Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Autumn Musing / Thoughts of Samhaim

***“Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the Earth seeking successive Autumns.”~ George Elliott
Ah,yes…the period that you and I love, the time we love as witches and Pagans,
those few weeks and days just before Samhain and the beginning of the Celtic New Year.
That time when the leaves gain their brightest colors, then fade and fall to the ground.
What a stunning metaphor for living and dying.

***“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

Several years ago I took to calling this time of year the Time of Deep Indwelling,
because indeed, this is what it is: crisp evenings to settle in with a hot cup of tea or chocolate,
light the candles, and gather yourself close. It is a time to warm both body and soul, and to turn inward.
A tiny black and white plaque hangs in my kitchen that states: Gratitude turns what we have into enough. It is my current personal mantra,
and I try to live it out everyday, especially as I get older.

***“ And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and Autumn was awakened”~ Raquel Franco
I had to think this one through because there is a lot going on in those few simple words.
I have come to the conclusion that this quote is quite brilliant in its description of Samhain.
The sun is lower in the sky, the trees begin their cycle of rest before regeneration,
but there is a last burst of glory and celebration of Life before preparing for the new life to come.
I framed this quote in terms of the end of life just before transitioning across the veil, and it fits perfectly.

***“ Wild is the music of the autumnal winds among the faded woods:~ William Wordsworth
If you have ever spent time in the woods after the branches have been laid bare
and listened to their clacking in the wind, they sound a bit like the clattering of old bones.
After they have shed their leaves they are quite naked, stripped down, as it were, to their skeletons.
Autumn is full of metaphors for death, and this one is a favorite of mine because it so beautifully illustrates
the Dance Macabre.

***“ I hope I can be the autumn leaf, who looked at the sky and lived. And when it was time to leave, gracefully it knew life was a gift”~ Dodinsky
I don’t think I am owed an easy pass when it’s my time to transition to the next life,
but like all of my fellow humans, I would prefer to go easy and without suffering.
That has already happened once, a few years ago, when I simply faded to black after an embolism.
I remember peacefully going to sleep. I hope for that same experience when it is
my actual time to go after a life well lived.

***“ The father we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.”~ Paula Curan
To me, this beautifully explains that feeling many of us have had since childhood,
when we knew our very soul resonated with something wonderful and old,
something tucked far back in our personal history that we couldn’t name or quite grasp,
yet we knew came to light within us during the autumn harvest.
It is why we thrilled to see the shocks of corn in the field, the faces of spirits carved in Jack O’Lanterns
that we welcomed as friends, the knowledge that something or someone from the past swept over us.
Weird little kids like us needed Halloween – not the candy or parties,
but the very act of dressing up as something Other and going about in the forbidden night with
the kindred spirits we knew walked the Earth that night.
I still take a few minutes every Halloween night to go outside alone in the darkness and
just stand there while the spirit ancestors walk around me.
It’s usually the time I take a small plate of food out for the Dead or wild animals or
whomever comes to refresh
themselves from its essence, or nourish their bodies from my offering.
That moment brings me back into myself and reminds me who I am and my place in the grandness of Living.

I hope you have a wonderful, magickal Halloween, and a Samhain
that connects you not only with your ancestors, but your soul.
Be well and blessed with an abundance of joy and gratitude this night and
every night as the Wheel of the Year once again turns and leads you home.