Samhain 2014 (a personal reflection from The Hip-Hop Bard)

Happy Samhain!!! – I’m mid essay writing and nearly didn’t write anything about Samhain this year but as a part-time Druid (knighted Bard of a Druid Order for all my newer facebook friends) it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the seasons

Also all the academic writing for my essay has oiled my gears and inspired the writer in me so I feel like I should express while my mind is inspired rather than tired out by the writing process. Facebook prose…

“Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ sah-win or /ˈs.ɪn/ sow-in[1] Irish pronunciation: [sˠaunʲ]) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, or about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice” (Wikipedia)

So this month I have been facing my fears, admitting my fear of judgment to people beyond my synchromystic circle and the BV community (I love you guys loads but ironically I fear the judgment of those I love and respect the most.)

Samhain, the original title for the Celtic and Pagan festival we now call Halloween, seems to be primarily about 3 things, the coming winter, the veils between worlds being thinner than usual, and death. When spritual people talk about death they always counter by saying there is no death without rebirth. But there is death. Death is scary. Whether it’s the end of an era, the end of a relationship or the end of a life it is loss of something we found comfort in and fear of the unknown.

I moved out of Bristol back to London. End of an era? Maybe, I don’t know how long I’ll be in London, if I get this job maybe at least 3 months. I don’t know where I’ll be living next month or where I’ll be staying next week, uncertainty has been my status quo for about two months now, even before I moved out. There have been other deaths but I think it is time to move on to rebirth.

I attended an ecstatic dance workshop with Gai’Ama Sri Amrita. Now I am of the opinion that nothing is ever ‘wrong’, we just perceive different things from different perspectives and the illusion of “I” allows us to feel like something can be wrong with us. But prior to the dance workshop I perceived alot more fear and alot more pain. The dance-workshop allowed me to see how I was holding myself back. Rebirth was a main theme of the guided part of the dance and by the end I had arisen reborn like a Phoenix from the ashes. To be honest most ecstatic dance wrkshops I feel like the straight-guy out of Peepshow, out of place, with the added frustration of my inner rebellious child pissed off that someone has the audacity to tell me what to do. But Gai’Amma has a gentle way about her which allowed me to feel guided rather than bossed around.

It was the beginning of a shift. I have spoken about the shift elsewhere, Ben Tree had a birthday which reunited some of my closest tribe. Jokes with his little siblings, walks in nature with his extended family and heart-to-heart conversation with my closest tribe (plus the presence of a toddler) was all very nurturing.

The final ascent of my inner phonix happened with seeing Amma for the 5th or 6th time in the past 9 years (wow, nearly been going for 10 years now!) It seems fitting, it’s just a story and the parts of the story are only as important as I choose them to be but the people I went to see Amma with were new friends the first time and I was just in the process of moving to Bristol. And now I appear to be in the process of moving out, while applying for jobs as far afield as Devon, Frome and Glastonbury. Amma, to some the representation of divine mother energy on Earth, to me at the very least an amazing woman who understands the importance f something as simple yet magical as a hug, and a woman dedicated to the selfless administration of that energy to a heroic degree. The vibe at Amma is always love-filled.

I have not felt like performing much recently. The anxiety and the depression combined I did not feel much like I deserve to be the centre of attention. But after the ecstatic dance workshop, the days in Stroud with some of my soul-family and the night of Amma we sat on the steps of Alexandra Palace and I sang my little heart out over the sound of Daniel Waples and Craig R Ninjah playing hang. And I enjoyed it. I didn’t feel guilty for being the centre of attention, I didn’t hate myself for enjoying it. And I didn’t stick around too long too milk it until I did.

Was it a healing week? Well… that depends on if you think there was anything wrong with me when I was anxious and depressed. I don’t think so, it was just different. It was a week that gave me perspective. Things change. If I get anxious and depressed again I will not be so hard on myself. It happens to everyone. I’ll just take a short moment to relax.

On a personal level this has been a very real Samhain, very real death and rebirth vibrations. But on a wider level every single moment is a death and rebirth. But as we approach winter it may be worth noting what is over for you and what may just be beginning.

Now, let’s see if I can be this wordy and expressive in the rest of my essay, I was not supposed to be on here this long :-p


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