Tonight is Samhain. Because of a hectic work schedule, end of the month and vacation starting tomorrow, I had to do my ritual and my supper early. The invitation was open for those dear to me to come and commune for just a little while….human and animal alike.
Since my grandmother died in August, I have been having dreams about her. Dreams of her being beside me…intervening in areas of trouble in my life. Dreams of her strong Cherokee spirit encouraging me and pushing me. In the dreams it was the younger version of her…her dark hair and eyes. As she aged, she started dying her hair a mousy brown and the dark eyes became hazy….but the spirit never changed.
She was a feisty one. She would tell me stories of the trouble she would get into as a youth. She was always very headstrong and mischievous. Hmmm wonder where I got mine? I remember, as a child, feeding a baby green snake up through a hole in the outhouse while my substantial sized aunt was using it. The snake climbed upward and apparently its tongue came in contact with a butt-cheek. Next thing I know, I am running down the hill with my aunt running after me screaming with her pants down around her ankles. I know now why my grandmother never spanked me for it……she was laughing too hard. She told me later that she had to go hide in the barn because she was laughing so hard…..said it reminded her of herself.
As I said….the dreams about her always had her strong, unwaivering spirit showing through….until two weeks ago. I had a dream that she had become very feeble and that I was having to support her when she stood. I discussed this with a friend and we both agreed that granny had been hanging around until Samhain. It would be important for me to tell her that it was important for her to go into rest in the summerlands.
Tonight as I sat down to eat and drink with my wonderful guests, I could smell the faint aroma of gardenia. It was grannies perfume. She was always so fond of that smell…..the rest of the family thought it was horrible. So many of them would give anything for the smell of that perfume once more. I was gifted with that.
When we finished the meal and I bid all of my guests goodnight….I felt a brush of wind against my cheek. I whispered, “I have loved having you watching out for me granny, but it’s time.” I felt that movement…that release as she shifted through the veil into the other world.
It was a gift that I won’t soon forget. I will have plenty of time to ponder all these things when I go on vacation tomorrow. We will be going to the mountains of North Carolina. I love the North Carolina mountains. They bring back memories of my childhood….we spent so much time there. We would walk the paths of the Cherokee reservation that only the Cherokee walked….not the roads that held the touristy shops and metal tipis. We would play in the creeks and race along the creekbeds…many of the same creekbeds my granny ran along.
The one thing she always told me that will always play over and over again in my brain is, “When you are troubled and don’t know where else to turn, always turn to the mountain. In the shadow of the mountain, nothing else ever seems quite so big.” I have always taken that advice. I went to college in Boone at Appalachian State University. I went to Bible school in Knoxville, Tennessee. Whenever things seemed to get too hard to bear, I went running to and through and over the mountains.
Whenever I am in the mountains, my feet instinctively know where to carry me. I normally kick my shoes off and run…..there is just something about feeling naked ground under your feet…especially when it is ground that has been calling to you your whole life.
I know you know what I’m talking about. There is a place in your life that calls to you. It draws you to itself….whether its a mountain or a pond or a creek or a hillside. Go to it when it calls. That is where your spirit is nurtured, strengthened. That is where the Goddess can meet you completely stripped bare.
I plan to bury myself in a big old pile of leaves this weekend. I will carry my wand and my cloak…..but I will also have my pipe and my flute. They were given to me by a wonderful Lakota friend in South Dakota. I will sit in the middle of those mountain woods and sing with the symphony of nature. I will find a secluded spot and dance naked before The Horned One and Mother Goddess in reckless abandon. I will not only be celebrating the end of the Witches year, but also the beginning of a New Year. A year brimming with new magickal possibilities.