Celebration of Samhain

I have just returned from a meditative weekend of Yoga in Jersey with Godfrey Devereux, staying with my wonderful friend, Alyssa Burns-Hill.

Godfrey's approach seems to have changes since I last had any involvement with his teachings. then it was reading one of his books and watching a DVD, where he appeared to be very much focused on the strength of the physicality. Since then he has clearly found meditation, and the weekend was far from physical, concentrating instead on the breath, with gentle movement to release and lengthen the lower back, and lots of sitting in silence, and lying in Savasana. One "posture practice" as he calls it, asana, the rest of us may say, lasted a whole 2 hours and 20 minutes, of just moving through a sun salutation broken down into bits. Phew. The class yesterday was a full on 4.5 hours without a break. I felt I had run a Marathon, and actually, I probably could have done in that time.

Still, it was enjoyable to have the time and space to breathe so consciously, and also to really enjoy the benefits of lengthening one' spine and noticing the behaviour patterns and movements of one's own body - how we are so programmed to move a certain way, even if that certain way is not within our best interests. I enjoyed his ramblings, even if I did not always agree with his take on life and God and spirit, but great to have the opportunity to learn from someone who has clearly gone through some stuff.

Of course it was wonderful to spend time with Ally and chatter together as we do, sharing and inspiring and creating new ideas. Ally and her husband, Gary, have a lovely property with large Windows offering views of the sea, a lovely spot to stay and chill in the mornings and evenings before class. One can just sit on the sofa and stare at the sky and the clouds, which became clearer as the weekend progressed. Thank you to the Burns-Hill family, much appreciated.

So today is Samhain, or All Hallows' Eve. Technically it means "end of the summer", the end of the agricultural season and the beginning of the Celtic year. Samhain is the festival of the dead. The day was Christianized when the day that follows it was designated All Soul's Day, or All Saints Day. This is a time of chaos and the reversal of normal order; endings and beginnings are occurring simultaneously.

In the past, Samhain was when the majority of the herd were butchered, providing food for the winter months. Slaughter, barren earth and decreasing daylight made the concept of death an ever present reality. Because of this, Samhain has always been considered a time when the veil between the worlds was thin, a night of magick charms and divination, when the dead could be easily contacted.

On a personal basis this is now the time to rest and reevaluate your life and goals. Now is when you want to get rid of any negativity or opposition that may surround your achievements or hinder future progress. Samhain should have seen the accomplishment of your desires, and now you need to stabilise and protect what you have gained. This is important because it is impossible to concentrate, let alone put energy into new goals, if what you have is not secure.

So have a good day, enjoy the pumpkins and the energy of celebration.

Ross DespresComment