Thursday, November 1, 2012

Honoring Something Different This Samhain

It was with a heavy heart that I sat before my altar last night, with images of my beloved New Jersey torn asunder sitting firmly in my mind. While my loved ones are all safe and accounted for (thank the gods), places where so many memories were made were washed out to sea, never to be the same. The places where I spent summers in shore towns, my only family vacation to my beloved beautiful asbury park, the weekends spent in shitty motels right out of high school, birthday weekends, my first fledgling attempts at photography, that damned belly button piercing, trips to Atlanic City with my mom when I was younger, the place I threw a bottle into the ocean with a note to the man I love, with a note of sentiment for the sea to carry to him while he was in another country sorting himself out. Heartbroken, I remembered the places that had cleansed my soul, healed my heart and brought calm and joy to my life numerous times. I felt torn, useless for not being there and not being able to do anything from so far away but donate blood and money.

I very nearly walked away from my altar, candles unlit and nothing said. But I didn't, I couldn't. I turned and lit my candles despite the heaviness in my heart, welcomed the elements and praised Hecate and Hermes. As I did, I felt more energized than I had in days - prickles of pins and needles traveled from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I lit another candle for my homeland, for the memories that are now gone, for the people who lost so much and I let some of it go; left some of it at the end of the Wheel's last cycle and took a step, a little lighter in to the new one. What I have to offer, right now, all that I can do to help - is enough.

Being one who celebrates the people who have passed on in my life on Dia de Los Muertos, I chose to honor the history, dreams, memories and lives lost to that hateful storm. I thanked the far off crippled shoreline for all it had done for me with the last remnants of the water I gathered there under the full moon on my third anniversary. My usual Samhain workings came after. Though tired, I lit a black candle and burned away the things I wish to leave behind in the old year and a white candle to attract the things I wish to call to me in the new one. Finally, I sat with my faerie oracle deck for a while, pulling three cards. I didn't pull a full wheel of the year reading as I normally do; I was too drained to focus well.

Seems I need to be wary of what I hear this coming year; of gossip and messages mangled and mixed. Or is this wee Fae simply bearing my messenger god's greetings to me? Either way, the beginning of this new turn will be heralding in a shift in several of my perspectives, a lot of introspection and deep work and hopefully - an arrival to a place of true renewal and healing.

Blessed Samhain, lovelies.


  1. Blessed Samhain, my dear. My heart is heavy for your losses. Losing a place can by just as difficult as losing a person. Sometimes more so. I'm wrapping up your bruised & battered heart, tight in my arms & filling it with light & warmth & comfort & love.

    I hope you are able to hang onto the energy you felt the other night.

    You're in my thoughts. ^-^


  2. Beautiful, heartfelt post. I'm so sorry for you - losing so much of your past. I'm glad you didn't walk away from your altar, although I understand and I have turned my back several times in the last decade.

    I have been discouraged as we entered this Samhain, and I wondered if I had the energy to "do this." But like you, I did and found great power in the darkness. Faith is a strong energy of itself. I hope you keep it and it gives you strength.

  3. Making the decision to face your altar and get on with the now is a powerful statement in and of itself. Good for you. Wisdom is calling you again and you are heeding the call. For one so young in years you are beautifully aged in soul and this will also serve you well this waiting time.
    Blessings, Oma Linda

  4. Your beautiful altar and the energy surrounding would not allow you to turn your back. Grieving for the loss of all the places dear to was important (is important). You have courage and trusting in the sacred energies will aid in your workings for the New Year. I send you hugs and blessings.

  5. You always pay attention to your soul and your rituals are beautiful. What a time of grieving you and others must feel as you have to stay afloat honoring your memories. I'm sure Hermes and Hecate will be with you as you face the Underworld.

  6. I am so very sorry to you and to all of the souls dealing with so much on the east coast right now. My heart goes out to you all. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful your altar is.

  7. I think that it sounds like you did just the right ritual. Places in our past can take on lives, and when those lives are "lost" it can be just as devastating as losing a person. I hope that things heal in your beloved places, and that they are able to recover some of what they once were, so you can make new memories there. (hugs)

  8. It's a relief that your family is all okay in NJ. While I can only imagine what it must be like to watch the places where you grew up all wiped away in a night, I know that the places of my own childhood now exist only in my memory too. I haven't been back to see, but I know that forty years have been as devastating as a hurricane in many ways. But when I remember those favourite spots, they're still exactly the same as when I was six or ten. And of course I know that all time exists in the present moment, so those places both still exist now and were already gone when I lived there. When you go back to collect more sea water, the shoreline may have changed, but the ocean you dip your bottle into, and the moon that blesses it, will be exactly the same as they were a year ago, or before the Dutch ever landed on the shore, or a century from now. And yet if you fill a second bottle a moment later, it will contain different sea water, and be touched by different moonlight.

    Pulling only three cards instead of a full year's spread was just the right thing to do, I think. The fae have used them to give you a specific message about how to heal your loss and live beyond the horror of this week. You can still do your layout for the year ahead at the end of the calendar year.

    Blessings for you both for the new year!

  9. What a beautiful ritual. We were hit too but not as hard as NJ and NY. I was too exhausted to do anything at all after dealing with that and taking my children out trick or treating, so for the first time in years I didn't even toast, which I usually do. I think it's wonderful that you were able to have your ritual in the midst of your sorrow, and that it uplifted you.

    Even when we feel our worst, the deities are with us. :o)

  10. Also, I've been reading your blog for a long time and it's amazing, so I nominated you for the Sunshine Award.

    The details are here:

    If you aren't into awards, there's no pressure to accept it. Just letting you know your blog is appreciated. :o)

  11. I did not light my Samhain altar until 1 week after Sandy. I was numb and wasn't feeling it. Then, a switch went off and the candles were lit. The Wheel turns for everyone, and then it turns for us individually.

    I love your altar by the way. As always.


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