Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
The Dark Half of the Year
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
The Beltaine Storm
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Lughnasadh, The Ritual
Samhain: The Ritual
A Celtic View of Samhain
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
A Summer Solstice Primer
A Story For Autumn
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Ostara Transformation
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
The Samhain Experience
The Theme of Mabon
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Yule and the New Year
Mabon Equinox. Circa September 21st
A Samhain Dance
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The First Yule
Unity During Samhain
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Call of the Crone
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
A Heathen's Approach to the Holidays
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
Ode to Ostara
Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)
From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness
Article ID: 15297
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 727
Times Read: 1,784
RSS Views: 8,980
Author: Maire Durkan [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 23rd. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,784
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter -- bitter, " he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
My coven celebrated Little Yule in a joyous ritual held at my home during which we welcomed two new members. The Yule tree sparkles with ornaments and multi-colored lights, and the house is perfumed with the aroma of holiday baking. The winter solstice and Yule are upon us. With the coming light, three months of shadow work is drawing to a close.
My shadow work began with an icy wake-up call from the Crone on Samhain night when I found myself in my very own bedroom confronted by a messenger dressed in black who tore chunks out of the door to a very real crawl space behind my bed, then told me to "wake up." (See, When the Crones Pay A Visit, You Better Pay Attention)
About a week ago, I performed a chakra cleansing meditation, felt marvelously calm, had a good night’s sleep and took a day trip with my children. When we returned, happy and fresh faced, I ordered Chinese, put my feet up and thought, “Wow—a whole night and day has gone by—without at tap or a nudge.” Later that night, as I boiled water for tea, I decided to open the last fortune cookie. The message inside read, “Before you can see the light, you have to deal with the darkness.” If I’d known what was around the corner, I would have stopped chuckling.
The shadow work that I have been engaged in since Samhain has led me deep into my personal darkness with the ultimate aim of nurturing the light within me. I have meditated, read, journeyed, journaled, and attended illuminating workshops and transformative rituals at Between the Worlds, an interfaith esoteric conference. In The Gates of Yesterday and Tomorrow, a powerful ritual held at the conference, I promised in sacred space to let go of what I didn’t need and to move forward.
I returned from the conference feeling energized and enriched. School’s almost out! Yule is almost here! I’d been working hard! Surely, I’d delved deeply enough, changed enough, moved forward enough. But the shadow work I’d chosen to perform wasn’t finished. I had to demonstrate that I had the strength of will to go beyond my comfort zone and deep clean the house of my spirit. All that work had certainly opened me up for a test that made me dig into my core of my being on many levels. It was a test that I could only pass by casting away self-doubt—it was a test that I almost failed.
Just after Samhain, I’d prayed for fruitful vision quests hardly aware of what was ahead but willing to accept the Crone’s charge to “wake up.” I am not typically a lucid dreamer. Therefore, when I have a dream where I see with clarity, speak with authority, feel the sensation of being pulled from the soles of my feet to the skin of my back, I’m pretty sure that I’m being spiritually PMed.
I walk barefoot through the dingy rooms of a dilapidated Victorian house at the top of a steep barren slope with several narrow sets of dirty, old concrete steps. It is an unpleasant house, upon the drab silent outskirts of a faded disagreeable neighborhood.
The rooms are dim-- the kind of twilight that greets you on a cold, dreary day. I feel squirming underfoot and shudder with revulsion as I realize that I am walking upon tiny mice and insects. Vermin infest every room.
The house is filled with rustling—whispered secrets, scampering, evasions, and shadows. I know that I need to “wake up” and pay attention to details. I want to destroy this infestation because I realize with disgust they infest my house. It may be shabby, dank and inaccessible, the steps to the road may be treacherous and far below—but it is mine nonetheless. I know that it’s my job to clean it. The job is so huge I want to run away, but I can’t. Either I clean house or give up and accept defeat.
I feel a very real physical tug like the pull of tide. My body tingles with energy. The room darkens. Just ahead is swirling pulsing vortex of red light. I know that place is not meant for me—that it’s not a safe place for me. I no more want to enter that vortex than I want to put my hand in an InSinkErator garbage disposal. But this is my opportunity to get rid of all the psychic vermin once and for all. It’s my choice.
Words come to me. I speak them with authority and conviction. I speak from the center of my will and push energy through my solar plexus, “I banish you! Back! Back! Back!” The darkness and vermin resist. I push harder. I feel and see the vermin coalesce and begin to stream away from me into the vortex. I wake and reach for my husband’s warm, anchoring presence. I snort softly.
Of course, what I want and what I need are at odds. If I were a house—I’d want the world to see me as accessible, well kept, and full of cozy warmth. What the Crone has shown me is a structure far from this virtuous vision. My outward self—my conscious effort, and in fact a good deal of who I am and want to be and become, is invested in being this welcoming home.
But the Crone sent me farther inward, to this shadowed structure, to fulfill my promise and evict (if I so willed) pain and burdens that I need no longer carry. After the darkest night, the light waxes—in the heart of the shadows my own compassion and will to move forward create light. As I fall into true sleep, I feel a toddler’s delight in her first steps.
Location: WILMINGTON, Delaware
Other Articles: Maire Durkan has posted 2 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Maire Durkan... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).