Halloween or Samhain marks the transition from Autumn to Winter and the transition from Water to Earth on the Medicine wheel.
It’s a time of moving from persevering and reflecting to ending and a transition point.
A TRANSITION POINT
In shamanism and animism, there is a particular interest in transitions, in the “betwixt and between” places, the cracks between the worlds. This is where the really interesting stuff can happen, where the veil between the physical and non-physical realms is at its thinnest.
DIRECTION: from West to North
SEASON: from Autumn to Winter
TIME OF DAY: from afternoon (9pm) to night
TIMELINE: from being in the past to timeless
CHAKRAS: from sacral chakra to base chakra
PLANT CYCLE: from fruits to seeds, bulbs and roots
ANIMALS: from water animals to herbivores
SENSES: from taste to smell
STAGES OF LIFE: from adulthood to eldership
HUMAN: from emotions to body
CHALLENGING EMOTIONS: from resentments/regrets to fear
ACTION: from perserverance & reflection to completion
LEARNING CYCLES: from reflection to conclusion
CONNECTING TO THE TIME OF YEAR
As the season approaches Samhain, Nature tells a compelling story of winter’s approach.
- Deciduous trees cast off their leaves in a grand finale of colour.
- Birds, like swallows and geese, embark on long, determined migrations to milder climes.
- Bears, hedgehogs, and bats settle in for winter slumber, conserving precious energy.
- Squirrels and chipmunks dash to and fro, diligently gathering and stashing nuts for the lean months ahead.
- Insects, amphibians, and reptiles, too, retreat into a dormant state.
- The fallen leaves blanket the ground, promising nourishment for future growth.
- Chilled winds announce frosty mornings and prompt a shift in animal behaviour as they adapt to the changing environment.
There’s still plenty of opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. Whether it’s a walk among the colourful fall leaves, mushroom or chestnut foraging, preparing the garden for winter, or stargazing in the autumn’s crisp air, there are plenty of ways to acknowledge autumn’s gifts. From it, we can draw strength and inspiration, much like a river carving its path through the earth, prompting us to question what we need to shed and release in our life journey.
At Samhain, you can benefit by doing these journeys:
- Letting Go: This can involve journeying to ask for healing to release specific burdens or just immersing yourself in the overarching theme of letting go that characterizes this time of year.
- Ancestral Healing: If you are familiar with ancestral healing practices, Samhain is a good time to work with that energy. Delving into your ancestral roots and addressing any unresolved issues can be especially meaningful.
- Connecting with Healthy Ancestors: While healing our ancestral roots can result in profound well-being, an even more potent form of healing emerges when we connect with our Ancestors – healthy, wise and compassionate Ancestors of the Lower-World, rather than our individual ancestors. This connection allows us to connect to the healthy template of what it means to be Human at its core and learn to live in the right relationship from the source. You find Ancestors in the Lower-World by meeting your Tribe and working with Elders, Adults and Children. Learning how to do that is a part of the Wild Soul Course, starting on November 4th.
- Dissolvings. Although Halloween marks a transition to Winter, we are not there yet! Autumn is connected to the Water element, so you can still significantly benefit from dissolvings.
- Also, journey and be Autumn – be Plants and trees shedding their leaves, be Swallow or Goose preparing to travel to warmer regions for the winter, be Squirrel collecting and storing nuts for the coming winter. Remember, from an animist perspective, Nature is our greatest teacher and healer. Do all you can shamanically to immerse yourself in it.
WHERE DO WE GET STUCK?
THE POWER OF LETTING GO
If, during the Autumn Equinox, we focused on water’s quality of reflection and persistence, we now shift our attention to another facet of water: the art of letting go and bringing things to completion. We are moving towards simply “being” rather than constantly “doing”.
Samhain encourages us to reflect on our goals for the year:
- What has proven effective, and what hasn’t?
- What can we harvest from our efforts, and what should we release?
- Acknowledging that some endeavours no longer serve us, what should we let go of?
OUR PROBLEM WITH ENDINGS
Dealing with resolving unresolved issues and letting go of things brings up issues around grief and endings. We live in a culture where most people have problems with endings.
Some common patterns:
• Hanging on (not ending!).
• Pretending that it isn’t really an ending.
• Creating a drama or crisis, they can leave saying: I never liked those people in any case sort of thing
• Pushing the other person away (so they reject you).
• Focusing on the future and the new beginning.
• Not allowing the full range of feelings because of introjects about what one ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ feel. Not actually accepting the feelings that really are there.
• Not really having committed in the first place. To avoid making any attachments in the first place.
Good endings are:
• Not rushed or avoided.
• An actual ending! Fully resolved and disentangled from. No hanging on.
• Done with honest appraisal and assessment (including self-assessment)and by facing the truth of things as they really were and are.
• Fully felt and processed. All feelings are allowed, acknowledged and appropriately expressed.
• Done outside of the victim-rescuer-persecutor (drama) triangle. Completed by taking back what is yours and helpful and leaving what is not yours and not helpful. You can’t control; you can’t make other people ending on your terms as well.
• Done with kindness, compassion, and gratitude. This includes self-compassion, kindness, and gratitude towards oneself too.
• Reflected on any useful lessons learnt and taken on board.
• A letting go and surrendering to transformation.
THE FIRST-STEPS INTRODUCTORY COURSE – January 2024
The essential introductory course for anyone wishing to explore this approach.
Dates: January 7th to February 11th, 2024
Course Structure. The course is delivered via:
- Three live sessions on January 7th, January 31st, and February. The live sessions start at 2pm (UK time). The first is 3.5 to 4 hours long, and covers the first two modules (described below). The second and third live sessions are 2 hours long. All are recorded for anyone who is not able to attend them live.
- An additional five pre-recorded modules, delivered by video and accompanying learning materials. These are released at roughly weekly intervals as the course progresses.
- A website discussion forum and (an optional) Signal group, where students can ask questions, discuss topics, share experiences and additional resources, and get support, encouragement, and a sense of community.
- A bonus video, answering students’ questions and offering additional teaching.
AFTER THE FIRST-STEPS – LEARN SHAMANISM AND ANIMISM IN MORE DEPTH
November to December 2023. FINDING YOUR WILD SOUL. A Next-Steps course. Discover practices to connect to your authentic, fully alive, wild and free Lower-World Soul. Learn how to come back to “right-relationship” with your true self, with other humans, and with the Other-Than-Human too. More details here.
January – February 2024: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
March – April 2024: EXPLORING THE LOWER-WORLD
Go deeper still into the practice of Hollowing-Out. Find a truly Lower-World Human Guide, and maybe your Lower-World Human Tribe too. Discover the healing power of the Elemental Transformational Practices, of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.
August – September 2024: DEEPER EXPLORATIONS IN THE LOWER-WORLD
Learn more vital shamanic techniques and practices. This includes an in-depth exploration of shamanic Extractions, De-possessions, Disentanglings, Expansions and Just-Being practices.
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