October 31st marks another turn of the wheel of the year, beginning an approximate one and a half month period called Samhain, which will run until the Winter Solstice in the UK on December 21st.
I love to use this time of the year to create an alchemical container to birth my new year in. It's dark and the growth of the past year is returning to the earth, the harvest now collected, consumed or stored for winter and lessons learnt and hopefully contributed. It is now a time to come inside, light the fire and burn away the unnecessary as we start to sense the possibility around the corner of the next turn of the wheel of the year where we will then have the maximum amount of space to dream in the new. If we do this part in full.
It is a time of surrender and depth, of shining a lantern in the dark and looking into the dark corners and looking at and transforming what is lurking. It is about embracing it all and not looking away. It is about alchemising what we don't need into the things that we do. It is about transformation and fire and being ruthlessly discerning about what we want to leave behind so that we can use it as firewood, fuel and fertile ash for planting in the seeds of what we desire more of.
Here are six ways that I like to utilise the energies of this season:
1) Creating a container for the alchemy to take place in
Nothing truly effective happens without containment. This is the masculine element that can hold the feminine transformation within. We can create and maintain the container for transformation by setting time, space and boundaries around it. Boundaries allow balanced flow of giving and receiving and we get to decide what it is we are putting in to our magical cauldron of transformation to be transmuted into something new and what it is we intend to claim from the fire once the transformation is complete. We can set time for rituals of letting go and grief and for setting intentions for the new we are starting to envision, each day, week or month. In just setting the intention for 'surrendered alchemy' we create a container for it and we maintain this container with consistent tending to the fire and upholding the boundaries that maintain the integrity of our container - whether that is a commitment to these rituals or processes or in our action steps, habits or behaviours.
In creating our container we might decide that we want a break from outside influence during this alchemy so that we can really connect to the wisdom and process within and focus our efforts there. We may want to sit with all of this transformation before we share out our revelations, so that it has time to be incubated fully.
2) Clearly marking what I am surrendering and what I want in replacement
I like to look forward to Spring to guide my process of right now, when the growth of what seeds we sow in this time of alchemy will start to come to fruition. I write down or draw what it is that I am surrendering into the fire and what I want to grow and blossom in it's place. It is powerful to see written down, on our altar or on the wall, the words or images of the direct results of what our work will bring.
I write: In Spring ___________ will have been returned to the earth ... and ____________ will be budding to flower in new growth.
3) Slowing down and letting simmer
This time of the year demands us to turn inward, slow down to conserve energy and to give time to this magical transformative process to take place. Once we have set our intentions we need to give time and sometimes effort to make them happen. We need to connect to our inner wisdom that can guide us on what action steps we need to take or what insight we need to ensure the process completes. We need to create space for the messages of our subconscious to surface into our conscious mind.
We can do this by spending time meditating, creating art, walking or sitting in nature and journalling from our depths.
4) Sexing it up with desire
Tuning in to our innermost truest desires and connecting to the feeling of joy, happiness and wholeness that the fulfilment of these will bring is a vital part of the process when throwing all that we want to let go of or release into the fire. The feeling level of our being is where true manifestation comes from, beyond affirmations or thoughts that can be limited to our minds. We need to connect to our deep wanting for what we are inviting in, start celebrating it now as if it is already on it's way and really starting to bring it to life with real belief and faith. It is the true desire that will keep the fire burning through winter, fuelling this transformation for Spring.
Bring the intention to life by dancing in celebration about the results of this transformative process. Believe in it with each movement of your body and feel the joy and fullness in your dance.
Keeping things moving is essential for alchemy, which is a dynamic process. By feeling our emotions, writing or drawing out what arises, moving our body and letting the alchemy surge through us it we will give this transformative process the best chance of success.
We might need to use tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to tap out resistance that arises from within or outside of us to ensure that we don't let our process or transformation stagnate or get hold back by our limiting beliefs or stories. Yoga and deep breathing will also keep this flow going.
Finally, we need to surrender to the process and trust that this alchemy will indeed take place. We need to believe in a higher process, now that we have set our own intentions, remembering that we want 'this or something better'. Sometimes what we want and need are not aligned and we have to let go and not try to tightly control the entire process. We need to let forward movement happen by going with what is alive in the present moment, surrendering to the flow of life. We have now done al we can.
This is also a perfect time of the year to connect to our ancestors, who's love brought us here. We can meditate and imagine our entire family lineage standing in a line behind us, with us at the front. We can feel the humility of this and surrender to the fact that we are part of a much bigger picture and this very life is our chance to be truly us and bring our unique gifts to the world. We might be the spearhead of their campaign. We might have been chosen to do all of the things that they were working towards or didn't have the opportunity to do. Are we going to stand up in our joy? Our work and play this Samhain can ensure that we rise and shine for Spring. For us, and our ancestors. They are behind us and they are listening and speaking, if we make time to connect with them.
Sending Samhain blessings to you to make the most of this powerful time of year!
I am going to be sharing something to support you clear the debris of 2016, create a new magical container of love from which to birth 2017 and start the new year in your loving, sparkly power. Take a preview and get on the early bird list here.
Follow along with my process of 'Surrendered Alchemy' and my 21 day treasure hunt for self-availability via my newsletter or social media, below. xxx