“Those who have died have never, never left;
The dead are not under the earth.
They are in the rustling trees,
They are in the groaning woods,
They are in the crying grass,
They are in the moaning rocks.
The dead are not under the earth.
Listen more often to things than to beings.
‘Tis the ancestors’ breath
When the fire’s voice is heard,
‘Tis the ancestor’s breath
In the voice of the waters . . .”
—”Breaths” by Birago Diop
All Hallow’s Eve. Hallowmas. Hallowe’en. Samhain. Dia de los Muertos. All Soul’s Day.
Whatever name we give this holy-day, and whatever cultures we draw upon in our celebrations, it all comes down to honoring our Beloved Dead, our ancestors, and the dark, fallow time of the year.
It is the season of the Old One, the Crone, the Cailleach, the Grandmother, the Elder.
Leaves fall. Seeds disperse. Squirrels tuck away provisions for winter. The wooly caterpillar finds a winter home in a bark crevice. Bucks, with their great antlers, are ready to fight other males to win a mate. Leafless trees reveal birds’ nests. Colors that are ablaze in October become the grayed, muted tones of November. The first hard frost ends the summer garden and sends small animals scurrying to their winter homes. Everything in the landscape seems to die, and energy is stored in roots, as all beings withdraw to slumber and dream sweet winter’s dream.
“The challenge of the season initiated by [All Hallow’s Eve] is to enter a place of stillness,” writes Ruth Barrett, “and simply be where you are: not moving forward or backward but being utterly present, suspended in the space between past and future. It is here that we listen to the voices in the crackling fire, rain, and wind. We enter the dark season of the year to dream and remember, before we begin to make our return after Winter Solstice.”
My new e-course, Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices for Hallowmas ~ Samhain ~ All Souls,” starts Sunday October 21st. The last day for the early-bird price is Wednesday October 17th.
The “Gaian Soul Practices for Hallowmas ~ Samhain ~ All Souls” course helps you make room in your daily life for mindful creative expression. You’ll align yourself with the rhythms of nature as you enter the fallow, dreaming time, and honor your Beloved Dead.
Each week, we look at a different motif of the seasonal tide:
Week 1: Honoring Our Beloved Dead (Oct 21 – 27)
Week 2: Celebrating All Hallow’s Eve & All Soul’s Day (Oct 28 – Nov 3)
Week 3: Season of the Crone (Nov 4 – 10)
Week 4: Honoring Our Ancestral Lineage, Healing Ancestral Wounds (Nov 11 – 17)
Week 5: Contemplating End-of-Life & Leaving a Legacy (Nov 18 – 23)
Here’s what a couple of happy participants have said:
“This course was like a breath of fresh air. I looked forward every day to a new discoveries and a new perspective on the great mystery of summer unfolding before me. As a nursing home chaplain, my work was greatly enriched by participating in this mini retreat.” — Lee Andrews
“Thank you so very much for developing and presenting this wonderful course for the seasons. Receiving the daily email with the beautiful photographs and your journal prompts made “getting up and going” a joy each day. I counted the days until Sunday when I would receive and listen to all of the lessons in the weekly sessions. I loved the audio/visual component. I am looking forward to the rest of the year and truly glad that I have enrolled in the program for the whole year.” — Lori Jordan
(Close your eyes and listen . . .)