Wishes at Samhain

Years ago, when I was a first-year University student in London, a friend and I travelled into the city to explore. Most of the day was spent in the magical otherworld of Camden Market, but then we decided to head out to Highgate Cemetery.

We were disorganised Goths, though, and in those pre-Internet days, had no way to check times… so when we arrived, it was closed.

To this day, I have never been closer to it than this:

Years later, I’m working at home during a time when the world seems utterly crazy, and I think back to that day.

I think of those people stuck at home due to lockdown – or physical illness, social anxiety, any number of social ills. 2020 has been a year of confusion and fear. Those innocent happy days have been a pleasant memory.

I find myself wondering if/how I can recreate such times. I’m older and (possibly) a bit wiser. The world is still out there. We must tread with more awareness, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I’m pondering what I can do, if/how I can overcome the challenges of 2020.

Samhain is imminent, so this seems timely. ‘Pagan New Year’ means looking back, but also forward, for me. I feel – I hope – that I’m moving from what can I do to combine again with what do I want to do. And then how can I achieve that?

Those University days were lessons in themselves, as we tested our boundaries, away from home for the first time in a strange, new place. I feel as if we’re doing that again this year, but within the new confines of safety measures. This isn’t play; this is serious. We’re isolated for the sake of the wider community (and news reports show how difficult many people find that).

I’ve always been aware of the needs of others, often to the detriment of my own (that’s another story). Testing my own wants, putting toes into the water of ‘Yes, this is something that I genuinely would like to do’ seems revolutionary, and immensely freeing.

I’m actively battling the depression, armed with recent hospital treatment and backed my loving family and friends. I feel hopeful and determined. Even in this year like no other, steps can be taken to move forward.

I would like to go walking in the woods. To explore the secret places, down tiny roads and hidden tracks.

I would like to spend time with those past, in cemeteries or historic buildings. Perhaps the catacombs under Nottingham or the stone circles of Derbyshire Peaks.

I would like to find a decent camera to record these moments, and practice my photography to capture and share.

And back home, as the cold days draw in, I would like to explore my creativity. Maybe to design something with yarn, to actually learn to sew…

I would very much like to add more words to the beginnings of my fiction. To write, so that I can take up challenges that come my way.

I would like to not be scared to do. To be as nervous but excited as I was on that long-ago day. To see where my feet – and my mind – take me.

Let’s make our wishes on this 2020 Samhain. Apart, yet together across the technological community. A deep breath, acknowledgement of limits but still honouring our dreams.

What are We Doing?



  1. I think one of the key things for trying things is feeling totally safe about making a hash of it. If you’ve always been put under a lot of pressure to succeed and achieve, then the kinds of cock ups that are essential for learning new things can be hard to face. ‘it is ok to be a bit shit’ is a really powerful and enabling sort of mantra.

  2. liz said

    Thank you – very thought provoking Sending love and light Liz

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  3. hairymare said

    I am picking a thing I want to do and writing down the first step, next step and so on and just doing each step. Spending a lot of time woods-walking as I feel safe. Hugging trees, saying prayers for wild things, talking to stones, sending love to a mountain. I am fortunate to live in mountains woods and often think about how it would be to live in a city during Covid. Went to the city and ordered a take out sandwich and drove to a marina and ate it while watching the lake and walked doggy all around. We (doggy and me) often walk the local cemetery just to look at birds and nature in an open setting. Quarantining since March and I am feeling more pressure and stir crazy as the days go by. Stopped house cleaning other than essentials as who cares, no one is coming over and I’d rather spend my time doing things I’d rather do. I am in USA and there is so much hate and suspicion. It is truly frightening. Some times I long to see other people but nowhere to go and no one to see. Frustrating. Very scared of what could happen after election so spend a ridiculous amount of energy promoting decent candidates. So, I do do things, write out the steps and follow through. I don’t care if I fail, I start over. Specific things I do is spinning and knitting, studying, I am taking an online course with Sharon Blackie, lots of reading. I follow Anthony Murphy with Mythical Ireland and he has created a Tuatha of folks and we are a virtual tribe of like minded people. That has helped me the most with the isolation. He does lots of mythflix and now that Ireland is in lockdown lots of live videos of ancient sights and book reviews plus he individually welcomes everyone who comments and that helps me with the isolation. Kind of gives me faith. Blessings Cat.

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