The Gates of SAMHAIN

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SAMHAIN: the pagan new year festival of death and rebirth, when the dead are honoured and our place in the cosmic whole remembered.  Across the world so many people feel the call to mark Samhain, whether in formal ceremony or the informal celebrations of Halloween.  More ancient than any religion, this festival has deep roots in our souls, and gives us the chance to connect to them.

The veils are thin, we remember the dead, we make fun of the darkness, we celebrate the shadows and the spooks, we just know this is the witches’ time of year.

The veils are thin and we may pass through them, recall once more the ancient ways

the dance of creation, the rhythm of seasons, the power of moons, the light of the soul

and how the Goddess, through the Wheel of the Year, shows us how to be whole.

In London queer witches will gather on Samhain night at the Oscar Wilde Temple in Clapham to remember our kin, honour our kind, celebrate our power and invoke the hour of our magical return as healers, teachers and soul warriors of the human race, reuniting the worlds, lifting the veils

rediscovering the Way, reinventing it for today

inviting a renewed understanding and experience of the relationship between the living and the dead

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invoking health and balance mentally – emotionally – physically by honouring all parts of ourselves:  Samhain brings a time of endings as we release the summer and old beliefs that no longer serve our wellbeing, and a chance to prepare for the more inward journey of winter

to achieve this we remember the elementals and the spirit world….

Now comes the time of year when the cosmos is inviting us to enter into a deeper relationship with dimensions beyond the physical, to let our belief in our isolated individuality die and take a journey of communion and connection to the higher self and the collective consciousness. If we step through this portal, the Gate of Samhain, we will be ready for the rising fire of the centaur spirit Sagittarius and the journey through Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces months, taking us through to the Spring and giving meaning and depth to our experience of Winter.

Ivy Moon 2018

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The world is full of lies

Humanity seems stuck in darkness

Humanity is destroying the planet

Everything we know must change

Change starts on the inside

Awaken to the miracle

Get over the fear of loss

Awaken to eternity

Divinity lives in you and me.

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The mystical month of the Ivy Moon began on the 9th October 2018 at the Libran New Moon.

In Pagan lore Ivy is said to teach us that restrictions are necessary for us to fully hone our skills, that opposition is a blessing in disguise, that our opponents are actually our teachers. Ivy reminds us to accept and celebrate our life as it is, while taking the long term view and preparing ourselves for times to come. Winter approaches, this is time to boost our health and resilience, to get prepared.

Ivy binds things together as it wanders freely linking trees, but can also form dense thickets that block out the light. Thus Ivy reminds us that death is always present alongside life as we enter the Samhain period where the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest, and the ancestors close.

Ivy is associated with the horned gods Pan and Dionysus and is seen as plant of protection, sexuality, property, healing and faith. The Ivy Moon month is associated also with the lark, the mute swan and the swallow. Goddesses of this time are Artemis, Arianrhod, Ariadne. Ivy’s meanderings represent the soul on its search for light and awareness.

Starting in the Libran Sun Month, the Ivy Moon brings a slower time after the frenetic and challenging energies of the Summer.  A time when, if we slow down enough, we can tune into the subtle realms of elementals and ancestors, whose presence is close as we approach Samhain.  Hinduism celebrates the Divine Feminine at this time of year, with the 9 day Navaratri celebration of Durga. The goddess is seen in Hindu faith as the divine present in creation, known as shakti: alive, moving, fierce and connecting all things.

In 2018 the Ivy Moon comes as Venus, planet of the Goddess of Love, has just begun a 6 week retrograde in the mystical sign of Scorpio, which energy is about to play a huge part in the conclusion to this annum.  All year we have been experiencing the energy of expansive Jupiter in Scorpio – this underlying tension has been exposing shadow elements in society (eg MeToo movement, church scandals etc).  Now as Venus retrogrades in Scorpio and the Sun heads into that sign, the personal and the global are both affected and we might expect some big shifts.

A manifestation of this is the sudden surge of attention in the media to the devastating impact that climate change is going to have on us all, calls for a global effort to change the way we live on this planet.   Even the dismantling of capitalism is being spoken of.  But the issue is that until the mindset of people change, all efforts could be in vain.  What is needed of course is what many of us mystics have been calling for since years – a complete shift in understanding of life and consciousness: the birth of a global culture of Self-Realisation.

During the Autumn, Water is the underlying elemental force, teaching us to flow, to feel, to share, to care.  It is through emotions that we experience our oneness with all life, and compassion is the key to open the human heart.  2018 has been for many an intense year of growth and change – through emotional connections, through compassion for ourselves and each other, we find the strength, resources and confidence to handle the challenges and opportunities still to come.

Samhain is approaching – the Pagan new year when themes of death and rebirth are strong. This is a powerful time to celebrate the Great Mystery of our existence, to open our souls to spirit, love and guidance from the non-physical realms… to open ourselves on the inside to the many layers of light and dark within, journey to our spirit guides and god/goddesses for insight and healing….. and permit any parts of ourselves that are no longer serving our joy and evolution to die. Samhain is the time to celebrate those who have passed out of our world, to open to them in love and feel their continued presence in our lives. This can bring us reassurance, resilience, reflection and respite. Life is eternal, and although we are experiencing it from the perspective of our individual body-minds, we are not those bodies, we are not those beliefs, thoughts, desires and fears. We are life itself. Facing death and overcoming our fear of death is how we get to experience this truth for ourselves, to take it deep inside and become it.

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We human beings are multi-faceted creatures

We have Physical form

We have Instincts and Desires

We have Will, Ego and Personality

And powerful Emotions, blissful to raw and extreme

through emotional trials we gain emotional strength

The Cosmos has given us the gift of Self-Awareness and Self-Expression

We have Spirit, Intuition, Creativity

that can unlock the Divine Core of our Nature

We have the potential to love unconditionally

forgive irresistibly

and hasten the day when the species wakes up

to its Unity and Interdependence with All Creation.

The Soul incarnates to have experiences that enable growth in all these levels of its being