I believe there’s always another beginning waiting to be explored, and in that spirit, I celebrate three different, distinct New Years. The first of these falls this week, with the holiday known to most pagans as Samhain and pretty much everyone in the US as Halloween. Each of the holidays I celebrate is a busy chunk of time, not a single day, with a number of overlapping holidays and influences.
Samhain is a good example of that. I celebrate the pagan holiday with it’s Catholic influences, honoring the dead who have passed. I celebrate the secular holiday with it’s costumes and the whole-hearted embrace of fear that lasts only a short time. Because I associate Laima with Lakshmi, and because my wife works heavily with Ganesha, I pay attention to the dates for Diwali each year. This is also a time I associate heavily with beginning new creative pursuits, because so much of the internet is talking about NaNoWriMo, Yuletide, Yuletart, and other writing projects.
In the spirit of the Firebird, I try to appreciate the smell of autumn-death as the beginning that it is. We begin to clear away the old because that is what makes way for the new. I try to begin all the major holidays with a declutter, but the new years in particular are good times to clean out cabinets and closets.
Usually I try to get the 31st of October and the 1st of November off work, but this year I wasn’t able to. I’ll be making the most of it by celebrating the memory of the dead after work on the 31st, including both family like my cousin R and my niece I as well as those who’ve influenced me. This is a holyday that belongs to Marzanna, Lady of the Earth, She Who Cradles The Body. It’s also a good day to leave offerings for the Wild Hunt as their season kicks off.
On the 1st, I’ll be kicking off a new year of creativity and hard work with a NaNoWriMo project and a mysterious secret blog project, in between homework, my usual blogging and a little bit of freelance writing.
Suffice to say I’ll be going through a lot of candles this week (the festival of lights’ll do that to you) and we’ll see if I can’t get this year off to a good start.