Remember, remember, the day before November….
Some know this time as Halloween, some as Samhain. For some the greater significance is about the harvest drawing to a close. for others it is about remembering ancestors. Although the path i’m on is one aimed towards something near self-sufficiency, I’ve never quite achieved enough of a harvest for the former to really be significant. And the latter is something I’ve never fully clicked with; I’ve kind of payed lip-service to it in each year’s Samhain celebrations with a something like “oh and here I remember the ancestors”, but it’s never been a deep, heartfelt expression of connection. Which I’ve then felt guilty about as it feels a little irreverent.
i’ve been very fortunate in not suffering any very close bereavements and I’m not particularly drawn to tracing my family tree. Maybe one day when I’ve more time! However, watching an interesting video post on The Spinning of the Wheel blog this week inspired me to consider ancestors in a wider context, such as a social context (as well as giving inspiration for including ancestors in celebrations and ritual). For example, in the last couple of years, my husband and I have been learning a lot about skills in growing food, making food, practical skills, homesteading, parenting, and…..living life. We both enjoy some traditional crafts and use herbal medicine, folk remedies, massage and Reiki. What I realised this week is that in these things we connect with our ancestors every day; in these skills that have been carefully passed from generation to generation, that have been developed in homes, fields and workshops then passed on through wise hands and kind hearts. This is our ancestry, as well as that of our blood, and the spirits of these wise people live on in the arts and sciences that we (and so many others) practise – sometimes to the letter, sometimes with our own twist.
I think that, for me, this has been the year of being grateful. A busy year of so much learning that the space for rest and reflection that nature now invites us to is much needed. Happy Samhain ♥
How we will celebrate:
- I tend to mark Samhain as being the start of winter, and so occurring at the time of the first frost. However, given that I don’t want to be left out of the party everyone else is having on the 31st, I often start my Samahin-tide then, or at the dark moon closest to it. Tomorrow, i’ll be sorting some treats for trick-or-treaters.
- Friday: I hope to spend some time meditating. We also plan to do some tasks to prepare us and our home for winter; making curtains, mending slippers, clearing in the garden etc. Probably a little ritual too…but this can fit flexibly into the part of the weekend where the energies are right for it.
- Saturday: we have some family who have similar beliefs coming over. We’ll probably share some soup made from our home-grown squash….and I’m thinking towards a pumpkin and chocolate cupcake recipe that’s in one of my books. Will the flavours go? Only one way to find out!
- Sunday: family walk, the three of us, somewhere out of the city.