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Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
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The Dark Half of the Year
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Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Yule and the New Year
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Celtic View of Samhain
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The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Witches Lost in Halloween
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
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Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
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Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
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Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
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The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Parting the Veils of Beltane's Quickening
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
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Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
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Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
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The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
Reconsidering a Historical Eostre
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We Want them Back! (A Pagan View of the Holidays)
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Beltane -- Holiday Details and History
You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane
Beltane -- Enlightening Links
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Beltane: Return To Feeling
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
Article ID: 15777
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,538
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Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 30th. 2015
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The Great Wheel has turned once again and the last of the Three Harvests and final turning before the cycle of renewal begins at Yule is at hand. We move from the space of balance exacted at the time of the Autumnal Equinox and once again the scales are reaching deeply into the creative waters. In the Northern Hemisphere, Samhain marks the time when those in the manifest realm and those of non-corporeal form may interact. This is the time of reaching out to our ancestors, seeking the guidance and wisdom of what has experience of past endeavors and making promise to carry this wisdom forward as we enter into the cold of winter.
In the Southern Hemisphere we see a similar parting of the veils, as Beltane becomes the focus of celebration. This is the fertile time of accessing the creative waters that will offer potential for new life to come into manifest form. We call to the beings of the Greater Earth and Gaia Herself as source of quickening. We honor the sacred union of God and Goddess and the fires of origin that will come full bloom at the Summer Solstice. The ripened potential held in this veiling is one of future product and the enlivening of the Greater Earth within and without in the process.
Entering the Darkness
The focus of my Sabbat articles this year has been that of connecting with the place of Light within each marking of another turn of the Great Wheel. Now, having arrived at Samhain’s Gate, the light we have fueled thus far is ready to stand the ultimate test of complete and utter darkness. The symbol of the crossroads is a tool of power that has been used consistently in working to be done at this time of the year and the choice of four paths to journey upon and the trust that is required in stepping into the unknown is one of deep gnosis that the dark holds its own path of light.
This is how I choose to honor Samhain’s openings and the call to the ancestors is one of acknowledgement that they have helped to form the being that I am as I stand at these crossroads. I also ask that this journey be undertaken alone and they always have been receptive, knowing in their wisdom, that this is the true measure of growth. I make conscious effort to align my four paths with specific intent so the work will, be more fruitful in outcome. I still enter with trust and faith not formulating intended outcome, as this is the will of the Goddess. One of my four paths aligns with a silent commitment to being more fully present in all of my endeavors. This is, in large, my antidote to feeling the pall of death and an active reminder that this state of manifest, physical life will follow the natural order of things and return to the finer state of a non corporeal vessel. Another path of intent is to the care and keeping of my physical form. Knowing that I can be most effective when I am vibrant and radiating the light of good health, keeps me in the mindset of seeing my body as a Temple to the Divine. A third path focuses on family and all my interactions with those I align myself with: biological, spiritual and cosmic. And, the fourth is a path of the Higher Self and a call to knowing this aspect in all of its forms and being adaptable to the changes that evolve as I seek my place of greater wisdom.
The energy of this Sabbat could be equated with that of Night in the Solar Cycle. The air has a distinct chill and darkness settles in sooner as we hurry indoors towards hearth, home and light. In the physical world the stores that we have prepared from previous harvests will sustain should the weather or illness keep us indoors. With physical needs considered what is left to be harvested is what lay within our own being. Introspection and time for contemplation as we dream by warm fires produce the last scrutiny of what will be saved and what will be cut away in release.
All of those things that go bump in the night and frighten away our resolve and courage now have full rein to slip into imaginative scenarios that hold us prisoner in the dark. And, what is ultimately revealed is that the choices are many as to how we proceed in these dark spaces and we always find ourselves at the crossroads when the time is at hand. Those “things” that we fear the most have no more power in our lives than what we choose to allow them. And, most often when we turn up the flaming light of our Divine nature, they dissolve as dust, not able to withstand the heat.
I used the Hermit as the illuminator of the way at the time of the Autumnal Equinox. His was offer of a space of respite and time to move inward in contemplation and foster communication with the Higher Self. His Lantern carried the spark of the Divine flame that is the light shining eternally within our being and within this inner scape of muted light and silence we answered the call of accountability for how we would proceed and what resolve of purpose would fuel this inner flame as Samhain’s darkness approached.
The Dark Goddess
Now the air is thick and heavy with all that lay around us. We stand, alone at the final crossroads, the Hermit no longer our companion, and seek the light that will mark the way of correct choice and action. We feel the presence of our ancestors and loved ones awaiting our call to inform and guide. And, in the pervasive silence, the chill in the air signals the solemn arrival of Samhain’s Dark Goddess - Hecate. I invite you now on this journey with me. It will be a different journey for each who makes choice to travel it, and although the words on the page seem to flow in a specific direction, you will find that they are re-written as you move deeper into your own experience. Many blessing on your journey…
The Meeting at the Crossroads
Breathe deeply and fully as you settle into a space that is quiet where you will not be disturbed. Let yourself sink more deeply into the weight of your physical body pressed into a chair, floor or other support. Offer up this declaration as you settle into the space between the worlds:
On this night of the Veils wider opening, I enter into this exchange alone and with humility in seeking out the Goddess of the crossroads and magick. I will call to her as the Crone whose power is found in the silence that is born of true gnosis. Hers is the power that summons me from my place of silence and calls me to action from the wisdom of my experiences. As I settle into my space of meditation, I call upon the courage needed, as I know this will not be an easy journey and the wisdom I seek is one of great responsibility.
Now, consciously and fully become aware of the silence and the accumulating density of the energy surrounding you as you move from this space of linear and physical structure, crossing through the veils of connection and the astral realm.
You breathe deeply again, and on this exhale, your inner vision finds you standing in the blackness of night within a small space of circle that extends out quartered into four paths. It takes a bit of time for your inner eyes to adjust and see more clearly and when they do, you see these four paths now stretching out from each corner as long, black thick threads of dirt. There is no ending in sight and nothing surrounds but vast open space.
You stand at Her crossroads and the air is thick and still. You stand silently waiting as energetic anticipation floods through you like electrified water. You feel the presence of spectral forms brushing around you like gentle flutters of breeze and know that some of these are your own ancestors eager to commune. You breathe into this energy and offer up gratitude for their presence and ask only that they come to you again at another time as the work that is required you, and you only must do, alone and unaided. Before the last musings of this request the air clears in a rush and although still dense you know that you are alone.
You close your eyes briefly and open them sensing a larger and more insistent energy now surrounding. In the darkness you see Hecate’s form, the Crone of Wisdom rising up in front of you. She stands before you and you bow in reverence, averting her gaze and hoping she will not see your fear and doubt. She has the appearance of great age, dressed in thickly layered black gowns and hood cloaking strands of long grey hair. Her face is etched with wrinkles and her great power is not masked by gentleness in this form; it is palpable and oppressive; stern and commanding of respect as one of long life and great vision may expect. She holds a lantern that is dimly lit in one hand and an intricately carved rowan staff in the other. Before your words of devotion are uttered she knows what counsel you seek from her and black pools of penetrating eyes seem to flow forth, peering into the very depths of your soul.
You feel the mind-touch of her Triplicity of form and visions of these forms and other encounters you have had with her move like a slideshow through your minds eye. As each presents, the memory of these passes through you awakened and fully intact. You remember the joy felt in running with her as the Maiden. All was a new experience and the crossroads she offered then were ones of forming your adult life and the pleasures and pains of trial and error. You remember the gentle rocking of the Mother’s womb as you gave birth to your creative expression and the crossroads of offering were the learning grounds of becoming productive and reliable as a source of nurturing and support of what you had hand in creating. You feel the strength of these memories and in answer to the question you have yet to ask, the power of her presence swirls about you. She reaches out and extending a long bony finger beckons for you to follow her. You hesitate briefly, calling up your courage and you know that nothing goes unnoticed by this wizened being. Her energy reaches from behind and pulls you forward, urging you to keep pace. The roads merge into one that slopes gradually downward. Despite the light of her lantern, blackness thickens quickly around you. Silently, reverently we spiral down into the depths of the underworld, into the depths of your own being and your place of remembering and knowing. Stories of your life whisper, surrounding in the drone of their continual telling. These are the memories of all that has brought you to this time and place in your life; all that has brought you to seek the wisdom of the Crone. You feel the loosening of Hecate’s pull and realize that you have been moving of my own intent for several moments.
The way is dark but instinctively you know the path. This is a road you have traveled at the end of each lifetime. There is no fear of staying too long in this place; intuitively you know that this is not your final trip on this life’s journey. You continue to move forward and see just ahead of you the silhouette of Hecate‘s form and move towards it eager to be closer in step with her. As you approach, this silhouette appears to glow dimly from within its form and she turns to face you. Looking upon this being’s face you are surprised to see that it is not Hecate, but your own. There is a depth of recognition, yet this form appears to be constructed of a substance like dense smoke and the facial features shift and move so that you are presented with yourself through the many phases of your life. Some have occurred and others are yet to be. It is of no matter as time is eternal in this space and all converges toward the now of your experience. You see the child with bright inquisitive eyes. I see the adolescent filled with great ambition and plans. You see the young adult and the settings and people that are part of this life. You see the face of the mature adult who has accumulated a wealth of experiences marked by successes and failures, love and loss, wisdom and folly. You see the face of yourself as you are now, knowing that you will continue to age and mature as the future is written by your life’s work. And, you also see the mask of death that you will one day wear, becoming an ancestor for another who seeks wisdom’s guidance.
The form changes once again and it is now the Goddess Hecate who stands before you once again. You hear her words saying that you and she are one and you feel the great weight of their meaning. She tells you that the mantles of youthful energy, mature nurturing, the wisdom of aged and ripened experience and the mysteries of death are always within your grasp. She reminds you that we each must move through these cycles and these changes and the acceptance or denial of their power matters not. They are still part of our being and those who seek to know of their mysteries will step more fully and with grace into their power. These courageous souls will become those who take up the path of teaching, mentoring and guiding others on the path to the Goddess, Herself. You think on these words and they seem to echo all around you, enveloping and embracing you.
You breathe in deeply and call out your given name with renewed power and strength. In witness of Hecate and all those paths of your life that have defined and molded the person you have become, you give declaration. You repeat your name infusing it with all the energy of the journey you have experienced and the wisdom you have gained and find that the intent and sound is lifting you upwards. You find yourself standing at the center point of the Crossroads, the place of beginning your journey.
The air has changed and you feel alive with its lightened energy. You look up at the dark night sky and now see sparkling star light. The Goddess stands before you issuing a final challenge and silently offering a mirror. Unafraid and fully present in your own power, you look eagerly into the reflective surface. Reflected back is a being of light that knows the worth of self and the gift of life’s experience in fueling this inner light to shine its brightest.
The mirror fades from your hand and you see the Goddess smiling back at you. There are no words needed, and you silently offer her your gratitude for all she has shown you upon this path. You make silent promise to seek out Hecate’s wisdom and to heed her lessons that you may give freely of your experience to others that they may seek her as well.
You breathe into the space of your meditation and as you exhale you find you are no longer at the crossroads. You have come full circle back to the place of your beginning this journey with a renewed sense of purpose. You breathe in deeply and open your eyes taking in your surroundings filled with renewed purpose; knowing that the light of your making shines brightly into the darkest of spaces.
Please enjoy the accompanying Poem - The Meeting at the Crossroads - in the WitchVox Poetry section.
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