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It’s Autumn: Samhuinn approaches

Yesterday, I went to Sintra. I noticed what my body and spirit have been telling me for a while, despite the Summer heat that we have been experiencing during the day: Autumn is here to stay.

The days are already shorter and the trees’ leaves have been dancing on their way to the ground, wearing beautiful tones of orange, gold and red.

At night, the temperatures have been dropping a lot and you can feel the humidity in the air promising rain soon.

But there is something else in the air that makes this time of the year different. Besides the thinning veil to the Otherworld, Autumn invites you to introspection, to focus on Nature’s visible changes that remind us so much of the advanced stages of the human life cycle, to remember and celebrate our Ancestors – those that came before us and that, despite that they have crossed over to the other side of the veil, they created the basis for our existence, for our path, including our spiritual one.

This season allows us to look back, to assess our path, to assess our choices, and it allows for new possibilities, new potential choices for the new cycle ahead.

This season, for its association with the changing cycles, to the change of states (from the Summer dryness to Autumn’s rains), the celebration of those that crossed over and often with reunion with them in so many different cultures, we could infer that this season celebrates the cycle of change and the cycle of life as a whole, looking at death as part of the life cycle and not as the end of it, a taboo that we should never address.

Autumn has the potential to allow us to face our fears. It is not by chance that the Samnhuinn’s masks (that were a protection against evil entities that came from the Otherworld to take the living with them) were adopted by Halloween. And it is not by chance that, between 1995 and 2015, most horror movies were released in October (see link).

However, besides facing our fears, we should all transform that courage into a motor for change, to change within us and in society what no longer serves us and what no longer serves (or never did) the others that we see as different.

Autumn is a season of changes, the best time to face our fears. So let us change, let us face our fears, but let us do it in a positive manner for all.

Otherwise, we won’t be facing our own fears, but losing our sovereignty to those fears. Otherwise, we will not be promoting true change, but only a deterioration of the situation, comparatively to what it was in the beginning of the cycle that is ending.

Face the fear to question yourselves, your statuses and beliefs. Face the fear of leaving your comfort zone, and start seeing the world through the eyes of the other person, under the light of their life experiences. Face the fear of feeling empathy for all living beings, no matter how different they are from you.

Change, and the world will change with you.

 

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Photo taken in Pena Palace (Sintra, Portugal) by yours truly.
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Furry Family

Last night one of my cats crossed to the Otherworld and I am a mess. I take comfort in the fact he is no longer in pain. But still… He died by himself in his box and I was not there with him until the end, as I would have liked to.

Syl
My Syl

I was just reading John Beckett’s most recent blog article and I realised I have lots to learn about the Otherworld. In his most recent visit to Ireland, John and his party came across a Fairy dog that seemed to be guarding the place they were visiting.

Here’s the thing: I am a weird person. I might go the distance to avoid addressing most people. But cats and dogs… I can’t help it! I am drawn to them. You can find me lowering myself to their level, soothingly talking to them, showing them I mean them no harm, and hoping they will come to be an allow me to be friends with them.
Should I have enough money, I would adopt all abandoned animals and give them the love they deserve. That is me.

So, basically, I wouldn’t even notice that the dog John Beckett and his friends met was a Fairy dog. I would only see a beautiful dog I would love to be friends with and that I would adopt given the chance.

Yes, Fair Folk, I am an idiot. But I am an idiot that would protect any animal from getting hurt, even if it meant to risk my own life.

As for my Syl-ly cat, I will always cherish the time I spent with him. And I invited him to visit us whenever possible, and to bring our dog (his adoptive mother), Truska, our other cat, Traquinas, and my long gone dog, PomPom. I love them all. They are part of my Ancestors, family. Because that is what animals are to me: Family.

Syl, Truska and Traquinas
Syl, Truska and Traquinas. PomPom’s photo is not available, unfortunately.
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The Three Worlds

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know by now that I am on the Druid path, that I am an animist and a polytheist following the Celtic Pantheon (The Morrígan and Cernunnos, to be specific), and that I am working on both the Bardic Grade (OBOD) and the Dedicant Path (ADF).

According to both Druidic organisations, the Celtic cosmology defends the existence of 3 worlds, Sea, Land and Sky, where the Sea is the equivalent to the Underworld (the Cauldron of Rebirth, the path to the Blessed Isles), the Land is the equivalent to the Midrealm (the Green Earth, the Cauldron of Bounty, the Dwelling of Many Kins), and the Sky is the equivalent to the Heavens (the Cauldron of Wisdom, the Unchanging Order, and the Place of the Shining Ones).

And this is where I must make a confession: the Three Worlds make absolutely no sense to me.

I believe in two planes: (1) the one we normally experience (the only one the sceptics and atheists believe in), with three realms (or dominions, if you will) – sky, land and sea; and (2) the Otherworld, inhabited by the three Kindred – the Dead, the Nature Spirits/Fair Folk, and the Gods and Goddesses.

I believe these two planes are here and that sometimes the veil lifts, like a mist, a fog that dissipates at certain times and/or places (in-between times such as Samhain, Beltane, and those times that are not day or night such as the break of dawn and the twilight, or in-between spaces such as crossroads and the edge between places – for example, the shoreline or the edge of a forest). John Beckett explains this a lot better than I do in some of his blog (Under the Ancient Oaks) posts.

I am also finding a hard time with the expression “Shining Ones”, perhaps because I first heard about it in the tv series The Ghost Whisperer. But, first, I need to delve further into that and see if it that starts making sense before writing about it.

Sea, Land and Sky. Cabo da Roca, Portugal. Photo taken by the blog's author.
Sea, Land and Sky. Cabo da Roca, Portugal. Photo taken by the blog’s author.
Blog

The three worlds

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know by now that I am on the Druid path, an animist and polytheist following the Celtic Pantheon, and that I am working on both the Bardic Grade (OBOD) and the Dedicant Path (ADF).

According to both Druidic organisations, the Celtic cosmology defends the existence of 3 worlds, Sea, Land and Sky, where the Sea is the equivalent to the Underworld (the Cauldron of Rebirth, the path to the Blessed Isles), the Land is the equivalent to the Midrealm (the Green Earth, the Cauldron of Bounty, the Dwelling of Many Kins), and the Sky is the equivalent to the Heavens (the Cauldron of Wisdom, the Unchanging Order, and the Place of the Shining Ones).

And this is where I must make a confession: the Three Worlds make absolutely no sense to me.

I believe in two planes: (1) the one we normally experience (the only one the sceptics and atheists believe in), with three realms (or dominions, if you will) – sky, land and sea; and (2) the Otherworld, inhabited by the three Kindred – the Dead, the Nature Spirits/Fair Folk, and the Gods and Goddesses.

I believe these two planes are here and that sometimes the veil lifts, like a mist, a fog that dissipates at certain times and/or places (in-between times such as Samhain, Beltane, and those times that are not day or night such as the break of dawn and the twilight, or in-between spaces such as crossroads and the edge between places – for example, the shoreline or the edge of a forest). John Beckett explains this a lot better than I do in some of his blog (Under the Ancient Oaks) posts.

I am also finding a hard time with the expression “Shining Ones”, perhaps because I first heard about it in the tv series The Ghost Whisperer. But, first, I need to delve further into that and see it that starts making sense before writing about it.

Sea, Land and Sky. Cabo da Roca, Portugal. Photo taken by the blog's author.
Sea, Land and Sky. Cabo da Roca, Portugal. Photo taken by the blog’s author.
Blog

I finally did it!

I finally did it! I went ahead with the initiation into the grove of the Bards (OBOD ritual).

I had been postponing it since 2015 – too many years of Catholic ceremonies and rituals. I am slowly getting over that… trauma, for the lack of a better word.

It was not how I envisioned it would be back in 2015. I had pondered of performing it outdoors, in an actual grove, with other Druids.
Instead, I performed it at home, by myself but, in my mind’s vision, I was in a grove with other Druids. I used a tea light candle, a selenite, an amethyst, petrified wood and cinnamon.

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The tea light candle, selenite, petrified wood, amethyst and cinnamon I used for the initiation ritual.

I am a sensitive person. For many people, what I am about to share would sound crazy (and, no, I do not suffer of schizophrenia nor anything like that). Sometimes I can sense those that have moved on to the Otherworld, Ancestors or not.

I was not alone, last night.
At some point, I actually felt as if someone was placing their hand, gently, on my back.

I have never felt so peaceful as I’ve been feeling since yesterday, in spite of life’s current challenges. And I am also more sensitive to the energy flowing around me, even when shielding.
This afternoon, at some point, I felt as if I was floating about two steps above my physical body, and very energised. Not a bad feeling, just different.

Of course, the full moon also contributed to this. The moon affects me, especially during the full moon.

Still, I am glad I chose last night to perform my ritual.

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The moon, tonight.