image - Cristopher McKenney.
Samhain is almost on us, (leaving arguments concerning moon phases versus calendar dates aside, and mentioning that I have been performing rituals for about a week already,) and for the first time in a long time, there is more heavy reverence, somberness, and sadness in the air.
Lessons are salty and sweet, with salt from bitter tears wept at the altar, balanced by the perfumed dew from the rose petals as those tears fall.
Freedom is such a gift, but there is always a cost. Beloved women are taken too soon, leaving an emptiness in their wake but also the torch of their memories burning bright, guiding us to be better.
I have carried pain in my heart too long, and it floods outward, as Samhain twists the path of the labyrinth out before me.
I dream of Hades, of Woods that change and skew my perception, making me ask, "...were their words all lies?" And I wake up aching again, as somber little ghosts flit from my memory, reminding me that really, it no longer matters. I cannot be lied to by them anymore.
The dark half of the Celtic year seems to be arriving with awakening and healing for those with their finger on the witch pulse. Those in sync with the energies feel the pain at every level; both on an intimate personal one, and connecting to the suffering at the world at large. It is hard to not feel it, if you have a heart. Only the willfully ignorant refuse to see.
“...just remember, darling, it is pain that changes our lives.” ― Steve Martin, Shopgirl
Sometimes, walking the path of a Dark Goddess is heart-wrenching, and there aren't really two ways about it. The world teaches us that something is not as it should be through the lessons of pain and sacrifice, and ignoring either of those messengers is inane, and only ends up in further loss. It is a strange time, where most people recognize that a lack of humanity is showing throughout the world, as corrupt officials, politicians, and everyday humans shout slurs and issue threats. Ignoring ones wounds and pretending the world to only be as we wish to see it seems to be a conceit of those with no understanding outside of their own sphere of being. The world, and the people who are suffering, need our aid.
On a personal level, I have stood tall, silent, and watchful as time and again myself, and people I care about, come under attack for a bevy of nonsensical reasons. The wounds of other people rankle them so deeply that they feel the need to attack, and witch-kind make easy targets, I suppose.
I have witnessed first hand a sort of self-obsessed delusion where it becomes all about them without a shred of empathy for other people. It has bordered on the psychopathic on occasion, which isn't a term I like to use; given I think only qualified psychologists ought to be discussing psychology. But the universe has a strange way of making me reconsider my words, after a life time of saying it's best not to label people, and then being put through the ringer by people whose lack of true emotional responses are disturbing.
Truth has been another fight. People deciding what they think they know about me, about my situation, about what I "deserve," hell, even what they think they know about how much money I ought to have after the outpouring of kind donations that saved my life. By the way, it's all tied up in making sure I have a home. So take your insults and fake concern about others and leave.
Ghosts... everywhere. The path is littered with old shadows, old wounds, old troubles, people we used to know and do not any longer, outmoded shades of who we used to be, reminding us of how far we have come and who we are now.
As the week has progressed, I have spent it largely in ritual. I attended a red tent ritual, my first, and connected to sisterhood and support, and heard familiar stories within, many people have felt betrayed right now. I have cleansed, in smoke, in water, in dirt and bone, and I am shedding each layer of grime that has attached itself in times of hardship. I will scrub deep until I am raw, but cleansed, renewed, and ready to start again.
I will not apologise for myself anymore, either. If there is one thing that has come from all of this, it is definitely that sovereignty, that resistance and resilience... remembering who I am at core, who I am becoming, unmaking the binding ties placed on my throat, and singing again, dancing around the kitchen like I used to... finally free.
Many blessings, Starlets
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