In our final blog post before Samhuinn Fire Festival 2016, our Cailleach, Diana, talks about facing her demons.
Tonight I will dance.
As Cailleach I am as old as rock. I’ve seen thousands of thousands of Winters and am unafraid of the inevitable death and decay that they bring. And tonight I will witness once more a face-off between forces of Summer and Winter, and especially a crisis of control and identity between my Summer and Winter Kings.
I will watch with deepest love, yet I will not intervene even if the actions taken to enact the conflict break my strong heart once again.
And I know that in the shorter days to come the long dark nights will bring a more inward-looking place for humans. Sitting inside, even if blessed by the warmth of the fire, we are perhaps especially likely to face our demons. The internal self-deceptions that tell us we are not worthy; that we must hide ourselves; that we must always serve others until we break rather than dare to care for ourselves, and the many and varied other forms that demons come in, seeming to seek to sabotage us. And by witnessing and acknowledging that they may care for me, I have the chance to turn a demon’s energy into a healthier form of care, to make it my ally. To then perhaps become more considered about how I care for myself.
And if they truly reveal themselves via my curiosity to have no care for me then I may choose to cast them out to melt back into the earth and nourish it. But that is not a given as a response.
So my “Demon Dance” tonight will not be a fight, but just that – a dance. And even as it focuses on inner demons; as I enter into a solo dance before my full revelation as Cailleach, I will also be focused on the outer demonic actions of humans against each other. Even as I express rage at how many of us humans are in life or death struggles with inner demons whose messages to us obscure our gorgeous talents and strong hearts: I will also be enacting a personal raging at the many acts of inhumanity abroad in our world.
And my personal belief is that we must try our best to understand each other and seek solidarity and commonality as we face the inner and outer demons and I will dance for all who have a sense of resonance with any of these themes.
Photos (from top) by Mark Taylor and Neil Barton.
The Samhuinn Fire Festival 2016 is at 9pm tonight on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Find out all about it here.