The Samhain Letters: Samhain 2021
The wheel turns, the old year burns. In the blessed dark we hold the seeds of new life to be born at Winter Solstice…..
Holy was never something I felt in church. It was something I felt low in body when I was outside riding my bike, or building dams in the creek near Moss Mansion, or sitting on the beach in Rehoboth, watching porpoises playing tag. The holy’d push outward inside me, deeper and deeper, into forever and safe. Into what had always and would always be. Sitting at my desk in school, in my cheerleading uniform and saddle shoes, I used to think the shape of me that could be seen, had nothing to do with the true shape of me. I still think that way. The difference now is, I live from my true shape, rather than calibrating to what others think, need, or believe. Some days I’m really good at it; other days not so much. There is always a benefit though; could be alchemical, could be a need for change, could be an entertaining drama.
Some will tell you your experience makes you who and what you are. Well, maybe if you’re seaweed, swaying with the tides; but, I am not seaweed and my beloved friends and clients and witch nieces are not seaweed. They’re complicated, many faceted, and know that what you do with your experience(s) is what makes you who and what you are. That’s where the power is. I always think about power at Samhain, and death, and rebirth, and dancing the wheel. I think about love beyond all reason and the dance between the living and the dead.
Whether you walk a sacred path or not, at some point the old survival mechanisms turn on you, because your true shape is rattling at the chains that bind her/him/they, yelling, “Hey! What about me?!!” No question, your true self can scare you shitless. No question, wildness, imagination, creativity, love, and freedom reside in the true self. It can hurt to get there but the ouch is worth it. You can either live as a nice little cog in the wheel, whose upset will be determined and contained within society’s approved paradigms, or you can take a scalpel to the fucking boil. Drain it, bath it in copious amounts of peroxide, and give it lots of light and air. This kind of exploration tends to get triggered by the desire to feel more comfortable, to fit in, to make yourself a better person, perhaps more spiritual. But, what’s actually calling you is your myth. Your myth is your sacred tale. Living an authentic life is about creating a world that resonates with your myth.
Great works of art are decidedly NOT all sunshine and light. I can’t quite picture Mahler at a Tony Robbins seminar, anymore than I can picture Ryder at a Ted Talk, or Anna Magnani doing a commercial for Charmin. I hold true that gravity is real, diversity is needed and vital as oxygen, and that human beings are great works of art. I am not being Pollyanna here; I loathe as deep as I love. But, I have been doing readings, healings, and teaching for almost 40 years, witnessing and encouraging people to break from what that which diminishes and controls them. I have seen people feel the sacred for the first time. I have witnessed people begin to live truer and truer to self and soul. I have welcomed angels and spirit guides and ancient Reiki masters and dead relatives and Fey, and Gods and Goddesses, into the classes I teach. I have witnessed the sacred/the divine/the light, within and around human beings come together in joy and celebration, cracking the programming that has kept them separate. The great mystery is that everything is interconnected; the mystical experience is the pragmatic, undeniable experience of interconnectedness. It can be a blip on your radar, it can be drop to your knees and holler Yo Avohe! And anything in between. The experience of sacred connection cannot be denied by the so-called rational mind.
In the middle of October, I begin to leave out butter, honey, and water for the trooping fey. My home fills with the energy of other realms and beings, and ancestors, and old friends. My father was military, his best friends – he was an only child, they were uncles to me - were all military. Everyone’s buried in Arlington Cemetery. As I write this, my dad and his friends, in full dress uniform, are sitting on my couch, laughing, drinking martinis. I can smell the Old Spice. Mother is to the side in something chiffon and wonderful. I remember going to see Jackie O’s clothes at the Met. She had nothing on my mother. Mother stands in front the dark entrance to a tunnel, with which I am unfamiliar. She is somewhat shadowed, veiled. My parents’ processes on the other side are quite different. Mother’s is of the dark, I can’t really read it, though she has let me know in no uncertain terms that the relationship I insist upon having with her has changed the texture and path of her death experience, which all started when I gave her, her shadow back. That’s another post.
I did StarHawk’s zoom ritual last night and much to my surprise it was my mother who led me to the boat to Avalon. The experience of unconditional love makes me cry hysterically and I was crying so hard last night, I couldn’t breathe. I have never met anyone on the other side who is punitive, even those who were the most tortured. I am going to repeat that: I have never met anyone on the other side who is punitive even the most tortured. The theme I run into on the other side has to do with what-can-be. Yes, it’s vitally important to uncover what was, but to keep wrestling what was into the ground is futile. Ancestral healing is not about carrying the pain and trauma of our ancestors. The point of ancestral healing is to break the pattern of victimization and set the ancestors, set ourselves, free. The point of Ancestral healing is to break the energetic vibration that keeps us stuck in a past that is no longer, repeating the same behaviors over and over and over. What we heal in present time, we heal in the past. (Funny how ancestral and personal healing dovetail, huh?) Change is rooted in wondering what-can-be, and what-can-be is rooted in the humane. What-can-be serves the humane.
I am wiped out today, a veritable wack job, periodically crying over how deeply loved I am, and the connection I felt last night with hundreds of people attending the ritual. There is a connecting chord, an energetic flow that I share with ALL those willing to love beyond all reason, who are committed to justice and the kind of resistance that point blank refuses to become what it’s fighting. When the soul sheds the body and passes to Avalon, or heaven, or whatever you want to call it, all that’s left of the earthly experience is love, and I felt that love so powerfully last night. Today, thinking about what-can-be, I am more sharply aware than ever, that the power-over-powers-that-be in the earthly world will do anything to stop us from from knowing how phenomenal, how beautiful, and how powerful we actually are. The dance of divisiveness has some pretty strong hooks. Step to the side of the manipulation, the projections and the programming. Remember you are vital and integral part of a giant web of live, living, death and re-birth. I am wishing you the knowledge of that which has always been and will always. I am wishing you your glory.
Happy New Year Witches.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine
Art: Dorothy Tanning