By : Nikki Savage
We are midway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, Mabon and Yule. We have entered the darker half of the year. Still on the waning side of the winter solstice, our days will continue to grow darker until they reach their darkest point and the sun is reborn.
We mark this point in our year by celebrating Halloween (or Samhain as it is known in most Celtic/Germanic and pagan communities). While this brings to mind the time for masks and candy, it was once the last of the harvest festivals and considered the start of the new year. It was a time to prepare for the dark and cold days ahead and to honor all that had passed in the year before, both events and people.
While it has become more about the lighter commercial aspects, Halloween was once a time of deep reverence for life and for honoring those who have crossed over. It was considered the time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead (the dark and light sides of life) were at their thinnest. It was a time where the energies at play allowed for communicating with spirits and divining the future. Because the veil was thin, it was also a time for spiritual protection and involved rituals for warding off negativity in the year ahead.
I love Halloween and all the decor, carved pumpkins with candles, costumes and images of otherworldly beings, the rich colors of autumn leaves, and of course the sweets. And I love even more the older meaning of honoring the darkness and the time of year where life goes underground for a while. We tend not to feel so appreciative of the dark and cold or of the beauty of the unseen. It requires a bit more work on our part to find it.
That is the way of darkness though. Our senses are heightened to detect the more subtle qualities of life. We must look to our intuitive senses in this dark space. We become more aware of what we can no longer see but must feel instead. We are more able to feel the presence of our departed loved ones as we follow the movement of the life energy downward, like the tree sap moving into the roots. It is natural that we too take the time to follow this rhythm of the season and allow ourselves to also go deeper within.
Though cold and dark may not be comfortable aspects of life, they are necessary. They are just as much a part of us as the fire and light. It is in these qualities that we find our deepest sources of strength and resilience. Deep in our roots, deep underground, we tap in and find our connection to something greater welling within our souls. It is sweetest treat offered by this time of year. We need only to see beyond the trickery the darkness plays on our eyes.
Take time to connect with your intuitive side as our energies shift to the expansive world inside of us. The energies are shifting outside and you may feel the pull to go within. Follow it and trust the sight that comes from a place beyond the vision of your eyes. Take the time to honor those souls that have passed through the veil and honor the lessons their passing brought to your own soul. Do not fear the dark times, but instead allow this season to teach you how to feed your inner light.
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