Pre-Samhain Cleaning

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In both the physical and spiritual sense.

2016 has been a wild ride, most of it unpleasant, and it ain’t over yet. It’s been a very difficult year for my mother and me. We finally cut off contact with relatives who had been harmful to us emotionally and financially for years. We had a horrible couple of months financially, so bad that I had to start a GoFundMe to pay a missed mortgage payment. That same week that I started the GoFundMe, our elderly dog died.

A friend told me that it seemed that we were going through a period of cleansing. I think she’s right. We’re still having difficulties, but my mother has finally discarded her “don’t rock the boat” attitude and started acting more like Mom. MOM. The mom that I was afraid to defy when I was a teenager.

I’ve spent most of the year struggling with nostalgia for the symbols I loved when I was a young child at Catholic school and the elemental desire to study and practice Wicca. Wicca finally won. I finally realized that Catholic school was the place that I felt safe when my parents’ marriage was breaking up. Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary were real to me and made me feel protected. They still do. I think that I’ll always have my particular fascination with Mary Magdalene, but I feel like I’m falling more in love with the Earth and the moon and the stars and the tiniest seedlings every day. The same friend who suggested the cleansing period theory got me very interested in Tarot and oracle card and frankly, I’ve had some damn spooky experiences with my cards.

So today, I spent almost three hours physically cleaning my house and then I cleansed my altar. Today is the New Moon and the day before Halloween. The timing for a physical and spiritual cleansing couldn’t be better. And I believe that this cleansing will help me and my mother get through the rest of this year, which is not shaping up to be fun in any way.

We’ve discussed our holiday traditions and decided to change some things this year. I’ll still celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday, but I’m looking at it as more of a Mom and friends day than gifts and a huge meal. I look around and see all the things that I have and haven’t been able to appreciate due to the stress of 2016. Unfinished drawings and crochet projects. Books I bought and didn’t read or finish reading. And so many things that are cluttering up my physical and psychic space.

While I was cleaning today, I started being realistic about the clothes I have, the ones I cannot fit into right now, and the ones I’ve held onto for years but not worn. I’m taking them to Goodwill. And I’m really going to take them instead of filling up bags and leaving them sitting around. I hoard anything I think I could possibly use in an art project. That stuff is going in the trash. Books I bought over 20 years ago and will never read again are going to the small library up the street. Things in my “Stuff to Sell on Ebay” box are actually getting listed on Ebay and if they don’t sell, they’re going to Goodwill. Broken knickknacks are going into the trash. I’m giving away a lot of my old dolls, baby dolls, porcelain dolls, because I have so many that I can’t enjoy them.

My mind is starting to settle as I make all these decisions. I’m realistic, of course, I know that none of this is going to cure my anxiety or depression or O.C.D. But it will help. It will help me to move into my 44th year of life with a lighter heart, because confusion and too many physical things occupying my space but not being useful to me have held me back for a very long time.

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