Decluttering for the Samhain Soul: Day 1

“Dad is being transferred. We’re moving. Go to your room and go through your things and get rid of the ones you don’t need any more.”

I first heard that sentence from my mother when I was seven years old. Seven. How do you know, at seven, what you don’t need any more? I loved everything. I wanted to keep everything.

And so, at seven, or eight, or nine, or ten, the result was the same. Me, feeling torn in half. Me, feeling cheated that I’d just managed to fit into a new school, just started getting invited to the birthday parties, and I’d have to start over. Me, in tears as my mother held up my possessions and tried to talk me into giving them away.

Stuffed animals. Barbies. Barbie clothes. China horses and cats. Books and records. Each one had to be justified.

A path will call to each of us as we journey to discover the root of our internal or external clutter issues.

No wonder I became a packrat as I grew up. Friends and schools and places all passed away. Stuff was permanent.

My sister was born six years after me. My brother, nearly 18. Their childhoods were so different from mine they might as well have been in another family. Instead of working for the state highway department, Dad was the superintendent of highways in a rural county about an hour outside St. Louis, Mo. We stayed put. And paradoxically, it is my mother who has filled their home to the attic rafters with stuff.

I went on to university, and then newspaper reporting and editing jobs. I got married and got divorced. Went to work for a financial services software start-up, then began working temp jobs when it went belly-up a month after 9/11. Started a small business. Held on to the attitudes, if not the income, of my middle-class, professional past.

And through it all, began to shed possessions. Some, as I said earlier, by accident. But most by design.

More than once, I looked at my surroundings and consciously began to clear away that which was not needed. I thought about where I wanted my life to go, and which of my material possessions might be harboring an energy that held me back.

I went from single and struggling to partnered and prosperous. But still, the emotional and mental patterns of my past persist. Their energy is still part of my energy. It is time to light candles, listen to the beat of the drums, and go to my place of power to ask which parts of my personal past, of my ancestral past, even of past lives, could be keeping me on stuck in a pattern of anxiety.

The energies of this full moon are good for this kind of exploration. The Sun has just entered Scorpio, sign of the hidden mysteries—sex, death, money, power. The Moon is across the zodiac in Taurus, green and beautiful home of rising sap, fresh flowers and fertility magic.

The shadow side of Taurus, though, is a devastating fear of lack, especially lack of basic sustenance like food. This resonates with me especially strongly because of a symbol that surfaced during my meditation for this first day.

In the meditation, I saw a hooded figure standing by a stone, The shadow of the stone fell upon the entrance to a cave. I took a torch and walked in. On the cave walls, there were paintings of horses, of oxen, their simple black and ochre outlines calling back to our shared paleolithic past. Among those was a drawing of a cart with a missing wheel.

For me, this is a symbol out of a past life vision I once had. I laid beside a broken wagon beside a road that wound through a frozen, barren land. I was too weak to move. I knew that the fields had no plants in them because everything down to the roots had been eaten. I saw wheels and feet go past. I knew my own family was farther down the road, out of my sight. I do not know whether I was old or young. Just that I starved, and died alone.

This is the fear that lives somewhere in the bones of us all. That the harvest will fail, and fail again. And that there will be nothing to eat. And we will die. This fear of lack is behind many stuffed closets and too-full cabinets.

That is the story of Scorpio. As the season turns cold, the tribes turned hard. The harvest of grain was stored. The herds were culled, the meat of those too weak to make it through the winter salted and dried. Death, so that others might live.

That, too, is the shadow fear of comfort-loving Taurus. The joyful dancing in the greening fields, the fertility ceremonies and carefree lovemaking all calling life forth, so that we might summon forth the abundance to allow all to avoid death for one more year.

After passing through the entry chamber in my vision, I came into a large room golden with light. I immediately felt joyful, and knew that the figures moving through the light were ancestors welcoming me.

The general message was to be joyful, to stop thinking of the hard times past and to embrace the love and joy that are present so abundantly in my life today. Embrace joy. This resonates, too, as I’m working on decluttering once again using Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Ms. Kondo recommends keeping only those possessions which spark joy.

The Six of Wands and Berkana urge me to embrace joy and new beginnings to help overcome the past's stagnant energy.
The Six of Wands and Berkana urge me to embrace joy and new beginnings to help overcome the past’s stagnant energy.

I journaled the experience, then drew a Tarot card and a rune to further explore the meaning. The card is the Six of Wands. In the deck I use, the image is of a laurel-crowned man on a white horse, holding a banner with the sun on it. The rune is Berkana, the birch. The first tree that leafs out in spring. New beginnings.

These cards were confirmation that one of the ways to cure my fear of lack and my feelings of rootlessness is to focus on joy and victory. To embrace the love and support that are part of my life, and to celebrate the new beginnings symbolized by beginning to plan for my wedding. And to hang those pictures, darn it.

On a personal level, we now know, in many cases, what we need to do in order to enact necessary transformation within our daily lives. We just have to get past our internal blocks and do it.

The Sabian symbols for this full moon seem to be at play in this meditation as well. The symbol for Scorpio 3 is a youth holding a candle. Across at Taurus 2, the symbol is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

So I would look at two possibilities as you settle in for meditation on what, precisely, you should be working on in this five-day process. One is to concentrate on what to shine a light on; what needs to be brought out of darkness and illuminated so that it can be processed. The other is, what is the inner reward you want? Is it peace of mind? A feeling of belonging? Love? Joy? All of those?

For a more detailed look at the aspects, I recommend AstroGraph, as a good basic summary. And for a variety of views, Mystic Mamma is always good.

As for a meditation for this day, I recommend setting aside 20 to 30 minutes. If you have a journal you use for meditations or inner journey work, have that. I also recommend divination tools for further clues.

I did the meditation sitting, but that’s because the journey/images came to me at the tail end of my daily 20 minute silent meditation. I decided to just go with it, instead of setting a more formal time later in the day as planned.

However, my original plan is as follows:

Light a candle and/or incense. Find a quiet space in which you can be alone for 20 to 30 minutes. Have your journal and divination tools handy. I did not cast a circle, but many people find that helpful before doing mediation or journey work.

If you like, use audio cues like music or drumming.

Lie or sit, as you find comfortable. Settle in with the intention of finding the root of your current issues with either physical or emotional clutter. Imagine that you are on a path. The path may be through a wood. It may be through a meadow or alongside water. Each of us has a path that will call to us alone. Walk this path until you see a guide, or an entrance into the earth. Light a torch, and walk into a spacious tunnel, with a firm floor. It opens into a larger room. Look around you. Are there images on the walls? Are there tools or other objects on the floor? Notice whether the room seems empty, or full. If it seems ordered, or disordered. Take all the time that you need.

When you feel you have seen all that is necessary in this room, go forward. Notice what is in the other chambers. Notice whether they are light, or dark. Notice whether they are ordered, or disordered. Ask your higher self, that part of you which is connected to past and future, ancestors and the Divine, to help you see that which is best for you to work on at this time. You may see or hear ancestors, spirit guides, animal guides, or even Gods as you receive answers. Again, there is no right or wrong thing to see, hear, smell, taste, or perceive in any way. Trust that you will be given the information you need.

Be aware that there is no right or wrong answer. If you see an image which seems important but does not make sense to your conscious mind, simply notice it and journal about it later.

When you feel you have all the information you need, or are going to receive at this time, give thanks to anyone or anything which was helpful. Leave an offering. PIck up your torch and return, noting whether anything seems or feels different as you walk back. Place your torch where you found it, or extinguish it.

Journal about your experience, including the divinatory clues you receive. Eat something; protein is particularly grounding.

You are free to discuss your experience either here in the comments, or on the group page. 

For more background on this working, see A Five-Day Decluttering Ritual for the Samhain Soul.

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