Saturday, 19 November 2016

Headed into the darkest part of the year

The lights of Samhain have passed, and now we head into the waning days of autumn, full of rain, little light, and a chill to the bone.

I love this time of year.

I have always found it quite ironic that I enjoyed the fall as much as I do, since I also enjoy the brightness of spring, the heaving bounty. In the autumn, there is a dearth of such plant growth, but more growth within the self and the soul.

This Samhain was marked by a number of firsts.

We attended a wonderful private ritual the night before. We were interrupted a few times by passerby, including some curious and kind of rude people who chose to film and photograph us. Aside from the interruptions, it was a nice ritual with a good journey inward. I found it did help to prepare me for Samhain proper.

Now, as a point - I celebrate Samhain on October 31. Some people celebrate based on the astrological date (in fact, some people insist that any other time is wrong - and you know me well enough by now that I don't let that elitist shit fly with me), but for me, it has always held a special significance on that date. Perhaps it's the echoes of the fact people have been celebrating on that particular date for centuries, or that my dedication was held on Samhain oh so many years ago. I don't know. I always advocate to celebrate whenever you feel suited to do so.

Early that day, I made my traditional apple cider. I have spent years making it, it has become a staple in our household. There's a bit of this and a bit of that in it - I find that spices just warm you to the soul. My very first Samhain I made this over a campfire as I was measured and dedicated.

That night, D and I loaded up the car with kindling, cauldrons and supplies. We drove out to a remote beach right on the Atlantic, and lit our sabbat fire with the waves crashing behind us.

We burned incense, left offerings of honey and cream for the fae, and apples for the landwights. We toasted and boasted and swore our official oaths, we honoured our gods and spirits, and we honoured our ancestors. We burned vestiges of our past, and buried the long dead things that no longer serve.

Afterwards, we left the beach as we had found it, headed back home, and all 3 of us curled up on the couch with some cider and Ghostbusters. :)

A mere 10 days later, we brought our newest family member home.

His name is Aengus, and he is a little spitfire. He is clever and funny and a pain in the ass and a source of stress and a complete and utter joy. We are enjoying forging a relationship with him. The first few days are always hard, and this was no exception. He's had some pretty crazy separation anxiety - but he is learning that we will always come back and he has nothing to fear. I spent a few days on the couch this past week with a cold, and he was great cuddly company. I am looking forward to introducing to more of our friends when he gets his second round of shots.

In a way, he is a wonderful punctuation to what was, in all honesty, a fucking awful year. So many people have expressed that 2016 has not been kind to them, and I am no exception. That said, I feel things are looking up, and I am trying to remain positive going forward.

I am still riding on that chariot energy - moving forward.

I find that it is easy to become introspective and focused inward at this time of year - it is like we starts to hibernate a bit. We start to wind into the dark inward spiral. I think it's very important to have time like this to focus. It gives us clarity and helps us re-evaluate our purpose. It helps us examine our lives and determine what works and what doesn't. Without having that time to reflect, I find myself becoming a bit scattered.  I notice a huge difference this year as compared to last year, as last year I was under a great deal of stress and unable to take time to be introspective.

Now I view it as invaluable, as I have had ample time to reflect.

I intend to enjoy the waning light, enjoy the brisk breeze, and enjoy going forward - don't waste your time looking back, you aren't going that way.