Grey-eyed, grey-cloaked, He stands at the water’s edge. Mist obscures the farthest shore. He lifts his hand to lead us from what was to what is and will be.
Hermes, the traveler. Hermes, the light-hearted messenger of the Gods. And Hermes, one of the few who can travel from the halls of the dead to the lands of the living and to the realms of the everlasting Gods.
I have seen Him at this shore. I have seen Him walking through the woods towards it, stopping to pick up a sleeping cat whose physical life had become a burden, tucking the small creature into his cloak for comfort in the new lands. I know His will be the hand that stretches out for me when my own physical life is over, leading me to the lands where those I love wait for me.
And it was Hermes who appeared to lead me on this Samhain’s journey. Not over the sea, or the River Styx. But to a tangled cord of black that led under the waters to an old fear, ugly and decaying. It is the cords to that old fear, from one of the worst times of my life, that needs to be cut in this year’s ritual.
Maybe some of you have a similar fear. You work with pieces of it, carving it away in the space between the worlds. You write its name on a piece of paper and burn it, scatter the ashes. And still it rises, still it comes back to grab for your feet and pull you under.
When that happens, we can let fear overwhelm us and poison our will to move forward. Or, we can remember that we carry a piece of the Divine within us and break free.
Tomorrow I will do the ceremonial work of breaking free, and celebrate it. For now, I will make an offering to Hermes Psychopompos. He likes caramel lattes. So I’ll make him one.
If you already have a guide whom you work with for journeys, feel free to call on that being for tomorrow’s ritual. Or, if you’d prefer to see which God or Guide is appropriate for this piece of our work, try a short meditation or prayer to ask for guidance.
I suggest lighting a candle, and going in meditation to your personal sacred space or place of power. If you do not work with those concepts, go in meditation to a crossroads, or the edge of a wood, or the shores of a large body of water, or the mouth of a cave. Someplace that marks the meeting of two ways, or a border between two spaces.
Once you are in this space, wait. You are safe there. Ask for help in the way that it is most beneficial to you at this time, for your best and highest purposes. Know that whatever Being, God, Animal, Spirit, Ancestor, appears, it is trustworthy.
If it’s a new Guide, it’s OK to ask its name, where it’s from, why it chose you–anything you like. The Guide has appeared in answer to your call for assistance, and is there to help you.
Stay with your Guide for as long as you like. If it leads you someplace, or you feel moved to go with it, do so. If you just meet and sense its presence, that’s fine, too.
After you return, remember to drink water and eat something. Preferably protein.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments section or the Facebook page Five Day Decluttering for the Samhain Soul Challenge. If you’d like more privacy, ask to join the group Decluttering for the Soul . I’ll be working along with the group and post my own experiences both places as well. I also will be watching for and reacting to comments on the blog.