SAMHAIN: the pagan new year festival of death and rebirth, when the dead are honoured and our place in the cosmic whole remembered. Across the world so many people feel the call to mark Samhain, whether in formal ceremony or the informal celebrations of Halloween. More ancient than any religion, this festival has deep roots in our souls, and gives us the chance to connect to them.
The veils are thin, we remember the dead, we make fun of the darkness, we celebrate the shadows and the spooks, we just know this is the witches’ time of year.
The veils are thin and we may pass through them, recall once more the ancient ways
the dance of creation, the rhythm of seasons, the power of moons, the light of the soul
and how the Goddess, through the Wheel of the Year, shows us how to be whole.
Day is balanced by night. Summer is balanced by winter. Female by male. Right by left.
Life is balanced by death.
Modern culture has cut most people off from our own intrinsic deep inner understanding of death and the spirit realms. The process started under the centuries of monotheistic religious hegemony as the priests made entry into heaven dependent on obeying the rules they set down for life, but modern generations are also afraid of death because, rather than hell or heaven, the rationalist, atheistic worldview denies that there is any possibility that our core substance, our sense of self, survives the demise of the body.
In general death is avoided as much as possible in western culture, but 2020 has seen daily death statistics on our screens, and as the season arrives when both traditional and religious cultures and secular around the world remember and commemorate the dead in their various ways, this point of the year – that was honoured by our European ancestors as one of the two major pivotal points of the calendar (the other being Beltane on May 1st), and considered it the start of the Celtic New Year – is standing out as a hugely significant turning point in the collective evolution of the human species and the future of planet Earth.
These turning points have been coming since the 1960s, a gradual yet rapid transition from the conflict-driven astrological Age of Pisces into the hopefully bright new age of humanitarianism and personal liberty in the Age of Aquarius. The late 1980s brought a second wave of awakening energy, experienced in the mass culture as the arrival of house music, rave, ecstasy, following the post –60s cultural backlash and the gloomy economics of the 1970s/early 80s.
The second summer of love opened the gates to several years of expansive, awakening energy and millennial fervour, which eventually got subsumed in another backlash – this time fuelled by an economic boom in the early 2000s, leading us down the path of greater consumption, increasing inequality, greater alienation from and abuse of the planet and each other – and of course into recession and a decade of austerity. Any chance in the UK or USA to move out of that dark phase has been held back for five years by the political insanity around Brexit and Trump. And now by a pandemic, which some suspect is a cover for the political states to tighten their control on our lives and prevent any chance of ongoing collective enlightenment.
And yet since 2012, fuelled by the very Aquarian phenomenon, the Internet, there has been another wave of awakening spreading fast around the planet. The mainstream media focusses on the darkness of conspiracy theories on the world wide web, and activists can be so focussed on the commercial abuse of our personal data, that the wide sharing of positive, enlightened energy, eg via astrologers, spiritual teachers, energy empaths, tarot readers, healers of many kinds, on the net is not commented on. For the first time we are all equally able to share our views on existence, and as we do it becomes clear that the outworn paradigms that have been at play, colouring all our lives across the world, are fast collapsing.
WE ARE APPROACHING THE END OF THE WORLD
BEING DOMINATED BY THE AGENDA OF THE PATRIARCHY
SERVING THE HUNGER OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
WE ARE COMING TO THE END OF
BEING TOLD WHAT TO BELIEVE BY RELIGIONS
BEING TOLD WHO WE CAN LOVE BY OTHERS
A FALSE CONFLICT BETWEEN SPIRITUALITY AND SCIENCE
BELIEVING THERE IS NO PURPOSE TO LIFE.
WE ARE APPROACHING THE END OF A WORLD
THAT LOST ITS CONNECTION TO THE SPIRIT, TO THE DEAD, TO NATURE
SAMHAIN 2020 all over the world people are reconnecting themselves body and soul to the cosmic streams of energy,
recovering from the damage that religion did to our relationship with our sacred flesh and with sexuality
and from the harm that science has done to our belief and trust in our souls.
The recovery of our connection to the unity of the life and the cosmos
to the magic of life and the mystery of death as the divine and blissful goal.
The Shift that must come is from commercialism to compassion
to re-engaging with the presence of magic, spirit, love in every moment
honouring all paths to self-knowledge
listening to all voices
to build a world built on caring for the earth and each other.
TO HELP THIS ALONG INVOKE THE LOST GODDESS, AND BE HER LOVER.
This time of year is important to me because it is through facing death from AIDS during the mid 90s that I came to know life as a spiritual as well as physical creation. As I became weaker through illness I entered a multi-dimensional awareness, seeing all of existence as energy in movement – conscious energy, motivated by love. I met entities without physical form and learned that the spirit and human worlds are much closer than we usually think. So I consider ritual where we share time together with the spirit world to be an essential part of birthing a new age of human understanding.
There is a spiritual transformation happening on the planet. For those who have awoken to that fact, Samhain is an ideal time to release deep seated old, unhelpful beliefs, to connect to the non-material worlds that are right here to help and support us, and to celebrate stepping into a new phase of life – Samhain is the pagan new year and can be the start of a year ahead of significant growth and discovery.
The first thing to do is to remember our eternal connection with spirit, the next is to offer to spirit the parts of ourselves that are dying, the parts that hurt and seek healing, the parts that are ready for transformation and also the dreams we have for the future. Lighting candles, making a fire, drumming, toning, singing, sitting in silence…. calling to the wonder, the mystery, that supports all life, remembering friends and relations who have passed out of the physical plane… contemplating the vastness of the cosmos, and the seasonal changes nature is undergoing as she pulls herself inwards, back into the earth, in preparation for the winter journey…. there are many ways to get the most out of this magical part of the year.
Since I first experienced the intense thrill of ecstatic communion with the spirit that flows through all life I have had few other desires than to be in that state of connection and enjoy it with others – sometimes with great energy and passion, but also often with sublime stillness, whether with a special one or within a group of like-minded, trusted souls. To share time and energy with people who also feel that buzz of connection, who embrace the freedom, flow and light within the soul, is quality time in joy surpassing for me all the flashy parties and hedonistic potions the world can offer. But we all carry some degree of shame/fear/guilt/pain that can prevent us from entering the world of natural bliss… .
Samhain is a time when the spirit, often through the medium of our personal ancestors whose love we can still feel, can help us to shift our personal, and the collective, darkness, release it into the void, so freeing us to live more deeply and delightfully in the NOW, honouring at Samhain that there will always be an interplay between light and shadow, that is the nature of life, but our relationship with the dark can be one of love over fear, compassion over cruelty and understanding over blindness.
Samhain 2020 brings so many strands of the transformation happening to us on planet Earth into perspective, and offers us all the chance to make the shift of paradigm from a world of separation to one of re-connection.
May all Beings in All Worlds be Happy and at Peace