Day of Sai Thema.
The first time I celebrated Samhain, (I pronounce it the Scottish way.. Sa-ven), here at our family camp, it was to be the most powerful experience of my life. I performed my Esbat outdoors, on the beach, by the lake. My husband had started a near-by campfire for me and then went to wait for me inside the camp.
At the time, I was Wiccan. As I was performing the Esbat and for a long time afterwards, I felt as though I had been completely transported in a way that I became completely unaware of my surroundings because I had become enveloped in the magick of the place. It is something that you can feel, strongly. That inner magick of Nature, that living part of Nature. I was lost in it to the point that almost two hours later, my patient husband let me know that he was absolutely freezing and felt it was time to go back home. The camp had already been winterized and so there was no heat in the house.
When my husband told me that the temperature was below 32 degrees F, I was truly surprised. For the entire two hours that I was outside, all I had on was a very light cloak over a light jersey. I was never even the slightest bit chilly, though it was cold enough to snow. I was comfortably warm the entire time. I had no awareness of the cold. No awareness of my surroundings at all. It was an ecstatic and profoundly intimate experience which has always remained with me.
Last night, during Samhain, I had another very powerful experience. Now, we live at our camp.
I had returned from Trick or Treating with family members. My Feast for the Dead had been spread on our porch table, a candle lighting the way for my ‘Veiled’ loved ones. This time, I remembered to include tea for my aunts and for my grandmother. And, I had just finished the RoS for my ancestors and beloved ones at my home-shrine when I went out to sit by the fire.
As I watched the flames, I was happy to see that it was dark all around my cove because the summer people have left. The lake was still. The air was perfect. I was in a place where Earth, Air, Fire and Water all meet. And, of course, the Spirit of Dea is ever-present. Everything was perfect.
I am always able to sense who comes to my supper feast on Samhain. Last night, as I sat by the fire, I was visited by my dad, two of my aunts and my beloved dog, who has been gone from the Earth for almost two years, now.
I began to realize many things, almost as if everything that was true inside of me was coming to the surface. I began to regain my inner sovereignty, again. And I remembered what I loved.
As I often do, I walked down to the beach and placed both of my hands on the surface of the chilly water. There is a way you can ‘connect’ with the spirit of the lake. And with Water. All else around you fades away. You become one with the lake and you often receive insights. I felt a large stick float by and realized, with sadness, it was a young birch tree from a new grove on our land that a beaver had recently destroyed. (Fifteen trees!). The destruction of these trees had broken our hearts.
As I picked up the stripped trunk, the thought came to me, ‘do not grieve about what it was in the past, appreciate it for what it is, now’. And I realized that though it was no longer living as a tree, it still has value as a strong, sturdy, useful stick. That made me realize that it doesn’t matter what the past, what is important is who we are, now.
After a while, I stood up and spread out my hands before the lake…holding them out the way our priestesses do during our liturgy. When I do this, I am able to feel the very strong vibrations of the lake. Personal ‘visions’ of understanding came to me and I knew that I must remain true to my True Soul Path and to my heart.
And so, I will. This Samhain, I feel like I have been reborn.