Today is Samhain. It is one of the most important of the 8 Sabbats, as it is the Pagan New Year.
The wheel of the year has turned full circle and a new year begins. The word Samhain means Suns’ End. It is pronounced Sow’in.
Samhain is the third of the harvest festivals, only this isn’t a harvest of crops or grain, it is the harvest of flesh. It was the time of year when farmers and families would slaughter cattle and preserve the meat to last through the cold winter months.
Samhain is a festival of death as it is the death of the year and of the waxing Sun. It is also the death of the earth when plants, seeds, and acorns are now slowly descending underground to ready themselves to be reborn in Spring. Animals will start to hibernate, and the earth will appear barren as it sleeps through the winter months.
Earth’s energies are being pulled inwards at this time. This is the time we should also be looking inwards at ourselves. Contemplate the year we have had and what lessons we have learned, whether they were good or bad, and contemplate what we can take from them and use in the future.
The God of the waxing Sun descends into the underworld opening up the veil between the two worlds of the living and the dead. At Samhain spirits can commune with the living and visit us. We remember our ancestors, people, and pets who have died. We honor them by placing pictures of them on our altars and invite them to join us. We should also adorn our altars with seasonal fare such as fallen leaves, twigs, acorns, nuts, turnips, and pumpkins and offer these as gifts to the Triple Goddess who is now in her crone phase, she is the wise dark mother of knowledge and days past.
Although a time of death, Samhain is also a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. It is a time of ‘out with the old, in with the new’. It is a good time to start looking forward to our future.
On Samhain we should light a fire, as this is primarily a Celtic fire festival where the villagers and townsfolk would light giant bonfires to say goodbye to the God of the waxing Sun and to thank the Goddess for her harvest of gifts bestowed upon the earth. There would be big feasts with stews, corn, and breads and we would give thanks for people in our lives and show gratitude for all that we have, and give thanks to the people who are no longer with us and invite them to join us at the feast.
Light a candle tonight and put it in a window facing West to light the way for our lost loved ones and invite their spirits to visit us.
Today is a great time for divination, for doing Tarot reading and looking to the future and asking ourselves how we can improve our lives and move forward for the coming year.
Have a Blessed Samhain and may the God and Goddess watch over you.
This is such a great article, so I thought I’d share it.
I’m incredibly non-traditional because I am a practitioner of two religions. Monotheism and polytheism don’t mesh well together because the beliefs cancel each other out here and there, but because I was raised with Kabbalistic teachings, I make it work. I would never abandon one for the other and 100% consider myself of both faiths. One you’re born into or you’re not, and the other is a choice. I think it’s important for people to choose their own path and do what is right for them, so long as they aren’t harming anyone else in the process.
I think what little is left of my sanity snapped Thursday afternoon when I received word that my brother will likely need open heart surgery, providing he is a viable candidate. If that is not an option, he will require a heart transplant. These are the kinds of words that make you want to sink into the earth.
During his last physical his doctor said his heart was healthy and strong, she was very pleased with the results from all of his tests, so I’m asking myself how things got so bad, so quickly. In turn, it’s making me wonder if my heart is a ticking time bomb, despite being told that I “have the heart of an 18 year old”. What does that even mean to doctors?! How can you trust them? Much like lawyers, I’m starting to suspect they’re all in it for the money, minus the few good doctors I do know who are caring, kind, and give 110% to their patients. Why help people when you can simply get paid?! Thank GODI did not become a doctor or a lawyer. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror in either profession. 😦
I have been advised to begin genetic testing to find out “what’s in my future” due to this occurrence. I’m much more inclined to look into a crystal ball.. The fact of the matter is, we all inherit good and bad genes. All of us, no one is genetically perfect. I do not want to play G-d with myself. I can understand if I showed signs of something questionable, but I don’t, so the subject matter makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I have already had to tell a family member, more than once, to back off with the know-it-all crap. All I want and need at the moment is emotional support.
My move is temporarily postponed until I know what is happening and exactly how things will proceed. I can’t, in good faith, leave my brother behind in a hospital bed and say “See ya!” That’s not who I am. I know some people would do precisely that, and I am sure someone, somewhere will think that I am a moron for staying behind to take care of him, but I’m not heartless. Surgery will require approximately six months of healing time post-op, and he will need someone to be here for him, even though I won’t be able to do every single thing he might need. If immediate surgery is not the option he & his doctors choose, if things turn to a different type of surgery, like a transplant, I honestly don’t know what I will do.
I can’t spend even 30 minutes inside a hospital. They make me sick and drive me insane. I spent years taking care of my parents when they were ill, and I would not have been able to move or do any of the things I wanted to do at the time knowing that they were sick and needed me. I would have been too far away in an emergency, so this poses a problem for me now as well. I feel bad that I am not with him 24/7. Unfortunately, it did start a fight as to whether or not I “care”. 😦 He does not seem to realize or understand my true value in his life. I have done everything I can to support him through this and be a good sister. I’ve never not been a good sister, I’m not about to start now, but I’m not going to take crap from someone simply because they’re lonely, grouchy, and going through nicotine withdrawal.
When he was in recovery Thursday afternoon at a new hospital he was transferred to, a nurse came to tell him that I had called and was “very worried about him” and that he needed to call me back “right away”. When he asked me about that later on I said “I did not say that.” I hadn’t. I simply tried tracking him down and it took forever once we got disconnected since cell reception in that portion of the hospital is damn near nonexistent. He looked at her when she said it and immediately thought “That doesn’t sound like MY sister. She wouldn’t say that.” I might not verbalize the worry, but obviously I’m not okay about this situation. It’s upsetting and disturbing on more levels than I care to discuss. Who the hell would be okay with it?!
In situations like this, technology is a wonderful thing, though I don’t think I need all the hospital selfies, but I promise to put them in a photo album to show all his future girlfriends. 😉 No, he doesn’t read this.
I realized Friday morning, when he threw me out of bed after less than two hours of sleep because he was finally awake, bored, lonely, and obscenely chatty, that I can’t sit for three plus hours on the phone every single night because he’s awake, though I am glad he is finally resting. Every time my phone buzzes, I jump like I’ve been bitten by a snake. I have the ringer off on the landline because every sound it makes is horrible to my ears. Precisely who makes ringtones for landlines? I want to know. My cell phone isn’t much better. It’s not my personal ringtone choices that bother me, it’s the noise itself. Unless I’m out in public, my phone is always on vibrate. Last night I decided to turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature on my phone and allow myself to sleep, even if it wasn’t a full night. I knew I needed the silence as I try handling a migraine that has lasted for over two days and the stress of this past week. Up until the last second, he was still arguing with me via text. I cannot deal with that level of crazy. I have my limits.
And yet, it is eerily quiet when my brother is not around talking to Cat and Kitten, slamming my doors, inspecting my refrigerator and cabinets for goodies, blasting baseball or football, asking ridiculous questions, etc. He is the person people see nine times out of ten because I am often in too much pain to do anything outside beyond walking to and from the car.
I am almost certain I scared the crap out of a neighbor when I went outside to bring my garbage can and recycling bin in so that neither of them would go rolling down the street due to the wind. I saw him and his dog coming toward me, he did not see me walking down the driveway, and by the time he looked up, I thought he was going to have a heart attack. As per usual, 99% of the neighbors do not speak to me, and he was no different. They live in the house that drove me nuts for months with the incredibly noisy add-on. On the plus side, the dog didn’t jump on me or bark, always a sign of good training. I honestly didn’t know anyone on the street close enough to me had a dog any more, that’s how quiet this one is. Or perhaps he was simply happy to be out on a walk. I later learned from my brother that he sees this guy walking the dog “at all hours”. He then proceeded to tell me that I’d know who he was if I was not a hermit. LOL. Sue me for minding my own fucking business!
This weekend I am going to attempt to tackle a few things. One, get my brother’s car from the first hospital’s parking lot. Two, try to get over to the hospital with some clean clothes so he will stop bitching (Don’t ask me when I became a maid, because I can assure you that the “pay” on this “job” sucks dishwater.). Three, get groceries. It took me about an hour to realize that the “Shop From Home” app is a piece of shit. I suppose it works fine if you buy the same things every single time you shop, but if you can’t offer me fresh vegetables & fruit with accuracy unless they’re on sale in your current ad, that doesn’t work for me. There is a long list of things you can’t purchase unless it’s in the ad or listed on the site, and it could take longer to compose a list for delivery than it would to simply go and shop myself. An on-line list should not take two hours. Call me crazy, but it should be easier to navigate. I certainly don’t need to pay anyone $20, before a tip, to put an order together and deliver it to me from five minutes up the road. That’s wasteful beyond words.
Everything I need to do should be simple enough, but it isn’t. I am enlisting one of his friends for some help because I’m not superwoman at the moment. If someone can pitch in and throw me a bone to make things easier, that will make a huge difference in my eyes. I hate asking for help, but my brother has driven me insane this week and I’m on my last nerve. I can’t deal with any more of his crankiness. All I can do is my best, if he doesn’t like it, tough titty said the kitty.
I’ve been so stressed and distracted that I damn near forgot it was Halloween. Enjoy trick-or-treating with your kiddos or simply enjoy the holiday aspect for yourself. I know plenty of people who love giving out sweets to everyone that comes knocking tonight. I spare myself the aggravation (I used to really be into it, and perhaps that will happen next year when I am feeling more in the spirit of things.), and I truly have more important things to focus on tonight, but I still hope it is happy and safe for everyone partaking.
If you need me, I’ll be running around like a chicken without its head, but I swear, it’s not a blood ritual of any kind. It’s mere insanity.
“If there’s something in your life and you feel there’s a threat you may lose it, heap lashings and lashings of gratitude all over it. Focus your mind on the fact that you currently have it in your life, and be so grateful that you do. Really feel that gratitude, because intense gratitude for what you have holds it to you.” —Rhonda Byrne