Samhain – a deeply rich opportunity for spiritual growth and magical transformation

The time of Halloween at the end of October is closely followed by Remembrance Sunday in which the dead of the bankers’ wars are commemorated. In this way, the powers-that-be have robbed us of a very important stage along the Wheel of the Year. They have transplanted one of their festivals on to our own which has great significance for our own Rivers of Blood, not just those symbolised by the red poppy. It used to be the time when the Celts marked Samhain, when the Pleiades began to set. Samhain was a time when we honoured all our ‘dead’ – in other words, we remembered all our ancestors now living in the Other Worlds.

We’re now starting to celebrate Samhain again, in this way. We light candles in sacred ceremony and say our family names out loud, so that their existence can honoured by all the beings, in all dimensions, who reside here in this hallowed faery ring of the Isle of Glass, and then they’re able to pass on in peace.

I personally find that taking part in these kinds of ceremonies to be enormously moving, and it seems to facilitate a huge leap forward in my spiritual understanding and progress. By lighting a candle and saying the names of my family ‘dead’ out loud, giving thanks for their lives, and in such a sacred space, seems to have opened up gates that had been previously closed, and pathways that had become blocked with overgrowth, for hundreds of years.

The timing of Halloween

Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, was so named because it was, and still is, the time that the spiritual adept faces their own death by going down into the UnderWorld in pursuit of the ‘hallows’, which are the accoutrements of individual sovereignty.

The ancient Celts used to mark this time, which they called Samhain, to coincide with the Pleiades setting in the night skies. To us, this is a time when we honour all our ‘dead’ – in other words, we remember and celebrate the lives of all our ancestors now living in the Other Worlds

Halloween or Samhaim is the counterpart fire festival to Beltane which we celebrated on May Day. Beltane is timed to coincide with the rising of the Pleiades; at Samhain, that constellation is setting. Both Beltane and Samhain are fire festivals, however, Samhain is its polar opposite because it is one which is about restriction rather than opening up, and renunciation rather than fertility and growth, as we cast into the cauldron all that no longer serves our progress as a spirit passing along the human journey.


In lighting a candle and naming our ‘dead’, we are in effect allowing our ancestors to pass through, and on to the next stage of their journeys. It’s a form of renunciation … in a way, of cognitively giving them back to the Source by the power of our intention.

Renunciation can often seem a difficult concept to get our heads around. Also, the idea of ‘restriction’ can appear to be the exact opposite of what our freedom-searching natures are trying to achieve. However, as anyone who has ever thrown away their old books or clothes or lipsticks in an effort to follow the feng-shui practice of ‘space clearing’ will tell you, it is only in letting go of old stuff that we can “make room” for the new.

It is just like in the natural world, when flowers and plants die off and the soil becomes barren and cold. This “downtime” is a necessary part of Mother Nature’s cycles, so that She can rest and regenerate and then bloom again in the Spring.

As we are part of Nature, and not separate to it, it is opportunity for us too, to withdraw into ourselves and remain more in contemplation by our flaming hearths, examining and discarding that which we longer need and which is holding back our spiritual growth. In releasing our ancestors, we also release their ‘baggage’ which has been weighing us down.

For me, Samhain has always been a time of enormous power and potential precisely because of the opportunity it provides for renunciation. I’ve seen work that I’ve done at Samhain move mountains. I hope you do too!

The Sacred Sex Rites of Ishtar

Shamanic sexual healing and sex magic

Shamans and high priestesses in Neolithic times were in touch with the spirits of the land, and so were able to transmit their wisdom to the king or pharaoh in sacred sex rites during his coronation night. These became known as the Sovereignty rites, because they fired up the king’s higher brain centres, giving him a superior intelligence and thus the ability and the right to reign.

Our ancestors have left us magical keys in their orally passed on myths which, like messages in a bottle, can help us find the way to spark up that wisdom again, in ourselves.

Ishtar Babilu Dingir is a shaman and mythologist who is regularly in communion with the spirits of the land. In The Sacred Sex Rites of Ishtar, she has laid out the way for the ordinary person to ignite their own route to Sovereignty through shamanic sexual practises and also by learning to communicate with the spirits of the land.