Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | October 26, 2012

The Mystery of Loss

A friend died yesterday. She loved the Earth and the seasonal festivals. Today we go to the Order’s Samhain camp. The leaves here in southern England are now in their full Autumn colours. All this prompted me to paste thoughts on death, loss and autumn leaves on the Order’s Facebook page, and I’ll post them here too, along with a photo I found on Wikimedia which shows leaves displayed on the eightfold wheel of the year. I’ve rotated the image from the original, so that the autumn leaves are in the North-West, in the place of Samhain:

Falling autumn leaves teach us of the beauty of endings, of the bright flame of passion that doesn’t die but is reborn when life is transformed. The death of our bodies, relationships, dreams and hopes can all feel deeply sad, and rightly so, for suffering is as real as joy, and loss is painful. But hidden within the darkness of loss lies a mystery, and although that mystery will always foil our attempts to understand it with our minds, Nature will sometimes offer us a clue as if to say: There! Can you see it in the brightness of these leaves?


  1. My condolences.

  2. Liebe Martina,

    ich leite dir den Text von dem Druiden Carr-Gomm weiter…als ich in las ist bei mir etwas angeklungen. LG, Simone

  3. ‘Your path is made by walking’ – Jonette Crowley.
    Adrienne, friend and former colleague, understood where she was going and happily
    accepted her onward path.

  4. Thank you Hamilton – Adrienne has been an incredible example to all of us.

  5. Beautiful, thanks.

  6. So true Philip. The mystery within death is life itself just as the mystery within life is death. It challenges for a new definition of both. As each one happens the opposite one occurs ‘elsewhere’ it seems to me at least. Blessings of the ‘ancient one’.

  7. ah! these words were balm to my aching heart. Thank you

  8. I feel for you, Philip, a dear friend of mine died while we were at the OBOD East Gathering… the pain, the loss, the void they leave behind really hurt. I am left with the question… does pain stop when we pass over?

    • I’m sorry to hear that Marta. Your question requires a longer answer, but in the meantime can I offer this: How are we to really know, but I suspect the short answer is yes, unless the soul has caused great suffering…

  9. Condolences and Lovelight Blessings . . .

  10. Phillip, I did not know your Friend or of her passing….it is strange how life revolves in a circle……I met you and your lovely Wife at the East Coast Gathering…..I know your Friend lives on still…I lost my Mum last year…and her beautiful heart lives on in me…….Condolences to you

  11. I so appreciated the video you posted of Adrienne, Philip. She seemed to be a very special soul. Please accept my sympathy for such a difficult loss, and thank you for posting this beautiful piece.

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