Samhain is a time of shadows, of the parts of ourselves which we have kept hidden and tucked away. For me, as someone who has survived abuse and extensive bullying, it’s the scars and the wounds, which I’ve kept hidden away from the world. They don’t see the scars. They don’t see that I don’t trust easily, and it’s once bitten always shy. I smile. I run my own business. I take care of my disabled mother, and my unemployed, and probably should be on disability, partner. I take care of our fur, feathered, and scaly children. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I take care of me.
I’m in a time of great transition right now. I’m leaving behind a whole lot of my past life, sometimes willingly, sometimes by having it ripped away from me. I’m reminded of a couple of tarot cards: Death and The Tower.
I’m being blasted back to my foundations, leaving behind all which isn’t serving me or good for my growth. And the me that lives in the shadows isn’t ready to face the light. Oh, I want to. I yearn for the light, to show all of my beautiful, glorious self, to the world. And yet, I am hiding in the shadows because the light is so too scary. I prefer the dark.
I’m reminded of two very powerful cards: 8 of cups and 8 of swords
With the 8 of swords, I’m sitting in a cage of swords of my own making. It’s warm there. It’s comfy. I can get everything I need through the bars of the swords. But I also can’t go anywhere or can’t leave. On the 8 of cups, I’m walking away from overflowing, bountiful cups to seek a leaner life, perhaps one that follows my heart. I turn my back on the things which have sustained me, but something tells me that some of those cups contain bitter drinks. And maybe, just maybe, by walking away I’m finding a new and better life.
Looking into the dark corners of our closets, or our lives, isn’t a pleasant experience at times. It can reveal things we’d rather leave into the shadows, and it can bring things to light that need some much needed air.
Shadows and death do not have to be scary things. Sometimes, digging around in the shadows and letting old things (habits, thought processes, self-image) die, might be the best thing we can do to step forward and embrace the light offered by the turning wheel of the year.