Samhain is often the star of our Pagan Year, so we tend to blow by August and September in our haste to embrace Autumn in all its glory. I get it. There is much to look forward to, and many things to plan for our busy Octobers.
Yet after Samhain…then what? I wrote last year of this time of spiraling inward during a pandemic. We find ourselves in a similar situation this year. Despite our myriad feelings, the Wheel of the Year moves ever onward, so it is up to us as individuals to make preparations as we head towards the end of the calendar year. The holidays and the increasing darkness can distract us, so it is imperative that we begin making plans for the days ahead.
It may be sunny and summery where you are now, yet there is the usual whisper of the changing season underneath our daily activities. Below are a few things you can do to add to your days so that you can greet the days after Samhain prepared and ready:
Get out in nature Spend as much time outside as you possibly can, soaking up those moments in the sun or hiking in forests, boating or swimming. Charge your personal batteries by as much interaction with the natural world as you can fit in your calendar. A walk to the park, a visit to a nearby state park or whatever natural wonders in your area are worth visiting and re-visiting.
Deepen your friendship circle Gathering in person as we head into winter is not ideal, but there are other ways to strengthen your friendship bonds. Check on friends you haven’t heard from in a while, schedule a video or Facetime call, write letters, send texts, exchange recipes or start a new hobby together. Your friendship circle may have changed during the course of the pandemic, so reach out now to people you enjoy, and schedule some time with them. It doesn’t take much effort, and it will help sustain you as the winter months deepen.
Enhance your spiritual practice Refresh your altar, begin a new spiritual practice, learn more about a subject you are interested in, read up on the gods and goddesses. Spend time in meditation and with your deities, and really spend some time in the quiet. And listen. Sometimes we avoid sitting still and looking deep within because it’s uncomfortable. Remember that nothing will change if you find yourself doing the same things over and over, expecting a different result.
Build your apothecary It is always good to have fire cider and elderberry syrup on hand, as well as some soothing natural teas. Curious about herbalism? Read up on it or take an online course. Eat foods that nourish you, and make sure your comfort foods are truly comforting, and not full of artificial ingredients. Take a CPR course (they are available online), and make sure you have basic medical supplies on hand. Move your body as often as you can, and if you are out in nature, even better. Breathe deeply and often. Try yoga or have your own personal dance party. Keep moving and breathing, and stay hydrated!
Read Put down the phone and schedule a reading night, if you have gotten out of the habit of reading. Lose yourself in a book, whether it be an old favorite or one you have been meaning to get to, in that pile on your nightstand. Learn more about your spirituality, discover a new hobby or read some of your favorite authors from when you were younger. If you get into the habit now, it will be a natural part of your routine by the time the end of the year arrives.
Try some divination If you have gotten out of the habit, or have never begun, divination is a great way to move through the days. You can start with a new deck of cards, and pull one each morning. Journal about it, and note how the card reflected your day. If your intuition feels very quiet, try a pendulum and use it for simple yes or no answers. Learn more about astrology or palm reading, subjects you can learn at home. Get the same deck as a friend, and do readings for each other. Move divination into a daily practice, as opposed to reaching for cards only when you are in a panic.
Hopefully this list inspires you to come up with your own ideas for the time post-Samhain. Preparation can feel like yet another thing you have to do, but the rewards will be so worthwhile. Enjoy the process!