Happy Samhain! Time to celebrate the last quarter turn of the year!

Wishing all a wonderful Samhain! The original Druid calendar had 13 months, and the last month consisted of three days, the last day of which is Samhain - the last night of the year, now known as Halloween. These last three days of October, starting on the 29th and ending on the 31st, culminate with the Samhain fire festival, representing the final quarter turn of the year before the Winter Solstice and dedicated to opening to and embracing the time when the veils between the worlds grow thin, and we are called to embrace the sacred change of death. According to Druid lore, the 13th month celebrates the eternal turnings of life and death, birth and rebirth. It represents the end in the beginning and the beginning in the end. It is ruled by the Elder tree - a tree of regeneration, that regrows damaged branches readily and can root and grow rapidly from any part.

The end of October has always been my most favorite time of year. There is a dreamy, otherworldly magic in the air, slowing us down and causing time to stop as we take in the ripening autumnal splendor of leaf, vine, fruit and flower, of mist and mulchy earth with all our senses... as the earthly beauty defies our rational mind and becomes something exquisite and unearthly before it fades and passes out of sight. There is so much alchemy flowing in all that is alive at this time. We are always dying and being reborn... in every one of our cells. This alchemical moment in the turn of the seasonal wheel brings this knowledge home to us physically and spiritually at the same time. We are souls in sacred physical containers. As Rumi wrote, "The wine we seek is really our own blood. Our bodies ferment in these barrels. We give our lives for a sip." These magical physical containers take us through all the stages of life from birth, flowering, harvest and death yearly and in our life's course.

In the Samhain fire rituals, death is embraced as part of the cycle, not something to be feared, but revered for its paradoxical life giving alchemy. We cannot grow without rest. There is always a space between our heart beats, and a moment of silence between our breaths. Babies are born out of the deep void of the womb. As our blood flows out monthly, we are continually able to conceive. Samhain offers us a time to personally and collectively see and release that which has died within us, that which we have outgrown and no longer need, and embrace the beauty of what we have learned, while letting go of who we think we are -- and dissolve into a deeper connection with the realm of spirit. This is a rejuvenating, life giving, alchemical process. As we open to death within us, we come into connection with the vastness of our spirit power - the source of all alchemy. Only in dying does life continue... Within the quiet void and deep peace of the dark inner cave the seed of new life is reborn.

So happy Samhain! May the magic of this otherworldly time and the spirit of fire nurture the release of the lessons you have learned from the past year, and the shedding of all that you no longer need, so that a rich fodder saturates your earth, regenerating the new within you in the dark months to come...

Blessings Be to All!

Emily

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