Samhain: A Time for Reckoning

Happy Hallowe’en!  I hope you’ve been enjoying the fun and trick-or-treating, fun traditions that have emerged from much older, sacred practices.  For the Celts of old, this time of year was a sacred time, marking the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. For many, Samhain*, meaning “Summer’s End”, also is the beginning of the Spiritual New Year.

Halloween and Samhain, often viewed as one and the same, are actually two separate holidays that differ considerably in focus and practice. In contemporary America and elsewhere, Hallowe’en is a secular folk holiday. Samhain, on the other hand, is spiritually observed and includes honoring our ancestors and more recently deceased loved ones.  It is also a time of reckoning, a time to consider the year just passed and celebrate what was good and resolve outstanding debts and grievances.  As the start of the Spiritual New Year, it is also a time for setting your intentions for the year ahead.

In the Spirit of Samhain, I wanted to share with you some possible rituals and exercises to support you in working with the energies of the Season.  These four R’s provide an opportunity to get in harmony with the time of year and embrace more fully the sacredness of the season.

Reflect – Take some time to reflect on yourself and your life over the past year. Review journals, diaries, photographs, your social media (!), and any other notes or records you have created during the past year.  Consider your accomplishments as well as your challenges, the adventures you embarked upon, the travels you undertook, and all the learning and growth that emerged from those experiences.  Reflect, meditate and journal about your year in review. Pause to consider how you have grown and the person you are becoming.

Release – Consider what you may wish to release from the past year.  Maybe there is a relationship or friendship you are ready to let go of.  Maybe there is a job it is time to release?  Maybe there are beliefs or habits that no longer serve you and you are willing to relinquish them?  A great way to do that is to light a bonfire outdoors or kindle flames in a fireplace, write down what you wish to set down, and cast it into the Samhain flames as you imagine it being released.

Resolve – The Celts considered Samhain a time to repay old debts and settle one’s affairs.  Create some time to consider any outstanding debts you may have, financial or otherwise and make a plan to resolve them quickly.   In terms of what you chose to release above, know that you need to also resolve what you are going to do differently going forward.  What new beliefs, habits, activities or people are you resolving to embrace going forwards?  Nature abhors a vacuum, as does the mind!  You must resolve how you are going to replace what you release or the old patterns will re-emerge as sure as night follows day.

Renew – As this is the commencement of the Spiritual New Year, what do you want to create going forwards?  In my coaching programs, I teach how you and I are always creating.  If we continue breathing for another 365 days, we’ll have created another year of life.  You never get to not create!  The only question is whether you are creating your life by design or by default?  In the absence of renewing your vision for the new year, you are destined to create the same experience over and over. So, spend some time renewing your vision for the year ahead. What would you love? In your full spectrum life, embracing your health and well-being, your relationships, your vocation, and your sharing of your time and talent and in terms of having the time and money to fulfill your wishes, what would you love?

It is the best gift you can give yourself, a vision for a life you’d love.  If you would love some support to really craft a vision that lights you up, know that that is my mission in the world to empower you to do that and I’d love to support you now.  Book a complimentary strategy session here and we’ll spend an hour together on Zoom to create your vision for your best life.

*With sincere thanks to my friends John O’Sullivan and Lisa Leahy for reminding us and refreshing our awareness of the historic, cultural and spiritual significance of Celtic traditions and festivals.