Greetings my Tea Witches!
Samhain is nigh upon us! The actual date of Samhain (Sowen) is October 31st – that it happens to fall on Halloween is no coincidence as it is one of the ancient precursors to this modern holiday.
Samhain, falling late in the harvest season, was a time when the Celtic people would cull the herds, sacrificing weaker animals who would likely not survive the winter and be a drain on scarce resources. In doing so, they were also able to fatten their own cellars for the lean winter months to follow.
When I think of culling, the 3 of Swords card in the Tarot comes to mind. This card has sacrificial overtones – cut out what you can’t afford to keep, what’s really no longer serving you, even if it hurts. It requires a steely resolve and an ability to see the bigger picture.
The meaning of the card is typically associated with relationships but, in this case, I believe it could also apply to what we label “stuff”. Keep “stuff” around long enough and you will develop attachments. That college book you really loved but haven’t cracked open in 10 years, that kitchen gadget that might be useful someday, that pile of reading material you will get around to at some point.
You don’t even realize how deep the attachment is until you think of packing them up. Of course, there is another excuse that typically rears it’s ugly head. I don’t have time! “One day”, you say with a shrug as you are glued to your phone or racing out the door.
The 3 of Swords speaks to cutting those attachments . Ancient peoples, who lived so close to death, especially in the winter months, could not afford to be nearly so sentimental. I believe their connection to the earth – which sustains all – gave them a practical, earthy outlook on life. That which does not serve a purpose in my existence – either nourishing mind, body or spirit – will be tossed out rather than carried through the long night of winter.
We in modern Western society, who typically no longer contend with such issues, don’t have the same urgency to purge. I have observed that we are increasingly comfortable tolerating stuff. Many of us believe we have the luxury of tolerating these drains on our energy. I surmise it is due to the lack of physical exertion needed to merely survive. While this lack of exertion frees up time and space for more creative efforts – like writing blogs (: – it also means we tolerate stuff hanging around because it seems harmless, just sitting there in the corner, presumably minding its own business.
The first step to giving stuff the heave ho is really seeing the drag it has on your energy, your resources. You see, energy flows all around us. If we have too much stuff, it hinders the flow, causing it to stagnate. Ever been to someone’s house who is a hoarder? How does it feel? If you think about it, you will notice a stagnant feeling amid all the mustiness. Stuff can also attract lower energy beings so if you do feel a heaviness in your space, while you are grabbing a stick of sage, also prepare a box for recycle or Goodwill.
This seems like a rather mundane practice for Samhain. After all, Samhain is when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. It is much more pressing to do divination, commune with ancestors and the like. I won’t deny this is a most opportune time to do those things. It is also a great time for a clearing of the decks, so to speak. Since this day is thought of as the Witch’s New Year, I like to approach this energetically. What is draining my energy? What do I need to let go of in order to move forward.
While I am focused on material stuff, nothing is off the table in this review. Consider relationships, habits, unproductive thought patterns, anything you don’t feel good about when you turn your attention to it. Channel the Three of Swords! Be ruthless in this analysis. A good rule of thumb for material stuff is, if you can’t remember the last time you touched an object, it probably doesn’t need to be taking up space – really energy – in your life.
Since Yule is around the corner (Yay!), consider gifting these items. Giving them to charity is gifting them to non specific people which is great. You might also think of gifting items – especially magickal items – to specific people. Someone else might love your copy of something by Silver RavenWolf or pendulum that just never clicked with you. Passing them on would be an act of love, giving them to others who are able to love and cherish them. You could even work it into a ritual, bringing uplifting energy.
I wish all of you a magickal New Year!