Between tonight at sunset and tomorrow at sunrise, the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Today is the Gaelic festival of Samhain (Sah-ween), All Hallow’s Eve, or what is now known as Halloween. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season, the beginning of the darkest months, and is a spiritual holiday for neo-pagans and Wiccans who often acknowledge today as their New Year!
It was the day for ancient pagans, witches, and druids to perform rituals and gather in ceremony to honor the Earth in its harvest, to celebrate reverence for the dead, as well as to set intentions for the year ahead.
Practitioners would prepare a meal, and set places for ancestors, relatives, and spirit guides who no longer dwell on the Earth. The centerpiece would be filled with dried flowers and animal bones to honor both the living and the dead. Over the years, Samhain has since evolved into the Halloween we know and love today.
As yogis, how can we explore this time as we sink into darkness and into Scorpion Season?
Yoga, oftentimes, invites us to perform ritual and set intentions. We find grounding in the beginning of class, we soften the edges of our breath, we set intentions, we open and close with a chant. We can tap into the spirit of Samhain by sitting in ritual.
Prepare an altar:
– Prepare an altar by incorporating Earthly objects (the reason why we make Earth offerings is because we are honoring the end of the harvest and thanking the earth for all that it has given to us)
– Light 3 white candles
– Find a tall comfortable seat
– Envision roots that are growing from all from places on your body touching the ground
– Each inhale, we think about the roots moving deeper into the Earth
– Each exhale finding length in your spine pulling up to heavens
– In expansion of rooting and rising that we are in connection to our ancestors at our roots and also to the spirits that live in the skies above
– Take this time to dive into the darkness, and find the light within!
Disclaimer: Brittany’s favorite holiday is Halloween…