The prompt ‘Ancient’ seems fitting for this time of year with Halloween/Samhain in just a few days. I enjoy this ancient festival, of the end of the harvest, new years eve, a time for honouring ancestors and being grateful for the fruits of the earth and our labour, a time to release the old and prepare for the new.
We don’t make a huge deal of Halloween, partly because we don’t buy into the commercialised side of festivals, partly because I try to be mindful of the ethical/environmental issues around the many plastic halloween toys and accessories we are sold and partly because I’m not organised enough to get much of a celebration together! We do enjoy a few autumnal decorations and the boys enjoy telling mildly scary (and often wildly random, imaginative and long and waffling) stories. We carve a pumpkin or two and have some sweets in to offer visitors. Living where we do we don’t have trick or treaters and we don’t take our boys to knock on doors and ask for sweets as it just doesn’t resonate with us as something we’d like to do. However I do usually make some halloween themed cakes or treats. I love gingerbread so I think that we may have gingerbread men this year. The boys still talk about the Halloween a couple of years ago when we had a power cut, we cooked sausages and cauliflower cheese on the hob (thank goodness for bottled gas!) and all we did was sit in candle light and talk but they loved it. For me, I like to honour the ancient ways of celebrating Samhain, so I like to take time to think of our ancient ancestors and more recent family members who have passed over. I see it as a time of endings, new beginnings and divination and preparation for winter, a time for gratitude for the fruitfulness of our family life.
I feel closely connected to my ancestors at this time of year, I feel the sense of relief they would have felt in knowing that the harvest is safely gathered in and the responsibility they felt for providing for and nurturing their family through winter. I like to live in harmony with the seasons as much as possible. So In modern terms, for my life Autumn/harvest is when I think about gathering in aspects of our life that will sustain us through the dark days of winter. Winter is a time for rest and reflection, learning, sewing and nurturing the seeds of new ideas and projects ready for the Spring. This year I am saving new books to pore over and courses to learn and as a family we will enjoy the cosy nights in front of the fire, warming, stodgy casseroles, walks in the crisp, cold fresh air and the dark, clear night skies where we can stargaze and light fires. We don’t get to have as many bonfires as we’d like as our garden is tiny but we do have a chiminea and we’re always keen to volunteer to help family clear and burn!
I particularly feel close to, and gratitude for, all of the strong, powerful beautiful female souls in my ancestral line, from my wonderful Mother, dear Nanna and back and back. Being the last Mother in a line of Mothers that goes back to the dawn of time I am very aware of the sadness, trauma, unresolved emotional issues, conflict, repression, oppression, struggle for survival, and other problems that previous generations of women went through to enable me to live the life of freedom and joy that I live now. I feel enormous gratitude to my female ancestors for everything they lived through, I stand on the shoulders of some strong, resilient, resourceful, wise, kind, good, nurturing, generous, and beautiful souls and I’ve been thinking of them a lot recently. I am so glad I found Reiki because it can be sent through all time and space so I send my female ancestors love, gratitude and healing. Healing the ancestral line, making peace with the past generations and expressing love, compassion and gratitude to all those on whose shoulders I stand. I heal and release the negative experiences, cycles and fears from my predecessors and resolve to incorporate their happiness, joy and strong, positive attributes into my life. This helps me feel freedom to strive for personal fulfilment and to speak my truth. I feel a kind of responsibility, being the last Mother, to get it right and do them all justice.
Happy Harvest, Halloween and Samhain.