Some call it Halloween; I call it Samhain, Blessed Samhain
Ah, precious Samhain, Blessed One, Greetings to Thee again.
As with most of the contemporary Holidays favored by the folks I see most frequently (that being at the “Mountain” (job)), I tend to sublimate acknowledging, honoring and celebrating my own traditions.
When I don’t think about it, don’t listen to it much, keep a distance from it, most of what those around me do doesn’t bother me very much. For most of my life, I’ve sublimated a lot of my essential being in order to protect and provide for my Family and myself.
And actually, thankfully, today it is less than sublimation, though I have known those times as well. In today’s time it is more just keeping important things carefully hidden away. And, after all, I am a Solitary, so what should it really matter that I keep my Self mostly in the distanced Shadows?
At the core of this being however there existed once upon a time a person who was not at all Solitary, in fact quite the opposite (some kind Folk do see what once was; Bless their good hearts). Over the course of living this lifetime, I became Solitary out of necessity and now that I’ve done so for decades, there’s no going back. Only a few years ago, the surrounding life squashed this portion of my being further still, almost out of existence. Regardless of what anyone might say on this action, those few fragments that remain I keep quite tight to my Self, saved to write stories, poems, songs, thoughts.
Interesting that writing began in my childhood as part of my survival of those chaotic, confusing, painful times, and continues to be my kind Friend up to this very day, nigh fifty years now. Thank You, Divinity, for this precious gift and Blessing.
Some dreamers, idealists, visionaries, sensitives, mystics, and on do as I do and I as them; I’m hardly unique.
Believe it or not, there was a time in my history, hundreds of Moons ago, where I wanted to hug *everyone*. I felt their sorrows and pain, and desperately wanted to hug their pain away. I wanted to heal everyone. I learned to keep that to myself as well.
It’s interesting as I reflect upon this. Probably the hurts I saw in their eyes is exactly this sense of sublimation or at the least hiding away that I have come to understand and accept as well. What my heart felt for people in those times I could not then explain, no matter how hard I tried. I can now. The feeling was compassion.
Presenting as best possible to the world the image they want, though I admit I tend to do so rather clumsily, was the way I was raised. Don’t do this, don’t be that; do this and be that. Some call it “fake.” I call it surviving. I was raised by Survivors (literally survivors of World War II, from East Germany), so this bit of my upbringing makes sense in my head. And, true, it isn’t easy; not much is actually.
As it turns out, their upbringing was correct for this world. To have a home and food, for instance, one must secure a paycheck. In order to gain that one must as much as possible present to that potential source of revenue what they *want* to see, otherwise kiss that potential paycheck goodbye and keep going on hungry and cold. Those are the options in my world.
To answer the unasked question: how do I know that so absolutely? Because I lived it, precious dear (as you are here sharing your precious time and energy, that makes you a precious dear; so there). As well have many others. I have experienced, gratefully in the most limited sense, what being homeless on the street feels like. I pray I shall never go back to that horrible, cold, terrifying feeling and place again. Surviving by way of a mask, a most valuable, precious mask actually, is one cost for that achievement.
My religion and honoring my religious Holidays is just one more hidden-away thing in a life-long, usual pattern. No, certainly, it’s not easy. There are days where I want to tear my hair out in frustration. There are days where, in my head, I’m screaming and bawling my pain and frustrations at Divinity, Goddess and God. There are moments when the specter of loneliness hangs intensely heavily on my frame.
To those though who break free from these difficult dogmas, who insist on being their unique selves and blaze through society’s suffocating, infernal boxes, you have my awe, deep admiration, respect and most humbled gratefulness. You also have my heart’s tears for yours is a difficult Path and Way as well. Without you, Good Warrior that you are, nothing would ever change and tyranny’s chains would be the eternal destroyer of freedom and Spirit. So, I thank you, Good Warrior, and Divinity Bless your courageous heart!
And before any should snarl their teeth at me to say ‘Warriors need more than just your admiration and prayers, you wimp!’, I hear you, and I both agree and disagree. I’ll explain.
If however another emotion should be there, there should be only scant pity upon the followers, who superficially may appear the weaker in all this. For so it is, to explain, there can be but so many trail-blazers otherwise there would be only destructive anarchy. The saying goes, “Too many Chefs in the kitchen” create a mess. Even among the most brilliant Chefs there is an order and hierarchy of things to prevent a culinary mess. This presents a tidy microcosm of what is the human species, of what are living beings and the system of living in its entirety.
There is balance in all things. Just the same as any other herd, for the human animals there are the leaders or Alphas and there are the Beta-followers. Without the beta’s and their support and prayers, the Alpha’s would have no reason to be nor anything to do for there would be no cause.
As Nature is within the human animal as much as any other organism, what would be born from a place what had only Alpha’s is a new set of Beta’s, for this is the Nature of the herd.
And somehow we come through this tangled maze of thoughts finally to Samhain.
All these words of reflection, acknowledging, giving gratitude and respect is part of what Samhain is all about. It is a time to look with tenderness upon the year and all the years before leading up to this point in time.
To look back with honest thankfulness and humility upon the times of last Yule when the deep cold was for a moment felt less keenly as joy took the lead and the Light first began to return, when in Spring the snows and ice melted and tiny seedlings burst out from beneath the cold surface, in the first Planting time with the hopes of the Growing times to come, upon Summer’s incredible warmth and all the delicious foods growing large and rich everywhere, to the beginning of the Resting time that the brilliant colors of the Tree’s leaves in their dying announce.
This moment of Samhain is here to offer this moment to feel and give this deep admiration and gratitude for the Wheel’s Turning, for its affirming of life and Spirit continuing onward, ever onward, ever again. This is indeed a wondrous and Blessed moment.
Samhain is about acknowledgement, honor and respect, to Mother Earth, Father Sky, Universal Divinity, all the Elements, the Ancient Ones and the Beloved Ones who are perceived to have passed from this physical realm to some other realm where it is dearly and deeply hoped is a good and kind realm.
Moments of immersive reverence and reflection are usually best done alone. This fits with the Solitary aspect. Dichotomous as it may sometimes seem to be, the aspect of aloneness is one part of the experience of this particular reality.
There are many though who state Samhain to be the time when the Veil between a physical realm and the realm beyond is at its thinnest. I do not believe this is entirely correct.
I believe all is energy, differing shapes yet all energy, and that there is actually no separation nor separate realms except in our amazing, incredible imaginations.
Across all the vast Cosmos right up to the object nearest our hands and ourselves included, all appears to be one amazing, interconnected realm, only the styles of energies appear and feel different. To consider that we are, to offer something a bit more relate-able, of the same dust as the wandering meteor somewhere far, far away, is quite an interesting sensation.
(Doesn’t that make dusting one’s house feel a bit existentially odd though? –chortle- Or maybe it could be our way of playing with our history? I wonder if the next time you pick up a dusting rag, you might have a moment of pause and smile. That dust is all our histories, all we physically were and are, of every physical thing that ever was and is throughout all time. Don’t worry, dust away, it’ll be back; it’s never really gone. –smiles with a slight wink-)
Perhaps acknowledging differing appearances of energy is what Samhain’s Veil between the Realms actually means. The Veil is symbolic of the act of acknowledgement and Realms represents the myriad, wondrous, interconnected forms of energy that is everywhere in everything.
Suddenly I find myself recalled to “The Big Bang Theory” ‘s Howard Wolowitz frustratedly telling Sheldon Cooper, “I’m saying believe in magic, you Muggle!”
So does this perspective that there are no separate realms and all energy is interconnected, somehow make Samhain in of itself less than? Absolutely not.
As much as Samhain is the marking of the end of the Harvest and the moment in time before our New Year, as much a moment to feel perhaps a bit more intensely the motion of time, Samhain is a gift and Blessing of time. Here we can set aside a special moment to give from our Spirit-heart extra honor, love, joy and celebration of Life, all our Beloved Ones, and all the Blessings shared with us in this lifetime moment.
If in this Blessed Samhain moment of honoring and celebration we might observe and enjoy all the many amazing patterns of energies as one connected energy, gently putting aside our Veil of thoughts of boundaries and separations, then maybe for this moment we will be in a most precious sense with our Beloved Ones in their now differently shaped energy.
We can once more in a most ordinary sense, in that precious way we so long for, talk with them again, hear their voices, laugh, weep, dance and sing with them again, touch and hold them again, and they us. A precious, glorious, amazing moment. Oh Divinity! Think of it! What a Blessed moment is this!
Ah yes. –wiping aside the tears-
Be in joy, be in peace, be in all Loving and Good Light.
I wish All a Blessed and Joyful Samhain, ‘An it harm none, Blessed be.
Cap’n Toni ~ AyniaNightFishDjhrck NightFish
with all the Blessings of Animal Kin about me which Divinity has so generously shared, which sustain me and carry me along in this life…. Blessed be.
p.s. Of course all that I have written is just this one Solitary Wiccan’s perspective. And if you made it all the way to here in reading this, well then, Bless your Entire heart! Thank you!