A New Look At.....Halloween!
Clearing away a mountain of catalogues that arrived last week, the words, “season of preparation” caught my eye. It was, of course, a Christmas catalogue but there was something about the idea of a season of preparation that intrigued me.
Christmas preparations seems to start earlier each year and for a long time I have refused to do anything about Christmas until after the 1st December but to be honest, this is rather like swimming against the tide!
Growing up, Christmas preparations did start at the end of October. My parents ran a shop and this was when the Christmas stock was brought out and also when we made the Christmas cake. But It does seem very early to be getting ready for Christmas. At the moment we have beautiful blue skies and some trees are only just turning.
It feels like we haven’t really given autumn a chance.
One of the challenges of modern life is that it is very easy to become disconnected from the rhythm of the seasons. Artificial light, central heating and air freight means that it’s possible to eat strawberries and wear shorts all year round.
As far as retailers are concerned, there seem to be only two seasons, summer and Christmas.
October sits between. It’s no longer summer and despite what the retailers would like us to believe, it’s not yet Christmas. It’s an in-between time and if you are sensitive it can feel a little melancholy. The nights are closing in and the sun is losing its power. Very tempting then, to distract ourselves with the anticipation of Christmas. But how about leaning into the season a little more?
Before we get to Christmas we have Halloween which has it’s roots the Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain marks the end of the harvest and the start of the darker half of the year. It also marks the end of one Celtic year and the beginning of another, so its like New Year’s Eve, a pause between one year and the next.
What will you harvest this year?
It’s not just farmers and gardeners who harvest. You have a whole year of experience to harvest from and by doing so now, you to come into alignment with nature. It could be a far richer harvest than if you wait until the end of the year in the depths of winter.
“Your future’s extending an intimate invitation for a heart-to-heart between your present and past. October is the go-between.”
-Sarah Ban Breathnach
Imagine you are standing on a pizza that has 6 slices. Each slice represents an aspect of your life.
Slice one is your home, where you live.
Slice two is your work.
Slice three is your family.
Slice four is your friendships and partnerships.
Slice five is you, your well-being and your style.
Slice six is your money.
Starting with your home. Imagine you are surveying the last twelve months in your home the way a farmer would survey a crop. What happened during the year? Did you move, make changes or improvements, deal with problems? What were the successes and what were the failures? What will you take forward and what will you leave to be turned over into the soil to enrich it for next year.
Make a note and then turn slightly to survey the next slice of your life, your work and repeat the same process.
When you have finished all six slices, make sure to store your harvest somewhere safe as you will want to return to it when you come to build your vision for the new year. Then take a quiet moment to express gratitude for the year and everyone who has contributed to it.
Finally, if like me you have wonderful candles which you never seem to get around to lighting, now is a good time to do so :) It’s important to enjoy your harvest!