It’s that magical, mystical time of year again. A cool breeze whips up autumn leaves, sweaters and coats inspire fresh fashion and scary creatures lurk around every corner. At least that’s what I imagine it being like in most of the country. Here in southern Arizona, temperatures hit 99 degrees today and our festive pumpkins in front of the store are probably cooked by now. As the veil is getting thinner, we Tucsonans are eagerly awaiting cooler weather and hope it will arrive by All Hallows’ Eve.
Samhain, as the Celts called it, marks the halfway point between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice. Historically this is the time when the harvest winds down and the winter frost takes over. The nights are getting longer as we move towards darkness. Hibernating animals such as bears, bats and snakes are fattened up for the long sleep and the seeds of next year’s harvest lie dormant in mother earth . It is a time to when growth stops in order to gain strength for next Spring's rebirth. Let mother earth be our teacher.
In this part of the world we are preparing to celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This is a time to honor, mourn and remember those who have passed. We have a procession where we dress up like the dead and commemorate loved ones no longer here with ceremonies and rituals where we light candles and incense on shrines. It is a healthy tradition rooted in Latin American culture that allows us to face and demystify the great western taboo of death.
This coming week and the weeks to follow are a good time to evaluate where we are in life. It’s an opportunity to ask ourselves: “What is working? What is not? What changes need to be made in order to move towards our next stage in life? What benefits have we reaped from our personal harvest over this last cycle?” We also must not forget to have gratitude in the midst of all our doings. It’s a good time for rest, ritual and ceremony.
Over the last couple months, I have been practicing the art of taking time out from all my work and home responsibilities, creative projects, and ever flowing inspirational downloads. Aside from my daily meditations, I have started taking 30 minutes for myself right when I get home. No matter how much needs to be done, I do a little reading (not on the computer!) and sip tea or just sit and rest my eyes before getting back to all the daily duties. This new practice has already made a great difference in my vitality and I highly recommend it!
In other news, I would like to share my newest project with you. After an eight-year pause from working with people one-on-one, I am elated to offer new, personalized spiritual services. Over the past 25 years I have studied, self-applied and taught a vast variety of healing methods and as you all know I am an avid believer in intention-based ritual and ceremony. Drawing from my extensive spiritual toolkit I am delighted to offer: