Words of Wisdom & Truth from Madame Áine and Michael Ravenwyck 

Samhuinn 2021

Wisdom from Ravenwyk ~ 

Today is the last day of October and many are celebrating with folly dressed in costumes, trick or treating and honoring ancestors. 

Here at Ravenwyck it is seen as the eve before Samhuinn as the word Samhuinn is November in Scots Gaelic. We start our observation today by clearing out our gardens, moving plants in pots from the greenhouse to the outside shadehouse areas, planting the last of the sapling trees, vines and bushes and collecting magical specimens. We are releasing and letting the plant spirits free themselves to wander the land in peace and with our appreciation for their companionship since the Spring Tide. Garden beds are turned over, mulch and leaves that have already fallen are nested atop of the flora to help keep them insulated for the Winter Tide weathering. Offerings of the last fruits and vegetables are left to the cold nights now enveloping the land in hopes the Spirits will nurture our lives and gardens until the warmth returns again at Imbolg. Although new beginnings will start stirring from the earth months from now, we can see this time as the end of a cycle, a yearly cycle. Oft times this is considered a 'new year' to many pagans, as it is the time when decay, death and transformation is eclipsing life all around us. It is the time of the cross Quarter days between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice. Days are darker and colder, our lives turn to gathering the harvest and putting things to storage for the cold bitter winter months ahead. It is a time of reflection, releasing, settling down into the warmth of hearth both physical and spiritual. It is a time when we turn inward to seek knowledge from our past, find solace in those lessons we traversed this last cycle of completion. The past Tides we have walked and now it leads us to the standstill, a place and space of quiet and reverence. So indeed it is Samhuinn or Summers End, the Seasons End and the time that energies shift heavily upon the Earth and ourselves. A time to call to our beloved spirit family that resides within the Veil, call to them for guidance, protection, companionship and to honor them for their lives and their influence in our lives. Where they once walked alive now they are our memories to guide us, inform us and strengthen us into the future. 

It is indeed an ending here in the northern hemisphere and with that shift we go lovingly and passionately into the darkness of the year. We keep our Ancestors close and celebrate the Tides of the seasons that brought us to this night. A new year, season and cycle will begin shortly but not before we eclipse into the future and walk silently and honorably as the Veil shifts around us. So celebrate and enjoy these last days of the Autumn Tide...Winter its coming. 

May your Ancestors be honored with love, hope and trust. May you have fortune in abundance, health, protection and good company through these months ahead. Stay safe and as always~ Be Most Excellent To Each Other.

Madame Áine /|\ Reverend Mother 

Eve of Samhuinn 2021
Ravenwyck Sanctuary 

Samuinn 2020

November 7th 2020

I am a death doula. I was given that title by a beautiful Sister from Portland, Oregon after sharing my story with her about all the kitties we've rescued, re homed and helped cross over into the Hallows. We chose to allow the animals to leave on their own terms and time. We provide end of life comfort care to each fur ( or feathered, scaled, etc. ) children so they can leave their bio body suit when it is appropriate for them. We don't believe in kicking a soul out of it's home before it's ready to transition, doing that can cause it turmoil and confusion. Death is tough to begin with, letting go of a body is scary and souls need nurturing and preparation to journey into the Hallows. During Death Watch hours leading up to transition, we comfort each beautiful friend with stories, praise, apologies for mistakes we've made with them, songs  of peace and love. We explain to them that their body is dying or it's no longer able to provide a suitable home for them and that they will have to let go and move onwards into the Veil of Spirit. We tell them how wonderful it's been to have them as a friend in this life, give them the honor and respect for sharing this life with us. It is bittersweet to have to share those years of memories and tell them that these moments will be our last memories shared. But this is as it should be done for anyone, plant, mineral, animal or human... it is the spiritual way of things. To love so deeply and unconditionally is to respect the life you are assisting without judgment or selfishness. We are like gatekeepers for those who need our guidance. 

Now a note on euthanasia, we do not euthanize unless there is extreme pain or suffering that cannot be managed with at home hospice/palliative care. The Soul will leave when it's ready. We are not executioners. 

It is very emotional work to be a Death Doula, to help birth a Soul from it's body and let Spirit guide it onwards... it crushes your heart and never gets easier no matter how many souls you comfort and assist... but they deserve nothing less than this kindness at such a moment in their lives. Someone is always there in life birthing even if it's just a mother... they deserve a friend to help ease the emotions, feelings and uncertainty of death. 

Yesterday was one of those days here at Ravenwyck. Our beautiful elder kitty Merlyn of 16 years our friend made his transition back to Avalon. He was the last of a 6 kitten litter that came from a mom and dad rescued pair of kitties. They were the first stray rescues we took in after moving to Ravenwyck back in 2002. I was proud to have been his companion all these years and hope he will find us through the Veil when he feels the need to visit us. He loved to be vacuumed with the vacuum hose, would chase me down until I gently ran the hose up and down his belly, back and bushy tail. He was a hugger, a cuddly compassionate kitty that would clean the other fur children as if his own... always there to greet you with love. So giving that back to him yesterday was imperative, he passed peacefully as I held him to my heart and wished him safe journeys. 

Rest well my beautiful Merlyn, until we meet again. I love you,  forever. 

Madame Áine 

 Thank you for letting us share our Magic with you!