If I could pick a favorite month, it would likely be October. And Halloween? Definitely my favorite holiday. As much as I enjoy seeing the smiling Faeries and Pirates at my front door, I cannot help but want to pass on more than just candy. I want to share the spirit of the holiday as much as the chocolate. I want to share Samhain.
In ancient times, this day was for honoring our loved ones passed. It was believed that the veil separating the living world from the world of spirit was at its thinnest, and our beloved ancestors could return to visit. Our now familiar jack-o-lantern came from lighting a hollowed out turnip to share a beacon to guide the spirits home. Handing out treats was said to arise from leaving out food offerings for said spirits. And those trick or treaters are the spirits of the dead themselves!
And really, when it comes right down to it, it’s not just the holiday of Samhain that I love, it’s the whole season of Autumn. From the time the leaves start to change right up until the heavy snow begins to fall. Then I pray for Solstice.
Fall this year really seems to be potent with reflection and change. I grew up in the south where the seasons were Summer, Cold Front, and Hurricane, and often longed for the physical and visual changes that I saw in movies and read about in books. When I got older and started to travel and then finally settled in Colorado, I really began to truly experience the shift and how it makes the whole body mind and spirit shift with it. I have grown to learn, and am still learning, that there are some changes that just happen organically, whether you notice them or not, with the sun and the moon and with the seasons. And then of course there are the changes that you can actively participate in and encourage along.
Right now, today as I write this, it is a waxing half moon. Since the new moon began I have been working on re-establishing a morning yoga practice. I wake before dawn and really take time to reflect and focus. With the equinox past and us now fast approaching Samhain, the nights are longer and longer, so even as I work towards this new opening and send my energy outward, the seasonal change brings my focus inward. I turn inside. I rest. And again, as I write this it is interesting to note that balance of finding ways to live and practice the subtle and not so subtle changes.
My devotions this week have been very gratitude centered. I have been struggling with time. As in, not having enough of it. And so my meditations and prayers lately have been towards those people and things that do occupy my time. And whether that time is joyous or even sometimes frustrating or discouraging, I have been striving to name my gratitude. I am blessed throughout. And I need to remember that.
Blessed be on your Samhain journey this year.