The sacred Wheel of the Year has turned and here south of the equator we find ourselves at Samhain and awaiting the veils between the world of the living and the realm of the dead to open before us.
At this rather sombre time of the year, we remember those who have left this world as the thinning of the veil makes it easier for us to contact our ancestors, as well as other spirits. Ancestors need not only be those of our blood line, those people who we have known in this life – they can also anyone who has helped shaped us into the people we are today, who have inspired us to follow a path closer to the calling of our own True Will, in order to reach our highest ideals.
During the stillness of Samhain night, light a candle and give thanks to those who have gone before you, regardless of your relationship with or memory of them.
As the ecstatic Lord of the Wine makes his descent in to the Underworld where he will take up the mantle of the Dread Lord of Shadows, the comforter of souls, the Goddess too transforms into a slightly all of aspect that refuses to be confirmed to the typical “Maiden Mother Crone” aspect. This is the time of the Dark Goddess, the shape shifter as she slips between the worlds, the unpredictable one who merges in and out the shadows, as well as merging in and out of the modern stereotypes of the Goddess – sometimes she is depicted as an old Crone, other times she is the Maiden, and yet she can also appear as the terrifying Mother who devours her children. It is only through this “devouring”, that we fully understand the Mysteries which surround us.
The Underworld into which the God has entered is the place of initiation where he must pass through in order to be reborn at the Winter Solstice. Yet, until he is joined with his initiator, the Goddess who is the great teacher of all life’s mysteries, he rules alone for the Goddess still has her own fires to light and cauldron to stir in our world before she departs to join her beloved.
Samhain is a time for introspection, as we too draw our energy within and prepare for the colder Winter months. And as we do, it will be wise to remember what happened to Gwion Bach, in the Welsh myth of Taliesin the Bard, should you happen to come across an old woman (Ceridwen) asking you to stir a cauldron in which a sacred brew is being prepared.