A lot has happened this year and now a new year begins. Two days before Samhain I saw this beautiful deer on the way to work, and I felt positive new year vibes coming from him. He was polite enough to pose for the picture, which is not very clear due to the distance.
My Samhain celebration was different than the past few years have been. I used to spend time with my closest Wiccan friend and her coven, but their coven disbanded this past year. We decided that with all the changes both of us had gone through, to do a ritual together to let go of the bad things from the past year and set goals for this new year. We burnt pieces of paper with the things we wanted to let go of. I won’t record mine here because the point was for it to disappear, and the internet doesn’t exactly allow that.
The past year has been one of good times and bad. I’ve mourned those who I’ve lost, jumped into a new goal unexpectedly, and through that went on an adventure I might not have considered before. I shed weights that were physical, emotional, and spiritual, and learned a lot about myself. I have found the courage to give notice to a job that has been toxic, and start my adventure as an English Teacher abroad (more on that in another post-very exciting news!). For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am moving forward.
We wrote down some goals we wanted to manifest and used a chalice of wine to symbolically take those goals into our bodies. Quitting the toxic job was one of them, as well as saying goodbye to traditional customer service jobs-they are not a fit for me and it’s time to move towards a new career path. I also have a goal of saying yes to new experiences while I am abroad, even if they make me nervous, and I will overcome shyness and make new friends. I will leave my comfort zones more.
As is a tradition for both my friend and I on Samhain, we also took time to remember those we lost this year. Unfortunately, I lost several people to their battles with cancer throughout the past year. My Uncle Joe was first, step-father to two of my closest cousins. While he and I were never particularly close, I always found him to be a very kind man who loved and cared for my cousins as if they were his own daughters even long before he and my aunt got married. My Great Aunt Ruth also passed earlier this year after a long struggle, but she was a spit fire until the end. She was my grandfather’s sister, and one of my favorite people to see at family gatherings. She had no children of her own and always cared for her nieces, nephew, and their children as her family. We all looked up to her fashion sense and I hope I am still wearing stilettos when I’m in my 90’s as well. We lost Aunt Beth this year too, and though I didn’t spend enough time with her physically, whenever we met she was always kind and nice to talk to. I’m glad I saw her one last time when she was feeling well.
All of these people touched my life in a positive way, but I have saved the person who made the biggest impact for last. Kathleen passed suddenly just before Beltane. Losing her was shocking as she’d been well for so long. Her daughter has been one of my closest friends for nearly a decade and Kathleen welcomed me into her home with a smile. While she was kind to all of her childrens’ friends, my best friend once told me that I was a particular favorite. I am not used to being anyone’s favorite, and it has always meant the world to me.
Kathleen taught me important lessons that I will keep with me, lessons that her family continues carrying out. She believed we should seek love and joy above all else because there was no point in living a life that doesn’t bring you happiness. She believed in the importance of both travel and education, and encouraged all of us to learn and see as much of the world as we could, and never for settle for anything less than our happiness.
I don’t know if she ever knew just how much she touched my life and how strongly I feel her loss. But I will honor her memory by continuing to pursue my dreams and telling stories, because stories of joy were her favorite.
These lives were precious to those who all who loved them as well as me, and I was glad I took time to remember them at Samhain. It’s just as an important part of my Samhain rituals as identifying what I want to change for myself in the New Year.
Here’s to a blessed new year to all!
So mote it be