Samhain has come, and the Wheel of the Year turns again. Last night under a cold, clear sky, Elphaba and I joined the circle of witches to celebrate Wicca’s preeminent Holy Day: Samhain, or All Hallow’s Eve. As I felt the balefire’s warmth, smelled the wafting scent of incense, saw the starry sky through the trees, and listened to the familiar words of the liturgy as they washed over me, I was reminded why The Old Religion speaks to me so powerfully.
In the Craft, this is the beginning of the Wheel of the Year, the Wiccan New Year, so to speak. It is a time when we say farewell to those we have lost in the previous year; it is the time of the final reaping. The dark of the year is upon us, when we must recognize that all that lives must die, but that all that dies shall live again.
Death is not to be feared, it is only to be accepted and acknowledged as the expected resolution of the lives we have lived. As I spoke in a Samhain ritual some years ago, in the role of the Dark Lord of the Underworld:
The Goddess awaits you, at that which is the end of all Desire. But none shall cleave unto her, save that you within my bending sickle’s compass come.
We recognize that death is not an end, it is only a transition. In many ways, this is the central mystery of our faith.
Samhain is also a time to recognize that true change comes from the ending of the old; old patterns, old ways, old ideas. I cannot think of a more powerful metaphor for the moment that is to face this nation in two days. I sincerely believe that the majority of people in this great and wonderful country will take a hard look at where we are and where we are going. I believe that choices will be made and a path set for the future that will restore us as a people to the greatness that is our birthright.
Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, all that dies will be reborn
Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again.
To all our fellow witches and pagans, Blessed Be!
To all those who do not follow our path but have so kindly graced our little blog with your presence and your interesting comments, thank you and Happy Halloween!
(Herne image by Angela Barnett)