Happy Samhain and happy Halloween!
My original Samhain plans ended up being tossed around a bit, so this year it seems I'll be doing the bulk of my Samhain celebrating tomorrow and the day after. Which actually works out well for me, because it will coincide nicely with my regular lunar rituals for the last day of the cycle and the new moon, which have a very nice overlap in symbolism. Isn't it nice when disruptions end up working out?
Still, I was able to celebrate a bit last night as well. Yesterday it rained most of the evening, but stopped around midnight - it was foggy, warmer than it had been earlier in the day, and everything smelled damp and earthy. Perfect atmosphere for a small Samhain ritual. First I went to the edge of the woods and just spent some time meditating. Then I left some simple offerings for the spirits - flat bread, eggs, and apples.
I also ended up doing a little spontaneous working. I'm sure many are familiar with the basic concept of this working - you list negative things you don't want in your life, things that are holding you back, bad habits, and so on, then you burn the list and picture these things being removed from your life. This time of year is traditionally the time to cull the herds, the time to let things go, and of course has associations with death and release, so I thought it would be a perfect little working which would utilize those energies of this season.
I expected the real benefit of this working to come in the actual listing of what's holding me back, and to an extent that was helpful. There were no surprises on the list, but it was good to actually write these things down, to really see them and acknowledge them.
However, the surprise of the ritual was when I actually went back out to burn the paper. I felt like I received two clear messages from Westya (who is personified in flame), who I'd never really felt anything so clearly from before. Until now, our relationship was very quiet - a mutual sort of I'll remember and honor you, and you'll gift your blessings to my home, and that was it. But during the working, I felt she gave me two messages... First, that it's going to be hard work. Change is coming, and it's going to be hard, it might be a painful process, and to remember that I asked for it when that time comes. Not that unexpected of a message, really, it made sense. The second message, though, was that it was all going to be alright. That if I put my faith in my foundation (my deities and core/daily practices), I would get through the change, and that she is taking an active role in this, but likely in an unexpected way, and she will burn through my obstacles as long as I am willing to put the work in. The other deities I work with will be there to, but that in this I should look to her first.
Honestly, for such a small ritual, I couldn't have asked for more, and I was not expecting anything like that. Simple rituals can still have big impacts.