Happy Samhain Greetings!
It is Summer’s End, the leaves have fallen from some of the trees and they are looking stark and bare. Other trees are changing their colours and brightening up the bleak landscape, adding yellows and oranges to the palette.
One of the many Hawthorn trees on my road reveals its beautiful feminine wind-shaped glory after leaf fall.
All around me, here in Connemara, is evidence of Summer’s End. The bracken has turned brown and the heather has lost all colour.
Fruit has come and gone. The Rowan berries were the first to arrive and depart but a Cotoneaster has lots of berries to offer the birds as does a Guelder Rose.
Our apples are long since eaten but there are still blackberries in the hedgerows. According to legend they cannot be eaten now because the devil would have spat on them on Samhain Eve. Small animals will make use of them I hope.
I love the way the blackberry leaves turn pink adding another colour to the Autumn palette here in Connemara. It is welcome as we do not have many trees.
At Samhain we are in the north west of the wheel, a place or time of patterns and spirals. It is the Celtic New Year so it is a good time to meditate on what we have harvested in the past year. What are the results of our actions? What negative patterns have we repeated or become trapped in?
Can we spiral into a better place for the coming year? Samhain is also known as seed fall and so, metaphorically, we can think about which “seeds” we want to fall and grow for ourselves in the coming year. Do we want to harvest peace and compassion, tolerance and forgiveness? Do we want things to continue as they are, a world gone crazy and people totally disconnected from our Mother Earth?
Here in Connemara I can see the turning of the Wheel of the Year by observing the changes in the hedgerows, in the plant life; from watching the birds prepare for migration, by enjoying the colours and fruits of Autumn. There is an atmosphere of change, a shifting. The sea and sky seem to merge in a different way emphasising that change is coming. All of these observations and feelings give a sense of peace, a knowing that life continues to spiral on and so there is an opportunity to reconnect.
According to Celtic belief, a place or time on the cusp of another is a potent and powerful opportunity for change. The veil between worlds is thin and we can cross to meet with our ancestors and they can come to meet with us. In times gone by it was traditional to set an extra place at the table to welcome to the Samhain feast, the loved ones who had passed over. It is also a time of magic because at this cusp we can meet with the spirits of plants and of the Earth. It is my belief that these spirits are there, like angels, waiting for us to sense them and ask for their guidance.
For me, the goddess who resides in the north west on the Wheel of the Year, is The Morrigan. She is thought to be a goddess of death and we can see life dying or hibernating, ( a temporary death), in preparation for the winter cold. She is also a goddess of fertility and the land which to me, is synonomous with the seeds lying in the ground during the cold winter, ready to germinate in spring.
As a goddess of the battlefield, she did not fight but cleared the battlefield of the dead. Her song after a battle was,
“Peace mounts to the heavens, The heavens descend to earth, Earth lies under the heavens, Everyone is strong…..”
Above all, she is about change and clearing up the “battlefield” of life. She can clear away our mess and our fear, our mistakes and foolishness and make all fresh and clean again. The Morrigan is not to be feared, she is to be welcomed with much respect.
Call on The Morrigan to clear your life of whatever no longer serves you and look forward, with bright blessings to a New Year with the changes you want to see.
Leave a comment about how you connect to Mother Earth at Samhain.
If you would like to know more about our Celtic Goddesses and the Wheel of the Year, sign up for the Wise Woman Training.