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When Death Arrives On Our Doorstep: A Samhain Primer for These Times [podcast]

Posted on:  Nov 13, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Podcasts, Sabbats

Be the sacred witness who honors the stuff of life — the angst, longings, beauty, horror, struggle, and triumphs — as the crucible of our greater becoming.

Photo Credit: Shellyse Szakacs

When Death Arrives On Our Doorstep: A Samhain Primer for These Times

Posted on:  Nov 12, 2016 @ 11:25 Posted in:  Sabbats

Listen to the Podcast.

My friend comes home after an evening of dancing and moving energy with her activist friends.  She’s exhausted from an intense week of community gatherings — first a Samhain ritual in honor of the beloved dead, with so many passing this year and so much collective grief in the air, and now tonight, a passionate, full-embodied group prayer for peace and justice.

Be the sacred witness who honors the stuff of life — the angst, longings, beauty, horror, struggle, and triumphs — as the crucible of our greater becoming.

All of this was a preparation for what awaits her. Death has arrived on her doorstep.

Two four-point bucks, with their antlers impossibly locked, are wound together in a huge piece of seine fishnet. Her car headlights illuminate them in the darkness. She bears sacred witness to these beautiful wild beings, heart wide open and broken, as they thrash violently all over her property for an hour, unable to free themselves.

The bucks are exhausted, terrified. Fortunately she has a friend who is a gentle hunter. When he arrives, he’s able to take clean shots, killing the bucks instantly and saving them from an agonizing death. Strangely, in their dying the second stag lands on the first. In death, the combatants lie serenely on top of each other, like a pair of sleeping cats.

As sacred witness and gentle hunter, these two friends speak to the fallen bucks, pray for them, and mourn their passing.

The image of the bucks and the story I’ve just shared, in the words of my friend, appear in my Facebook feed. I stop what I’m doing, my heart wide open and broken, understanding that these bucks have gifted my friend, our community, this world, with a powerful vision that speaks to the tumultuous change of these times.

I too have been sacred witness this week, at our local Samhain ritual. In this role, I sat veiled and silent, dropped into the deep dream of our magic, watching between the worlds as the names of the dead were spoken, and our community danced a spiral in honor of the blessed newborn.

Here I saw the dead, not just from our community but a thousand souls drawn to our ritual fire, making their crossing in the light of our honoring and love. And as our spiral dance built to a peak of energy, my body became a birthing mama as a thousand newborns passed through me, through our magic, into the world.

Another powerful vision that speaks to these times: a thousand deaths for a thousand births — we are living an epic death-rebirth moment.

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