(excerpt from the “Bewitching Samhain 2017 Guidebook” inspired by the Samhain Season of 2017)
“If you come into your soul-rhythm, then the final meeting with your physical death need not be threatening or destructive. That final meeting will be the encounter with your own deepest identity, namely, your soul…Your death can be a wonderfully creative event opening you up to embrace the divine that always lived secretly inside you.” (John O’Donohue, Anam Cara)
Let die what is dying, so you can let live what is living. This is one of the most profound teachings I have received from elder, teacher and cantadora, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It is a way to move through the cycles of a day, a month, a year, a life.
To the Celts, death sits between one life and the next. The Celtic Earth Wisdom cosmology teaches us that death is not an end, but a threshold where we encounter our soul in all its glory.
Many of us have a tendency to hold on too long, fearful of the Void that may be on the Otherside. Others of us have a tendency to let go too soon, cutting ourselves or others off at the slightest provocation or discomfort, fearful of the pain of further heartbreak.
Both ways are rooted in distrust of the Full Wheel of Life that encircles birth, growth, death and rebirth. Maybe it’s because we can no longer hear the rhythmic song of our souls? Maybe it’s because we have forgotten how to dance with Death or embrace Rebirth?
At Samhain, as the moon turns from waning to waxing, we receive an invitation to dance with death, embrace rebirth and awaken to the transformative power of love.
For a soul to embody and then dissolve back into the Void is a remarkable and magical demonstration of the Power of Love. You see, birth and death are two of our most incredible acts of magic as embodied beings. Rebirth is one of those mysteries that we are more likely to experience metaphorically, or possibly directly with near-death experiences or bouts of extreme trauma/illness.
We would do well to honor that Power of Love within - that which is woven through and through with the powers of birth, death and rebirth. We would do well to apprentice to all of these powers as we would wise elders - especially Death - acknowledging that Lady Death (or, Lord of the Underworld) is perhaps one of the wisest and oldest counselors of all.
Death walks beside us and with us, a constant companion since birth. How we live informs how we die; and how we die while we are alive, perhaps defines the course of our lives. When we listen to Death as the wise elder that s/he is, we are less prone to let the precious moments of our life go by unnoticed. We are less likely to let fear falsely rule us and direct our destiny. We are more likely to live soul-fully, trusting in our own nature and intuitive guidance, breaking free from the prisons of our mind and imprints of the overculture.
To honor the presence of Death and welcome the immanence of Rebirth, leave offerings of food and drink for the spirits of those who have passed through the veil. Share their stories and remember them with tears of joy and sorrow. Look to the red, yellow, brown, and fallen leaves. See the blackened berries and dried up flowers. In these ways, know death not as the enemy to be shunned, but as a dear friend who can grieve and celebrate alongside us as we grow, transform and are reborn time and time again.
* The full Bewitching Samhain 2017 Guidebook is available for purchase on Gumroad
* The Guided Meditation for patrons of Beauty, Love & Magic will take you deeper into this magical season. Soon available on Patreon