Samhain Shadow Work And Grimoire Prompts (Podcast Episode 147)

Samhain Shadow Work Grimoire Prompts

Samhain Shadow Work

November’s Eve, AKA Samhain, Halloween or All Hallows Eve is the third harvest festival, celebrated around November 1st.

The midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice is a time when the days are being consumed by longer, colder nights.

The late Autumn time, when the very last of the harvest was brought in for winter, was always riddled with themes of death, darkness, and mystery.

The Celtic Pagans of the distant past called it Samhain, or “Summer’s End.” It was a time to communicate with the ancestors and muse about what lay on the other side of the veil of death.

In Christian times, the church adapted this theme into All Hallows Eve, a time to acknowledge the souls of those who had passed away. The modern adaptation is Halloween, a pop culture holiday in which we toy with ideas of what humans are most afraid of.

Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead, which emphasizes not the fear factor, but the honoring of those loved ones who have passed out of this world and on to the next.

My three favorite themes to focus on this time of year are DEATH, ANCESTORS and DARKNESS.

Death

In modern society, we go to great lengths to overlook the concept of death, so it may come as a surprise that our ancestors dealt closely with death and amassed their most prominent celebrations around this subject.

In secular culture, we avoid thinking about the end of our lives on Earth, but almost every ancient spiritual teaching focused on the transition from this world into the next. At this time of the year, when it’s said that the veil to the other realm is thin, its the perfect time to actually ponder the mystery of death, rather than ignoring it.

Some questions to ask yourself around the theme of death this season:

How have I experienced the concept of death in my life, such as the metaphorical “death” of past versions of myself or paradigms of my life? Is there anything in my life right now that I feel is ready to “die” to create space for new experiences in the coming year?

I’ve experienced a lot of the theme of death in the past few years. It definitely feels like I’ve gone through an “ego death,” of some kind, where I’ve watched parts of myself die to clear the way for new experiences.

Some of these have been very slow and painful deaths like, while others felt like a breath of fresh air after a period of more graceful, gradual transition – Like with my cat familiars who have passed away in the past few years – I loved them dearly, and always will, but I understood and accepted that they were like 1200 years old in cat years, and I knew their time was coming, giving way to a new chapter of mine and Mowgli’s lives where we’re no longer essentially living in a cat nursing home.

Along with the end of the nearly two decades long dynasty of my old family of cats, is the overarching theme of the death of my old identity of my teens and 20s. While it’s been somewhat of a gradual change over the course of the past few years, this year in particular stands out as the true “end” of something and the start of a new era in my life.

Sometimes in people’s lives, there’s an abrupt ‘death’ of a version of themeselves when something suddenly forces them to pivot… But other times, we have plenty of warning that an era is gradually coming to an end, and it’s up to us to make peace with it and prepare for the change.

I knew by the time I was 24 that I was slowly becoming “more 30.” And by the time I was 27 I was actually looking forward to my 30s in a way. Since I had discovered magick and self-development in my early 20s, I was observing how my life seemed to improve as I got older – Contrary to the toxic societal conditioning that I’d fed into growing up.

I learned about the power of the number 33, and was kind of excited to see how magickal and powerful I would be by age 33. (And as a total side note, I’ve also since discovered that my life purpose numerology is a series of repeating 3s, so perhaps I intuitively knew this would be an important year for me).

… And having been 33 years old for the past eight months now, I can definitely attest to it being a very powerful year for me… But nothing could have prepared me for what I’ve encountered on the road to get here.

As a magickal mentor, I really try to emphasize in my teachings that we really should be careful what we wish for… And in some cases, how we wish for it! My ex boyfriend actually summed it up perfectly in one of his stand up comedy bits – He would tell this annoying joke about how his girlfriend was a witch, and how she manifested him, and now she has to deal with the consequences of being with a guy like him.

And what was most annoying about it was that it was true! Some would say that I’d manifested a toxic relationship because I’d been doing the manifestation process “wrong.” But I see it differently – I actually believe that we manifest exactly what we need at any given time.

For some reason, I was stubbornly convinced that I needed to be with that guy, and I stayed with him through nearly 3 years of toxicity (which was out of character from my normal relationship style)… Even though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.

Looking back at the whole situation, I see exactly how none of it was an accident or a coincidence. Not only did I learn a ton about self development and manifestation and how they work… But I also learned exactly what I didn’t want in a relationship, which made it abundantly clear exactly what I did want in a relationship – Which in turn led to me becoming a vibrational match to my soulmate a year after breaking up with that guy.

I do believe in free will, and that if I had gone about manifesting a partner differently back then, I could have manifested a road where I learned the lessons I’d needed to learn in a much easier and more gentle way… But I believe I chose the “hard” road because I (consciously or unconsciously) wanted to a “crash course” in the subjects of “life school” that were triggered in that relationship.

I like to believe that myself and my current partner experienced our previous relationships exactly when we did as an intensive prerequisite to finding each other. We’ve had similar experiences and learned similar lessons, and it makes us stronger individually, stronger together, and maximizes the wisdom that we’re able to share with the people who we help.

Who knows what could have happened in an alternate reality… But I have a feeling my partner and I were able to clear away old karma and break generational curses involving toxic relationships in the few years before meeting each other so that we could come together at age 30 with the self love, wisdom and vision we needed to truly be a power couple… And maybe it would have taken longer if we hadn’t manifested the hard and fast road.

This is just one example of a time when I’ve experienced this phenomenon of, “be careful what you wish for, and how you wish for it.” And this segues into what still needs to “die” this season – This November’s Eve season, I’m letting go of the pattern of always choosing the hard and fast lessons.

There’s definitely a time and place for it, but I’m now stepping into a new paradigm where I get to learn my lessons the easy way… And furthermore, that just because things get to come easier to me, it doesn’t automatically mean it has to come slower or less efficiently.

As magickal practitioners we can’t control what life throws at us, but we do get to use our free will to choose our path and our methods. In the past, I was using a lot of fire power and overthinking my way through life via air. And now I’m re-balancing the elements so that I can be more grounded in earth, and more nourished by water.

Of course all of the elements are still equally important, and working with tools like seasons, astrology and divination help me stay balanced along the way. One way to get clarity at any moment is to do an Elemental Alchemy tarot reading. In this spread, I pull one card for each of the elements to show me a snapshot of how I’m currently manifesting my reality. The Spirit element card shows me the path my soul truly wants to take, informing how I’ll balance or re-balance the other elements going forward.

You’re welcome to try this type of reading for yourself, or I invite you to come have one done by me. Sometimes getting a reading done by a loving, wise companion who is detached from the intimate details of the situation is exactly what we need to see a different perspective on potential solutions so we can get out of our own way.

Ancestors

Along with the theme of death, the mind naturally wanders to the memory of those who have passed on. In ancient times, and in indigenous cultures, there’s a great emphasis on remembering the ancestors.

During the late fall season, we can take this time to recall those who came before us, and reflect on our physical and spiritual lineage. Whether we were close to them in life or not, everyone alive today only exists because our ancestors survived and passed their genes and wisdom on to each of us.

Some questions to ask yourself around the theme of ancestors this season:

What comes to mind when I think of “ancestors”? My familial ancestors whom I knew or can name? The thousands of biological ancestors in my line whom I cannot name? Or even the concept of “collective ancestors,” any ancient cultures that I feel intuitively connected with? How do I (or can I) honor any or all ancestors this season, or in the year ahead?

Ancestors are an “interesting” subject for me… Because, on the one hand, I could say it’s not a big or prominent part of my practice. While, on the other hand, I could also say that human history is something that I find very fascinating.

I think part of the reason for this is that I was raised geographically far away from my grandparents, and one of my parents never talked much about their side of the family. The closer side of my family is quite mixed. But in addition to that, being an Aquarius personality type, I’ve always kind of been more focused on the humanitarian possibilities of the future than the oppression and segregation of the past.

I’ve always identified more as a world citizen than any specific cultural identity. I see humans as humans – Part of one big “family.” And I can just as easily see people who are not related to me as chosen “family,” as I can distance myself from blood relatives that don’t vibe with me if need be. To me, people are people, and energy is just as relevant as blood.

I’ve also found it hard to really identify with any one ancient or modern culture, because I have a very blended background. I identify mainly as African American, because that’s what my parents and grandparents identified as. But I’ve never fully felt like I fit into that box the way others do, and I was always just as interested in the customs of other cultures.

My mom has gotten really into ancestry in the past few years, and as it turns out, just as we had always suspected, we are also of European and Native American origin as well. So I could justify my interest in various forms of paganism by identifying as African, European and Native American… But how does that explain my love of Eastern philosophy?

This is where the concept of “collective ancestors” comes in for me. It’s my worldview that everything and everyone in the Universe is connected and comes from the same source. And the concept of reincarnation rings true for me. So wouldn’t it be fair to assume it’s possible that we’ve all lived many lives in many cultures with many different identities over the millennia?

Even biologically speaking, we’re learning that culture’s we’ve come to think of a separate were actually blended in the past (and still are) in various ways. Like how if you dig deep enough into Celtic history and mythology, you discover that their culture overlaps with Indian culture, as just one example.

Especially now in a world where there’s so much divisiveness going on, even as there’s more and more integration of every culture through migration and the internet – I’m feeling more and more like the path forward is to see the potential for unity rather than focusing too much on where each supposedly separate group came from.

I feel it’s important to acknowledge, honor, respect (and perhaps most importantly) LEARN FROM each culture. But I’m far more interested in the common origin of all humanity and the future we’re creating together. I feel it’s more important than ever to focus on what we all have in common (our inherent humanness) than what sets us apart.

One way I like to do this in a simple, magickal way is to research and honor the spiritual wisdom of various world cultures. As an eclectic pantheist pagan, I don’t worship the deities of any particular culture. However, I believe in the universality of archetypes and the creative power of feeding into and resonating with their energies.

I like to keep representations of archetypes from all over the world on my altar, and open myself for communication with them in my daily ritual. I often find fall to be the perfect season for expanding my knowledge on human history and mythology, and enjoy playing documentaries in the background while I’m creating artwork for my shop.

Darkness

In November, the shortening of the daylight hours becomes impossible to ignore.

We’re becoming acutely aware that the darkest part of the year is closing in on us. It is at this time that we intuitively begin to reflect on the “darker” aspects of the human experience as well.

Shadow Work is the practice of facing the parts of ourselves that we have not yet healthily integrated into our holistic view of self. Shadow aspects include our fears, guilty pleasures, and the parts of our personality or past that we are not proud of. We owe it to ourselves to be conscious of these things and find a healthy way to give them a voice in our spiritual practice… Otherwise, they will haunt our steps, preventing us from manifesting our dream life.

Some questions to ask yourself around the theme of darkness this season:

What am I afraid of, or what are some of my least favorite things about myself, my life, or my past? In what ways can I playfully integrate these fears and frictions into my life and provide a healthy outlet for that dark energy?

Lately, I have been addressing the fear of fear itself… Obviously, the theme of fear has been very prominent in the world for the past few years, and I’ve really had to take a closer look at how it was showing up for me, and how I could integrate it in a way that helps me rather than hindering me.

Not only have there been things like diseases and economic crises to contend with in the world, but I’m also a female black witch in America right now. Just about everything about me could be viewed as triggering to various groups of extremist muggles.

But my intention for myself is to not see that as evidence that I’m being shunned, attacked and destroyed by enemies coming at me from every side, even though there have been violent demonstrations against my kind very close to home.

I’ve had to get “real” with myself and really ask myself what drives me and what gets to feed off of my attention and what doesn’t. It’s in seemingly opposing times like these that we as humans and as magickal practitioners have to really put our money where our mouths are when it comes to focusing our energy and attention.

Time and time again, I return to the simple question: Am I being led by fear or love right now?

And as always, this powerful question helps guide me to make decisions that are truly in alignment with my soul, my truth, my power and my values. When we’re blinded by fear (which can often be defined by it’s acronym, False Evidence Appearing Real) we’re 100% likely to run blindly into more of what we think we’re running away from.

However, when we acknowledge our fears (real or imagined) and allow ourselves to feel and release them with love and positive intention, we’re able to clear our energy and then focus more effectively on what it is we actually want to create in their place.

I don’t believe we’re going to collectively manifest more peace and love by focusing our decisions around paradigms of fear and separation… Which is interesting to navigate in today’s world, especially for someone like me who has strong air placements and a tendency to want to think “realistically.”

But what I’m learning along my spiritual journey is that nothing truly expansive or worthwhile ever really comes primarily from thinking about the problem from the same place that got us there in the first place. I’m continuing to challenge myself to see the world (and my place in it) from a solution-based mindset.

And even more than ever before, I’m approaching this not from a place of sweeping things under the rug, but instead from a place of true awareness and healing. It’s not about ignoring the problems as if they don’t exist. It’s about acknowledging the trauma with compassion for self and others, and choosing to interrupt the pattern starting with myself.

I’m doing my best to truly embody the age old saying, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” And sometimes that looks like simply being gentle with ourselves and still daring to dream outside of the apparent confines of the version of “reality” that’s being presented to you from the world outside.

This is what true magick is – The ability, willingness and courage to see possibility in your own vision, even when what you’re seeing around you is the culmination of a past paradigm that you’re not identified with deep down.

Afura reading tarot cards outdoors in autumn

So, what are your favorite things about the November’s Eve season?

Are you planning to journal on the topics from this video?

If so, I would love to invite you to join me for a seasonal journaling adventure this fall! Here’s how:

First, you can download the printable PDF files of the grimoire pages you saw in this video from the Writing Witch Shop. Your download will include all of the November’s Eve information discussed in this video as well as journal prompts and space to write about your relationship with the season. You also get access to four different printing options – Color and black and white (the black and white version is great for saving on ink and getting to decorate the pages yourself) and full page binder sheets or a smaller folded book template for junk journaling.

You get to print these out as many times as you want for your own personal use, so if you want to do binder pages in color this year for an instant option, you can… And then next year, if you decide you want to get more crafty with your grimoire, you can print the junk journal template versions.

Doing these same journal prompts each year in different journals or as binder refills has helped me and my Writing Witch patrons to up-level our capacity to experience fulfillment each year – And I want you to get to experience this magick too!

Are you also looking to connect with myself and other magickal mavens as you embody your most fulfilled version of yourself this season?

If so, I would love to invite you to join us on Patreon!

If you choose to join any tier in October, you’ll get access to November’s Eve themed grimoire pages.

And we’ll be doing our Late Autumn Seasonal Living Challenge and connecting with kindred spirits with discussion prompts. This challenge is for the Grimoire Goodies tier, Magickal Mavens tier and the Writing Witch Subscription Box tiers on Patreon.

Every Wednesday for the five weeks around Samhain, I’ll be posting a prompt to help you maximize your fulfillment by harnessing the themes of the sabbat.

Patrons who post a response to every discussion prompt will be entered to win a package of paper craft goodies from my shop!

November's Eve Samhain Themed Paper Pack

All you need to do to participate is be aware that…

  • The challenge begins on the third Wednesday in October when the first post goes live. There will be one challenge post per week for five weeks leading up to the final post which will come out in mid-November.
  • Challenge prompts will always be posted on Wednesdays around 11AM EST.
  • A winner will be selected randomly one week after the 5th and final prompt is posted.

If you’re not already an eligible patron, I invite you to sign up now! I’m so excited to get to know you better as we share our experiences with the seasons! I hope to see you there! November’s Eve blessings to you!

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Want to get printables, and other goodies from my shop in the mail each month?

Patrons also get engage in discussion prompts in community with me, and to suggest what content I create next!

Did you enjoy this post?

If so, I invite you to check out this one next:

Magickal Correspondences Of Pumpkins For Autumn Equinox and November's Eve

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