Letting Go

Taking inspiration from nature, many Pagans see this season as a time of letting go. Even as leaves fall from the tree, we let go of things in our lives that no longer nourish us. In the letting go, we allow new manifestations to feed our creativity and inspire us in our journey, even as the fallen leaves feed the soil around the tree.

There are many different kinds of things we let go – ideas, relationships, emotions, material possessions. They key here is that if they are no longer nourishing, then we can softly let them go into the lengthening nights, thinking deeply about our lives and carrying within us new seeds for the coming year. They might be the vegetable garden that didn’t work, the friendship that no longer feels right, grief or anger that we have experienced or even just clutter in our houses.

We can also learn from the letting go – we can try and plant a vegetable garden in a different spot, grow different vegetables. We can focus on the relationships that we have that make our souls sing, and open ourselves to new possibilities. We remember those who have passed away, or who are struggling in the shared human journey. We learn to cherish and make space in our homes and in our lives for things that bring us joy.

The tree does not mourn the falling leaf, nor does the leaf mourn the tree. In the letting go, we simply allow for new manifestations to occur.

Blessings of Samhain.

Reblog: Samhaintide

This is a reblog from Grey Bear in the Middle’s blog site – it is just absolutely beautiful. The reblog button isn’t working today, so please click HERE link to visit the site!

 

Samhaintide

Prepare now
for the Samhaintide
make ready
for the delicate dawns
the diaphanous dusks
are upon us.

They will not last long,
these daybreakings
these nightfallings,
before we realise
all will return to what
we know well
and cope with better.

As the light shrinks itself
making room for expanding darkness,
when the constellations
more brightly dance
singing across the star strewn sky,
we keep the Samhaintide.

Out the corner of the eye,
was that a shimmer,
a swiftly darting energy
manifested momentarily,
the shadow stealthily
moving as a cloud across sky?

Barely audible
almost beyond our hearing,
was that thrumming,
the muffled chanting of the ancestors,
just the comfortable side of discordant,
who no longer sing in our harmonies
whose melodies grate the senses?

Yet, yet the sight of them fills
us with wonder and reassurance,
their musics astonish offering us solace,
we do not know how
it is possible for us to understand.

Samhaintide,
prepare to encounter what
we do not expect and accept
what we embodied
do not now understand.

The mystery of death,
the other birth
shrouded until the last moments,
and let us not wait until death is upon us,
to embrace and be embraced by
the reality we are not alone
either in our living or our dying.

Open and let go,
prepare now
for the Samhaintide
make ready
for the delicate dawns
the diaphanous dusks
are upon us.

They will not last long,
these daybreakings
these nightfallings,
before we realise
all will return to what
we know well
and cope with better . . .
unless we choose
a different way of being.

Welcome!

I would like to take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to the influx of new followers that I’ve had on this site in the last week or so – hello!

Today’s post I would like to hand it over to you, readers old and new, to hear some of your stories.  So, what brought you here, what is your passion and inspiration, what is the story of your path? Please comment below!

Blessings to you all, and may we walk together for however long a time down the forest path.

J.x

Reblog: The Love of the Darkness

This a reblog from my channel, DruidHeart at Witches and Pagans, on SageWoman’s channel:

 

The still centre.

Outside, in the dark, the air is finally still. Like rich swathes of fabric, the darkness hangs around me, enfolding me, wrapping me in its exquisite embrace. I sit, breathing in the night air, the smell of cedar and dew wet grass filling me with pure awen. The last of the crickets are singing in the remnant of summer’s growth, owls hooting softly in the distance and underneath the beech tree near Caia’s grave I let the songs of the night wash over me in waves of indigo and black.

The quiet is shattered by the call of a stag just on the other side of the hedge. Calling to the does, he is in full rut, looking for the ladies in the shelter of the night. He is maybe four feet away, and his bark and rumbles excite me with the power that he is emanating in following his soul’s truth. I can hear the slight shuffle of leaves and grass beneath his hooves as he paces up the track and then back down towards the nature reserve and farmer’s fields.

Overhead, a few stars are shining between the cloud cover, and the moon has not yet risen. My muscles have become fluid, my sense of self sliding into the darkness until there is no separation. There is no I am to compare with: I cannot even say “I am one with this land”, for there is no I. No me. Just life and death, a cycle and spiral mirrored in the galaxy that we perch upon the edge of, in the vastness of space and time.

But eventually I come back; there is an “I” once again. An “I” to speak from this still centre, to make sense of the experience. Sometimes I loathe that “I”, wanting to remain forever in the embrace of the darkness, boundless and floating, no edges and completely open, sharing with everything on this planet in the beautiful, soundless dance in the round of existence. The “I” always returns however, a little smaller, a little less sure of itself, and for this I am glad.

Deep within the depths of the stillness, the songs of the universe can be heard. Beyond the sense of self is all existence.

The love of the darkness, where there is nothing but potential.

 

To see the original post, click HERE.

 

 

Daily Meditation

Meditation (source unknown)Meditation is a very important part of my spiritual path. I remember when I was a student with Bobcat (Emma Restall Orr) back in 2007, and the amount of meditation that she suggested was the minimum we do each day – it had seemed like a lot at the time (I had only begun to delve in Zen meditation at this point). She said that we should spend more time at our altars, at least with two twenty minute sessions per day. At first it was hard to get into, but then became easier at it became part of my life, part of my daily routine.

I took the sessions to longer periods of time, two thirty minute sessions. It meant getting up earlier and finding time when I came home from work before cooking dinner, or if that wasn’t possible finding time in the evening whenever it could fit in. There was great value in spending time before my altar, sitting in silence and communing with the gods, the ancestors and the spirits of place. It is often said that prayer is talking, and meditation is listening.

Learning more and more about meditation in its various forms, I realised that it could be done anytime, anywhere really – it didn’t have to be in front of the altar in a seated position. Seated meditation is still, for me, the best form, as quieting our bodies and our minds allows us a chance to get beyond our talking selves and into a space of pure being, where in stillness we settle even as the dusk falls upon the land. Like mud being churned in a pond, if we allow it to settle things become clear.

However, meditation could be taken out of that space and into the wider world. If I was away from home, and had no altar, I could take a walk and do some walking meditation. Lying in a bath, I could meditate there, fully aware of the water against my skin, the sounds and scents. In essence, meditation is simply giving your full attention to something, whether it is a stillness of the mind, the working through of a problem, walking down the street or paying attention to your breath. Work can become meditation – washing the dishes is meditation for me, as are other house chores. They are much more pleasant that way.

Riding my bike, driving my car, paddling my canoe – all these can be meditation. With meditation, if you are doing mindfulness meditation, you are not “zoning out” so to speak – you are fully aware of everything, allowing the illusion of the self to fade away in order to hear the wider world around you. Stopping the incessant internal dialogue, we step beyond our selves, allowing us a break from our egos. The more we do this, the more we are not ruled by our egos, living a life that is not reactive but completely and fully active: lived with intention.

Meditation is not all about sitting on a cushion chanting Om. It is living with full awareness, using techniques such as seated meditation to help you begin your journey. I would always advise seated meditation first, and then take that into other aspects of your life. Pretty soon you will find that you are living with much more awareness, much more mindfully. It’s not difficult to do.

Often people say that with the raising of a family they do not have the time to meditate. What I would suggest is that raising your family becomes a meditation. Pay attention to cooking the meals, when your children are speaking, when you are reading them a bedtime story. Be fully present with them and you are meditating. Be aware of your actions and reactions and you are meditating. Be aware of your breathing and you are meditating. You can do it.

Explore the many ways you can meditate. From finding that still centre, explore journeying, guided meditation, trancework and so on, keeping coming back to the simpler forms and the still centre. It will be well worth it.

The challenge of the ancestors…

I’ve had some hard teachers in my life. Teachers who challenged me on every level, whose words inspired me to look deep into my soul, my habits and behaviour, my relationship with the world. Accepting a challenge is a very difficult thing to do. We have to be willing to take on that challenge, otherwise when it seems that the challenge is thrown upon us we can react defensively, our barriers instantly put up, walls to surround ourselves with.
I give my utmost thanks to my teachers who have inspired and challenged me in every part of my life. Even when I did not agree with their words, I saw the intention behind them, to wake myself up and be in the world, aware of my story and the stories of others. To these ancestors of tradition, know that you are honoured.