Conceiving, Imagining … the New at Samhain

In the PaGaian version of Samhain/Deep Autumn ceremony participants journey to the Luminous World Egg … a term taken from Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance (p.210), where she also names that place as “The Shining Isle”, which is of course, the Seed of conception, a metaphor for the female egg: it is the place for rebirth.


Artist: Bundeluk, Blue Mountains, Australia.

The “Luminous World Egg” is a numinous Place within, the MotherStar of conception: that is, a Place of Unfolding/Becoming. The journey  to this numinous Place within requires first a journey back, through some of each one’s transformations; however each may wish to name those transformations at this time. The transformations for each being are infinite in their number, for there is “nothing we have not been” as has been told by Celts and others of Old, and also by Western science in the evolutionary story (see Elisabet Sahtouris, evolutionary biologist Journey of a Silica Atom). Ceremonial participants may choose selves from biological, present historical self; or may choose selves from the mythic with whom they feel connection; from any lineage – biological or otherwise.  Selves may be chosen from Gaia’s story – earlier creatures, winged or scaled ones … with whom one wishes to identify at this time.

When each and all have completed these journeys/stories of transformation all are lauded by a celebrant for their courage to transform, and awarded with gingerbread snakes: each is given one of these “Gaian totems of life renewed”.


gingerbread snakes

Participants sit and consume them – all these “old shapes”; and also remember the ancestors, those whose lives have been harvested, whose lives have fed our own, remembering that we too are the ancestors, that we too will be consumed. Then each and all remember and consume the stories of our world that they desire to change, the stories that fire their wrath or sympathy: in the consuming, absorbing them (as we do), so that each may transform them by thoughts and actions – “in our own bodyminds”.

When all that is consumed “wasting no part”, it is said that “we are then free to radiate whatever we conceive”, to “exclaim the strongest natural fibre known” – our creative selves, “into such art, such architecture, as can house a world made sacred” by our building.[1] It is a reference to the spider’s thread from within her own body, with which she weaves her web, her home; and Spider has frequently been felt in indigenous cultures around the globe as Weaver and Creator of the Cosmos.


Spider the Creatrix, North America, C. 1300 C.E., Hallie Iglehart Austen, The Heart of the Goddess, p.13

In the ceremony participants – linked with this thread – may sail together for a new world “across the vast sunless sea between endings and beginnings, across the Womb of magic and transformation, to the Not-Yet who beckons”: [2] to the Luminous World Egg whereupon the new may be conceived, and dreamed up.

Samhain/Deep Autumn ceremony is an excellent place for co-creating ourselves, for imagining the More that we may become, and wish to become. This is where creation and co-creation happens … in the Womb of Space,[3] in which we are immersed – at all times: and Samhain is a good season for feeling it.

Glenys Livingstone 2017 (a version of this Samhain script is offered in Chapter 7 PaGaian Cosmology)


[1] See Robin Morgan “The Network of the Imaginary Mother”, in Lady of the Beasts, p.84.

[2] This is a term used by Brian Swimme, The Earth’s Imagination, video 8 “The Surprise of Cosmogenesis”.

[3] note that creation does not  happen at the point of some god’s index finger, as imagined in the Sistine Chapel – what a takeover that is!

Samhain tableFor a Samhain/Deep Autumn Meditation: PaGaian Cosmology Meditations where individual tracks are available digitally. Samhain/Deep Autumn Meditation is $3.25: it is a package of tracks 1, 2 and 3 off CD 1 – about 22 mins all up, though one should allow longer for the actual experience.

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Naturalistic Paganism

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