This year’s Samhain has been both complex and profound for me and I wondered if I am alone in this, or if others are also feeling a deeper pull, a call for a deeper and longer reflective period, and a greater need for renewal and new beginnings.
I began my celebration at “traditional” Samhain at sunset on October 31st and again at “true” Samhain which began at sunset last night. The connections with The Ancestors are so profound this year. I hear them at my altar. I hear them in my dreams. I read their messages in the cards I pull, and not just in the Samhain spread I shared. And I feel the presence of An Cailleach, the Crone of Winter, with me.
Perhaps it’s because this has been a year of loss. Two cousins — brothers, in fact — joined the Ancestors in August and September, both dearly loved and missed by so many. A dear member of my spiritual circle crossed to the Otherworld earlier this year, and her loss affected us all. The sadness of their passing is still with us and I honoured them all in my Samhain soul work.
But even though I do feel sad, my feelings at this Samhain are not “dark”. Just as one can be alone but not lonely, I am deep in the process of “endarkenment” (see footnote) yet feel the light, feel the rebirthing that is happening deep within.
I am feeling a need to extend my “cauldron time” beyond the actual day(s) of Samhain. In this waning moon, and at least until the New Moon of November 18th, I am starting each day at my altar… cleansing… calling in the directions…. journeying to The Otherworld with my guides… connecting with The Ancestors…. releasing.
But it is also a time of renewal. My life — and my work — has been changing this year, and our Women’s group (the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle) has come full circle (it was formed at last year’s Samhain). Perhaps I will journey not just on my own life but on the soul and direction of this Circle.
The seeds of renewal are planted deep with the soil of my Inner Garden and I know they will burst forth soon in some wonderful new way… yes, a new direction for the coming year will solidify soon… at this point, though, it’s like a far-off haze or mist in the distance, slowing taking shape, reaching out.
In Old Irish Gaelic, a spiritual voyage or journey, often the subject of great poems, were called imram (“rowing about” or “voyaging”) or, in the plural, imramha… deeply spiritual, profound, and intense. This Samhain, each day feels like a new imram.
How is YOUR energy at this time of Samhain, as we transition from the Water energy of Autumn toward the Earth energy of Winter… from harvest to stillness…. from light to darkness… from reaping to renewal?
Some thoughts on Endarkenment
For me, Endarkenment and Enlightenment are the Yin and the Yang of Wisdom, both are required to be completed. We often speak of wisdom as coming from the light (“coming into the light”, “a lightbulb moment”) but perhaps it also comes from the Shadow . . . from our unconscious or subconscious?
Think about the birthing process and how it is associated with darkness. Seedlings deep in the dark earth beginning to sprout . . . a fertilized egg deep with the darkness of the womb . . . Is there anything filled with more possibility or potential than these? And when we are in the darkness, connecting with our own deep Shadows and our subconscious, when doing Soul Work and journeys and meditation, is this not where we connect to our own deep internal wisdom, with the Goddess within?