Wednesday, November 7th, was the New Moon in Scorpio, and Lunar Samhain — the day when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Lunar Samhain is just about the best time to cast away the old and bring in the new. It is the Witches New Year (some witches celebrate this on October 31st to coincide with Halloween festivities as well).
For weeks, I had been restless inside.
What I desperately wanted to do (escape to the wildnerness for days on end) wasn’t possible when I don’t have a car, or proper camping equipment, and have the responsibility of working so I could pay rent and meet my daughter’s needs. I felt sad and lost and sluggish. I felt homesick for something hard to name. I felt like I was forgetting something terribly important.
it is within
But I’m not the naive girl I once was, who didn’t know what her restlessness meant, and so chased it in places that didn’t quell it but rather, made it worse.
When the wilderness is out of our reach for reasons out of our control, yet we feel we must die if we don’t do something wild and reckless–that is our souls, crying out for us to release the chains that bind us from becoming fully ourselves.
I came home the night of Lunar Samhain, with my daughter in tow. She plunked herself in front of a movie, and I looked about me with that restlessness sparking at my fingertips. What I must do, the root-deep knowledge and need that had been swelling in me for weeks, was unignorable.
knock knock on my roommate/best-friend’s door.
Leaning against the door frame. Looking her in the eye. “I think I’m going to do it.”
It took her only a moment to know what I was talking about. “I’m ready now.”
I arranged a small altar on the bathroom counter. “If I don’t ritualize things, they don’t stick in my mind,” I explained as I lit candles and nag champa.
I sat on the orange plastic bathroom stool.
“You’re sure?” she asked, holding my curling hair in her hand, scissors and electric shaver ready.
Tug. Pull. Bzzzzz.
My hair fell away. Inhale, exhale.
I sacrifice my hair as a symbol of my commitment to myself for the next 366 days.
This is a releasing. This is a humbling. This is a symbol that I belong only to myself.
On Samhain of 2017, I had recently separated from daughter’s father and had just moved into an apartment in the city. I was rebounding with the strength of a hundred rubber bands, and in the days leading up to 2018 Lunar Samhain, I realized that this past year has been a period of emotional detox for me. This year, I have intensely relived the relationship and love traumas and patterns that I have built up over the past decade of my life.
Since I was 14 years old, I have spent an inordinate amount of time either in unhealthy relationships, or pining after men, or lusting after them. I have never truly belonged to myself, despite my insistence in my past writing that self-love and self-exploration was the main focus of my personal life. But I have given my power away, again and again and again, and for what reasons?
I honestly am not sure yet. What I do know is that my mind is incredibly crowded with men, and not in a healthy way. I’ve realized that I don’t see men as whole beings, but rather as people I can project my traumas and patterns on. I do this because I don’t see myself as a whole being. I don’t embody wholeness, so I don’t see romantic or sexual pursuits as whole beings, either. I see them as tools who can distract me from the shadows and light that live inside me.
Every time I am faced with being completely single, my patterns rear up their ugly heads and wordlessly whisper, “If you are not being coveted and loved and lusted after, you are not worthy of being alive.”
It was horrifying to realize this about myself. When did this mindset take control, especially considering the incredible amount of books and people I have surrounded myself with who have inundated me with the value of self-love?
Months ago, I came up with the idea of 366 Days of Solo Sovereignty, but hesitated to go through with it.
A year and a day (similar to the Wiccan spiritual “initiation”/learning period of a year and a day) of being completely single. No romance. No sex. Just….me.
It’s a scary prospect. My mind goes into a panic when I think about it: but but but–what if you meet someone you REALLY like? What if you get lonely? What if you really really really need intimate physical touch? You can’t get that from a vibrator. You know what happens when you’re single for a little while–you get super super depressed. What if…what if…what if…
But my heart gets fluttery. It goes, yes yes yes.
And my spirit takes flight. Yes yes yes!
And my soul settles down, relaxes, smiles. Yes. Yes. Yes.
For the past five days, I’ve experienced the discomfort I expected when I decided to be completely single: I’ve had to hold myself back from calling that cute guy from work who gave me his number. I’ve avoided the irritating-but-great-in-bed card-player I’ve had an affair with the past two months and can’t seem to tell that I’m not interested in him anymore (people-pleasing–another pattern I need to break). I’ve forced myself to stay home and get cozy with myself when I’m feeling restless and lonely, instead of going out to that bar I’ve experienced plenty of men buying me drinks at.
For the past five days, I’ve also been thinking about the many ways I could use all this free time I now have on my days when my daughter is with her father. I’ve been reminding myself that this is a one-day-at-a-time venture. Every day, it’s me making conscious choices that I know are good for me, are going to connect me with myself: this morning I am going to read instead of check social media. This afternoon I’m going to write/draw/paint/clean/hunt for a job that doesn’t have me in front of a screen all day. Tonight I’m going to watch a thought-provoking movie/hoopdance/meditate/light candles and read/make soup.
Because that’s the point of these next 361 days. Learning what my life is like when it’s me I’m seducing, not someone else. Learning what my life is like when I’m centered in my own power and channeling it into my passions and my home. Learning who I really am when I’m not putting all my energy into being who I think my romantic/sexual interests want me to be.
Maybe this doesn’t sound like a difficult journey for some. But it is for me. Which is why I’m so thankful to have a circle of friends who are willing to hold space for me. Like last night–no light but candlelight, and us around an altar we created together, breathing, crying, laughing, speaking of what we’re releasing, and speaking of what we’re bringing in. Intentional, conscious togetherness.
I want my whole life to be an embodiment of intentional, conscious togetherness. I want to be a whole person. I want to see everyone I come in contact with as a whole person. I want to be the sort of person who holds space.
so mote it be.