Michelle Lewis, The Blessings Butterfly
A Samhain Blessing
“May you take comfort in your darkness, Peace in your rest, and Joy in the memory of your ancestors.“
Samhain is an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival to celebrate the end of the summer, the final harvest before winter sets in. It is traditionally marked by bonfires, and corresponds with a time of honoring the spirits of the dead. Rituals may include a dancing, feasting, nature walks, ancestral altars, and/or a silent supper to remember loved ones who have passed beyond the veil of the living.
For those in the Northern Hemisphere, October 31 marks the start of Samhain (which can be tricky to pronounce- “Sow [like cow] In” or “Soh Een” or if you really want to honor the Gaelic then “shav nah” [if you’re male] or “hav nah” [if you’re female]… all are actually correct though people will gladly fight you tooth and nail that only theirs is right). There is even some debate about which day Samhain actually begins, depending on which calendar you are using: October 25, October 31, or even November 7. Whichever date you choose, surely you will celebrate in ways that are most meaningful to you.
For those who consider themselves witchy, it is also one of our favorite holy days. In fact, this whole season is a powerful time of deepening our magickal practice, honoring our ancestors and connecting with the spiritual realms, as well as addressing the natural cycle of life & death.
Now, to create a simple meditation for you all, I simply invite you to focus lovingly on the 3 things we humans tend to avoid because they make us so emotionally uncomfortable: darkness, rest, and death.
There is truly nothing inherently wrong or bad in any one of these. They are simply facets of each and every life. To begin this meditation, find yourself a comfortable position. Now with eyes closed, take in three deep, cleansing breaths with your hands on your chest, slowly releasing each breath. Open your eyes when you are ready.
As the wheel of the year turns and the seasons change from Fall to Winter, we enter the darker half of the year. We can face the darkness inside us and learn to understand, even love it as an integral part of our being. Not our ruler, and not our scapegoat, but a valuable teacher that has important lessons for us and will make us better people capable of healing deep wounds of the soul.
We say we crave rest, but really… How actively do you avoid rest? How often do you find you are pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion? Always grinding, always scrolling, always consuming… never letting your mind or body just… rest. What if you gave yourself permission to pause, to exhale, to look around and just BE? What would an hour of peace feel like? Can you invite in more rest? Commit yourself to accepting more rest today and again tomorrow.
Death is the big one that we tend to fear, isn’t it? And yet it is simply the end of this life. Death brings up so many complex emotions in us, and I don’t advise bypassing them. Instead, explore them. Journal about them. Take an objective view of the feelings that come up, and use that information to infuse the life you still have with deep, delirious Joy. Offer a loving memorial to your ancestors. Express your gratitude for who they were, and who you are. Trust that as they watch over you from beyond the veil, they are deeply proud of you.
Did you find this meditation helpful? Feel free to share it.