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Happy New Year!!!

November 4, 2008

I love the days right after Samhain.  I feel so clean and new, fresh and empowered, ready to move forward in powerful and exciting ways.  I know that this is the perfect time to write about the things that I intend for my new year, but I really want to reflect on Samhain.

This was the first year that I have had the honor and privilege of hosting Samhain ritual for others, and what an honor it truly was.   I spent time with my students before Samhain talking about what I was doing, how I envision the work of Samhain.  We talked about spending serious time reviewing the last year, finding our own mistakes or mistaken ways of being.  We talked about accepting responsibility, in a very real and concrete way, for having created the reality in which we found ourselves living.   We talked about excavating the garbage piles of the last year and really releasing the patterns of being and thinking that serve neither us nor our Deities.   It’s a hard thing to truly own that stuff.   It’s hard to accept that I’ve gotten exactly what I’ve asked for, either through my energy or my direct acts of creation.  

I taught my students how to dismantle and cleanse the altars, looking at each piece that is there and all that it represents.  We talked about looking at each element as it manifests and looking for hang-ups or blockages that prevent those elements from manifesting in the most upright and positive ways. 

It sounds so simple when I write these things here, but it was so powerful and so gut-wrenching, both the doing it for myself and walking my students through doing it for themselves.

In the evening, everyone came to my home where we had a potluck dumb supper.  During this time, those of us who still have bodies served plates of food to our ancestors who no longer have bodies.  Another piece that is inherent in a dumb supper is silence. This, too, was a very powerful thing to do.  We wrote invitations to our ancestors, encouraging their attendance at our dumb supper and committing ourselves to listening to their words of wisdom.   Each of my students (and myself, of course) served the ancestors first and then waited in absolute silence to hear what they had to say.  We listened for them to ask for more food or drink, we listened for them to advise, we listened for them to speak whatever we needed to hear, and we honored their presence.  Every student’s invitation was accepted.  Every ancestor who was invited appeared or sent a message.  I had the extreme honor of watching my older daughter truly commune with her great-grandmother.  Several times I would be heading to the kitchen to get something that Nana had asked for only to find my daughter already getting the exact same thing.  It was so incredible to witness.

We burned our old year lists and created lists for the new year.  We spent a great deal of time choosing what things we want to birth in this coming year, asking for the things that will serve us and our Deities the best.  We asked for clear vision and strength to see our own weaknesses, those things that we need to grew within ourselves.

And then we got to give presents to each other.

It’s been a rough year for some of my students.  Most have experienced at least one crisis of faith.  All have had to walk through hard lessons.  All have been stretched to nearly the breaking point.  But those that I stood in Circle with on Samhain are hardly the same people that I was teaching a year ago.  They are strong and almost always sure of themselves, they are deeply intuitive, they are wiser about crystals and herbs and Circle casting and ritual crafting and meditating and lucid dreaming.  They can present their faith to people who are curious and they can intelligently discuss all manner of pagan practices.  They can all see and shift energy, shield themselves, ground, cleanse their own chakras, and recognise Truth when it is presented.  They are skilled Tarot readers and near experts on candle magic.  I am so proud of their growth, the tangible and the intangible.

And together we walk through this coming year, eagerly anticipating the growth to come!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2008 6:53 pm

    I am so grateful that the Momma let me come and share in your Samhain activities and that you were open to sharing them with me. Thank you for choosing to be such an open vessel for the Momma to teach and move through. I know that I would not have been able to accomplish nearly as much growth as I have the past year otherwise. And I share in your excitement for the New Year and all it will bring!!

  2. November 5, 2008 1:25 am

    See there- I told you that you would be a healer and a leader when I was just an old broken down croner! 🙂 Seriously, I’m proud to know you.

  3. carolynlboyd permalink
    January 7, 2009 12:42 pm

    What a wonderful ritual! I especially love the idea of the “dumb supper.” Your students are so lucky to have had this opportunity.

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