Samhain: Darkness, Light and Remembrance

This morning I dreamed I caused a solar eclipse purely by willing it. It seems an appropriate symbol for Samhain – the nights are growing darker quicker, and daylight hours are becoming shorter and ever more precious.
In Norse mythology the wolves Hati and Skol consumed the sun and moon, leaving the worlds in darkness. There are times when we all stumble in the dark, times when we feel our light ahead is blocked off by some unknown force; nothing seems to go to plan.         During these times it is all too easy to fall back into fear, to repeat old patterns that do not help us. It is therefore the most appropriate time to look inwards, to the still and quiet place within. How can you hear the messages of your body, your mind and the Ones you believe in if your mind is full of chatter and you’re too busy even for five minutes of solitude and silence?
In Scandinavian tradition people used to sit on the mounds of the ancestors to connect with their Spirits. Even wise Odin sat atop the mound of a powerful Seer to gain insight and answers to his questions.
The veils of the worlds become less rigid during this time. If you have no ancestor mound or grave to visit (or if the thought does not appeal to you) perhaps you could set up an ancestor altar, with pictures of loved ones, and light a candle, sitting before it quietly. If nothing else, simply asking a beloved ancestor for help may suffice. Don’t always expect a literal answer, but be aware of feelings and signs that arise, and look out for symbols in dreams.
Darkness doesn’t have to mean something negative; it can be safe, enveloping and nurturing. Our body’s circadian rhythms are thrown out by unnatural light, especially if back-lit screens are used in the evening before going to bed. Sometimes what we need is the dark of night. It can help us to sleep and to heal, it can help us to look inward. Without the dark we cannot appreciate the light.
So take this time to honour the dark of night, your body’s natural rhythms, and remember those who have passed. The dark times we all go through shall pass in time too, the sun will reappear and we can step back confidently onto the path before us.

Glastonbury Tor_01


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