Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 14 - Smudging & cleansing #cgsc2015

We've made it! It is Day 14 and the day before of All Hallow's Eve, Hallowe'en, Samhain to the Celts. There are lots of sites out there that explain the history and symbolism behind the celebration of Samhain and while I could get into great detail here as well, that hasn't been the purpose of this challenge. I'll save my history and spiritual lessons for another day ;). Suffice to say, Samhain traditionally begins at sunset on October 31st and lasts until sunrise on November 1st and it is during this time that it is customary to honour our ancestors. We want to invite our ancestors into our homes and remember then, let them know that we respect them and some of them are probably missed quite dearly. Samhain is also considered the end of the Celtic year, to let go of that which did not serve us in the previous year, take a deep breath and begin to plan how we want to see the new year manifest.

Today is the culmination of our hard work to prepare our homes for the coming event. We've tidied, organised, released unnecessary clutter, and got things all spic and span for our spiritual guests. We've also done all this for ourselves, getting rid of the old so we can make room for the new. Creating a space we can feel comfortable returning to, a haven, from the stress of the outside world. It doesn't matter how much you did, but that you did do something, nothing has to be, nor will it ever be, perfect. Better really is good enough, plus you've got the stagnant energies in your home and very possibly in yourself as well. I am so proud of all of you and all you've accomplished, I am so honoured that you let me come into your homes and your lives to share this challenge together. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

If you have them, now is the time to pull out your crystals and herbs. If you've not done so already, the crystals need to be cleansed. There are many ways to do this, be aware of the solidity of the crystals you have chosen though, for example, selenite is actually water soluble and if you try to cleanse it with water it will begin to fall apart on you. Also, always be aware of the toxicity of some crystals, unpolished malachite is very dangerous and should never be handle with your bare hands. Methods to cleanse your crystals including passing them under running water, through the smoke of burning incense or smudging herbs, placing them under a full moon, placing them out in the sun, and even as simple as flowing your own energies through the stone.

First we are going to smudge our homes, even if you have not done so for all the previous days, for the end of the year it is very important that you smudge in a counter-clockwise/widdershins direction. The purpose of this is to banish all negative energies and widdershins is the direction of banishment. Choose your smudge based on your own likes/dislikes and intuition. Burning sage is very common but it is not the only way. You can use other herbs that you prefer, you can have a spray bottle with water and salt in it, Florida water is also great, or your favourite incense, use a bell, or even the clapping of hands. The tool is not the point, your intentions are what makes the banishing work.

Once you've chose your method open up all the windows in your home, even if it's chilly out, this is important, the energies need escape routes. If you can open the doors too, but if you have fur babies you don't want outside then definitely consider their safety first. Step outside your front door with your smudge and close the door, smudge yourself at this point, bathing in the smoke, water, or sounds. Immediately reenter your home turning to your right. You're going to sweep the smoke, spray the water, or clap your hands from as high as you can reach down to the floor, up and down as you walk counter-clockwise around your home. If you have multiple levels, decide the best path for you. Personally, I like to start from top to bottom, thanking Mother Earth's gravitational pull for helping with this banishment. Travel through every room, reach into every closet, around each window and doorway. If you like to sing, then do so, or put some music on, if you have a mantra, use it, or if you prefer silence then by all means, enjoy the silence, it is a rare commodity in this busy world.

Continue all the way through your home, keeping with the widdershins direction the entire time. The last room should be the one to the left of your front entry as you once again return to the threshold of your house. Open the door again, smudge the entryway while still standing inside. If you want to say something here, then say it, whether aloud, in your head, shouting or whispering, tell the past, the negativity, that it has no place in your home and it must leave. Now.

That's it! If you like, light some candles to start to bring in the light, but otherwise, your home is ready to receive your ancestors, to celebrate the year that has past and the one we look forward to. Close windows and doors when you're comfortable to do so (or uncomfortable if it is cold, lol). Enjoy a snack and a drink, but save some to offer to the Universe, Mother Earth, and/or your deity. Blessed Be!

I can't wait to hear of your experiences over the course of these two weeks. If you've learned anything about yourself, about your habits, do you hoard things? Do you hoard past baggage? Are they connected in some way? I would love it if you could share your feelings as you went through the challenge, what was the hardest to release, what was the easiest, and how you feel now as we have reached the end. I would also very much appreciate any feedback! As mentioned at the beginning, this is my first (but hopefully not last) time taking on such a project. I enjoyed doing this and I do hope that I have somehow helped you, even in the smallest way and I'd love to hear about that. I'm also open to any suggestions. I do have ideas of my own on how to change things for the future endeavours, but I always appreciate constructive criticism to help me hone my ideas into something that is helpful to another. Thank you again and Goddess Bless.

Have a Blessed Samhain, Me Pretties!!! xxxx

Love & light,
~Síonaínn **  ƸӜƷ  **


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