Samhain is the witches spiritual New Year. This time of the year is typically at the end of the growing and harvesting season and a time when we go into the darker half of the year; shorter days and longer nights. It is an in-between time, half way between Summer and Winter. Being that the harvest times were over, livestock would often be killed and food supplies were prepped for the upcoming Winter.
This is also a time of the year when the veil between the world of the living and the world of spirit is thinner. It is said that at this time, the dead can walk amongst us living. Bonfires were lit to scare off evil spirits and lights were put in windows to guide ancestral spirits home. Samhain is the perfect time to connect with those who have past on: set up an ancestral altar in honor of the dead or leave food and drink out for the dead. This is also a great time to do any divination work and to communicate with spirits.
Samhain is also a time of reflection and spiritual renewal. Take some time to reflect over the previous year and all that you have accomplished. Then spend time reflecting on what you would like to achieve in the months to come.
“The Sea Priestess is the highly acclaimed novel in which Dion Fortune introduces her most powerful fictional character, Vivien Le Fay Morgan- a practicing initiate of the Hermetic Path. Vivien has the ability to transform herself into magical images, and here she becomes Morgan Le Fay, sea priestess of Atlantis and foster daughter to Merlin! Desperately in love with Vivien, Wilfred Maxwell works by her side at an isolated seaside retreat, investigating these occult mysteries. They soon find themselves inextricably drawn to an ancient cult through which they learn the esoteric significance of the magnetic ebb and flow of the noontides.” – Amazon description
Several other Sea Witches I follow have recommended this book. I figured that I should give it a go. I have to say that I really had hoped for more out of this book. I was sadly disappointed.
While the story is interesting, I was let down by the lack of information on Sea Witchery. I had read other’s reviews where there was mentioned the book containing information and rituals/rites of a Sea Witch path. I didn’t really find much of that here. If it was there, it was not made very clear or you had to read between the lines. It just wasn’t as much as I had hoped for.
The main character Wilfred, is kind of annoying in some aspects. Some times he appears weak and basically a push over. At other times he comes across as rather insensitive and basically a cad.
Being that the book was written many years ago, the language of the book took some getting used to. Certain words or phrases gave me pause and left me trying to interpret the meaning. Eventually, you get used to that and the book becomes an easier read.
I did enjoy the over arch of the story, and found it interesting and easy to follow. I just wished there had been more information on the path and practices of the Sea Priestess. That is my one main issue with the book. While this review might sound like I didn’t enjoy the book, I actually did enjoy the story, but was a little let down based on my expectations going into to reading it.
Being a gay man, I don’t think of fertility in the terms of reproduction, as I may never have children. Instead to me it relates more to being creative. Fertility to me is giving birth to ideas, nurturing them and watching them grow. It is creativity. It is creation.
Fertility, to me, is also this idea of abundance. Fertile earth, a fertile mind, etc. that are abundant in creativity. Allowing us to give brith to something, even if it is an abstract concept. We must create the perfect space for ideas, projects, etc. to be born and allowed to grow. Not only for ourselves but others as well. Supporting their abilities to grow. Just as we nurture say a plant, we must nurture the goodness in ourselves and others.
Moderation is definitely the one Virtue that I struggle with the most. As a teen and well into my 30s I struggled with an eating disorder and a drug addiction. In one area I didn’t do enough to nourish my body and in the other I was doing too much of something that I didn’t need at all. Neither were the right thing for me or my body.
Finally, now through meditation and my spiritual path I have found ways to nourish my body in healthy ways. It is always a constant struggle to do both enough without overdoing it. I am now in a place, where through self control, I have been able to find a healthy balance in my life. It is a path that I must walk everyday to find that balance.
Hospitality relates to how we are treated by others when in their space or home, as well as how we act as their guest. We hope that as a host we can make our guests feel at home and to be most comfortable. As a guest we hope that we make our stay an easy one for our hosts.
When I think in terms of hospitality I immediately think about respect. Sadly, I think respect is something we are losing a lot in today’s society. I try my hardest to be respectful of those around me who I come into contact with on a daily basis. Saying “Hello” and smiling as we pass. Holding doors for others. Saying “Thank you” and wishing them well as we part ways.
Respect for ourselves and others is the perfect way to be the most gracious guest and host in any situation.
We can often face setbacks or failures, but in order to grow and learn, we must continue to try and try again. This is perseverance. Even in the face of adversity or times where we feel we can not go on. This is the time, more than ever, that we must not give up. We must keep working towards our goals.
I have a friend who is a life coach who says that motivation is a crock. That most people do not achieve their goals because they are too busy waiting to be motivated to do so. We must go out and create and achieve what we want, through hard work, despite maybe not being motivated to do so. That is true perseverance. Never giving up, and finding the means to carry on.
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one else is watching” – C.S. Lewis
I’ve always loved this quote because to me it really sums up what Integrity is about. It is being true to ourselves and doing what is right, even if no one sees us do it. First and foremost we must honor what we think is right and true. We must be true to ourselves and others.
We must keep our word to our ourselves and to others. We must be able to stand up for what we believe and do what is right, even if no one is looking. We have to honor and respect ourselves and those in our lives. Do what you say. We must also manage our behavior and actions to stay true to our word. Keep your promises and do what is right in all circumstances.
For me, courage has always about being true to myself, and standing up for what I know to be right, even if it’s not the popular opinion. Several times in my life I have had to go against the grain of society’s expectations or what my family thought best for me. I knew I had to have courage to move forward in what I wanted to do in my life, in order to be my most authentic self.
Courage is the ability to do what needs to be done, even in the face of fear, pain, or grief. Courage can help us to grow and to give. I think of courage has a practice as well, everyday we must have to courage to stand up for our beliefs and what we think is right or wrong. Have the courage to face and manage your fears so you are able to do the right thing.
The ADF defines Vision as our “place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present and future.”
In order to see where we are going, we must also honor where we have been and where we are currently. I see the virtue of Vision relating to how we use our past to create a path towards our future. Learning from our mistakes etc.
I also think in terms of insight and intuition when thinking about Vision. The messages and insight we may receive from the Divine, guides, etc. How we interpret and follow the messages can define where we are on our path.
I am a huge fan of Vision Boards, and I always have at least one up at any given time. The images I put on my vision board help keep me directed towards the path I’m working on. It gives me a goal and purpose to work towards. Having vision means to know where we are in relation to the cosmos, and what direction we are heading in.