Monday, October 30, 2006

Samhain

Tomorrow is the Celtic New Year, where the wheel of the year turns towards the time of inner work and contemplation.

It’s also the time of “Tending the Dead”, a subject I discussed at length in last year’s entries at this time – five nights of tending to different groups of dead in one’s life – ancestors, children, pets, friends, The Lost.

Tomorrow, take time to re-evaluate your life. What do you need to harvest? What do you need to cut away?

Use your favorite oracle to divine the coming year.

My favorite spread to use at this time of year is a two-deck clock face spread. I choose one tarot deck as the “action” deck and the second deck as the “energy” deck. I shuffle both, thinking about the coming year.

For each month, starting with November, I place one card from each deck at a clock face position. Twelve o’clock is November, one o’clock is December, two o’clock is January, etc., all away around the dial. At the center are two more cards, for the 13th lunar month of the year.

Write down each card, marked “action” and “energy”, and, for each month, write an evaluation of what the cards mean together for that month.

Refer to it every month, so you can see what changes in the course of a year. And what does not. It will help point out patterns, both good and bad, in your life.

Now we begin the inward journey. Outdoors, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are moving towards winter. It’s a time to pull inward, let the storms rage outside, and deal with the storms within.

Samhain is the third and final harvest. It’s considered back luck to pick anything from the fields or garden after tomorrow – it brings bad luck, it will turn bad. Anything not harvested by now must be left in the fields for the spirits. So, if there’s any last minute garden work to put your beds to sleep for the winter, do it today and tomorrow.

Remember, there’s a price to pay for the excuse “I’m too busy” when it comes to Spirit.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 5 -- Full Moon: Blood Moon

Tomorrow is October’s full moon. It’s called either the “blood moon” or the “hunter’s moon.” Legend has it that this was the last chance hunters had to stock up for the winter, and this moon lit the way so they could hunt at night.

The moon usually hangs low in the sky, an almost orange-yellow, tinged with red. Whatever the scientific reasons for this are, on another level, it makes sense that the moon allowing bloodshed is shaded with red.

This is the last full moon before Samhain. Samhain itself falls during the first quarter (the new moon is on the 22nd). So, this is the last full moon of this agricultural cycle. Some folklore states the final harvest can be no later than the 11th; others that before Samhain itself is acceptable to harvest. Anything not picked by then must be left in the fields for the spirits. Bringing it into the house and eating it after Samhain brings bad luck and illness.

Tomorrow, think about what you’ve brought to fruition in this cycle. And then think about what you still have to harvest before the end of the month. What needs to lie fallow over the winter, in order to replenish and bloom by spring? What needs to be cut away?