Samhain comes around as the year turns dark. Every year we get the chance to learn more about death and loss, and so find peace with the vicissitudes of life – by accepting them.
Sometimes it seems that the hurts and wounds we accumulate in life, those we carry from our childhoods and mistakes or unconscious behaviours as adults, will never be dealt with. They show up again and again for healing and clearing, long after we have gone a long way towards understanding and forgiving them and ourselves. This can be very disheartening when after a period of light we enter again into our pain, our dark stuff. But consider this: nature goes through cycles of darkness and light, periods of growth and expansion are balanced by times of withdrawal and death. The annual cycle of the seasons brings times of cleansing, times of dormancy, times of aggression, of creativity, of passion … of everything we humans experience. We are nature – nature with human body and mind – we cannot avoid the cycles, we need to learn to ride the rollercoaster. Which means not being attached to the good bits (so not bemoan their passing) and not afraid of or trying to avoid the hard parts. We are going to experience all of it, that is how we grow. Like nature we are constantly in a state of evolution.
When the cleansing time comes we need something to cleanse. When the healing times comes, if there is something deep to heal, (and there generally is – for if we ever empty our individual load of grief we can start work on the collective wound) we have something powerful which we can offer to the spirit for the purification and upliftment of ourselves and our relations, friends, beloveds and all beings. Wounds can be deep, and take many cycles of the wheel of life to heal, but when we can return to them free of the pain they once induced us to feel they become crucial tools in our evolution as conscious human beings. We learn to journey through them again, but more detached, less crippled by them, and so release them to the wind, and because consciousness is a unity, what we achieve for ourselves benefits the whole.
We cannot transcend the flow of nature’s cycles through us – except in the part of the mind that observes what is going on, which can offer a detached perspective on the flows of emotion, confusion, depression, elation that we journey through. And we can embrace the journey with a positive, welcoming attitude, learn to not resist the more challenging parts of it, realising that nature will take us into our dark places, in them much release, much healing, and much incubation of new light can take place.
We are not perfect beings and we do not need to let our imperfections stand in the way of our access to universal love and spirit. Nature loves us as we are, her cycles remind us it is the interplay of light and dark that makes wholeness. We can aspire to be free of suffering and darkness, but when we are experiencing those aspects of life we need not make them wrong. Focussing on what we create for the future with our powerful thoughts and emotions is more important, the wounds we carry will heal, naturally, if we open to nature’s flow and let her lead us along the way.