Preparing for Samhain
Some of you may be thinking I’m a little bit early, some more of you may be thinking, “what on earth is Samhain?”
I best start with answering that question. It’s a Pagan festival that happens on the 31st October and it marks the end of the harvest and beginning of Winter. You will also know it as Hallowe’en.
So now all of you are thinking I’m a little bit early. But I’m not..
One of the things that has affected my life for about 15 years now is chronic depression, sometimes the depressive moods descend unannounced, even sometimes without any obvious cause, but I know that underneath the more random episodes there is an annual cycle of depression.
Every year, unless there are exceptional circumstances, my mood lifts at the end of April and drops at the beginning of November. Or, to put it another way, it lifts after my birthday and drops after Samhain. Every year.
Most likely this is SAD related, as I do find using a SAD lightbox helps a little in the dark winter months. I think it also has a lot to do with the changing seasons, there is something so uplifting about the Spring and so depressing about the start of Winter. All the beautiful golden leaves are vanishing to be replaced by trees stripped bare.
This may be one of the reasons why I was drawn to Paganism so strongly, as my interest in it began around the same time I started to suffer with depression. I felt drawn to a belief system so tied to natures cycles as I knew (subconsciously) I was ruled my them too. Even on a smaller scale the monthly lunar cycle mirrors the menstrual cycle, something which (thanks to the PCOS) has a lot of effect on me too.
As you can imagine, my mood has improved considerably these last weeks. Helped especially by events like getting my diagnosis and joining the plus size community. Normally I’d just enjoy these times and try not to think about the coming Winter.
This year I’m trying something different though, because..
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
But seriously, the wheel of the year keeps turning, and pretending it’s not hasn’t worked for me this far.
What I have become more aware of this year, thanks to watching my husband garden, is that now is as much a time of preparation for the Winter as harvest time is.
Now is when you prepare the earth so that it will give you a good crop to sustain you.
Now is when you sow the seeds of plants you will use to nourish you when the ground is hard and cold.
Mentally this is what I should be doing.
Now I need to take the energy and life that I gain in the Spring and use it to make sure I can keep going through the Winter. I need to, figuratively, sow some seeds.
I can’t stop the turning of the year, but I can start preparing for the harvest. And this Samhain I want to celebrate a bumper harvest of confidence, self love and positivity.
Will you be joining me?