Here in Sussex many of the tallest trees are already bare and the leaves of the others are fading from green to gold. If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am a child of Summer and an unashamed Sun worshipper, but Spring and Autumn also hold a place dear in my heart. These are the times of such visible change. The blossoming and greening of the countryside in Spring and the change of return at Autumn are, to me, the moments when Albion is at her most beautiful. It’s Winter that gets me down a bit, but then Winter is filled with parties so it’s not all bad. Also the night sky is at its most clearest, with Orion shining out from the darkness of space. All of the seasons have their own beauty really. I just miss the light evenings and the heat…
From Friday night to late Sunday I spent the weekend in ritual and reflection. Our Grove met in the woods on Friday night and held our own Samhain ritual, then on Saturday I went to speak at an Interfaith meeting held at the Hove Methodist church. The theme of the meeting was Life and Death, and it was held on the 31st October itself. I only had 5 minutes to talk, but filled it as best as I could with information about Samhain, and how many of us Pagans will be spending the coming couple of days. Then on Sunday we were up the hill at the Long Man of Wilmington for the Anderida Gorsedd open Samhain ritual. As the names of those who had passed away were spoken there were tears and the circle was filled with love. The Samhain Gorsedd is always the same each year which creates a sense of the familiar and safety. It is always such an honour to stand with those who are expressing their emotions with such trust. It’s one of the gifts of our community – to be able to openly express grief is important, and sadly not encouraged in the secular world.
It is good to have that time to reflect. But it’s also good to remember that Paganism is a life-affirming path, and that, as with the turning of the Wheel of the Year, the cycle of the seasons, the way that day follows night, and the Moon wanes, then waxes again into her fullness, that life follows death. Energy cannot be destroyed, it can only transform, and this year, more than at any other time, my belief that death is not the end is stronger than ever.
To those who have gone before. Never forgotten. Blessed be.
To those of us here, now, let us always remember to live every moment to the full, and be present. We will all know the truth of what lay ahead one day. Acknowledge that fact, then live.