30 Days of Samhain: Hecate-The Sorrow of the Mother

Today’s post is the second of three aligned with the Full Moon of today, and the dark moon upcoming. I talked of the Goddess, Hecate’s energy during this season and these three posts offer a meeting at the crossroads with each of her selves and we have already met her as the Maiden at the New Moon on October 19th. Today, we call to the Mother….

 

I call to you at the
Fullness of the Moon.
You who are my child
Of great promise.

I, alone, wait at the moonlit
Crossroads as only a
Mother will do for
Her wayward child.

I stand ready to defend and to
Teach but you must reach out
In embrace of my stern ways.

I wait and there is only the
Flow of my tears that you
Have not yet found your way
Back to Me.

It is within my womb that
You were quickened
And each step you have taken
On your journey has had my
Mark of unconditional love
Upon it.

I am cloaked in the light
Of a thousand moons and
The reach of my hand
To draw you to me
Shines blood red from
All that I have birthed.

This is the second of three posts about the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. At the time of the New Moon I offered my experience of Her as the Maiden, bursting with the newness of life and vibrancy. I felt my own strength renewed as I ran beside her; youthful and exuberant. That energy has carried me towards this point of the Full Moon, but a deep sorrow has filled me as my own place as a mother has changed. There is a certain joy that permeates everything when your children are younger and they hang on every word, see you as the center of all and love you unconditionally. As they grow and become more self-sufficient the role you had in their lives changes and the relationships you had become memories to be cherished as new ones take shape. The goal when they come into your life is to guide their growth into responsible, self-reliant adults; and when this occurs it is a bittersweet sorrow and joy to experience. Tonight I will seek Hecate’s wisdom and guidance as I sit in meditation and reflect on that goal successfully achieved.

Tonight the Moon is Full in the astrological sign of Aries. This is the first sign of the Great Zodiacal Wheel and I feel the overlay of that thrust towards new beginnings that resonates through me with the same energy left by the Maiden’s hand. Aries is a Fire sign and the intensity of Hecate’s energy as Mother is that of the catalytic fires that quicken in preparation for what will be birthed. Hers is the intensity of a Mother’s love that will traverse the flames of pain and suffering to protect her child. Hers is also the fire of sorrow as the child leaves and the Mother has only memories of a time of nurturing and tending. And so, on this night when all is ripe with its fullest potential and the Fires of Will flame high, I call to Hecate to ease this sorrow of the mother and help me to shine in the radiance of my own quickening.

I hear echoed back to me her response calling me to stand at her crossroads, tell her my story of sorrow and ask of her what I will. I breathe deeply settling into my meditation and see myself standing under the fullness of a moon; the cold chill of wind moving around me and know this is the stirrings of my own anticipation at being in the presence and potency of her energy as the Great Mother. The power of her presence rushes in swirling about me. The energy of youth now tempered Her form takes shape in front of me. Strength and stability are traced in the silhouette of her Being. She is radiant in her fullness and is cloaked in a flowing gown of reds. Hair black as the night sky flows abundantly framing a face of stern gentleness. This is not the Mother who will see past all flaws of her creation. Nor is she the one of judgment whose expectations could never be realized. Eyes radiant and as deep and dark as the waters of creation hold the mysteries of her creative acts and the tests she will issue to all who do not recognize and claim the gifts of their Divine birthright.

She takes my hand and at once I feel small and powerful in its grasp. Palpable life giving energy flows through me. Thoughts of inspired creation flash through my mind. My heart beats clearly and strongly echoing the thunderous crashing of waves against the strong foundation of rock. She loosens her hold and I close my eyes and feel the buoyancy of fluid like waves rocking me gently in their embrace. I sense that these are the waters of my tears and the support is one of healing and renewal. I hear the sounds of children’s voices, mothers speaking words of love and encouragement. The sounds of joy in the first meeting of the newborn child and cries of pain at the loss of a child too soon. These sounds merge and weave in crescendo; crowding around me contracting and expanding as I am carried forward in this birthing rhythm. I breathe deeply and the strong hand of Hecate reaches once again for mine, pulling me from the darkness of this womb and into the fullness and brilliance of moonlight.

I stare into this light, seeking the familiarity of Hecate’s gaze and its brilliance flickers revealing that it is the flaming light from the Mother’s Torch. It is her light that is drawn up into the luminous moon and becomes the downpour that bathes all in its glow. Hecate holds the mystery of its brightness and it is her light that illuminates the journey of all of her children. She stands at the crossroads and with the patience of a mother waits for her lessons to be heeded and her children to claim the power of their true Mother.

The torch of moonlight rains down all about me and I feel the Mother’s mantle enfold my form, lifting my sorrow and opening me to a new way of mothering. I gratefully accept this power of knowing that I am both the place of offering as the mother and receiving as the child a love that holds the gift of creation itself. I am reminded that the Great Mother has been with me at the beginning of my earthly journey and it is into her arms I shall seek refuge and rebirth at my end. I stand in strength and at peace knowing that the sorrow of the mother is in the neglect of the child within that yearns for the Great Mother’s embrace and hear the gentle words, “you are loved”. I offer up gratitude to Hecate and offer vow to her that I will nurture and tend the child that I am; bringing it to its fullest potential in unconditional love. I tell the Goddess that I will seek out her wisdom at the turning of the Waning Moon. I will come to the crossroads and call to Hecate, the Crone.

I breathe into the space of my meditation and am no longer at the crossroads. I have come full circle back to the place of my sitting with a renewed sense of purpose. The air is fresher, my vision is clearer and I know I am not alone. She will wait for me with the patience of the Mother.

Original Post found at:

Womb of Light: The Alchemy of the Goddess
Sage Woman Blogs
Hecate’s Call-The Sorrow of the Mother

 

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30 Days of Samhain:Day Thirty – What Have You Left Behind?

Astrological Samhain
November 7.2019
12:14p.m. (EST)

Waxing Moon in Astrological Pisces

Today is the last post of this series, 30 Days of Samhain and with this ending comes the call to retrace our steps and see what we have left behind from when we started this countdown. Today the waters run deep and astrological Pisces allows for the space of compassion and diving deeply into those intuitive waters that, if we do not resist the pulling of the tides, will carry us to the shores of new beginnings and opportunity for growth.

Throughout these days we have stood in the power of the Dark Goddess, called to the Crone of the Crossroads, Hecate and sought the comfort and wisdom of our beloved ancestors. Now, on this blessed day of astrological Samhain’s potency the wisdom of the cosmos awaits our calling. We, the seeds of cosmic light and our Ancestors, those who stand in the darkened light beyond the veils, weave our magic collaboratively and the wisdom we have retrieved in this awakening will seed the new paths we trod as we move towards the Solstice light.

Take time today to sit quietly and simply reflect on your journey. All that has brought you to this moment. Not just in these past 30 days, but in the course of a year, a lifetime. Think on your beloved ancestors and what part of them has inspired and contributed to who you are. Think on what lessons have been learned and what you have shared in reciprocity.

And, think on what lay discarded on the paths behind you. What has served as compost for new growth and what has gratefully been given for transformation. This is the over-arching work of Samhain. Claiming what is yours, remembering what you laid down in offering and finding your way as you embark on a new journey.

For those of you who follows Hecate’s Path:
These posts were in the first offering of 30-Days. I pulled them this year, since they had been aligned with the lunar timings of New, Full and Waxing moons. This year’s schedule did not align. However, you may use them at any time:

Hecate’s Call: The Maiden
The Longing of the Maiden

Hecate’s Call: The Mother
The Sorrow of the Mother

Hecate’s Call: The Crone
The Silence of the Crone

Final Thoughts:
I hope you have enjoyed these 30 Days and found some things of value for your practice. Aways be mindful that these Sabbats are not isolated events. Each flows one into the other and each becomes a stepping stone of revol(ve)utionary change if we hold their lessons near and dear to our hearts all throughout the year. As the veils close, may the blessings of this season and your ancestors be with you always.

Many blessings on your path…. Robin

Hope you will join me in the countdown tot he Winter Solstice beginning in December:

19 Days of Illuminated Darkness

Read more about astrological Pisces:
Sun in Pisces: Compassion Flows
Pathworking: The Hall of Pisces

 

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30 Days of Samhain: Day Twenty-Nine

Memories

Memories grow from the
Seeds that have been
From a heart filled
With experience.

Memories flow like water
Caressing new growth in
A vessel of flesh and bone
Breathing slowly towards the sun.

Memories stretch and reach
From a pillar of mind and
Heart having become one
In a memory’s making.

Memories grow strong and beautiful
Trees of past and future rising
From the pages of each present
Day’s journaling of the Soul.

These 30 days have been filled with memories. Memories of loved ones no longer in this physical plane. Memories of Samhain celebrations long past. Memories of what called you to this path to begin with. Newly made memories of this year’s promises and inspirations. And, memories of the daily reminder that you are truly Divine in all of your parts.

Tomorrow is our final post:
What Have You Left Behind?

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30 Days of Samhain: Day Twenty-Eight

All Paths Have Led Me to YOU

We stand at just a few days before astrological Samhain. And, as we ride the cresting of this Sabbat’s energies, take note that the days following Samhain are those that will carry you through the darkening and time of deeper introspection culminating with the Winter Solstice.

These are the days of revelation and diving deeply into the veils of mystery and if there is courage enough, choosing a less trod path awakening a sense of curiosity and desire for what “could be”.  There is no right or wrong in the path of your choosing because ultimately all paths lead to the Goddess, in all of Her forms and all of her iterations both as archetypal energy and mantle of transformation.

You may feel that this is a “new” process, and indeed it is to some degree, as we are always evolving and changing, even in the moment. But, it is also the work that has been percolating at times overtly and boiling over needing attention and at other times a slow rising simmer, extracting the most flavor before coming to its fullness.

We have talked a lot during these Samhain musings about standing at the crossroads, which by its very nature infers that there is more than one path of choosing. We have called to the Dark Goddess as Hecate to guide our journey, always mindful that SHE will not chose for us,even when it appears that She is casting us upon a path not of our own choice. What I do wish to impart to you is a practical way of exploring these many paths.

These are just a few of the ways that you can move onto a path of your choosing and take it as far as is fruitful for you:

  • Organically, aligning them with the lunar phases of New, Full and Dark (to clarify, anytime after the 4th Qrt. Moon and just prior to the New Moon). I wold recommend using all three phases for one specific path at a time. There is benefit in seeing to its conclusion, the unfolding of catalytic new energy, ripeness of full energy and the withering away of what is not viable through the dark.
  • Using a Monthly cycle; beginning at the start of the month-Day One- and moving through each day, incrementally working your way further along the path chosen.
  • Using the anti-polar energies of a solar month. Beginning when the Sun transits into the next astrological sign and following through the entirety of the cycle until the next solar transit into the following sign. The approach allows both the Light and Dark to interweave their energies. Each serves its own purpose in holding the space of energy for your explorations.

Be creative and intuitive in your approach. Be mindful that you are the Divine and that all roads ultimately lead back to YOU.

To get you started, I am sharing a live recorded pathworking that was part of the experiential work of the series I just finished teaching-The Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess. It is a brief opportunity to ease into stepping onto a path that leads into the deeper recesses of your being and cultivate the necessary understanding to inform what you desire to reveal and have unfold. The directive with this pathworking is to enter into and cross the threshold with no expectation. To allow what will present to do so and to stand in the presence of the Dark Goddess, knowing your true worth and without hesitation entering the unknown.

Blessings on your journey….

Setting Foot on the Path

You will be directed to Bandcamp for this audio pathworking….

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30 Days of Samhain: Day Twenty-Seven

A Celebration of Astrological Samhain

In past years  our coven has offered our annual open ritual in celebration of astrological Samhain. We journeyed into the otherworld leaving the light behind and saw the reflection of our true self as the Mirror Wraith awakened. Offerings were given to Cerridwen’s Crow and once prepared, each sought the counsel of Cerridwen, Herself. HER Cauldron of Wisdom was opened and time was spent with a chosen beloved and token of their blessing gifted from the Cauldron. We returned to the world of the Living and Light forever transformed.

This ritual was written several years ago and offers another aspect to how Samhain may be celebrated. We use the Goddess, Cerridwen and the myth of Her cauldron of wisdom to journey to pass through the veils and journey to the otherworld seeking wisdom, healing and transformation.

In this ritual we add the energies of the Mirror Wraith and Cerridwen’s Crow personified. The Mirror Wraith embodies the Spirit of the Black Mirror of True Reflection. Each participant stands before the Mirror Wraith and if courageous enough, stares into the reflection presented. In the realm of the otherworld, all is presented in its true form. Death strips away all that we have clung to in life and the false identities that we rely upon as our masks.

Cerridwen’s Crow asks each participant what they will willingly offer up to be consumed before meeting Cerridwen, Herself. In the myth of Cerridwen, Gwion Bach, was entrusted to stir the brew of transformative brilliance, creativity and inspiration that Cerridwen had created for her son. This elixir needed constant tending and stirring for a year and a day. Gwion accidentally spills some of the brew on his finger and blessed with the gifts of great intelligence, flees the wrath of the Goddess.

A pursuit ensues where Cerridwen and Gwion enter into a shapeshifting contest with hopes of Gwion always remaining one step ahead of the Goddess. In the final hours of that pursuit Gwion is eaten  when Cerridwen transforms into a Crow and Gwion foolishly  shapeshifts into an ear of Corn. As is the way with many of these tales, the Goddess becomes pregnant from the seed of the corn and Gwion is reborn into the youth who becomes the great Bard Taliesin; inspiration, creativity and intelligence having won out.

In this ritual, all are Gwion, and the Crow- a direct extension of Cerridwen, Herself, consumes what is illusory in preparation for healing and rebirth in the abode of Cerridwen. The audience with Cerridwen that follows is a personal and private experience with each participant seeking the counsel of the Goddess.

Upon emerging from Cerridwen’s abode the seeker lights a candle of new birth and is now ready to receive the blessing of their chosen deceased beloved; scrying into her cauldron of wisdom and taking a gift from it.

In joy, new found healing and wisdom all that has been learned from this experience is carried into the world of the living. We’ve felt the touch of the Divine and the love of our ancestors, and now we move back into our mundane world having witnessed the beauty of Samhain.

There are many ways we can honor the regenerative nature of Samhain. This is one pantheon we have used, but there are many others that are awaiting our call. Find your own space of calling and then let the creativity of your own inner wisdom guide your way…

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30 Days of Samhain: Day Twenty-Six


Reaching Back to Stand Fully Present in the Future

We’ve past the usually celebrated marker of Samhain on October 31st. and in these last few days of this series we are reaching towards the astrological date of Samhain on November 7th (12:14p.m. EDT).

On the Witch’s Wheel of the Year, the quarter Sabbats are marked by the dates of the Equinoxes and Solstices. These are the fixed astronomical dates and on the dates at the mid-point between each Equinox to Solstice, Solstice to Equinox the cross-quarter Sabbats of Samhain-Imbolc-Beltane and Lammas are celebrated. As it sounds, the true date of these events is the calculation of exact mid-point of days between those quarter dates.

In the case of Samhain and Beltane, what we call “the veils” between the worlds parting moves up and through these astro(nom)logical dates. So, today I would like to offer a perspective of using the energy of the Autumnal Equinox that catalyzed Samhain’s potential and the carrying forward of its energy towards the Winter Solstice.

The Autumnal Equinox held the balance of light and dark in a paused equilibrium. This was an opportunity for synthesis and reset in the scales filling with the energy of the increasing night and the gift of introspective refining. This was considered the second harvest; the culling of what is not viable and the reaping and gathering of what will sustain throughout the Winter months ahead.

As we moved from that day of balance, the night crowded in and the final and last harvest of Samhain became the place of goal. All that is cut down and dies will be reborn again and with the harvest and the reset that occurred at the Equinox, the veils between life and death opened. We celebrate and honor our beloveds who passed beyond the veils and we reap within ourselves what will carry us forward in our efforts of inner reflection and seeking the wisdom that is hidden in the shadows.

As we move from the transformative power of Samhain and begin a journey anew, having in many ways been reborn, we nurture the place of light within feeding and fueling it with our hope and new found wisdom. The Winter Solstice marks the transition from longer nights to longer days; soon to offer the gift of standing in the light and enjoying more of it for our mundane pursuits.

Having sought the wisdom of the ancestors and acknowledging the ever continuing cycles of life and death that although giving the appearance of separation are just different forms of each other’s state of being. This is the potential of our future and more importantly, the blessing of our immortal Spirit that continues well beyond the corporeal form.

So, as we near the astrological date of Samhain, remember to reach back marveling at what you have reaped from an abundant harvest as you stand fully awakened in the power and beauty of your physical presence knowing that the burgeoning light tat will be the brilliance of the winter solstice will guide you towards a divinely created future.

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30 Days of Samhain:Day Twenty-Five

Dia de los Muertos
November 1 – November 2.2019

Today’s post is about a very special celebration of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos. As a culture, we tend to have a very somber and to some degree separated view of death. Of course there is sadness in the loss of a loved one and grief can be overwhelming; but celebrating as an act of joy and reverence honoring that death is another phase in a continuing cycle of life can heal in a way that truly integrates the life that was lived and the life that is left in legacy that is being lived. And, Dia de Los Muertos does that and more….

Linda Stone, co-owner of the restaurant, positions photos on the alter at the Day of the Dead celebration held Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at Casa Borrega. (Dinah Rogers Photo)

At midnight on Nov. 1, Dia de Los Muertos begins. It is a significant day on the Mexican calendar, and a holiday that is widely misunderstood in the United States.

First things first: It has nothing to do with Halloween. It’s a family time, joyful and uplifting, its own celebration. It’s probably too late to put this skull-faced genie back in the bottle, but some Mexican Americans feel it’s disrespectful to wear or celebrate anything to do with Day of the Dead on Halloween, or to incorporate the two. (The upcoming Disney/Pixar movie, “Coco,” which includes a young boy’s journey in the “Land of the Dead,” is set for Oct. 27 release in Mexico but has a deliberately delayed release date of Nov. 22 in the United States for this reason, according to bloggers invited to press events.)

Dia de Los Muertos runs through Nov. 2. It is when the souls of the dead are invited back to reunite with their loved ones in the land of the living. The first night, Nov. 1, is for children who have died, and Nov. 2 is for adults. The holiday affirms that death is part of the cycle of life; it is not to be feared. It is not sad or scary.

Dia de Los Muertos dates back 3,000 years and began with Aztecs honoring of the dead, then evolved after Catholicism arrived in the region. It coincides with the Catholic feast days of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. Families celebrate by visiting ancestors in cemeteries, cleaning tombs, building decorations and picnicking as mariachis stroll around. The magic of the candle-lit, flower-bedecked cemeteries, particularly in Oaxaca, draws tourists from all over the world….

Source: NOLA.com by Judy Walker:
Day of the Dead, a food-filled holiday that has nothing to do with Halloween.”

Marigolds, the flower of the dead, decorate many Dia de Los Muertos altars. The marigold’s scent helps guide the spirits home and represents the fragility of life. (Photo by Judy Walker)

The Voices of Dia de los Muertes 

In San Francisco, California, Martha Rodríguez-Salazar has been working with the San Francisco Symphony for the past 10 years in their annual Día de los Muertos community celebration, which includes music and altars commissioned from different artists.

..The tradition [in Mexico] is you invite people to your house for pan de muerto and then you go to the cemetery. You eat food there, drink tequila or mezcal, and that’s the celebration. You want to leave your door open because a stranger can bring a spirit of your loved one. You never know… 

Juan Castaño, co-founderof Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, moved to New York with his family when he was 22.

“I am a Mexican-American born in the border city in El Paso, Texas. My identity is both Mexican and American. Growing up, I knew about Día de Muertos, but it’s not something my family really did, since it came more from southern Mexico,” he said. “When we moved to New York, I met people from Puebla, and I started learning more.”

When his father passed away, Castaño wanted to do something special, so he decided to make his first altar.

“It was really a beautiful experience…It’s a very personal thing,” he said. “I remember looking at the altar and putting coffee there, because my dad loved coffee. My mom said, ‘No, he would never like it like that — and she took it away and made it piping hot with a little sugar, and the experience created a conversation between us,” said Castaño. Dia de Muertos is very powerful, because you feel peace and a beautiful experience remembering someone and celebrating what they did and who they were.”

The Altars Honoring the Dead

Source: nbcnews.com-Claudia Dechamps
Día de los Muertos Altars: Loving Tribute to Deceased Family, Friends

“The Day of the Dead, remembering loved ones, goes back to Aztec times, los Aztecas, los Toltecs, los Zapotecs,” says Ramírez in his characteristic way of weaving both English and Spanish in his conversations.

The eve of Día de los Muertos, on November 1st, is when the “angelitos” (little angels) or the spirits of children who have passed, descend. November 2nd is when the spirit of the adults follow.

“Los cielos se abren, (the heavens open) and the spirits come down from heaven to be with us and we receive them,” says Ramirez.

The altar “receives” those who have passed with their favorite foods, drinks and even some of their personal belongings.

The construction of an altar starts with a table covered with a white cloth, representing purity. Once that is in place, explains Ramirez, the creation of an altar requires the elements that constitute the universe.

“It is the wind, the water, fire and earth. That is almost the whole universe. That is what it is composed of,” Ramirez says.

The wind is represented with the paper ornaments called “papel picado” since it moves with the wind. The water, according to Ramirez, has a dual meaning.

“Water can be included with a glass of water because the spirits are thirsty when they are coming down. The water can also be seen as cleansing, as a ‘limpia.”

The fire is represented by candles, which also symbolize the lighting of the path for the souls and the burning of copal, a natural resin used as incense.

Other crucial elements in the altar are the marigold flower, or cemasuchil – a bright orange blossom similar to a chrysanthemum symbolizing the sun – and the placement of bread of the dead, or “pan de muerto,” a round baked good with cross bones as decorations. The fruits can either be part of the favorite foods of the deceased though they also symbolize a harvest.

“Sometimes,” says Magdalena Cervantes, “I think you focus on the mourning and the loss and you forget the little things, like the molcajete (a stone mortar and pestle). To me, when you think of grandma, you think of the molcajete.

Expressing love to long departed loved ones, says Ramirez, is exactly the emotion that makes each altar unique. “So, this connects you better with the memories and the spirits and if you really get into it, you can almost feel the presence of your ancestors.”

 

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