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, 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 the cold, dark winter.
In Celtic traditions, Samhain is the start of the New Year. Many would Celebrate to “defy” the coming winter by dressing up and feasting. Private family celebrations were a time to honor our ancestors and 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. People would put food offerings on altars and doorsteps and leave a lit candle burning in the window to guide our departed loved ones as they moved beyond this physical world.
Samhain is also a time to look inward, to reflect on all of the changes, and transitions that have happened in your life in the past 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, and ease any anxiety that you may be feeling. Meditation helps you to be “in the moment” and to get in touch with your inner wisdom.
The best 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 or if you have trouble sitting still. This is common. We live in a busy world and it may take some time before our nervous systems start to calm down.
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. When I meditate, I like to add a few drops of essential oils to my candle diffuser. My candle diffuser is quiet and I can focus on the candle flame to still my mind. The essential oils with relaxing and sedating properties can add a lot to the meditation experience.
Some essential oils to consider are:
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.
Sandalwood- this smooth, balanced exotic oil is a base note with grounding properties, that is helpful with reducing stress & getting in tune with yourself.
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.
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 Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, or Sweet Orange essential oils to your blend. As always it depends on your scent preference.
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…”
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…
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.
- Never leave a candle unattended
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