Saturday, November 10, 2012

Celebrating Samhain!

As newsletters go, this one is decidedly late due to Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy visiting NJ on Oct 29 and plunging several million people in the NJ/NY/CT tristate area into complete darkness and chaos. In case you are not aware, the Jersey shore is forever changed, with several towns nearly wiped off the map and many of the historic boardwalks destroyed along with folks's primary homes. In a curious twist, Lucy the Elephant in Margate, NJ is still standing and reopened today.

Amid all this chaos, I am one of the lucky ones because my power was restored after 4 days. 13 days into this catastrophe, much of Morris county and huge swatches of NJ still remain without power, with the average night-time temps being in the low-to-mid 20's. Throughout the state, trees are still entangled with powerlines, and many roads remain blocked. A new FEMA center just opened today in Broadway, NJ (Warren county). Schools are still closed, and even Doctors Without Borders, the International humanitarian-aid group best known for conducting emergency health care interventions in war-torn countries, set up a makeshift clinic for Hurricane Sandy victims in one of New York’s worst-hit communities, The Rockaways. Transition energies have certainly grabbed our attention!

Hurricane Sandy's arrival at Samhain - followed closely by Winter Storm Athena - does not feel like a coincidence. Samhain is often referred to as the Celtic New Year - it marked the end of Summer and the beginning of the fallow time of year when the Crone aspect of the Goddess was celebrated. Traditionally, it was a time to embrace the darkness, the chaos, the death cycle of plants and nature. It is the time of year to follow the pattern that the trees follow: slowly and steadily shed our outer ornaments, thicken out our skins as the tree bark does to prepare for the coming bitter winds, ice and snow, and pull our energies within. Slowing, Rooting and Releasing is the order for the fall, and Samhain is the pause between.