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at the end, a beginning

It is Samhain in my part of the world, the festival of death and descent, and also the beginning of the new year in ancient traditions. I always found this strange, for it seemed to me the year began again in spring with new leaves, refreshed skies. And yet, it is in early winter that seeds begin their growth, deep in the warm fertile dark, the womb and tomb of the world. And it is in the ruins of her old choices that the heroine begins a new path into story, drawn forth by the call of the wild, loving god into transformation.

I love the promise this gives us - that our winters hold the seeds for our beautiful flowering. That death is just the beginning.

art by katrina sesum


  1. Here's to new paths and transformations! Thank you for writing so beautifully, Sarah.

  2. it always seemed strange to me, too, even after reading about the old agricultural and pastoral traditions that underlie it. one day, i began to view the winter part of the year through the lens of a woman in early pregnancy...(or the seeded earth)...a waiting time, in which the power of life is working but not visible. this may have been made easier by the fact that my own child was conceived about midsummer, and born at ostara...

    and i have always loved the bare winter trees as i do the green, and the snow-mantled earth as much as the flower-starred. but then i am myself born seven days after samhain, and so a child of winter and darkness.

    1. pregnancy, yes. thank you, you've given me a concept with which to expand my thoughts on this. i was born in midsummer under a full moon, so i'm not quite sure why i so love winter and the dark, but i guess i have always been contrary ;-)

  3. So true! I find it interesting that both Samhain and Walpurgis, which we have just celebrated in Sweden, burn fires to ward off evil spirits.


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