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A Samhain Teaching: Born Into Life, Born Into Death

Posted on:  Oct 27, 2019 @ 10:31 Posted in:  Sabbats

Excerpt: Path of She Book of Sabbats

The natural world and our human psyches turn toward the mysteries of death at Samhain. Cold and darkness descend upon the land, and the wild world shifts into decay and a death-like sleep. In many cultures, this time of year is marked by offerings and rituals to honor the dead, our beloved ancestors.

Usually we don’t like to think about death. Most of us run as fast as we can from the frightening specter that decline and death conjure in us. It is the ultimate irony that the moment we are born into life, with our very first breath, we are also born into death. And we must live every moment, every breath, knowing that we will die, and that everything around us, all that we love and cherish, will eventually come to decay, to death, to dust.

Death strips us to the basics: every breath is a miracle not to be wasted; every life is precious, sacred; and love, at the end of all things, is what remains.

Samhain teaches us that there is no hiding from death. It comes in the falling of leaves, the lengthening darkness and the cold grip of Winter. It comes in our remembrances of our beloved ancestors that have passed on. It comes in the wrenching of our heart as we witness a dear one slip from this world into the next. It comes with the graying at our temples, the sagging of our flesh and the unstoppable march toward our last breath.

And death comes with gifts in hand if we have the courage to show up raw and naked to our pain, losses and fears.

Death strips us to the basics:
that every breath is a miracle not to be wasted;
that each person, each creature and life form, is worthy, precious, sacred;
that life is oh so hard and oh so exquisite;
that pain and loss help us remember what we cherish most;
and that love, at the end of all things, is what remains.

Love is death’s most precious gift to us. Love, not money, possessions, career, social esteem and the many other alluring outer trappings of life, is the balm that soothes us in the face of death. Love is what connects us to those who have passed on. Love calls us to reach out and hold each other in our grief. Love is what joins us heart to heart and soul to soul to another. Love is our best offering from our Deep Self to the world.

Samhain is a time to contemplate the mysteries of death, not from a place of fear and resistance, but from an acceptance of death as a teacher and guide for the living. Yes we are born into life and born into death, and it is this very, inescapable fact that makes every moment so precious, fragile and bittersweet beautiful.

Death isn’t a summons to fear, it is an invitation to love, deeply, wildly, joyfully. And when death seeks us out at the end of our days, let our last breath be a prayer to love.

Honor the Mysteries of Samhain

with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store.

 

Photo Credit: freestocks.org on Unsplash

Honoring the Mysteries of Samhain

Posted on:  Oct 26, 2019 @ 14:29 Posted in:  Featured, Sabbats

Excerpt: Path of She Book of Sabbats

Your journey of soul brings you face-to-face with profound endings and weighty choice making at Samhain. Nature’s death-like state and the potent mysteries of Samhain draw you into the deep roots of your spiritual journey as you embark on a new cycle of healing and personal growth.

Nature makes its final transitions into its winter mode of dormancy at Samhain. The outer appearance of things changes dramatically. Deciduous trees shed the last of their leaves. Some plants and animals die. Others alter their life patterns, slowing down their metabolism, putting on a thick winter covering, and hibernating. Sleep and stillness spread across the wild landscape.

The Crossroads call to you at Samhain, a place of endings that promise new beginnings, where your destiny is woven by the choices you make.

Our human realm also turns its awareness toward death and endings. The final crops of the season are harvested. Cultures around the world celebrate and honor their beloved ancests at this time of year. Halloween traditions and imagery harken back to the pagan belief that the veil between the worlds is thin at Samhain, allowing for communion between the living and the dead.

Death on your journey of soul is not about physical death, but about soul-sourced, life-changing endings. And this can very much feel like death, stirring up your pain, sorrow, fear and resistance.

Yet endings are not what they appear to be. The death-like state of Nature at Samhain is an illusion. Yes there is physical death in the wild world, but there is also gestating new life. Underneath the outer dormancy, life is present, resting and rejuvenating in preparation for the glorious rebirth of Spring.

So too the profound endings that arise as you embark on a new cycle of your journey of soul contain the promise of new beginnings. And like the natural world retreating deeper into darkness at Samhain, your journey takes you deeper into the mysteries of the sacred dark.

Between the worlds, in the heart of the sacred dark, the Goddess Hecate stands at Her crossroads, offering the beacon of Her shining love-light and Her Crone wisdom to guide you in this season of life-changing endings.

Hecate is not the evil cartoon hag of Halloween and Hollywood movies, nor the corrupter of men portrayed in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. She is more primal and powerful than the Goddess that comes to us through Greek mythology, though Her crossroads magic is preserved in these mythic accounts.

Hecate is the Dark Mother who has been with us from the very beginning of our specie’s birth from the starlit realm into our flesh and blood form. And She has guided us always in the ways and mysteries of the sacred feminine, and in the trials and triumphs of our spiritual evolution.

At Samhain, your journey of soul leads you to Hecate’s crossroads in search of the deepest roots of your personal healing and spiritual evolution.

Her crossroads can reveal many things, from the critical juncture we collectively face in these Great Turning times of societal upheaval and transformation, to the profound endings and new beginnings that will guide your personal pathwork in the months to come.

In Hecate’s loving presence and the potent mysteries of Samhain, you can choose your path forward into Her life-centered ways and your greater becoming. And in this choice making, you can naturally play your part in the positive, evolutionary momentum we can create together in these Great Turning times.

Honor the Mysteries of Samhain

with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store.

 

 Photo Credit: Kayla Maurais on Unsplash

A Samhain Tale: Hecate & the Crossroads of Choice

Posted on:  Oct 27, 2018 @ 12:04 Posted in:  Sabbats

Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

At Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is thin and the mysteries of the sacred dark permeate the mundane world, Hecate calls to us. Never before has Her voice been so loud, so urgent. She speaks to us not only in our dreams and ritual magic, but also in the stark language of wildly erratic weather patterns, dying oceans and barren lands, and in the cold despair and hungry hopes of our own warm, beating heart.

It`s not easy to heed Her call. She raises our own spectral fears about the fate of our human society and planet home. Environmentally, socially, politically and spiritually, we are destroying the fabric of our physical and social world. We have reached a critical tipping point, and if we continue on this trajectory, things are not going to end well.

At Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is thin, Hecate calls you to Her crossroads of choice and destiny. Never before has Her voice been so urgent.

But how do we change? How do we shift from denial, apathy and despair into a place of hope and inspiration? How do we turn this destructive momentum into an evolutionary, birthing moment? And what is our personal part in weaving a better world into being?

“Come to my crossroads,” Hecate whispers on the wind, “Come and you will find the answers you seek.”

Take a deep breath, summon up your courage and say, “Yes, Hecate, I am coming. Guide me to your crossroads.”

In the world between the worlds, where the mysteries lie in wait, you will find Hecate. She appears before you in Her Crone form, with a thick mane of moonlight silver hair and intense, amethyst eyes that shine bright with Her ageless presence. She wears a cloak of midnight black that shimmers as She moves, as if brushed with starlight. An aura of light surrounds Her, a way-showing beacon in the enveloping darkness to guide travelers to Her crossroads. Her arms open wide to welcome you, casting a circle of illumination that draws you into its center.

With a sweep of Her hands, two roads appear before you.

To the left is a neglected path, overgrown with the luscious fecundity of the wild realm.  Memories arise within you of the feral innocence of childhood with its simple pleasures of play and wonder in your dance with the outer world. And beneath this, older, ancestral memories percolate, of a time when humanity lived in loving, sensual communion with the powers and mysteries of the Mother Earth.

To the right is a paved-over surface that obscures any trace of the living land under an unforgiving, tar black sheen. This path exudes a deadness that lays bare the tear in our human psyche from the natural world and our true, beautiful essence, and echoes with the keening pain of our battered souls and broken hearts.

“Behold the crossroads of these Great Turning times, where humanity faces a critical, precarious juncture in its spiritual evolution,” Hecate says, “Before you are two ways of living and dreaming.”

“One path holds the good dream of humanity where you walk the Earth in accordance with my life-centered ways and your best nature of love, generosity and communion with others. The second path holds the bad dream where your worst instincts of dominion, fear and greed lay barren the wild realm and the heart of your human society. It is this second path, reeking devastation on the living world, that rules humankind.

“Both of these paths exist inside of you and in your greater society. Humanity is neither good nor bad, but some complex weaving that includes the best and worst of your nature.”

With another sweep of Her hands, the two paths merge into one.

“This is my middle path,” Hecate says,” it holds the opposing paths of the good and bad dream of humanity. A mirror path exists inside of you that contains the joy and sorrow, and beauty and wounding of your life story.

“To transform yourself and your world, you must walk this middle path. To travel its ways is to accept and take responsibility for all that you are and all that you have experienced, and from this greater awareness choose whether the good or bad dream of humanity will hold sway in the core of your being. You must choose whether love or fear will rule you.

“Love is the way forward for you and your human kin — love that can hold and heal the sorrow and wounding that burden your soul and the world soul — love that chooses generosity over greed, and communion over dominion  — love that can turn the destructive momentum that threatens this world into a positive new beginning.

“This love is my way, the way of the sacred feminine, that is awakening within you and leading you home to your Deep Self and a better world.”

As Hecate speaks, the light that emanates from Her being shines brighter and brighter. This wondrous luminosity is the very love that She speaks of, offering a beacon of guidance and hope in these turbulent, Great Turning times. Hecate, the sacred feminine, all life on this stunning Earth, your life, are woven of this love.

Hecate turns to you, taking your hands and squeezing them tight.

“Time is running out. Do not turn away,” She says, “By your choices, and those of your human kin, will your destiny and that of your Earth home be decided.”

She folds Her arms inward, drawing Her brilliant light back into Her body until She is gone, and you find yourself alone under a star-studded sky. Your hands still tingle from Her touch and the responsibility She has bequeathed to you shines strong and bright within you.

After the crossroads vision is done, the real magic begins. With your every thought, every word, every action, you choose which path your lives serves, and the kind of a world you want to create. Never have the stakes been higher; life as we know it hangs in the balance. To change this world, you must start with yourself.

Honor the Mysteries of Samhain

with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store.

Photo Credit: Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash