Welcome to this season, a time of endings and rest, marking the end of the harvest season and resting for the darkness of wintertime. It also celebrates the cycle of death and renewal. There is a very thin veil between our world and the spiritual world.
All of life is part of a cycle and here we acknowledge the new beginnings in the midst of endings. There is a new power to life as we nurture new dreams and new seeds in the dark. By accepting this period of rest we find rejuvenation and renewal. This is not a time for action, but a time to drift, to dream, to vision and remember. It is a time for meditation and welcoming inner stillness for long term plans and nourishing our spirit. Here, as the old year of summer ends and the darkness of winter begins, we welcome the opportunity for a new start as we incubate and strengthen our hopes for the new year. This time of year is also an opportunity to honour our ancestors and embrace our roots.
Focus on introverting and resting postures such as forward bends, seated and reclining. Use breathing techniques that help to relax or are restorative such as Diaphragmatic breathing, Lengthen the out breath, Soft Ujjayi breathing (slight contraction of the throat), Bhramari (humming bee breath) or Nadi Sodhana (alternate nostril breathing). Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga nidra incorporating healing or seasonal visualisations. Now that the evenings are drawing in it is an ideal time for candle gazing (unless you suffer from epilepsy, migraine or experience problems with flickering lights). Position your candle so that the flame is about eye level and three feet away from you. Make sure your candle is safe and not in a draught which will make the flame flicker.
Illuminated by the flames in the sinking sun
Winter’s looming felt in the chills
And the darkness that quickly comes
Drifting from chimneys, the richness of smoke
Curling high above my eyes
An ancient presence, which the hearth invokes
Sends piercing embers through the skies
In the tranquil darkness, I have found
That which I’ve often sought
Closed to the world
Yet at one with the earth
I sit here in my thought
(Padraig O Mathuna).
On the eve of 31st October, light a candle as a symbol of transformation. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!
My Yoga Blessings for Samhain – sending you positivity and light as you snuggle up, warm yourself by a crackling open fire, sipping hot cocoa…….take time to do what makes your soul happy!!
All photos © Debbie Harris, 2up Photography