The time between October 31st and the new year has always been a liminal time. 2020 is even moreso, as we lived through a divisive election, on top on an on-going pandemic, topped off with much of the world going back into lockdown before this year is over. Whatever outcome you were rooting for in the election, it has been decided. These next few months, the answer to the question “Now what?” should be answered with: Do the work.
Yes, that dreaded “work” word. What have we been doing all year? The work! Many of us having been working magically towards specific outcomes for ourselves and the world, and although it may seem like it was achieved, it’s only the beginning of more work. Not in a Puritan-like, drudgery kind of way. It’s the kind of work where you go to sleep feeling content and satisfied about the day’s endeavors. Remember that feeling? We all can find it again, if it’s been missing from your life.
Not sure how to begin? A few suggestions are below.
Gratitude: Not just today, but every day. Gratitude may seem like a fluffy thing, but gratitude after and despite much hardship has a steel that might surprise you. That steel will keep you going. Utter gratitude every day, your choice as to when you express it. Be sure to thank the ancestors too, for their love is always behind you.
Ancestor Altar: Maybe don’t put the ancestor altar away just yet. Keep a few ancestor photos or mementoes and a candle out, to honor and thank them. Think of your ancestors as a close friend and spend some time with them, as you would your friends. Tell them about your day. And then, listen. They may tell you things that you needed answers to for a very long while.
Reset: Samhain is the Celtic New Year, and like any new year, it is always good to pause and hit that reset button. What about your life could improve? Pick a few achievable things, and start again. You know the drill: meditate, drink water, exercise, etc. Things haven’t been going your way in quite a while? What can you do to change it? Brainstorm, ruminate, and most of all, try.
Community: The pandemic may have put an end to social gatherings, but you can still find community online and at social distances. Community can be had by volunteer work (I’ve done mine online) or take part in groups that share your interests (online or at a distance). Seek out that friend who you would like to know more about, and see what happens. Become a pen pal or send cards to people you care about. All that is community, and with a plethora of social media and online information, you can find ways that suit your unique personality.
Heal the trauma: Every single person who voted in this election has been traumatized. Read that again. The relationship with the person in the White House has been traumatic, whether you voted for him or not. Here’s a chance for us to take a deep breath, take a step back, and reach out to the other traumatized person. If you view them through that lens, it may be less harrowing. That person may not want your outreach yet or ever, and that is okay, too. Focus on yourself first, and begin the healing work. It may be as simple as lighting a candle daily, being out in nature more, shadow work, or therapy.
Daily Spiritual Practice: Most people don’t realize the benefit of daily spiritual practice. Some only celebrate the Wheel of the Year, if that. Try doing it daily for a week, and see if you feel differently after that time. It could be as simple as creating an altar, and spending some time in front of it with your morning beverage. I recently finished a year of daily reading of the book Celtic Spirit, by Caitlin Matthews, which has an entry for each day of the year, including history, folklore, ritual and more. I follow a Celtic path, and I have to say, even if I read the daily passage in a hurry, it had an effect on me, and how my day went. Find a book in your tradition, and add it to your daily practice. Or better yet, create your own, and journal your spiritual practice daily.
Celebrate: These next few months are busy and hectic and some of us may dread all the seemingly endless celebrating out there in the mundane world. So celebrate yourself. Celebrate an accomplishment, a goal you reached, or that you made it this far in like. Take a deep breath, and rejoice. Let that feeling resonate within you and treasure it. This world is difficult enough to live in, so find these few moments to celebrate, and have them to look back on when the months get cold and dark.
Recognize your power: If you voted, congratulations! You experienced a ritual that some on this planet don’t get to participate in, so acknowledge that you do indeed have a bit of power. You made it through another day? That is power in and of itself. Use your power to improve yourself, and help others. Use that power to springboard into other things, whether it be improving your community in some ways, or changing things up for your family.
Magical Practice: Had you given up on your magical practices, figured what’s the use? Go back to those practices, talk to your deities, update that Book of Shadows, and work with the moon and crystal energy. Energy makes things happen, so if you are not exerting any energy towards what you want to happen, guess what? Nothing will happen. Sit down and examine what you want to do magically, and get moving.
Breathe: Most of all, breathe. Some of us have been holding our collective breath for so long, we haven’t realized it. Take deep, bracing breaths, and let that oxygen flow through you.
Enjoy this liminal time! There is lots to do, and don’t shy away from the work that it entails. Do what you can, and together we can all have a part in making this world a better place.