What is happening this year around Samhain for me is interesting and I aim to delve into reflecting on what this means for me at this time.
I feel angry with my ancestors, on one hand, and, on the other, I feel grateful. I find myself in conflict with two clans, it would seem, between family ancestors, my blood relatives and those going back centuries, more unfamiliar, unknown, ancestors of the land and spirit. I feel excited about learning about my connection with the group that goes back centuries and comes from Celtic culture and a faraway land from where I was born. Blood line ancestors, however, feel distant and I clearly recognise anger within and want to abandon any connection with them at this point. I feel sad, but I can’t pretend I am not feeling this.
First association is with my father, who I have become disillusioned with particularly during this year. My long journey of untangling and separating from him took a culminate point this year when he literally ‘fell off’ his pedestal. I held an illusion of him for so long. He represented what I wanted to believe to be true. Ouch. It has been very painful and as a result of that deep psychological work I was left with a void, an empty space, completely and utterly bereft. However, that piece of healing has been needed and I gained a sense of freedom, clearing, opening towards myself and filling the space with what I wanted, not something that had been put upon me. Let’s just say I am glad, but sadness of a loss is there. Perhaps, by default of association I also decided to abandon my direct ancestors from my father’s side? I do feel saddened and almost believing that whatever the relationship was between us all, what I believed was true wasn’t true and this extends towards them all on his side, so confused… perhaps, psychologically this is not so uncommon.
On the other hand, there is this new line of ancestors that stand very strong in my awareness and I have been touched by them in recent years. They feel like teachers and guides from whom I can obtain wisdom of the world and the best way to live compared to being tangled up in often toxic family dynamics. Perhaps, this is it, perhaps, it is a reaction of my ‘imprisonment’ within ancestral lines, which had kept me in a certain position where I felt a prisoner I am now seeking to reject and abandon. Perhaps, it is not a bad thing…
Ultimately I have always sought freedom and independence and just being left alone to feel my way through life. I was never allowed to feel, speak, express or have a way of being chosen by me and I feel rebellious against my ancestral line that kept me submissive to their rules and dynamics. I merely refer to my personal perception here. Doubt any of them would agree. This would explain resentment and not wanting to honour or celebrate that side. Is it bad? I don’t know. Is it good? Possibly. It is confusing, but I am sure things will become clear as I go through the season of reflection and going within.
It tells me just how important psychological and therapeutic work is to the whole growth and development of spirit. Everything is interconnected and if we are to grow further and become conscious we must take care of all aspects of our lives – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Heavy mist descended on the golden landscape making trees stand heavy with leaves hanging still on their branches. It is quiet, frozen, there is no wind and birds settled quietly amongst the foliage as if waiting for a change. The change can be felt in the moist dense white air, which looks like a veil. How timely for Samhain. Its atmospheric covering of the earth brings a sense of mystery, some sadness and stillness, something is to come.
Yesterday I felt like I didn’t know what day it was. It seemed like the day either shouldn’t exist, like it was an extra day, added on to a week, or that we skipped a day somehow. A strange sense of space and time not existing. I also felt like I was floating and had an incredible desire to be silent, still and even amidst noise and chaos of family life I found myself in a quiet state, not wanting to say much. Similar to a sense of peace, but not quite. More a sense of expecting for something to come out of the silence, really listening to what was happening within me and around me, like being here, but not being here. Perhaps, a sense of being in-between the noise and the quiet, down and up, visible and non-visible. It is reflected in this foggy presentation outside today.
Today I feel anger coming through me, a sense of justice is strong. Honour and loyalty are qualities at the forefront of my mind. I reflect on it. These qualities are ancestral in me, I had discovered. They are innate and most precious. They are associated with warriors that fought a long time ago for the freedom of the land. It is all about the land looking back for me and it is all about freedom. Many warriors, clans of men and women that stood together against those imposing restrictions and unfair laws on the land and its people. They fought bravely in many battles over centuries with a sense of honour, reverence for the land, its landscapes and died with deep loyalty and dignity holding no regrets for lives well-lived. I do consider those lives the most valuable, those, who fight for what’s right, for what it is to be free and able to live how we choose. Today, many fight for the same rights, for the environment, protecting our landscape and species. I am one of those warriors in the making, I feel. I have a lot to learn and excited to be on the journey of discovering my role.
Today I honour Cailleach and the landscape that she walked upon and shaped from the beginning of time. She was an old, giant woman with blue skin and huge boulders in her apron. She walked the landscape of Scotland and Ireland protecting its waters and creating rocky mountains by dropping boulders as she walked. She was a protector of deer and would bestow warnings on those disrespecting species and the land. She watched over wells of the land and it has been told that once she forgot to close one and lakes were created as a result. Stunningly beautiful stretches of water, Lochs of Scotland we see today and enjoy their splendour. I am forever grateful to her for creating and protecting the land my soul calls home. I fall at her feet and bow with deep loyalty in my heart and willingness to learn, listen and carry on her lessons through years to come.
There is an ancient site hidden in Glen Lyon, Perthshire, Scotland where to this day a ritual takes place in honour of Cailleach. It is said that this could be the oldest pagan ritual to survive to this day. The stones outside the shrine representing her family are to go back in at this time of the year only to be taken out again in spring. How beautiful and I was struck with love and reverence when I discovered this existed. I vow to visit the place as soon as I can. It is also under threat of having roads built all around it in years to come, which carries a possibility of it disappearing, however, perhaps, many earth warriors will protect it and continue making it a treasure that it is for many generations to come and visit and see. Perhaps, I might be one of those warriors.
This year I contemplated and read up on who ancestors are and how we honour them at the time of Samhain. There are several types. Beloved dead, ancestors of family, land, spirit, culture and history. I found many interesting accounts of what it is like to connect and honour ancestors and it doesn’t always have to be blood relations, but many who lived centuries before us, those that inspire our spiritual path and whose presence runs through our blood every time we are in touch with either a certain place, landscape, song or a ritual.
My other line is with the magical people of this world, the healers, those in deep relationship with nature, plants and animals of the land, rivers, forests and mountains. Wild people living off the land and communing with nature during all its cycles. This is deep within me having come from a line of nature people, who held knowledge of intuition, magic, herbs and forests. Those that knew fairy tales and folk stories and sang songs of ancient origin and held rituals of many kinds. This line of ancestors connects me back to Siberia, Russia, where I was born, but also again to Scotland. There is another site, which I hold in mind today, Maggie Wall Memorial, a monument to witches executed in the 17th century. No one knows how, when and who constructed this monument and who paints letters fresh to stop it from fading. I am glad this exists, I feel touched knowing there are people around, who understand the deep meaning of this, a sense of history misinterpreted and cruel deaths of those, who were essentially healers. I remember them today.
Maggie Wall Memorial
So, this year for the first time I am consciously and knowingly choosing to remember two specific lines of ancestors, those not of blood, but of land and spirit. Their presence I feel strongly, they come as clear images showing me scenes from their lives and battles and those that speak to me through symbols, dreams and imagination to guide me on my path towards even deeper relationship with all I hold dear in my soul.
My ways of celebrating are setting up an altar for Samhain with objects relevant to ancestors I refer to above and Cailleach. Setting up a fire outside and throw some rosemary into it giving thanks to all that came before me and releasing what needs to die at this moment with adding some fallen leaves to the flames. Burning rosemary oil in the house to invite beloved ancestors for protection and guidance for my house and family. Divination with cards and mirrors, as well as, creative journeying to meet my ancestors and receive specific messages they might have for me. For my Siberian roots I reflect on the time of autumn in that land and remember silver birch forests covered in gold and ruby-red. I bring back its smell and feel and look back on all the times I came into contact with that landscape and those around me during those times.
This year I don’t feel death all around, I feel deep and loving connection. I feel life and with that I feel hope. Through death comes life and through life comes death. There is a direct link between one and the other. I feel both. Winter turns into spring and back to winter again cycle by cycle, life by life, we continue on our journey of dying and being re-born.
Connecting with human beings on a soul level is a profoundly intense and transformative experience for an intuitive reader and it is incredibly healing to a person receiving a reading. I have experienced this again and again with many who come to me.
I believe we all want to be seen, heard and guided in a way where our soul is at the centre of all connection. When one sees another on a level, which goes beyond what’s physical, assumed, known and showed and instead one works with what’s not seen or even known to a person it touches a place within us that’s been unseen by many throughout our lives. That place where we are of the divine nature, in our original state of unique inner essence often gets hidden through life challenges, conditioning and environment we live in and intuitive readings can unveil aspects of ourselves that we no longer connect with, but so want to deep down.
It is empowering to a person to hear what they don’t dare to accept, see, remember or recognise within themselves at a given moment and it can shift things profoundly internally, which then manifest in their daily lives.
I can’t think of any better way of relating than to shine a light for another to see their own divine essence, potential and light. Empowerment with unconditional love, acceptance, joy and deep seeing is priceless. It is like helping someone see in the dark and experience their own light. It is ‘soul seeing’. My readings are based on this way of connecting people back to themselves helping everyone love themselves and live their life to its full potential.
This has come up for me this year like never before and several of my friends experienced it too. As predominant signature of 2016 is purifying and cleansing, it is of no surprise that the rise of potent negative energy will be experienced more, as it rises up in and around us from places quite deep. Another factor of the year is a very fast speed of clearing energies, therefore, we feel overwhelm of the fumes we consider negative and more likely to absorb it and experience it. Often this doesn’t belong to us at all. There is this energetic exchange that is happening between clean and ‘not so clean’ while we work towards achieving a state of balance.
Herbal infusions and essential oils might help in times of particular difficulty of shifting what might feel like a ‘curse’ or something quite ‘evil’ that seem to have attached itself to your being. It can be difficult to shift and might take a few days, even weeks.
I had this experience in September this year and turned to oils, herbs, incense burning, Earth digging and Gods for assistance. Depending on where you are and what you are doing the first thing, of course, is to become aware of something feeling not quite right within and around you. Some symptoms might be when you notice that things don’t go right in several areas of your life regardless of your efforts. You don’t feel well physically, experience a foggy head, up and down moods, negative thinking, a feeling of doom, wanting to escape that feeling, as it is very uncomfortable, loss of appetite or increase in appetite, if you tend to self-soothe with food, interrupted sleep and/or nightmares of particularly dark, unfamiliar nature. You feel heavy, hopeless and scared most of the time.
I committed to burning sage for seven days every day particularly asking masculine energy for help, as it holds the vibration of support, protection and courage – all the qualities needed in such cases. I also created and wore essential oils perfume including Frankincense, Lavender and Sage. I consciously started eating well, drinking more water and practice self-compassion and generally spreading kindness from within outwards (this one particularly helped) towards my family and friends. Beware of projecting out at this stage and hold it in your awareness and see it for what it is, something happening around you, which has nothing to do with others. You happened to be a match for a particular energy to attach itself to you, hence you are the one carrying it, e.g. you might have been under stress, your immune system might have been weakened and generally you might have taken your eye off the ball in many areas and became an opening for invasion, so to speak.
Many people report bathing in salts as a good thing to do. I would agree. What I do sometimes is first thing in the morning I go outside and throw a pinch of magic/sea salt (you might have your own blend, which is even better) across my left shoulder. Some also recommend sprinkling salt outside all entrance points of your dwelling.
Crystals that might add to a good effect of clearing the ‘bad’ energy out are black crystals – tourmaline and hematite.
Rituals outside involving digging the earth is one of my favourites. Find a tree you are drawn to, at its roots dig some dirt up and really feel it with your fingers and hands. Earth neutralises energies and transforms it into other things useful.
All of the above works better when used as preventative measures rather than a cure. It is best to practice awareness around your physical and emotional bodies daily and really tuning into yourself for any imbalances that you notice. It is much harder to ‘treat’ once an attack is already in place.
The other day when on my morning woodland walk I felt this beautiful soft inner peace, which felt like a feather against my senses. The air was perfectly still and my surroundings gently soothed every corner of my being. I spent time watching a squirrel collect, carry and eat conker nut, which soothed me even more and transported me into a place within me, which was in connection with everything around me. What a skillful animal. I love being so close to animals and enjoy watching them going about their days. I sat on a tree, which hugged me from all sides like I was in a safe, nurturing womb within a tree and it felt the absolute best place for me to be in that moment. I felt no fear, resistance, anxiety or any pull to do anything else. This feeling is rare and precious and over the years I have become aware of just how precious these moments are when I feel in no hurry to do, feel, think anything or be anything in particular other than present. In that moment, as I was gently running my hands up and down the smooth bark of the beech I was sitting on I saw under my fingers two letter clearly carved in the bark. H M
I became curious what led me to the woods this morning, to this particular place, why I took the left turning rather than right, which I would normally, what pulled me to sit on the tree I was sitting and what might these letters mean? I felt excitement and curiosity stir in me. Not having come up with any immediate links with the letters I decided to free associate and see what comes and here are the words that came up:
Isn’t it wonderful? With each word coming into my awareness I felt I touched on a part of myself, some conscious, some unconscious. Free association is a technique to bring something into consciousness, which one might not be aware of, but something that seeks knowing and wanting to be seen. It is a Freudian technique (see his famous coach in his house in London).
Once you come up with words that should freely flow out of you, you can then begin to unpick their meaning one by one. What does it mean to you, not in general, but to you personally? It is a process of when abstract images, symbols, smells and colours become meaningful and unfold something within that seeks light and attention.
As I went about my day I kept on coming up with more and more words and more meanings associated with each and I somewhat felt lighter, more knowing and in touch with myself. It all made complete sense to me. The tree wanted me to go within in that moment when I was sitting on it, it pulled out codes of what represented my inner world and my sense of self and reflected it back to me.
When invitation comes accept willingly, when a door opens step through it with curiosity, as you never know you might find out valuable information about yourself, which is around to facilitate your growth or simply enrich your life and awareness.
When you seek solitude, peace and comfort in nature and pulled into its surroundings sometimes it might feel rejecting, uncomfortable and not what one would expect. It is easy to project our own dissatisfaction with experience onto trees, weather, ground and woods’ inhabitants even, such as insects or birds. We project even then just like one would do with people and relationships as when something feels uncomfortable it is often natural to direct it into something or someone else. This is an unconscious but a common reaction. However, when we stop and look at what is happening we will see that what is needed is simply staying with emotion in any given moment without throwing it at what is nearest to us. This can happen in nature this process of blaming and dissatisfaction and when this occurs it is a sign there is resistance to being with ourselves. What is it within us that we are afraid to look at? What is it we look to nature to soothe within us? Nature is there to reflect back to us what needs attention. It is there to heal, but also if anything feels particularly yukky it will focus your attention on that very thing and it will manifest in either your projecting out or quickly running back home.
Instead of seeking to escape and hiding I would invite you to stay with it, observe what happens to you in the moment of friction between something within you and something on outside. Observe, feel deep into it and sit with it for as long as needed. Nature will certainly facilitate that process for us with love and attention, with its holding energy of the Earth. Allow it, bleed it out and what better place to do it than amongst trees, birds’ song and stillness of the forest.