Samhain is a Wiccan holiday which I still embrace. I enjoy the traditions of many religions or practices, judging nothing as right or wrong. I have embraced the old ways for over a decade and consider the Goddess as a part of my spiritual world. But I also integrate many practices and beliefs from Christian doctrine, Native American and Buddhist thoughts. To me, it is all man made anyways so there is no way it can be right or wrong. It comes from one source. It is in the interpretation that it becomes personal and humanized. Those who stand on a mountain and declare their way as the only way have totally missed the point. I feel for zealots because their pontification of a narrow pathway often inhibits the exact thing they seek or offer.
Since I was young, I have always been in tuned with the moon. Some of my earliest visual memories are of a night sky with clouds passing in front of the Moon. I am also very drawn to water and feel much of my rhythms are directed by her, much like the tide. I have sat in moon light since I was old enough to be able to stay up and outside by myself. The platinum light has always evoked an emotional bond. But I also get the Light of Christ. I believe that the Moon is a reminder that we all take strength from the Light, no matter its origin. I tell people to look at the Moon when it is full and think of me as I do them. It is a reminder of the love I send them. I think of the light washing down on them as I would my love if they were close.
I set up candles every full moon and still perform a basic gratitude ritual. I know all the words, and evoke the four corners of spirits for protection, cast a circle and a cone of protection. I have the tools and the specific ritualistic accoutrements. I do not go through the process in much detail anymore as I do not do anything spiritually that rings false. I do what comes from my heart.
I also have a place in the garden which is my Goddess garden. It is four little globe lights with a blue gazing ball in the center. I have globes all over the garden to represent the Maiden, Mother and Crone. It is for me and to honor the feminine deity or as I prefer; source. I think there are all aspects of spirit source and I honor the male as well. I also, of course, honor animal spirit.
There is something about Samhain that calls deep within my soul and has since I was a child. I loved Halloween for the mystic and wondrous feeling of possible magick that wearing costumes and wandering in the night allowed. As a youngster, the opportunity to be something else for a short while inspired me to go into theater as a young woman. But even at the age eleven, which was the first time I went out by myself, there was something special. I still remember not being afraid of the night, partially because I had escaped from the house of horrors that was my home. When I was a teen, we would roam in a pack often perpetuating harmless tricks like toilet papering trees and such.
One year when I was part of a coven, they did a full on ritual to call in the dead. It was not scary at all because the drama of the participants was so over the top, it was humorous to me and fake. That was the termination of my participation in a coven and much of my Wiccan practice.
To me Samhain is a time of reflection. It is the year end in the Wiccan calendar. It is the time of deep reflection as the Goddess retreats to the underworld. There are many myths attached to this season. I reflect on this period as a transitional time. In the past years and even this year, there have been serious things that have happened to me. It was at this time my first marriage proceeded into a divorce. I was diagnosed with two serious illnesses at this time of year. I have lost now three dogs in this time period. Both of my parents became gravely ill and died after months of struggle. I do not enjoy that the animals go into hibernation and migrate. Nor do I enjoy the plants and trees either dying or go dormant. It is a time of rest, and I get that. I have come through all of these transitions and often to a better place.
I also still celebrate Beltane as the season of regrowth and birth. I honor many of the traditions of Pagan origin. I feel being called a Heathen is an honor since it means “from the Heath”. I am from the heath. My heart pumps chlorophyll, no doubt about it. But I embrace one solid thought that no matter the practice, we all come from one source and we are all one whether we take communion at a rail and alter or from an athame.
So blessed be to you all. May you look upon the Light of the Moon the next time she shines and think of me as I do you. May the love of your ancestors embrace you as you honor them with the lowering of the veil. May you find peace in whatever traditions and rituals you partake in.
“An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will” So mote it be.