First Posted October 2015
Dispel the darkness. transcend between the worlds and journey beyond the veil’s edge. ~ Unknown
All Hallows Eve or Halloween and Samhain are both celebrated on or around October 31st, and while there are a lot of similarities, like wearing costumes, and Jack-o-lanterns, there are also some differences.
Samhain (Irish pronunciation: SOW-in) means “summer’s end”. For our ancestors, it was a time to celebrate the 3rd and final harvest. They would preserve and store fruits and vegetables, and dry herbs before the onset of a cold and dark winter.
In Celtic traditions, Samhain is the start of the New Year. Celebrations included dressing up, partying, and feasting to “defy” the coming winter. Other celebrations tended to be more private as it was also a time to honor our ancestors; as well as our loved ones who had died during the past year. It is said that the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest on this night. It is a good time to connect with loved ones on the other side. People used to put food offerings on altars and doorsteps. They would also leave a lit candle burning in the window to guide our departed loved ones as they moved beyond this physical world. It was also a night when the fairies were said to have caused all kinds mischief.
Samhain is also a time to look inward, to reflect on all of the changes, the beginnings, as well as the endings that have happened in your life in the last year. Changes and transitions can be very stressful; especially the “not knowing” what comes next. Meditation can be very helpful at times like this, it can quiet your mind, slow your breathing, ease your stress and any anxiety that you may be feeling. Meditation helps you to be “in the moment” and to get in touch with your inner wisdom. It also gives you perspective. It gives you a chance to feel whatever it is you are feeling, and “take charge of your own emotions and nervous system.”
The nice part about meditation is you can start right now. Take a couple of minutes, do some deep breathing, and find that stillness inside you. Don’t worry if the mind chatter starts up. This is common. We live in a busy world and it may take some time before the chatter starts to decrease.
You may wish to meditate to start your day to be more centered, or at the end of the day so you can relax and unwind. Just dim the lights, grab a fuzzy blanket, and get cozy and comfortable. When I meditate, I like to add a few drops of essential oils to my candle diffuser.I like to use a candle diffuser because it’s quiet and because I can focus on the candle flame to still my mind. The earthier, grounding essential oils have relaxing and sedating properties so they can add a lot to the meditation experience.
Some essential oils to consider are:
Sandalwood- this smooth, balanced exotic oil is a base note with grounding properties, that is helpful with reducing stress & getting in tune with yourself.
Patchouli- an exotic fragrance, that is both calming & grounding; it helps to relieve stress & anxiety. It is a good alternative for the more expensive Sandalwood.
Cedarwood- a deep woodsy, earthy scent, that helps to relieve stress, ease anxiety & appeals to the senses.There are many varieties of Cedarwood, but I personally like the Atlas variety.
Vetiver- an earthy essential oil, that smells, well like wet soil. It is calming, relaxing and is helpful for anxiety, stress and especially insomnia. When using Vetiver, it is better to use it as part of an essential oil blend and use very small amounts due to its stronger scent.
Frankincense- long been used in churches due to its calming and meditative qualities. It quiets the mind and calms anxiety by helping you breathe easier.(Frank is really useful for respiratory issues).
Myrrh- a thick resinous essential oil that has a spicy, warm scent. Like Frankincense, Myrrh has long been used in churches as incense and it has similar qualities. Myrrh can help to calm your anxious mind and is helpful for insomnia.
If you like a lighter scent, or if you want to sweeten the earthier essential oils, you may want to consider adding Mandarin, Bergamot, Sweet Orange or Geranium essential oils to your blend.As always it depends on your scent preference.
With meditation, don’t be hard on yourself; there is no right or wrong way to do it, there is only your way. This is a time of self-care, not self-judgment. As always, take baby steps and do what you can…
I really like this Pema Chodron quote,” Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are…”
My blog is for information only & is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.
Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy,
Australia, 2003 (3)
Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002
*** You may want to use guided meditation CDs or downloads. Some of my favorites are
Kelly Howell’s “Guided Meditation for Healing”, Cheryl Richardson’s “Tuning In, Listening to the voice of your Soul.” and of course Pema Chodron Books and CDs.
I couldn’t find the author of the quote that I used at the start of my blog. If you happen to know who it is please message me. I always want to give credit for authors and artists work. Photos are from http://www.canstock.com – CP