It is Samhain here in Australia. I have been thinking of Darryl constantly over the past forty eight hours in the hope that I might get a sign, some small reassurance that he has found the light and is flying free. Now you have to understand that although ravens are often nearby they rarely come in to my yard. So when I heard the call, knew it was close by, I looked up through my kitchen window and saw the most beautiful Raven perched, in the rain, on my Silver Birch. I rushed for my camera and caught the moment.
Suddenly a feeling of calm spread throughout me. My beloved has let me know he is free and safe.
As autumn wraps her cloak around Melbourne
and Carnforth’s garden
and I stop to reflect and meditate
Samhain, better known as Halloween, the Celtic Festival of the Dead is celebrated at the end of October in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere we honour the Spirit of Place by celebrating this festival the end of April when we are at the mid point between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice.
Samhain is the eighth and final sabbat in the Great Wheel of the Year and marks the time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. It is a time of endings, releasing and letting go in preparation for the new life and new potentials that await birthing with the Sun at the Solstice. It is also the time to honour the dead and that which has died in our life. Samhain calls us to release the dead wood of the last cycle so we do not carry it into the new cycle that will begin in several weeks when the Sun is reborn from the darkness at the Winter Solstice on June 21.
A Samhaine Supper
Traditionally a midnight supper was held at Samhain to honour the dead. A place was set at the table for the souls of the dead and lights were left burning in the windows to guide the souls of those who had died in the last year in their journey to the Otherworld, found in the Aurora Borealis, home of the Great Goddess Arianrhod. The veil between the worlds was envisaged by the Celts as a turning silver wheel and Arianrhod was the keeper of this wheel. It was said she wove the fates of humanity as she wove her magical threads. At Samhain the veil opens and Arianrhod calls home the spirits of those who have died in the last year so they can await rebirth when the time is opportune.
You may conduct your own special supper with a place set for loved ones who are no longer with you. At some point in the meal everyone present will speak the names of loved ones who have died and share any memories that come to mind. Or you may choose to have a few minutes silence to each remember those who have moved beyond the veil into the realm of Arianrhod. Light a candle for each loved one that has passed away. If you are comfortable you could
from Astrology Newsletter by Christine Rothwell
Like many others, I saw the news from Virginia Tech with shock and disbelief. As a parent of college aged children, I could only imagine with horror what the parents of children at that institution must be feeling. This poem is for them.
For those with voices too clogged with tears
I offer this prayer
It is but a small and weak echo of what you would offer
But still I offer it until you can find your voices
I rail against a harsh and hopeless fate
That ripped my child from me
That left me standing in a puddle of tears
And blood and ruin
I beg You to tell my child
Of my love and hold my child
Tight for me again
A hold taken from me in brutality
My love for my child
Will live on forever
Even if my child
Monday, April 16 was a day of pouring rain and high winds. Giant trees crashed to earth, blocking the highways. People struggled to get to work. In Blacksburg, Virginia, a gunman (or perhaps more) slaughtered 31 people over the course of two hours.
I was running a training class, aware only of the weather. As I often do, I had sent myself class material on my Yahoo account, knowing I could pull it up at a moment’s notice. I called up the link and saw the computer’s ‘busy’ signal–the wheel spinning, the screen blank. My heart dropped into my stomach and I felt sick and lightheaded. The last time this had happened was also a training day, but it was more than five years ago on September 11.
As I waited to have my fear confirmed, one of the students read the headline out loud, “Largest mass murder in the U.S. as 20 are shot at Virginia Tech.” Almost immediately the number began to rise. My niece is a senior at Virginia Tech.
Even later when I found out she was safe, I had questions. Please find out what they are so you can help me answer them.
Will float the bluebird,
singing of beautiful and
of things that are lovely
and that never happened,
of things that are not
and that should be.
– Oscar Wilde
(posted by Imogen Crest.)