For many pagans, this Thursday marks Mabon, a holiday to celebrate the changing seasons and welcome the second harvest. On this day, also called the Autumn Equinox, day and night are the same amount of time, so for many of us it's a chance to celebrate the necessity of both light and dark, and the joy that the balance of both brings.
This Mabon, I was struggling to figure out what my meditation and ritual should be. My usual celebrations just didn't feel right, and I have had the most confusing few weeks. Finally on a walk along the river, as I admired the leaves starting to turn, I cried out to my gods to cut through my scattered, sad thoughts, and slowly as I meandered it started coming to me. You see, for as long as I can remember, I've almost completely reinvented myself every few years. Often this was out of necessity--when you see the good in everyone, you often overlook the bad so I got my heart trampled on a lot. I've been taken advantage of a lot. And every time I got fed up, I just started over. New friend group, new clothing style, hair chopped off, big steps forward in my career. There were even a few dramatic location changes somewhere in there. In some areas of my life this has served me incredibly well. My multiple careers are streamlined enough to keep me motivated but relatively stable, and I am beyond in love with Minneapolis, my apartment, my cats, my blue and purple hair. Embracing the new--the new day, the new sun, the new light, has always created a multitude of blessings for me.
But with each new version of me, I killed off old parts of myself that I know I was meant to retain, each time losing another piece of my soul and my power until finally, I went through my current evolution--the one where my anxiety went through the roof and I didn't actually evolve so much as got really scared and meek. Of everything. Obviously none of that is working for me, at all and emotionally it has all been hitting a head I didn't understand. I have spent the last few weeks feeling so lost. I have a beautiful apartment, and so many other blessings and I thought when this many things would click into place I'd feel better. Less scared, less sad, less meek. Instead I've spent the last few weeks crying at the drop of a hat and staring off into space, completely unmotivated.
Then a college friend came to see me, and as we regaled my (amazing, not going anywhere) friends with stories of second college me, I felt completely overwhelmed and yet better than I have in months. It felt like I'd been wearing some costume that didn't quite fit and this college friend I haven't even seen in forever somehow made me see how silly I looked without even knowing what she was doing. While I was still reeling from this, I ran into an old rival from a couple of life cycles ago. She has moved on and is stable and content in her life, and was thrilled to see me. Catching up was surprisingly nice even as my stomach filled with butterflies for reasons I didn't understand. I eventually realized that I thought I'd been living in fear of running into her or other people from this phase, but really I've been afraid of running into the version of myself I was then. But I realized during our jovial conversation that this rival wasn't all bad then, and neither was I.
The old, the abandoned, the dark--these are the parts of myself I've kept hidden from all but a few. These are the parts I've kept hidden from myself in spite of glaring evidence that my sass, my cunning, my strength were needed. This Mabon I want to dance in my own darkness and feel it around me. I want to wear it like a shroud and when day breaks I want to keep wearing it still as the sun beats down on my face assuring me that these old versions of me aren't only harmless, but good for me. This Mabon, I want to return from the grey I've been living in and trying to convince myself that this is what light feels like. This Mabon, I want to renegotiate my concepts of light and dark entirely. This Mabon, I want my first spiritual connections to be with the versions of myself I killed off. I want them to know I'm sorry. I want them to come back. And I want the me that willed this apartment, my tarot business, my writing career into being, that fights for my theatre company's success every day, that keeps loving new friends and partners even when it's the scariest thing in the world, to know one thing: she's not going anywhere either.