Samhain Thoughts

Halloween/Samhain approaches. It’s my High Holy Days! But there is so much going on in my world right now that I can barely focus. I’ve missed the last two Maxim Mondays – the week before was the middle of Navratri and yesterday I was attending to family things. I’d like to share some of what’s going on in my world and what I’ve been up to, along with a few thoughts on the season.

First, I was able to meet up with some amazing people on Sunday. I drove to Seattle and met with Christine Hoff Kraemer, new managing editor of the Pagan Portal at Patheos. She was in town visiting friends, but we were able to talk about a new blog that I may be joining over at Patheos. (Don’t worry, My Own Ashram isn’t going anywhere.) We also met with P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, author of the incredibly smart Queer I Stand blog, also at Patheos. It’s a delight for me to meet other kindred spirits.

Ten years ago I smirked with bemused judgment when people told me they had a blog. Now, my life is rich and my social web complex and robust thanks to the many people I’ve met through blogging. I have multiple writing opportunities open before me thanks to the internet. I am grateful and excited.

More opportunities are underway as well, regarding traveling. I’m in discussions with Journeyman Adventures. We’re talking about possible pilgrimages and how we might work together. Who knows? You might be able to follow along on journey to India!

My personal life is also undergoing some commotion. Part of this is brought about by the any-now-day-now dying of my husband’s grandmother. I doubt we’ll be adding her to our dumb supper in honor of our Ancestors and Mighty Dead later this week, but we don’t know.

I read recently (wish I could remember where) that Samhain is the beginning of the long, dark night that marks the beginning of the year. In Jewish tradition, and Celtic ones too, if I remember correctly, the day begins not with the dawn, but with the setting of the sun. The observance of a spiritual, if not calendrical, new year at this time acknowledges the quiet darkness that is necessary before the bright dawn of the day. For me, autumn has always felt full of possibility; this year is clearly no different – I’m getting possibilities by the boat load!

Once the Samhain fires die down, then comes the long dark night to settle in with these new possibilities. New ideas will gestate and simmer before being manifested in the spring. It helps that my environment mimics these shifts too, with bright orange trees and seemingly gold-plated sidewalks that light up the greying, early evenings.

And of course, tomorrow is just plain ol’ Halloween. The kids are going as Mario and Luigi. It will be the first trick-or-treating for both my kids. We have uncarved pumpkins on the porch. I don’t think we’re going to get around to carving them this year. Not all of Samhain can be serious. Thank goodness I’ve got my kids to bring home cheap plastic bats and spiders to remind me of this.

How will you celebrate Halloween? What’s simmering for you right now?

 

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