I’ve signed up for a programme called The Celtic Wheel. It’s a year long online programme, weaving the wisdom of the Celts into my life and that of 65 other modern women…helping us to live intentionally and on purpose. Oh jesus, even writing that scares the shit out of me. A whole year? What have I done…

On Wednesday night, we celebrated Samhain, the festival marking the beginning of the Celtic new year. Google it, read about it on Dolores Whelan’s blog (she’s full of wisdom on this) Just like Mother Earth, this is a time for us all to let go, to release what no longer serves us, to cut away dead wood, in readiness for what is to follow. It sounds great in theory…but can be an incredibly challenging time. The energy of Samhain is that of the ‘Hag’ the old woman, the ‘Cailleach’ in the ‘Samhain’ of her life, full of wisdom and clarity. She is not unlike the Goddess Kali cutting away whatever we no longer need, whether we like it or not. Maaaaan she asks a lot.


(from …theartofenchantment.net with thanks)


“Terrified of ‘What Ifs” and “If Onlys”
I cling with broken fingernails to my year past,
Longing to bypass the discomfort of transition
And leap into the year ahead, unconscious.”

(Lydia Campbell)


Samhain asks us to let go and let go and let go, without knowing what will move in, in place of whatever we are releasing. Samhain asks us to wait in the void, to listen, to feel whatever comes up, to simply notice. Samhain asks us to feel the loss and pain of that and resist the urge to fill the void. In the words of my wise friend Lydia Campbell, I long to bypass the discomfort of transition…it is so fucking uncomfortable.

I have chosen to celebrate Samhain more than once. Each time, I have been asked to share what no longer serves me. The question makes my skin crawl. Having the answer demands a degree of self awareness that I haven’t always had. I’ve struggled, I’ve made something up, I’ve latched onto the first thing that comes to mind, just to have an answer… I used to feel like such a failure for not knowing. I really should know, right? Should I though? Really? Who says?


…and therein lies the true question.


The little girl in me, who learned long ago that it’s not ok to get it wrong, believes that the world around her will fall apart if she doesn’t have the answer.  When asked what no longer serves her, this little one needs to know. No excuses. If she gets it wrong she has FAILED.


So…the answer is clear.


I don’t need to let go of the desire to be a Mum. I don’t need to let go of the insulating layer of fat I’ve grown in the last two years. I don’t need to let go of the 3 glasses of wine I had today, to avoid having to answer this question.


That which no longer serves me is the belief that it’s not ok to get things wrong. It’s not ok to fail.


…and that’s ok.Noticing that I am distracting myself from the question Samhain is asking, is paying attention. Not knowing is ok, distracting myself is ok, those beliefs that kept me safe are ok. Right now, in this 6 week period of Samhain, I get to listen to all of those thoughts & voices. I get to tell that little girl inside me that she can chill out in the back seat while I jump into the driver’s seat. The grown up, 40 year old Ruth has the wheel.