The nights are growing long and cold, frost greeting me as I step outside in the morning, a cool-crispness lingering in the air – life seems to be muffled by impending winter here in the Colorado Rockies. As I wonder out into the crystal-dusted pine forests, and down the winding back roads of this rural American paradise I call home, my spirit is kindled by the upcoming recoiling of nature’s grandeur. For all the dwindling color and noise, there is a building of energy, somewhere deep, in the eternal core. I feel it tingling, soft but intent.

The Wheel is Turning

Samhain (31 Oct – 2 Nov) — Irish Gaelic for “summer’s end.” The standard Irish pronunciation is “sow-in” with the “ow” like in “cow.” Other pronunciations that follow with the many Gaelic dialects include “sow-een” “shahvin” “sowin” (with “ow” like in “glow”). The Scots Gaelic spelling is “Samhuin” or “Samhuinn.” There is no linguistic foundation for saying this word “samhane” the way it might look if it were English. When in doubt, just say “Hallows” or even “Hallowe’en.”

NCSU Society for Paganism and Magic

The Celts considered the sunset the start and end of their days, interestingly, Samhain is the equivalent of that for the year in the Northern hemisphere. It is the coming into darkness, the moment we have no choice but to surrender to cold limitations as the light and heat of summer fade and we prepare to reflect and rest – waiting for Spring’s new dawn.

It represents harvest, in fullness of meaning, including that of scarcity, limitations and even death. This time of year brings a natural examination of our preparedness, security and lack. This is why the veil thins, our ancestors come closer then ever and we are called into deeper consideration of ourselves and others.

Our defenses our low, our senses shocked and options limited in the dark and cold night of the year. Paranoia might even set in if we absentmindedly try to resist this change. Yet, there are so many delights to be had as we all become more limited and vulnerable too.

Despite the freedoms, possibilities and independence of summer’s midday heat, come nightfall we all return home to those we love for comfort and warmth. Sometimes those others aren’t “here,” but that makes us no less aware of their influence in our lives; for better or worse.

Death’s Place in the Year, and Life

In the ever-increasing bounty of the modern world, more and more people find themselves surrounded by the comforts of homes, technology and utilities. The reckoning of harvest isn’t as potentially devastating for most of us now, but does that mean it’s lost its meaning? Celebrations like Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos seem to imply otherwise.

“While non-Pagans see death as an ending, some Pagans view it as a beginning of the next phase of our existence. Perhaps it is because we view the cycle of birth and life and death and rebirth as something magical and spiritual, a never-ending, ever turning wheel. Rather than being disconnected from death and dying, we tend to acknowledge it as part of a sacred evolution.”

Patti Wigington | Learn Religions

Paganism has many forms, contains many religions and creeds, and can manifest in an unlimited number of individual faiths. It is more a recognition of one’s own place among the natural order of existence than a prescription of how to recognize or perform that place. It requires one to accept responsibility for their soul, not as separate from the divine, but as an inspired refraction of divine manifestation, therefore intrinsically valuable and powerful.

If practiced authentically, this leads organically to a more contentious, considerate and compassionate life. Pagans often find themselves recognizing the divine souls within many layers of existence beyond humanity, including that of the crystalline frequencies of earth’s diverse mineral bodies and the archetypal symbolism and teachings of creatures from all sorts of realms and dimensions.

Interestingly, these revelations can lead to a romanticism of death, not as an absolution or escape from life, but as a cyclical progression of endless divine expression. It is the point of life in which spirit performs energetic alchemy and remanifests once again in divine glory. Essentially, it becomes clear that death begets life the same way life begets death.

I believe this is why humans feel the inexplicable draw to these holidays, to ancestors and to the other-side. This is why this night that marks the turn of the Wheel and the Pagan New Year is considered Hallows Eve (holy night) and the days that follow devoted to the saints and ancestors. At nightfall we return home for the dinner feast, we celebrate the day’s work, acknowledge the progress made and make note of anything we might try to do better in the morning. At Samhain we recognize the home within us and those who have helped make us, we celebrate the year’s harvest and make note of our reflections. In both instances, we prepare for more stillness and we say our prayers.

Letting the Meaning Resonate

For the Druidic tribes, intervals of cyclical reality both ended and started with natural withdrawal, reflection and rest. They gave themselves a headstart by considering their progress, intentions and preparations long before the beginning of the next day or year. With naturally increased humility, heightened awareness of their necessities as well as honor for those they rely on and learn from, they set their sights on the future from within the endless prowling possibilities of void’s dark dawn.

Let these ancient practices deepen your own connectedness to nature and the rhythms of the earth and cosmos, simply by meditating on these traditions. Truth always has it’s own ways of touching our hearts and affecting our lives. Allow the enchanting depths of this time of year to envelop your heart and mind, reminding you of your own eternal connection to all of existence, your ancestors and the divine.

It’s time. Time to harvest all that has been manifested since the darkest point of the year, 6 months ago. Time to prepare for the gradual turning inward as the days grow shorter for the next 6 months. It is the Summer Solstice here in the Northern hemisphere and on the Wheel of the Year, this is the node which correlates to the Full Moon energy of our monthly lunar cycles/phases.

Subtle but Saturating Significance

It is a time to reap what we have sown, but also a time to start thinking about the preparations we will need to make for the challenges and tribulations of the long, dark nights to come. This is a day of both celebration and commitment, of both looking back as well as forward. It is a chance to review our progress, reflect on our growth, reorient ourselves with our values and reestablish our devotion.

A powerful day indeed. I for one will be participating in full, with both a sunrise ritual to honor the growth and manifestations in my life these past 6 months, as well as a sunset ritual to dedicate myself to purposeful intentions for the next 6 months.

My personal Summer Solstice Rituals plan

Decoding the Signs

Already I’ve noticed something quite spectacular about the timing of my rituals today. There is a numerological theme. Both the time of sunrise and sunset here in my hometown reduce to 13/4.

I absolutely LOVE seeing patterns. I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences so they immediately stand out to me as signs and synchronicities. I also have a soft spot for numerology because it was the first form of divination I was ever called to.

This combination of numbers is potent and powerful. The 13 is a karmic number, and though it can often be met with resistance, it symbolizes great transformational potential. 1 is a number representing independence or the individual, and 3 a number of unbridled creativity – together these numbers can indicate that there is a need for personal manifestation.

13 is a call to come into your strength, revoke the excuses or justifications of your past, and step fully into the purpose of your destiny. I’m sure you can see why some might shy away from it. In its challenge for you to grow, there is an acknowledgment of having obstacles or set backs to overcome. For those unwilling to drop their ignorance and accept responsibility for their mastery, this number is an unwelcome and uncomfortable energy. Yet, for those of us already on our path of optimization, 13 is an accelerator, adding fuel to our already molten burning will to change ourselves and the world.

4 is a beautiful number as well, and not as turbulent as the 13. In fact, to some, 4 can be considered quite dull. It is the number of foundation and order.

Following the 13, I do not see this 4 as boring at all though – in fact, I believe it is just the opposite, especially for Summer Solstice. Just as we are putting to rest the chaotic efforts of the waxing energy of the past 6 months and replacing it with the waining energy of devotion and discipline for our purposeful intentions of the next 6 months, the 4 is following/completing the energy of the 13 in similar fashion. How synchronous indeed.

Enjoying the Magnificence

It is in this bliss of recognition that I begin my day and my observance. What a blessing to feel wrapped up in the divine and cosmic tapestry, in which every thread is meticulously and mindfully woven into place. What peace. What assurance. What appreciation and joy.

It is with this resonance of awe that I begin my rituals today, and it is with this same reverence that I will end my rituals this evening as well. In the blessing of a magickal life, I wish you all the same wonder and enchantments of today, for always.

The deck off of the Heart of Imiloa

View of sunset from the infinity pool at Imiloa’s Bali house

My Geodesic Dome home for the week

The Heart – where food is prepared and served at Imiloa

Imiloa’s House of Masters

Waking up in the dome

Tracks in the cement

The tribe-sized family table

My friend George (was safely released back to the jungle after his visit)

Blooming fungus on the rope rails down to the Sacred Waterfall

The Sacred Waterfall

Jungle bamboo

Ganesha statue

The Apotheosis 4.0 tribe

Had a lovely little hike this evening. There is a little mountain near my house with a winding, switchback trail to the top. The mountain is Bailey Mountain, and aptly looks down upon my little home town of Bailey Colorado.

The song I’m singing was impromptu, inspired by the moment. These are the words if you can’t hear it all:

If life were a dream, what dream would it be, but mine?

If the world were a painting, what colors would you see, besides all of these and the way they combine?

Show me the way to remind myself
Show me the path that leads to home
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Whisper through the silence surrounding us

Use the voices of the trees to summon me

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I need to feel the dirt cover my skin

I need to strip away the rest of things

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Take me to the river and drown me in it

Push me off the cliffs into the clouds

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Surprise me with your knowing of mine

Surprise me with my knowing of yours

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Give me the secrets I’ve already kept

Unlock my spirit’s desire for expanding

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Go the way of forever and always, together

Go the distance that otherwise destroys

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Find me in that river and save me again
Collect my crushed and broken bones
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Show me a mirror and dismantle my lies

Show me a glimmer of love’s truest light