is a time to ask direction for the coming year. Our ancestors stand at the precipice waiting for us to communicate with them. As they pass over, they take with them all of their experiences on this earth. They may exchange vessels, but their souls carry on. And at this time, Samhain, the veil is thin and they are there to give us wisdom and direction in the year to come.

Many of my pagan friends' holy days are steeped in ritual. We find great comfort in the familiarity of them. However, there are times when I prefer spontanaeity to ritual: to talk to the deities from a full heart not leaning on formality. And Samhain is that time for me. I spend my time in meditation of my friends and family who have passed over this year and years past. I think on the year and what I've accomplished and that which has been left undone. And I set priorities and goals for the next year asking the help of the ancients and dieties to bring them to pass.

As the veil becomes thinner, I ask the souls of the departed if they have messages of instruction, correction or hope. And then I listen with my spirit for their offerings. And when all is said and done, I give them offerings of my own to thank them for sharing their time and wisdom with me.

All of these things bring me comfort, hope and help for the year to come, but they also offer me closure for the year passing. Samhain, being the New Year for pagans, causes me to look forward to waking the next morning with hope and strength renewed for the winter months ahead, trusting that needs will be met.

This Samhain, I invite you to celebrate the old and the new. Reach out to those departed with whom you wish to communicate again. And know that the veil that separates you from them will allow you both to reconnect in a way that is mysterious but very, very real. You will find comfort for your soul and wisdom for your journey.

To all, a Blessed Samhain...

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