Around us our world is dissolving - our communities, the environment, the roads, the financial markets of the world - our sanity. What little efforts are made are too modest to withstand the cascading disintegration that ripples across this small blue planet.
Samhain, the time of dissolution, is upon us with a crushing grip. Turn away now if you seek the turnips, pumpkins and rich Celtic traditions that usually occupy this space at this time of year, this year the darkness is too great.
Those whose thoughts resonate with Celtic tradition are generally of a "double" mind. Life unwinds as it does but every so often another world washes in and its result is either a richer existence - an awareness of the beauty and gift of our lives - or a greater sorrow, the burden of the felt understanding of the pain of the world.
This "doubling" is not to be cured, resolved or "dealt" with, it just is and it is as great a gift as it is a curse, because it confers choice. One can blindly live the day-to-day or one can step out of it and take a painful look at what one has created. Too many people are turning away from the pain they are pouring into the world, pain that returns in newspaper headlines, ecological havoc and death tolls.
The interior life of every single soul shapes external phenomena -"reality" - our "world" merely reflects back our own internal state, and it is an ugly sight. Our physical world is attuning to the image we ourselves are producing and we have created a zeitgeist of chaos.
Samhain is bounded - by the end and the beginning of the Celtic year. Thus we are at the end of something and we cannot yet see what is to come. If we hope to avoid eternity in this disintegration between end and beginning, we must construct our own containment.
This isn't someone else's problem - it is your problem, it is my problem - it is for us to see, feel and act upon, not to sit lamely by and wait for someone else to do something. For the hope of our world, our children and our selves, we must, like the season, bound ourselves. To bound is to contain our own shadows instead of ceaselessly driving those unkempt energies into the world.
The bounding of our times can only come by choice, choice of the individual to turn back and take a good hard look at pain, take responsibility for what is wrong, both within our personal lives and without. Participate passionately in life - stand up, speak out, help someone - put something good back into life.
A great fire - of compassion and responsibility - must be kindled in this dark Samhain season, a fire that we must all tend. Throughout this night we will feed it with good works until it rises to force back the darkness. And when the dawn of the new Celtic year rises, we will still be standing, dirty and tired in the ashes, but knowing that we did our best.
Either illuminate the darkness or be swallowed by it. The choice is yours.
Wheel of the Year