What Dies and What Does Not

At Samhain we honor and commune with our ancestors who are not dead but who have moved on to another form of living. This isn’t only a Pagan concept – the Quaker William Penn spoke of this in Fruits of Solitude. You may recognize the second half – J.K. Rowling borrowed it for the introduction to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

They that love beyond the World, cannot be separated by it.
Death cannot kill, what never dies.
Nor can Spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their Friendship.
If Absence be not death, neither is theirs.
Death is but Crossing the World, as Friends do the Seas; They live in one another still.
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is Omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see Face to Face; and their Converse is Free, as well as Pure.
This is the Comfort of Friends, that though they may be said to Die, yet their Friendship and Society are, in the best Sense, ever present, because Immortal.

Though our loved ones do not die, Death is a very real presence at this time of year. The final harvest of Samhain is a reminder to let go of what is dead.

What is dead in your life? What once nourished your Great Work but now weights you down? What served its purpose well but like the last cornstalk in the field now stands withered and dry?

Let it go. Return it to the elements from whence it came.

Let air become air.
Let fire become fire.
Let water become water.
Let earth become earth.
And let the spirits of the things
which have long since left us
find new purpose and new meaning
in their next lives.

Have a blessed Samhain!

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been has been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.


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