Full Moon No. 19, Fall
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Descent Into Darkness

embracing what lurks in the shadows
If you're hip to the jive of witchy ways, or have been a Lumen Letters reader since last fall, you're probably at least somewhat familiar with Samhain. 

And for those of you who are raising your eyebrows, don't worry - I'll fill you in.

But wherever you land on the spectrum of Samhain familiarity, this Letter offers a sharing of knowledge, both studied and experienced, into the realms of darkness and an embracing of the Samhain spirit. 
Samhain is the pagan Celtic holiday that Halloween originated from. Marking the halfway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, Samhain signifies a spiritual new year in the Celtic pagan traditions. Being tied to a Celtic ancestral lineage and having dabbled in Catholicism during my childhood, my gypsy witch spirit has happily found it's home deep in my dirt worshipping pagan roots. I'm also quite keen on matters of the dark, be it due to my ascending Scorpio sign or some other combinations of aspects. I'm quite fond of the fall season as well, dare I even say it's my favorite, if I absolutely had to choose one. So naturally, this time of the year surrounding Samhain is very special to me.

Before we dig any deeper, let's clear things up...Samhain  is pronounced sow-wen. I know, Gaelic is a strange language.

Moving onward, or rather downward, as we descend into the darker part of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Let me unearth some of the themes & energetics of this holiday that inspired Halloween.

Descent into darkness
Loss - Letting go
Honoring ancestors
Silence - Solitude
Regeneration - Transformation - Rebirth
Liminal spaces - Thinning of the veil
Communing with spirits
Facing & embracing fear
Shadow work
Dark, wild feminine archetype 
Grandmother Moon
Witch's new year

Hmm, seeing some overlaps? 

Now mind you, I'm not attempting to convert anyone into a Samhain celebrating heathen like myself 

I'm just shedding some light, amidst these darker times, onto the truth behind the beloved holiday of Halloween. I believe there is room for an embracing of at least some of the themes mentioned above regardless of what spiritual practice or religion you follow. However you choose to work with the energy of the Samhain season is completely personal, and absolutely should be so.
Working within your darkest shadows and dancing with those inner demons is definitely personal work. And now's a super supportive time to descend into your own personal darkness. It's not always the most fun kind of self-development, psychospiritual work, but my dears, it must be done.

For if we don't don the cloak of darkness and dance with the skeletons we keep locked away in the closet, learning how they move and to which rhythms they fancy, then those hidden aspects of ourselves will only grow stronger in rebellion for not having their own time to shine. 

Yes, this is deeply personal work, but I have some suggestions to support you! You didn't think I was gonna leave ya hangin' with all that heavy, dark shit and no further insights into actionable steps to take?! 

These suggestions all come from my own personal experiences, because how else but to better guide deeply personal work than from my own deeply personal experiences.
  • Dance wildly into the night, alone, or surrounded by trusted souls. Dancing around a bonfire is quite delectable for embracing the darkness while setting flames to those inner demons. I've curated a playlist to inspire your dancing and chanting through these darkest of days to come.
  • Howl at the moon. No, I'm not kidding. This is viscerally powerful, and tuning into the animalistic, primal self is deeply satisfying.
  • Scream into the darkness of the night, preferably in a natural landscape...but when that's not possible, stuffing your face into a pillow and letting out a loud roar does wonders.
  • Call on Mugwort as your herbal ally and Samhain muse. The artemisia's are lovely for invoking dreamy realms, communing with the lunar cycles, and helping you heal those tender wounds of body and spirit. 
  • Ritual bath - smudge the space with your favorite smudge stick, decorate the ledges around your bath tub with whatever resonates (I like feathers, stones, leaves, pinecones, bones, etc.) and by candlelight, surrender into the soothing lull of the watery realms. My Fall Soak Bath Salts were brewed with ritual fall time baths in mind. There's even locally wildcrafted, by yours truly, Mugwort flowers and leaves in this seasonal blend to aide with this descent into the darkness, or the underworld, of our psyches.
I have to say, for a full moon edition, this Letter has been quite dark. 

I hope I haven't scared you away from, but rather encouraged you to embrace the darkness. To relish in what the shadows offer us. And honor the balance between the darkness and the light. 
In celebration of Samhain, I've gathered my favorite soul-invoking, bone-chilling, wildly mysterious ballads in this playlist. Dance and chant your way into the darkness, my dears!
May you delve into the depths,
with a vulnerable valor,
embracing what is to be unearthed 
during these darker times of the year.

Luminous love,

PDX women, let's fall together

After a summer of transitions, I’m hosting my FIRST women's gathering in Portland, to cultivate the luminous community in Luminous Architecture's new home base. We will ground down into the fall energy together and explore how we can best take care of ourselves during this season. Gathering near Samhain, this is a powerful and intentional way to celebrate our descent into the darker half of the year.

More details & RSVP HERE by Friday October 26th




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This is Lumen Letters, a writing platform where I share my thoughts on humanly holistic living. Hopefully, you find the general information in this letter informative and helpful, but it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.
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