Releasing Magick – Samhain

Here in Colorado, we just got a second snowstorm in October. We only got a few inches but every tree and bush was covered in whiteness. As I drove my oldest to school this morning, surrounded by the whiteness and the cleanness of the snow, I felt a peace settle in my spirit.

I have felt so chaotic for the past few months. I had a little bit of a breather in June, but then it all went to shit again as we shifted in to July and it’s been nonstop since August. As we approach Samhain in just a week, I can feel the spirits stirring around me. October holds a lot of pain for me, but it also holds a lot of hope and goodness. It’s a strange push and pull, happiness and sadness, joy and pain.

I’m leaning in to the peace that Samhain is starting to shift for me. And I’m grateful for that shift. I still feel unresolved on some things, but I know it is merely this moment is not a moving forward moment, it is a time of holding and waiting. As I spoke with a friend about this, it’s that feeling of taking a breath before a dive, but it isn’t time yet to dive into the water. That intake of breath, but not time to release yet.

Samhain is called the Witches’ New Year. It is the beginning of a new cycle around the Wheel of the Year. It is another fire celebration and it is the end of the harvest festivals. For those who are still new to the Wheel of the Year, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) is also known as Halloween. It is also considered one of the Sabbats of the year when the veil is thinnest, Beltane being the second.

That being said, Samhain is the preferred time to specifically honor ancestors, it is time to save and hold space for those who have passed on before and who are ready and willing to give guidance when asked. Samhain is the time to officially put away the last strands of summer and open your arms to the coming darkness of the winter.

With winter already starting to encroach on Colorado, it’s easy to shift into the “winter is coming, the darkness is here” mode. But for everyone else, enjoy the fall leaves, recognize the cycle of life as the trees shed their leaves so they can hibernate for the cold and dark winter. It is time to release and shed anything (and anyone) who is no longer serving you. Whether that be energies that are insisting on dragging you down, or old habits or harmful mindsets you need to break, now is the time to prepare to do that. The most powerful time will be on the 31st as the darkness of night falls.

How to do this? How do you shed and release?

Well, here are a few ideas.

Tarot –

If you are not sure what you need to release or shed, laying out a tarot spread can help you gain clarity and name what needs to be let go of.

This is a helpful tarot spread to get you started with!

Candle/Fire magick –

As we shift towards the darkness of winter and the physical darkness of the shorter days, longer nights, lighting candles is a good way to still hold space for light and breath in your space.

Performing a candle releasing spell would be an easy way to release those heavy things that need to go. As Samhain will be on a wa

Items you need for candle releasing spell:

  • Candle – white
  • piece of paper that will burn easily
  • black ink pen
  • pot or plate to catch the ash of the burning paper or the paper can be burned in

Instructions:

Write down all of the things you’d like to release. These can be anything you feel is not serving you.

Light the candle and recite these words as you light the paper with the candle flame.

“With the burning of this paper I now release what does not serve me. Through releasing this, I am asking in the things that do help me. I now forgive and release everything and everyone from past and present who needs forgiveness and release. I ask for the universe to witness this release. So Mote It Be.”

Sit with the ashes of the paper and allow the candle to burn all the way down. Witness and hold space for this releasing.

Burning Bowl Ritual –

This is an alternative to the candle spell above. Take a few pieces of paper (or however many you need) and write down something you are releasing on each piece of paper. Roll or crumple up the pieces of paper and put them in a fire safe container. You can use the same releasing recitation above for this spell as you light the papers and allow them to burn to ash.

With both of the spells/rituals above, take the ashes from the paper that was burned and either bury them in your backyard far from your house, or flush the ashes down the toilet. Either way, make sure you complete and finish the spellwork.

Moving on to honoring ancestors, there are several ways you can do this.

  1. Tarot reading
  2. Dumb supper
  3. Ancestor altar

I feel like there are so many ancestor tarot spreads out there, I’m not even going to link to one. Use Pinterest or Instagram, or create your own spread! Let your cards and ancestors guide your hands.

With the Dumb Supper, as I have never done this, here are a few links for how to go about creating one. I will say that this can simply be done by setting a place for an ancestor at your table.

Links for Dumb Supper ideas –

https://witchoflupinehollow.com/2018/10/21/honoring-your-ancestry-with-a-samhain-dumb-supper/

https://moodymoons.com/2018/10/21/dumb-supper-what-it-is-how-to-host-one/

Ancestor Altar –

This is fairly straight forward. Creating altar space in your home simply means having a specific spot on a shelf or table that holds respect and honor for whatever the altar. For an ancestor altar, this could look like pictures of your ancestors, items or food they liked or were common from wherever they are from (if you want to go back that far). Whatever you feel is honoring and respecting your ancestors, do that.

I have not done a whole lot of work with deities that are connected to Samhain. I know Persephone is connected, as is Cernunnos. But I still need to do some more research about the deities and their connection before I feel confident writing about it.

I am personally very excited about Samhain this year. I am actually really dressing up for the first time and I cannot wait to show off my costume! I think it is probably going to be way overboard, but I am not sure I care at this point. My spouse and I are attending a witchy halloween party tomorrow and despite the cold right now, I am very much looking forward to it!

Asking For The Return of Moon Blood

Potential Trigger warnings - Menstrual blood, childhood sexual abuse, trauma. 

Two years ago the memories of what had been done to me as a child of the age of 4 came back. It was a few of the most excruciating and clearing months I have ever had. I felt like I had finally gotten all of the pieces of the puzzle that is my life, all while being almost destroyed by layers of shame, guilt, and pain from what had been done to me.

When I received my first cycle at the age of 11, my very very first thought at seeing blood in my underwear was “not again.”

Sit with that.

An 11 year old girl, the oldest and first child in her family to get a moon cycle, and that’s what she first thought.

“Not again.”

From that moment on, the sight and pain of my cycle arriving always brought terror and horrific nausea and pain. There was nothing “good” about it. Nothing pure, nothing healthy, or releasing.

Seeing that moon blood when we were trying for our first, and seeing it for 20+ months in a row was heartbreaking and depressing.

I used to daydream about never bleeding every again and despite how extremely difficult pregnancy was on my body, both times I carried a child were the best since I didn’t bleed for a blissful 9ish months.

I chose an elective surgical procedure a year ago this month which included my OBGYN burning away the entire lining of my uterus. So I wouldn’t bleed. Because of that childhood trauma, and then being made fun of from the moment my ex-mother found out that I had gotten my first period, removing that physical blood was 100% the right decision.

But.

Things have changed.

Two months after having the endometrial ablation done, I attended an incredible gathering that brought about my {re}initiation into the Pagan. The entire gathering was surrounded by challenging and breaking down the taboos about bleeding and moon blood and creating a beautiful healing perspective on what that blood means. I spent almost the entire time there crying because it was the first time I had ever heard of moon blood being a GOOD thing, a beautiful thing, a releasing thing.

See, the womb holding body is cyclical. As we move through a cycle, we start with a shedding of everything that we drew within ourselves and releasing of any energies that need to leave. Through returning that blood to Gaia, we are completing a cycle of life and death and rebirth. Just as the moon goes through her cycles in the sky, our bodies mimic that rhythm. To honor and acknowledge the power of our moon blood is to return to the ways of old when wisdom flowed freely and our ancestors knew the secrets of releasing and shedding.

I’ve been holding uneasy space for memories of my childhood sexual abuse over the past 3 weeks, and this week in particular is when the memories started fully breaking through 2 years ago. And for the first time I’m asking for that return of my blood so I can fully and deeply release the last memories and pain from my past. I feel the need to really press in to this. My desire is to create a sigil to draw over my womb while I go through a ritual of asking the Dark Goddess for my moon blood’s return. I will post more when I’m deeper in to this asking.

I believe in the power of the Divine Feminine and restoring wholeness. I am remaining open to whatever this return will look like.