How better to start November than with a Potato Parcel? :-D One of my besties, T, sent it, and it's just the most awesome, hilarious, wonderful present ever. I mean, really - when was the last time you got the mail and there was a potato in it????
Samhain - it's pronounced "sow-en" - is a beautiful time in the Celtic year. It is the first season and the first festival (and most important one) of the Celtic year. We'll be in Samhain from November until February. It's the gateway into gaimos time - dark time - the days are shorter and in the Northern Hemisphere, nothing's happening. Everything is regrouping. Now is the time to draw your energy inward. In Ever Ancient, Ever New, author Dolores Whelan says it this way: "The natural response of a human being living in harmony with this season would be to draw one's energy inward and limit the outer activity. This is the giamos time associated with the goddess principal of renewal within the womb of the earth."
For me, it's a time to rest and restore my spirit - time to think about myself and what I chose to accomplish - time to move toward liminal space - space of transition - where whatever is coming next will arrive - and time to make myself ready for whatever that might be.
And who doesn't love a potato? Seriously - I love them the best I think - and my friend, T, knows this. T is my Iona Sister - we met on a retreat on the Isle of Iona led by author, Joan Anderson. One of the very wonderful things about Iona is its rocks. Seriously. And on that trip, I found what my Iona sisters and I called "the potato rock."
It looks just like the perfect potato. It's been hiding for a few years - in fact, most of my Iona stones were used as weights to set a box 'o wine on during a couple of holiday parties here at my house.
Necessity is the mother of invention, you know - that was actually two fruitcake boxes taped together. :-) (Collin Street Bakery - Best. Fruitcake. Ever. and don't say you don't like it until you've tried theirs.)
In one was a Trinity knot carved into cement, and in the other, an assortment of Iona stones. I suggest you click to biggify. Each side of Iona is completely different, so you can see some Iona marble, some serpentine, some aventurine, a bit of crockery, and the potato rock. It's quite lovely to see them all again - certainly I have others - these were heavier and needed to balance my jerry-rigged wine platform, and so they were pressed into service.
It's perfect, isn't it? The potato rock, and my Samhain potato!
And yes, my suitcase was heavy - that was the trip I had to send two boxes home on the slow boat (they still had the slow boat then - it was March, and I didn't get my stuff until May :-D ). That was also the trip that launched me onto the Path to Myself, a path I still travel. I stumble now and again, and I've taken my share of wrong turns, but I always find my way back. And so my Samhain potato will be traveling with me in the coming days to remind me to look within and to pay attention.
And now it's the Celtic New Year - All Souls Night - Halloween - was last night. And All Souls Day is celebrated today in many churches of many denominations.
Happy New Year . . .