Happy Wednesday witches! Today I am launching my Samhain special. If you would like a Samhain themed tarot reading from me please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This special will be running until October 28th. When you email me we can discuss what kind of guidance you would like.
Last week my mind was brimming with ideas but I didn’t want to put them into action until the new moon. Now that we are past that everything is starting to move forward and take off! I have added all my social media info into the about page so please connect with me on Instagram and Twitter. I’m excited to announce I have also started a closed FB group with the same name as this blog. Please feel free to ask to be a member over there. I’m also taking the leap into tarot readings and online coaching. If you are interested in any of that you can find info on the services page. Whew!
Have I mentioned it is the first day of October?! Or as I like to call it the first day of Halloween! It’s my favorite month of the year and so I’m planning to celebrate a little today. I intend to put up my Day of the Dead/ancestor altar today and will leave it up through the first week of November. I will also spruce up my main working altar space in honor of the Crone. Something about this time of year really gets my blood pumping. Here in Wisconsin, it is gloomy and raining. I think we are supposed to get some thunderstorms which only adds to the mood.
I take Samhain and The Day of the Dead very seriously. My practice is pretty Celtic in nature and that fits well with my ancestry on my mother’s side. On my father’s side my ancestors are from Mexico, so celebrating The Day of the Dead helps me to connect with them. Halloween is something that brings me joy and I feel that in and of itself is sacred. Each of these things is a part of what I consider to be the most sacred month of my year. Each has its own meaning and each adds something different to my practice. Yes, I consider Halloween part of my practice! Winter is hard for me due to Seasonal Affective Disorder and so I try to store up as much joy as I can before that hits hard. Halloween makes me so happy.
I have been feeling the wheel turning me inward and I have already started to prepare myself for Samhain. Have you been feeling the pull to turn inward?
Over the weekend my coven and I celebrated Samhain together. It is our first Samhain season working as a group and so this ritual was very special. The ritual was beautiful and impactful. The weather was seasonable and mostly dry. We were able to spend time outside by the fire and make some special memories.
During our ritual time we honored the Crone and threw things into her cauldron. We toasted the New Year and talked about our dreams for the future. We created this spiral of lights so we could spiral in and out, each one of us having some one on one time with the goddess.
One of the coven members gave a fantastic presentation on the Crone. We each chose a Crone’s token from a bowl on our way out of the circle. I drew the rune Fehu.
We ended our evening with Pizza and a group viewing of Practical Magic to add a little fun to it all! We filled up on brownies and other sweets. At the end of the night I was exhausted but full. My cup filled by time with my coven and time with the Crone.
I am currently on a stay-cation. I’m using the time to turn inward and focus on the season. Tomorrow is Samhain/Halloween and I plan to spend time with my family. I’m hoping the weather holds so we can go to the corn maze. I’m still battling depression and so this time to slow down and breathe has been very helpful.
It is that time of the year again. I love October! My Samhain/Day of the Dead altar is all set up and it makes me smile every time I see it. Because my ancestors are both Celtic and Mexican my altar reflects both parts of my heritage. I try very hard to create an inviting atmosphere for any ancestors passing through to stop and be with me for a spell if they wish.
October brings so many gifts, my first hot chocolate of the season, first hot apple cider, and pumpkin everything! The trees are at their peak and covered with bright colored leaves. Everything around me is beautiful and yet there is a dark gloomy cloud following me around. SAD has hit and I have a feeling this year is going to be a bad one. I’m not sure if it is worse this fall or if it just seems worse because I’ve had such a good spring and summer. I’ve spent most of the growing season feeling super energized and inspired. Now I’ve landed on the ground hard and I’m scrambling to get it all under control. It has been creeping in for a couple of weeks but I thought maybe I was just having a natural reaction to the dumpster fire happening daily in U.S. politics. I finally realized over the weekend that this is the real thing and I better start dealing with it.
Truth be told I like the dark time of the year. Spring and summer are hard for me due to allergies and asthma. Once we have had a nice frost I feel like I can breathe again and I kind of come alive. I know that as we turn towards the dark time of the year we are turning towards Samhain (my favorite turn of the wheel) and the winter holidays. I like gathering with friends and family for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Solstice. I like hibernation and cozy afternoons by the fire. Sadly all of this wonderful comes with a war against depression. It is a battle I fight yearly and if you fight it too here are some things that might help…
If you work with gods/goddesses keep communicating with them. I tend to isolate and I stop talking to everyone including my deities. Share with your deities. If I have a cookie or something else delicious I will leave an offering. It might not seem like much but that simple act can help keep your connection alive in the hard times and also remind you that you are never alone.
Light up your home! If you like candles burn them often, if you can’t burn candles keep your home well lit. Open the shades and meditate on the beauty of the natural world. Try to position yourself where you can get some natural light and if you need it use a lightbox. Maybe consider working with a deity associated with the sun and see if that helps to brighten things up.
Do something nice for someone else. It can be easy when you are depressed to become very self-focused. Plan a get together with some witchy friends and watch a movie or read tarot cards for each other. Whatever you like to do is fine. A great topic of conversation during the dark months is gratitude. Get together with friends and talk about what you are grateful for and maybe make a group offering of gratitude. Leaving an offering for the wildlife in your neighborhood would be greatly appreciated during the hard winter months.
Carrying some stones on your person might help. I recommend Smoky Quartz for absorbing negative energy, Citrine to help put your brain in a more positive place, and finally Rose Quartz for healing and to soothe your nerves. I find that both Lavender and Lemon Balm help me when I’m struggling. I also use orange essential oil in my diffuser to keep my spirits up. I like brightly colored candles for any magick I work around depression. So a bright orange or yellow candle would work best for me. If soothing is what I need then a lavender or light green colored candle works best. Make your magick work for you, these are only suggestions, use what speaks to you personally.
Turning towards the dark and shadow work is a part of every year for me. The key is to not get stuck in the darkness. When I spend time at my altar it can be easy to become sad and lonely. I miss my mother very much. When I find myself in this place emotionally I try to let myself feel what I feel and then let it go. I chase the sadness with all of the good memories I have of my beloved dead. Sadness is normal but I also know that they would not want me to dwell in that sad place forever.
How are you handling the season? If you have depression how do you deal with it? Do you use magick to make it better?
Wow! Things have changed for me over the last week or so. Once I decided to start a new coven it feels like the whole universe has broken open for me. Between that and it being the Samhain season I am feeling a bit unbalance and I am having to try to reach towards being somewhat more grounded. The good part of all of this is I can feel delicious passionate energy for my craft rushing through my veins. I’m so grateful for that. This weekend my hubby and I will be heading out to the woods of Wisconsin for a little camping adventure. I think the trip will help me ground myself. It will be good to unplug and soak up some earth energy. How is your Samhain season going? Do you have any exciting plans?
It might seem like an odd time of year to be talking about new life but I have some to share. I have been wondering what my big harvest is going to be this year. What I have discovered is that starting a new coven is my big harvest. Now I knew this was coming but I did not think it would come this fast. That being said, the goddess (Morrighan) has been pushing me out of my comfort zone and back into the mix since last spring. I’m one of those people who plans and thinks about something and then when the time feels right I pull the trigger. I often can feel it coming but I just don’t know how soon. When it happens it usually surprises others but I’m often more than ready to go. My mind is buzzing with ideas and excitement at this new adventure. I feel truly restored after a year of working on it. I’m not as afraid as I thought I might be. I have done a lot of letting go and so I’m not so worried about what others will think or how they will respond. Don’t worry, I’m going to be careful to heed the lessons learned from the past. It feels good to be in the center of where I want to be after striving for so long.
This one is kind of tied to motherhood but its roots are deeper than that. I was raised United Pentecostal and taught my whole childhood that women are the servants of the home. She has to submit to her husband and the home is pretty much her responsibility. I was also taught that women should be silent in church and I watched all the women around me doing the grunt work of running the church while the men took all of the glory. Now I’ve been a feminist witch for a long time and I do not still believe these teachings are right, at least not on a conscious level. That being said I do see how these teachings crept into some pretty hard to get to cracks of my mind. When something is taught to you from such a young age you often spend much of your adult life finding the remnants and trying to get free from them.
This letting go is about freedom and taking the time to serve myself. I feel that having a fresh empty nest is a good time to work on this. I have space now to focus on my needs and ambitions. I hope that no one thinks I’m trying to be selfish, it isn’t about being selfish it is about creating balance.
I know that my attitudes regarding all of this had a big effect on how I worked within the pagan community before I left. I came at it from a place of servitude. How can I serve the community? It did not take long for that to turn into me being taken advantage of. I can’t really blame myself, I was doing what I thought was right. Now if all things were equal and everyone had an attitude of service it might have been ok. It became about what I could do/provide for them and not about what I could get in return. All that giving is what burned me out. In the end, I was left with an empty cup. Now as I ponder rejoining some kind of pagan community I know my approach will be very different. I’m not going to be anyone’s servant. I will put my shoulder to the plough when it is needed but I will not do it alone.
All the blogging and journalling I have been doing about this is really helping me to gain clarity. I’m heading towards Samhain with a very good vision for what I need to release and what I want to bring in.