22 April 2013

S is for...

It's day nineteen of the A to Z Challenge!

Today's topic is Samhain. In my household, Samhain has two meanings.

First, it's the first Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year. It's considered the pagan new year. Samhain falls on 31 October, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and when the Lord dies so he will be reborn at Yule. Samhain is a very reflective and personal holiday. It's a time when we examine ourselves as honestly as possible and decide what the things are that we need to release or shed. It's when our old self dies so that our new self can progress. It is also a time of sacrifice, because the Lord sacrifices himself so that his rebirth can occur. Sometimes, in order for us to move forward, we have to sacrifice something - a long-held habit, an old belief, a relationship that once brought joy and now only brings sorrow. I mentioned the veil between worlds being at its thinnest? Well, Samhain is a great time for divinatory work because of that thinness. Set a place at your table to honor your ancestors, those who have already crossed to Summerland, and ask for their guidance for the coming year.

The other meaning is my baby girl, Samhain.
Damn adorable, isn't she?
My Samhain came to me by pure happenstance. She was found in Occoquan and rescued by 13 Magickal Moons. I was taking classes at the time and got to meet her. I thought she was darling, but I had lost my Sheltie earlier that year and I'd always believed myself to be more of a dog person than a cat person.

 My Gaia Athena was a beautiful girl. I loved her fiercely for 10 wonderful years. She was loyal and playful and a little weird. So, a perfect fit for me. I miss her every day.

Well, Samhain was having none of my "I'm not a cat person" rhetoric. She would sleep on my purse until it was time for me to leave. She would climb in my lab while I was sitting and talking with Samantha and the other store owners. The final straw, though, happened one afternoon, around Samhain (the holiday). One of the old store owners was holding her; the woman came over to talk to me and, while we talked, Samhain climbed out of the woman's arms and into mine. She looked up at me with her pretty little panther face and pretty eyes and, for a moment, I saw my Gaia baby. I knew that I was not only meant to bring this little black ball of fur home, but that Gaia was okay with it.
If you're read Pieces of the Soul, you know I grieved hard. You also know that I love my Samhain just as fiercely.

Every Samhain in my house is a little extra special, because it's when I honor the memory of Gaia and I honor that Samhain came into my life.


  1. I love this post! So glad that you and Samhain found each other! I can't imagine the pain of losing a familiar- certain pets fill our lives like nothing else can.

    - Heather the Evil Twin blogging with love from the A-Z Challenge

    1. Heather,

      Pets certainly do fill our lives in an amazing way! Samhain and I are quite the pair. :-)

  2. What would life be like without our pets? I can't bare the thought of it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      I cannot imagine life without pets either! Gaia, and now Samhain, certainly enriched my life in ways I cannot even begin to describe.

  3. Interesting. I didn't know this. Love the pictures of the pets. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


    1. Sylvia,

      Thanks for stopping by! Welcome to the fun. :-) Hopefully I'll keep you entertained when you drop by.

  4. Beautiful post! I love Samhain! BEAUTIFUL!!
    A to Z-ing to the end
    Peanut Butter and Whine

    1. Connie,

      Thank you. She is a beautiful girl, isn't she? :-)

  5. Enjoyed reading about Samhain and Gaia. It's amazing how much joy pets can bring into our lives.

    Chontali Kirk