It has been silent here for quite some time because I had a lot of personal and medical issues and I had a mini-holiday at my grandparents' too. She lives in the middle of the only real forest in the Netherlands - a beautiful place, and great to rest, get away from the busy city life and enjoy autumn! I'll post something about the stay itself later!
It was about one and a half week before Samhain but it was the ideal place to celebrate, so that's what I did. I'm going to attend a group celebration this Sunday but for me, last week was my 'real' Samhain, or, the Pagan new year.
I started out with a long walk at dawn, taking my camera and tripod to take some pictures in the woods, to experiment with them later. I found a lovely double tree with beautiful fungi on them. It reminded me of some kind of portal to the spirit world. As some of you might know, Samhain is the time that the spirit world merges with ours. I could not resist to take some pictures. I tried different edits too.
On my walk I was also looking out for a nice spot to carry out my personal ritual. After about an hour of walking I found the most beautiful flat tree stump, with its roots still firmly in the ground. It was perfect!
I laid out my circle and started collecting some 'treasures' I found around the stump, to put in my ceremonial bowl; some moss, twigs, mushrooms and leaves. All beautiful, just as the forest around me!
I started out with a meditation and a thank you. This year has started out quite horribly due to the massive winter depression I had last winter, but I think I have never experienced as much personal growth as I had the past year. I am grateful for so many things!
Due to the practice of dressing up for Samhain I wore a wig for the ceremony. It was so early in the morning on a Monday so I was all alone and loved it! I had the opportunity to dance and sing and do anything I wanted without the restrictions of people watching you (which always makes me uncomfortable).
At the end of the ceremony the sun came through the clouds and it was utterly perfect. I think I stayed there for hours (I lost my track of time!), enjoying and celebrating life, the end of the beautiful summer and preparing for the upcoming winter.
Winter will probably again pose for lots of difficulties as I have a hard time with winter depressions. I'm going to do my best to stay positive and spend lots of time with my family and friends. I hope they can bring back the light in my life when winter takes it away.
When I left I laid out the treasures I collected in a small circle and left it at the stump, as a reminder of the best ceremony I ever had. I hope I can visit my grandparents again soon!