Experiencing Samhain 10/30/2013

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Experiencing Samhain 10/30/2013

Now we’re at Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. Day of the Dead. All Saint’s Day. Or, for those of us with pagan in our blood, Samhain (pronounced sow-EEN). This is an important day, whether it is celebrated as a holiday or a holy day.

This is the time of the year when the Veil is thin, allowing us physical mortals to commune with non-physical spirits. As I mentioned in a recent newsletter, the karmic shifting in August and ensuing releasing and adapting in September and October, have taken us into new vibrational territory. As part of the shift, the Veil was lifted, permanently but not completely. We just became more aware of the spiritual vibration in ways we hadn’t before.

And Samhain is going to continue doing what it always has – temporarily lifting the Veil even further. Which means for a short time, we will be experiencing spiritual energy, i.e. ghosts and the like, in an extreme way. And without knowing what to expect or how to deal with it – or how to take advantage of it – that can be scary.

The simplest experience is having a fleeting encounter with something that “isn’t there”. As in hearing a sound that has no physical reason for happening (something falling off a shelf when it hasn’t, or crying when no one else is home). Or seeing more white or blue balls of light than usual, mostly out of direct line of vision, as out of the corner of the eye. Or feeling a light touch on your skin like a feather being run across your arm. Or a touch on the shoulder or head as if someone put a hand on you.

The energies are just wanting to let you know they’re there. They’ve always been there. But now, as we become refined in our physical vibration, we’re able to be closer to their spiritual vibration and can detect it more clearly. Children under seven and animals can detect this energy naturally. No matter what the acceptable teaching is in society regarding the non-reality of ghosts, until a child is seven they are still very much connected to the whole world, not just our physical awareness of it. Animals never lose that sense. It’s part of their survival skill and what makes them stare beyond you or over your head when you’re quietly watching tv or in bed.

Also be aware that spirits love our electronic revolution. They can not only be detected more clearly with digital photography and recordings, they can use our electronics to connect with us. About a month after my father died, I got a call on my cell phone at three a.m. (I don’t get calls at three a.m.). No one was there when I answered. The caller i.d. registered as coming from my cousin in North Carolina. When I called her immediately thinking something was wrong, she told me she’d never made that call. It showed up on my phone but not on hers. I realized it was my father letting me know he was ok. My cousin and I reconnected at his funeral after not seeing each other since childhood. She was the sign he used so I would know it was him.

Just as a note, the wee hours of the morning, specifically between three and four, is a much easier time for energy to make itself known. It’s a “witching hour”. Energy is so still in that between time after settling from a busy day before gearing up for the next.

With the Veil so thin and the other side ready to communicate, what do we do?

First, honor those you love who have passed. Even if that passing was years or decades ago. Build an altar in their memory, which can be as simple or elaborate as you care to make it.

When our group celebrates Samhain, we create an inner circle by surrounding our firepit with dead flowers. In that space between the fire and the flowers we place altars of remembrance – a tray or cloth with pictures, personal items, gifts we received from them, favorite food and/or drink – anything that honors our loved ones. Within the ritual, we each speak of that loved one, a favorite memory or story or joke or moment. We also read aloud our own lists of others we want to remember while we drum and chant in their honor.

Any kind of ritual will help utilize the energy. This can translate to simply placing a picture of a loved one in a special place from October 31st to November 3rd with votive candles around it. Take time each day to speak to that person as if he or she was in front of you, or at least could hear you. Say a prayer in gratitude for them being in your life. Chant to or for them. Meditate to open yourself up to hearing what messages they might want to give you. In short, consciously honor them.

Know that with all the emotionally charged energy we’ve got going on now, and the push to release completed karmic contracts, we may be overwhelmed with grief or sorrow, even if the person has been gone for a long time. Love and connection doesn’t stop in death. Sometimes they can be even stronger.

Fire is a great indicator of communication with the other side. Light a candle in the quiet of night. Get yourself into a calm and centered place through measured breathing. Put a sphere of protection around yourself by imagining being surrounded by white light. Call to the spirit of someone you wish to commune with. Try to recall that individual with all of your senses – what he or she looked like, sounded like, smelled like, felt like, tasted like (if that is appropriate).

When you feel a connection without judging it (that’s important), talk to the individual and wait for answers by watching the flame. Spiritual energy can move fire almost as easily as it can make a cell phone call. Listen with your whole body, not just your ears. You may feel the communication as a tightening of your gut or chest, or just “know” the answer rather than hear words. Have patience and know they are not hard to reach, we just have to get out of our own way to listen.

Another way to connect and get messages is to call to a loved one when you’re in bed right before you go to sleep. Don’t worry if you don’t feel them as clearly as you would while doing the candle work. They’re still there. Ask them something you’d like to know, or for them to show you a sign, or for them to teach you how to communicate with them better, or how to know they’re there. Thank them and let yourself sleep.

The answers will come, whether in a dream (which may not come that night), or in your own thoughts. Rarely will someone unskilled in communicating with the other side start hearing the voices of the dead. The goal of these spirits is not to frighten, but sudden unexpected communication from a disembodied entity can do that. A lot of energies send messages that may seem to be a new thought in your own voice coming out of the blue. We’re not so freaked out getting the information that way.

Be aware also that they might not know how they come across to you (whether they’re clear or not), nor are they always aware how you receive their connection. If you’re not used to opening yourself up to this kind of communication, it can be unsettling when it comes. Let them know if they need to soft-pedal it or reach you in a different way. When souls get to the other side, especially after they’ve been there for a while, many lose the subtleties of being physical and can come on too strong without knowing it. Let them know and they will adjust.

If you call on someone and suddenly feel afraid, try to be aware if this is fear of the unknown because you’re not used to this connection or fear because something unpleasant has showed up. If it is the latter, simply ask “Why are you here? What do you want?” If the energy is not directly connected to you and came simply because your light was a beacon, that will send them on your way a lot better than the confrontational “Go away” or “You are banished from this space.” No need to be mean. If they have no answers for those two questions, they know they’re in the wrong place and will move on.

You can also communicate via a written letter. Use special paper, i.e. special to you, to hand write what you want to tell them or what you would like from them. Put it in an envelope and address it to them (their name is enough). Put it on an altar or in a sacred space from October 31st to November 3rd. If you have a crystal ball, put the sphere on top of the letter to focus the communication better. If you have a scrying mirror, put the letter in front or on top of it to do the same thing. On the evening of November 3rd, burn the letter and the message will find the addressee.

Even though the atmosphere during this time can be eerie, mysterious and scary, it’s really just different than what we’re used to. But the connection Samhain brings is going to be with us on a more regular basis. Getting used to it, using it to open lines of communication, even if just to know someone is watching over you, is what it’s all about. Also know that there is a non-interference clause on the other side for your own karmic development. If you need help, be clear in asking for it. Many energies will not help you if you don’t ask.

Much luck to you on your endeavors. I would love to hear how the opportunities of this time present themselves to you.

With love and gratitude….

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