SAMHAIN // The end of summer

The seasonal shifts in Southern California are subtle, but surely present. The sunlight softens, to a muted orange, illuminating the colors of the leaves as the trees shed their summer foliage. The light fades just a bit quicker each day and I often find myself in the garden at dusk. It's calm and quiet for a brief time, as the plants exhale and the nocturnal critters emerge. The dance between day and night is waning this time of year and it's palpable in the garden. An invitation for transmutation.


Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in) means “end of summer" in the ancient Celtic spiritual tradition, and marks the third and final harvest for the year. It is a time to honor and remember those who have passed on and to celebrate the summer’s end in preparation for the dark months ahead.


This seasonal festival was celebrated in Celtic countries by placing food offerings on altars and doorsteps for wandering spirits. Single candles were lit and placed at the window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Additional chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guests. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them and turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits. People would often gather around a large bonfire for a feast followed by music and storytelling.


Around October 31, it is said that the veil between worlds is thin. The ancient Celts celebrated places and times of “in-between.” Many of their holy sites mark boundaries, lay-lines and energetic places often thought to be portals or multidimensional openings. Throughout each season, they observe a mid-way point — Samhain is the midway point between summer and winter. It also marks the Celtic New Year and is often seen as a time of death and rebirth.


I invite you to honor this potent time. Participate in a personal or community ritual, create an alter bearing symbols of harvest, souls who have passed or other ceremonial items that are meaningful to you. This small but significant intention ripples out in more ways than you can imagine.


Herbs:

Catnip, Wormwood, Calendula, Mugwort, Sage, Hazel, Thistle


Foods:

Apple, Pear, Grains, Corn, Pomegranates, Turnip, Gourd, Squash, Nuts, Mulled Wine


Scent:

Mint, Nutmeg, Sage


Colors:

Black, orange, white, gold, silver


Stones:

Obsidian, black onyx, tigers eye




We too, feel the seasonal shift as we move into the fall and winter months. In honor and celebration of Samhain, orders placed online 10/31 thru 11/2 include a free samples of the ZEN CREAM, no code necessary. We celebrate together in gratitude for a fruitful harvest.



           © 2019 GARA // OJAI, CA
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