Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Witches Year Coming to a Close
The cycle of the seasons has reached its end and now that winter is upon me I am considering the great wheel of change making its full turn on the eve of November, which is the Sabbat of Samhain. Better known as Halloween. This is the final harvest and it is said that it was considered very important to make certain that all the crops were in before November 1st, because after that, all would become property of the fairies. It was observed that what was not drawn in from harvest was left to them and would be unclean for humans after this date. An interesting take if you're a farmer.
I suppose we are all farmers of our lives and being an urbanite I must consider this concept in a symbolic manner to understand it, or make its idea meaningful to me. I guess that it tells me that I should let go of those aspects of the year that did not get harvested, to let them go and give them up to the Elementals where they can partake of the energy generated in creating goals that I never manifested, but worked at with much intent. Maybe this is a form of recycling energy. The idea that energy is never destroyed but is recycled back into the environment. So I am letting go of all the excess energy that I have sent out into the universe this past year that is still bouncing about. As this final harvest is upon me, it is a way for me to face the new year of the Witch at 'All Hallows Eve' with a blank canvas, a clean slate. A fresh start without carrying regrets over from the previous year. Just as the dead leaves of trees are not saved neither are my unrealized actions or goals. This is growth and decay, the past feeds the future as it draws energy from the decomposition of waste. There was no wasted time in my year, it all feeds my future endeavors.
This is the Witches New Year's. It is when I take the time to reflect and let go, but also a time for me to take joy in all that was accomplished too. I have taken in the bounty of all that I worked hard for and even if it is not as much as I had hoped, this is a yearly acknowledgement to be grateful for all that I've created in my year. This is a celebration of the end of the lights reign and the onset of increasing darkness. This is when the veil between the worlds has become thinner and it is when the spirits of those long gone are remembered with reverence to their passing. It is when the gates of the underworld open up and the Goddess Persephone enters, which brings on the cold and ungrowing season as her mother Demeter searches the lands angered at her abduction, which sets forth the harshness of winter upon the Earth. This is when Hades the God of the Dead gets to be with his underworld wife Persephone, so it is a loving union as she falls into the arms of her mate. This is the moment when taking stock and preparing for the winter becomes of importance. For it is the time when the lands become harsh and survival through the winter becomes foremost. This is a celebration during the preparation of greeting the dark times of seasonal change. In many ways this part of the year is marked with reflection in quiet repose as we retire to warm, and cozy places out of the cold. This brings us to community as we gather with friends and family in hearth and home.
I love October the most, because it is when the air cools down and the excitement of yule approaches. The cornucopia is overflowing with abundance and I can look to the fallen leaves as the never ending cycle of death and rebirth. Knowing that letting go is a shedding of old skin, old ways, and that it is a healing process. I feel a cleansing aspect to this shedding process. It is also a seasonal time that brings out the foods that I love and the hot drinks that taste so good. Spices and scents of winter all make this time of year special. The practices of October Festivals and Halloween are in surge and there is a fun and festive essence to the month. It is a long month, but it always seems to go too fast.
As a Witch, I will celebrate the Sabbat of Samhain and this year I have chosen the Goddess Morrigan to honor in ritual. It is said that this is her Sabbat and that it is when she mates with the Dadga on the night of Samhain. She also empowers divination and she is patroness of the Dark. I have a pumpkin and this will make for a great altar decoration in my sacred space. To me the pumpkin is a symbol of fullness and abundance, of communication between sun and moon as it has grown in the alternation of both of these energies throughout it's creation. It is symbolic of the richness of good soil, which is symbolic to the soil that I have nurtured in my life for my own growth. The pumpkin is a symbol of good health. It's seeds within are symbolic of the seeds that I carry within myself. The seeds that will cross over from the old year and into the new one. The spicy flavor of the Pumpkin is like the spice of life. It is a reminder to me that the flavor of a good life comes from proper nutrition. This is nutrition that is as much physical as it is referring symbolically to spiritual nutrition. I have found that when I carve a face into a pumpkin, there is an expression that it takes on that reveals the inner spirit of that particular pumpkin. Then, it becomes as a living being. It has the essence of personality carved into it and then I can communicate with it and it communicates back. Pumpkins are a symbol of prosperity and fun.
This is also a time to look to the spirit and the depths of my spiritual path. It is a good time to do some pathworking and to consider the cosmos and how it is made up of things unseen, yet influential to my growth and development. This is a time when spirits are free to cross over into our world more readily and so it is a period of the year when visions and communication with the dead and of spirits becomes more easier. It is a time of mystery which seems to bring out the power of my psychic senses. I feel more grounded and the nights are filled with a serene awareness of secret knowledge.
The Fullmoon is approaching and Selene will be my Goddess for the Esbat. Morrigan & Dagda will be the Goddess and God for Samhain. I will have a simple observance of these and just continue to enjoy this grand time of year. As this year closes and the turning of the Witches Wheel completes its rotation I will think of the how my life is changing and what I can do to support my changes for the start of the new year when the cycle begins again and the wheel keeps on turning. For it is the Wheel of life.