"But the night is Hallowe'en, lady,
The morn is Hallowday;
Then win me, win me, and ye will,
For weel I wot ye may.
"Just at the mirk and midnight hour
The fairy folk will ride.
And they that wad their true-love win,
At Miles Cross they maun bide."
--Ballad of Tam Lin.
Some would say that Friday's party was a flop, and perhaps it was, but for me it was a chance to lose my everyday persona and have a little fun. It's a different clientele from the other years, not as fun-loving. Not only was I the only one in Halloween garb, but many of the clients left after the meeting...before the festivities even began. Of those that did stay, there were few that participated in the fun and games...apple bobbing , karaoke...instead they sat around and watched with bored expressions , but those that did had a great time with a lot of laughter. I guess many of them, growing up in the inner city, haven't really had the chance to have this type of clean and sober fun...so they just didn't know how to act.
I did want to share something with you; it has to do with one of my clients who came in in crisis. Now, it's not funny that a client was in crisis, of course, but I want you to picture the following...Client's wife puts him out. The marriage has been ending for awhile now, but it's reached the point of no return. Client comes in to meet with his counselor, and he is pouring his heart out to her. Now, picture me on the other side of the table....long straight black wig with white streaks, witch hat, small rimmed glasses on the end of my nose, dark red blushed circles on cheeks, and blackened eyes. He's talking, and I am listening, and all is serious. Now, looking back on it, it was a scene straight out of a comedy show. Thankfully, I did manage to place the client in safe and sober housing, or I probably wouldn't be joking about it today.
Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth is slowly dying around us. This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you've gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year. The following is a little banishing spell I do every year...
...Begin by making a list of things that you have to let go of such as resentments, anger, etc. Just think about your life to see what you no longer need, then write down what you find. We're not dealing with resentments such as those you feel if you're just divorced, got you got ripped off, or if you had to leave a job due to harassment. Indeed, these oppressions are not your own making, so you shouldn't be blaming yourself for them....although it IS quite possible that some negativity on your part can be traced to the failed marriage and lost job. What things from the past adversely affect your family's well being and would best be forgiven and forgotten. Choose what you genuinely wish to release. Next, take a piece of yarn, string or cord, visualize each situation clearly...imagining every aspect of it being firmly bound into the knot. Bury the knotted cord where it will be protected from the sun, wind, and rain, and let it rot away.
This is also a time when the veils between the worlds are at their very thinnest, is a time for remembrance and honoring our beloved Ancestors who have passed on into the Otherworld. It is a time of lighting candles in remembrance, of setting extra settings on the table, and pulling up extra chairs around the fires as we invite our loved ones back for the evening to partake of our Samhain supper. A candle may be set in a window to guide them home and offerings of food were left out with the hope that this would make them feel welcomed. Gather together a few photos and other keepsakes of your ancestors and place them on or near your home altar. Set out some offerings of food, drink or valuables to honor the dead. Since I live in another state and traveling is difficult for me at this time, I visit their graves via computer at Find a Grave; there I can place some flowers on their graves and say prayers for them. Talk with your ancestors and bring them up to date about what has happened since they died on the earthly plane.
There is a world in which we dwell,
And yet a world invisible.
And do not think that naught can be
Save only what with eyes ye see:
I tell ye that, this very hour,
Had but your sight a spirit's power,
Ye would be looking, eye to eye,
At a terrific company."
Blessings to you and yours on Samhain. May your day be filled with joy, wonder, and magic.