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Image: Jan ShepherdSamhain/Hallowe'en

This cycle, which takes us from  utter exposure through to triumphant victory through the year, is one which cycles around us at all times; it reminds us that we are not rulers of our environment, but rather servants to it.  In some respects I feel sorry that we have lost this annual battle and victory dance.  Whilst in many respects not relishing the loss of supermarkets (well, come on – I am human, which means I make uneasy compromises as a regular thing) I do believe we could all learn so much about our planet were we to be denied such convenience for a year.

Now the second aspect of our ceremony is about our personal time to contemplate and greet those who have gone on ahead.  It is an interesting and somewhat painful truism that the list grows longer with each year we engage it.  This year I must add to my personal list my mentor, the man I believed (unrealistically) to be immortal and indestructible.  If I am sufficiently blessed, then I will feel the remarkable power of his gentle energy again for just a little while.  And if I am thus blessed then everybody else will just have to wait for me – I will be with that wise and enfolding force just as long as I can.

I rarely emerge from Samhain without tears on my cheeks.   It would be handy if I had a pocket in my robe for tissues….but when I made it I did not think that far ahead ;-).   So I will hide a box under the altar.

If you want to observe the heart of Samhain, light a candle and spend some time watching its flame and thinking about those influential and dearly loved souls who have gone on before.  We run away all too often from allowing our memories to rest gentle on our minds.  There’s nothing wrong with having loved and lost.  In fact, do we not owe our love the recognition of the grief it can sometimes bring us?   I think we do.

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