As the Wheel Turns Toward Samhain, We Will None of Us Forget
This has been a very unique year for Spiral Grove Coven, full of highs and lows, magic, community, fun laughter, and powerful, huge grief. Each year we have gathered together at Samhain to remember our loved ones who have passed on. At this time of year there is an energy shift taking place. Whether you follow a pagan or magical path or not, if you are at all in tune to the seasons, you know what this shift is, though you may or may not have the words to describe it. As the Earth travels around the Sun each Solar year, there are changes that occur in due coarse. We recognize the seasonal changes which are obvious, such as the turning of the leaves and increase in cooler weather in the fall. The Shift that happens energetically is more subtly felt, but there just the same.
There are two words that I have latched onto to describe this energetic shift, yet they do not fully explain what this shift is. First is Nostalgia, that feeling of returning to something with a bittersweet recollection in the heart, which then permeates the mind and spirit. Second is Catharsis- a releasing of energy, good, bad or indifferent which has held one back in some fashion. These words are the best way I have been able thus far to describe what I have experienced as the Shift in energy upon the earth at this time of year. I get a feeling of Nostalgia at this time of year- no matter what I am doing, feeling, or where I am going or have been. I also experience a catharsis on one level or another- at some point or at many times during this season I seek and release the emotions I no longer have need of or feel ready to shed be they grief, fear, anger, worry or regret- what ever they are this is a time for me to shed them if only for a while.
As the earth prepares to hibernate for the winter, the shift that is occurring within the natural world creates a thinning of the energy veil (that which we call The Veil) which separates our physical 4 dimensional world from the Other Realm. In the larger sense I call this other realm the Spirit World. In it lies the multitude of other realms that are beyond our everyday reckoning, including but not limited to Faerie Land, The Summer Land, Anwynn, Hel, Tir na Nog & The Astral Realm.
On the other side of The Veil, in one of the other realms, our loved ones who have passed on from this physical life do reside. No one here on this plant can truly say with empirical evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt what happens when we die, but, much like accessing that which we call Divinity through ritual, meditation, trance and visualization, we can get a glimpse of what is possible once we cross over. These glimpses have been recorded throughout history in small and large ways, and have culminated in many myths, faiths and beliefs of what lies beyond The Veil. Along my spiritual path I have come to the idea that when someone dies, their spirit returns to the Spirit Realm to rest and rejuvenate, or at least an aspect of the spirit does. I say aspect as I believe that ultimately the core of our spirit simply returns to the One Source, the All, Divinity- that all too unknowable pulse of energy where all life comes from. We are always connected to the One Source through our spirit, this is what is Divine within us, and once we leave the shell of our body behind, the core of our spirit returns to the One Source.
The aspect that is left of our spirit is Memory, and it is this Memory that crosses the Veil into the Summerland to rest, rejuvenate and await other loved ones to join them. It is these Memories that we call upon at Samhain, as with the thinning of The Veil at this time of year, our ancestors, Their Memories, can hear us clearly, and respond in kind. When we remember those who have passed on during this season we do so because we can commune back and forth with ease. We also do so as the Earth is one sense is dying in a cyclical way, much as we humans die. While we shall be born again into a new body, the earth is reborn of itself each year. With the coming of Samhain comes the death of the earth, the death of a year. When working with earth and star energy on a personal, spiritual level, what better time to honor and remember Our Ancestors than when the Goddess is dying and and the Shift is occurring?
And so we come to the Core of our Samhain Celebration- Remembering our loved ones who have passed on. Nothing is ever forgotten. When we focus our intent on Remembering, we call upon the Memories of our Ancestors in Spirit form to connect with them directly, as well as to connect with the past, so that we may continue to move forward into the future of a new year, and a new journey for ourselves. We have come to point of no return with Winter at our back door. It is time to say goodbye to one year and hello to the next, and to honor those who have passed on, that they may continue to live on in our own memories as well as in the spirit realm.
There are things that go bump in the night, some are good and some not so much. By calling upon and remembering our ancestors at this time when all things can cross The Veil while it is so thin, we seek their protection and guidance as well. We seek connection through remembering for we have nothing else that we can touch, smell, hear or feel once a loved one has crossed over.
For those of us in Spiral Grove we shall Remember our Healer Regan who gave us each so much love. She crossed over much sooner than anyone could ever imagine and her loss was and still is a shock full of grief. We all miss her every day, we all carry a piece of her with us in our hearts. I can still her voice, and no one- not even gabby mouth little ol me- could tell a story like Regan could… But she was first and foremost a lover of life and laughter, and if we spend too much time wallowing in sorrow, she would be the first to say “Get over it already!” So we look to this Samhain as a way to connect with Regan again directly, to remember her, to feel nostalgic in our memories of her, and to experience a cathartic release of our grief.
This is what Samhain is about.
Merry Meet! I am first and foremost a writer. When I am writing I am in my element! Much of what I write about, and do in my life is centered around a pagan spiritual base. I have been studying various paths and topics, working with energies, deities, and the elements for 15 years plus. I am the High Priestess of Spiral Grove an eclectic study coven. I say I was given this coven as a gift because that is what it truly is. Spiral Grove would not be what it is without the members who make it whole.