10/30/2012 05:33 pm ET Updated Dec 30, 2012

Samhain 2012: Acts Of Beauty And Compassion

I share this spell as a gift, for pondering or repeating. So far, I have found myself yelling it out loud in the face of the winds, rains and blowing sand of Hurricane Sandy.

A Samhain Spell/Prayer by Donald L. Engstrom-Reese

May all that is hidden be revealed!
May the emerging truths inspire us to shameless acts of beauty and compassion.
May the ancestors nurture the living.
May the living nurture the dead.
May new life be born into abundance and love.
May the emerging truths inspire us to shameless acts of beauty and compassion.
May all that is hidden be revealed.

I read this spell through a lens informed by the recent Bioneers by the Bay Conference in New Bedford, Mass. There, environmentalist Bill McKibben of spoke of the unfolding environmental change, of Hurricane Sandy as an unprecedented storm beyond our range of experience. Some of us may still doubt that we are in a time of intense environmental shifts. If that truth feels hidden, it is being revealed.

I love being called to acts of beauty, which reminds me that we are making the future in this moment, and infusing it with beauty is actually incredibly practical. No matter how intense the challenge, we can respond with creativity. Many are now looking in shock at the aftermath of Sandy, at astronomical costs and unprecedented disruptions to transportation and business as usual. Lives have been lost. is responding creatively with a call to the fossil fuel industry to fund Hurricane Sandy relief instead of buying political influence. I call that beautiful.

Beauty combined with compassion-- might these be acts of generosity in the face of loss? Calls for accountability? Honoring of those who have died? Honoring new forms of beauty that may emerge from the devastation? The sharing of prayers and resources from the wider community to those more directly impacted? Creative plans to rebuild in more sustainable ways? In any case, I hope that the waters subside swiftly.

This is a time of year to remember those who have died, and also a time of year to celebrate those newly born, those who will inherit a degraded environment. Let the newly born call us to our aliveness and responsibility. May emerging truths compel us to choose actions of beauty and compassion. May these acts grow and multiply beyond our wildest dreams as we regroup in the aftermath of the storm, and reclaim our world. Blessed be.