Lets celebrate the season!
The year is waning, the season of silence is at hand. We have at last shed the heaviness of the dying year, and all that remains is one last step, one step that is a thousand miles, across the threshold of the underworld. She is smiling: “I have been waiting for you”.
The Crone holds one hand out to us in light, and the other in shadow. One turns around the other, and together they bring balance to the wheel of the year: without the release of nightfall, the light of summer would blind us, and without the promise of dawn, the path would be overgrown with fear. To truly become whole as Witches and as human beings, we must learn to dance the edges of being, to balance waxing and waning within ourselves as the Earth finds a balance of her own.
October is the last breath of the year, almost a sigh –of contentment for some, of sorrow for others. Look back over the turning of the wheel gone by: what did you set out to do, and what was done? Most of us have words unsaid, goals unmet, and we live with disappointment in ourselves and guilt over the path not taken. We cling to our failures much more readily than we cling to success.
Holding on, however, is not the nature of autumn. This is the season of letting go–of life, of light, of the year just past. Nothing in nature can stay the same forever, and we are certainly not the exception to that rule. The more of the past we carry on our shoulders, the harder it is to walk upright, and eventually we are crushed beneath the weight of our own refusal to grow. The lesson of October, as the year takes its final bow, is that all things are born in the Mother, and all return to her in time.
Autumn is also the season of memory, a time to honor those who have passed through the veil and into a new life. Though we must let go of the past, and allow those we have lost to move on as we do the same, it is vital to keep the memories and lessons alive. What good was the sacrifice of the grain if we let it rot in the fields instead of baking bread?
Years ago I learned a ritual from a dear friend and fellow priestess that became a Samhain tradition. For ritual details visit Divine Muse’s Pure Awakenings: Samhain Release Ritual
The Crone Goddess may wear a terrible face, but she is not to be feared. Hers is the darkness of sleep and dreams, of one life yielding to the next as autumn turns to winter turns to spring. Give her your sorrow, and she will transform it into promise; give her your tears, and with them she will water the coming year. Life, she teaches, is meant to be lived–it is beautiful and terrible, temporary yet everlasting. Walk from one year to the next with hard-earned knowledge, and without regret.
This time of year, when the first chill of winter coaxes the leaves from the trees, turn within to find the solace you seek. Allow the Dark Lady to lead you down the spiral path, around the hills where the Wild Hunt will soon run, away from cricket-song and far from the madding crowd, to the loving embrace of the silent Earth … from whose arms, come spring, you will emerge again renewed.
–by Dianne Sylvan
** For a Samhain Ritual visit Divine Muse’s Pure Awakenings at: Samhain Ritual for a Coven or the Solitary Witch
More about October
In October, crops are being gathered and the ancients gave their gratitude to the Gods of the grain and green growing things for Their gifts. This wonderful season was a time of celebration with many festivals. One was the Nubaigai in Lithuania, where the Corn Goddess was celebrated by taking the last sheaf of grain and dressing it up like an old woman (the Nubaigai), which to many the crone was thought of as a Witch. The festival had a wide range and variety of food, drinks, games and dance. During the festivities, the harvest wreath was carried out on a white cloth as the people sang traditional songs about it’s rescue from a bison trying to eat it.
Modern Wiccans celebrate Samhain at the time of Halloween. Samhain, pronounced “sow-in”, meaning “Summer’s End”. This holiday is a celebration of the spirits of their ancestors. It is also the last harvest, which brings us right back to harvest, again!
Nowadays this holiday is treated as a secular holiday, but it comes from the name “All Hallow’s Even” or “All Hallow’s Eve” (or all hallows evening), the evening before All Hallows Day. In 609ce, on this day, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon, a pagan temple in Rome to the Virgin Mary. A century later, Pope Gregory III moved the holiday to November 1st.
Important dates and events for the month of October
October 2, 2006:
— Hinduism: Dussehra/Durga Puja, Festival celebrating victory of good over evil.
— Jewish: Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement
October 4, 2006:
— St Francis of Assisi day. Patron of animals, birds firemen, merchants, needle workers, and solitary death.
October 5, 2006:
— Lithuania: Nubaigai, Festival of the Old Crone celebrating the Corn Goddess.
— Japan: Daruma, anniversary of the death of Bodhidharma, founder of Zen Buddhism
October 6, 2006:
— Full Blood Moon 11:13 PM, EDT. Dr. Willix’s next full moon Fire Ceremony will be on SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 8TH at 7:00PM. Fire Ceremony will be held at the FOUR MEDICINE RETREAT CENTER in Jupiter. Directions available upon request, if interested.
— St Cipriano day. History says this saint was raised in black magic before converting to Christianity. Patron of travelers, the homeless, and protector from natural disasters.
October 20, 2006:
— Islam: Lailat-Ul-Qadr, the Night of Power. When prophet Muhammad had a revelation of the Qu’ran
October 22, 2006:
— New Moon 11:14 AM, EDT. Dr. Willix’s next new moon ceremony will be at QUIET WATERS PARK, date and time to be advised.
— Start of Interfaith Week
October 23, 2006:
— Sun enters Scorpio
October 24, 2006:
— National Oriental Medicine day
October 28, 2006:
— St’ Jude day. Patron of hopeless and impossible cases.
— Celtic Tree Month of Reed begins
October 29, 2006:
— Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 am
October 30, 2006:
— Chinese: Festival of Hungry Ghosts, Chung Yuan, Large paper bpats are burnt at temples to help spirits on their way
October 31. 2006:
— Wiccan: Samhain, last harvest festival and celebration of ancestors.
Wearing dark blue protects your emotions and discourages unwanted personal comments.