It’s the season of the Witch. Some call it Halloween, but Halloween is really just the spinoff. The original was and is, Samhain, and it falls precisely halfway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. That comes, this year, on November 7th, and it always falls within a couple of days of that date.
By any name...
Samhain is only its Gaelic name. Dia du Muertos in Mexican culture. Many peoples from many times and places set aside a day to celebrate and honor death and the dead, most frequently coinciding with the period surrounding the final harvest.
This period is a time in-between times. Summer is over, and winter is already casting his shadow over us. We teeter on the precipice of autumn, watching it slowly cross-dissolve as the leaves fall.
This is a powerful time. We can no sooner think of something, before it manifests. You say a phrase, and someone says it on TV before you’ve finished. You think of a song, and someone starts humming it. You keeping seeing 111 everywhere. You ask a question and the radio answers it.
The veil is thin. The veil of illusion that lies between what we think of as real and what we think of as unreal. This is a time of year when those two perceptions can be flipped upside down. We see through the illusion this physical world is, to the vibration underlying it, and pinning it together. We see to the Source of the vibration, to our true selves. We see past the world of the of the video game in which we exist, to realize we are both the game’s creator and its player.
Winter is coming
Why does that sound familiar?
It is encoded in our DNA to associate winter with death. On some level, we know they are the same thing. (As above, so below.) On some level we know that just as spring follows winter, life follows death. On that same level we know that winter follows fall. And death follows life. This isn’t as scary and dire as it sounds, once you accept that death isn’t what we think it is.
We should do away with the word, I think. It serves no purpose to humanity. We should use different words. Graduation, or elevation, or liberation. (Anything with a ion at the end, in other words.)
At “death,” we leave behind the limited focus of the physical world for a little while, so we can process and share every juicy tidbit we got from it. Every experience, every encounter, every physical, wonderful, earthly thing, made us more than we were before. And as a result, All That Is grows and expands. We review it all, every morsel of our lifetime, and it feeds into our ideas of what we want next, how we want to grow, what we want to experience. Things we could not have thought of from where we were before the lifetime we’ve just lived. These ideas were not available to us then.
This is what life is for. Expansion. Expansion. Expansion. Lifetime after lifetime after lifetime
At Samhain I...
This time of year, I think about the lifetime I’ve lived and all I’ve gathered from it. I think about those I’ve loved and those I’ve hated, who’ve graduated before me, and I marvel to realize that the person I knew wasn’t them at all. That was just the role they played in the great big epic motion picture that is life.
Some lives are dramas. Some are comedies. Some are tragedies. Some are love stories. Most are a unique mix of all of these. But all have purpose and value beyond valuing. These lifetimes are the fuel that feeds life itself. It’s a cycle, ever widening, self-sustaining, each part essential.
Each part essential. Which means, if there’s no death, then the whole wheel grinds to a halt. The gears lock up. A tooth is missing. Everything stops.
Each part is essential.
At Samhain, I focus on feeling at peace with all parts of the cycle, and even feeling appreciation for all the parts. I honor death as a blissful, beautiful, perfect completion of each lifetime, and an essential turn of the wheel. I honor it as the time of processing and sharing and expansion. And as the time of creating the next lifetime for myself.
It’s like writing the outline of my story, and then stepping into it to flesh it out. What a great period that is, right? Imagining who we want to be next time, what will we look like, who will be our parents, where we will live. Which gifts from the myriad in our closet, shall we take with us this time? We’ve gathered so many, over lifetime after lifetime. What would serve us best to get where we want to go this time around? Shall we take the gift of healing, of storytelling, of acting, of sculpting, of physical strength, of mathematical genius? What shall it be?
That’s the “work” in between the lifetimes. We’re designing the video game before we project ourselves into it. Talk about an immersive experience!
At Samhain I mull on these things. And too, I honor those who’ve gone on before me, and have some really nice visits with them.
See through the veil
There’s never a better time for divination than the fall of the year, and the weeks surrounding Samhain. The old saying that the veil is thin, like most old sayings, has a grain of truth. So at this time of year, I do some readings for myself in between those I do for others.
This year, I’m going to work some some decks I’ve owned for years, but never used. I’m eager to see what new depths of understanding these cards might awaken. Mostly, I’m finding I don’t need the cards at all to do the readings anymore. I still use them as something like a reference point. Like I’m out on a boat at night and there’s thick fog on the lake, and the cards are a dock with a light bulb on it. Like that. But most of what comes in the readings is just…coming. And I think it’s because I’m doing them so often, the signal is getting stronger.
So divination and talking to dead people as if they can hear me, and hearing answers in my mind, and trusting they are real, and mulling on the cycle of life– those are my ways of honoring the season of Samhain.
I’d love to hear some of yours!