An awesome pumpkin we saw last year on Halloween
It really has nothing to do with dressing up and getting candy; it has been about 10 years since I've lived somewhere that could receive trick or treaters (they are SO cute though!) or mummers (something that does happen off and on in rural Nova Scotia, but at Halloween not Christmas). I haven't gone out trick or treating since a teenager. I also despise dressing up in costume and am usually the "woodland pixie" or some ridiculousness.
Nope, Halloween is more than that for me. It truly is a magical time where briefly in our adult lives we celebrate all that is whimsical, otherworldly, magical and possible. It's a time to honour those who have passed and meditate on our past, present and future paths. In a time when it has been years since we believed in "make believe", Halloween allows a short period of reality suspension.
For myself, yoga practice really fits into this concept of the magical, the "other" as I spend my practice trying to connect with something invisible and abstract.
Thoughts on yoga practice during Halloween:
I do believe it is essential, if not any other time of the year but around Halloween, to create a sacred space. This doesn't necessarily have to involve lighting candles and invoking the elements, it could be something as simple as lighting one candle in memory of specific passed on loved ones and mindfully sweeping and tidying your chosen space.
Or, if you'd like to honour the four elements and Spirit, carefully set up five candles, one at each direction representing Earth, Fire, Water, Air and one in the centre to honour Spirit (after you've tidied your space). As you light each candle quietly thank the assigned element as you inhale and ground your body into this space and life. Upon lighting the final candle in the middle, thank Spirit for those who were a part of your life, sending Light and Love their way.
After a few moments, carefully thank each element and sending the energy out with each exhale as you blow out each candle, ending with Spirit. You are now ready for a Halloween Yoga practice!
Choosing the sequence that will help you focus your mind and body (whether this a flow or yin practice- choosing what is best for you) choosing to dedicate your practice to those that have gone and those who remain. It's best if you practice sans dvd or external voice as quiet will help your mind focus inward. When you're finished your practice, take a moment to again thank Spirit for your practice. Halloween Yoga Success!
Thoughts on Halloween and the Environment:
Sadly, as with all other holidays, Halloween comes with a ridiculous amount of marketing, consumerism, plastic plastic plastic. Ick. I would say that Halloween is probably the only holiday where I look at the cheesy, plastic crap decorations wistfully. If I didn't give a rats bum about the environment I would be the weirdo lady with sparkly black skulls, blinking orange and black lights and boo-ing ghosts strung up from every wall and ceiling space.
My "lazy costume": eyeliner and makeup+ sash and green dress=crazy woodland faery...lol
This year Andrew and I have decided on hosting a Halloween "gathering" since party-ing is a bit too much after the wedding. It's especially fun since my birthday was just on October 25th and no actual party was had. Since I hate dressing up and refuse to "create" a costume (cuz I'm lazy and not crafty) and can't just buy a bunch of cool ready made sparkly decorations- I needed something special. Determined not to spend any money, I've plans to transform saved boxes and styrofoam into tombstones and creepy objects along with left over candles and tarot readings! Halloween eco-fun, here we come!
A few bloggy-peeps have been writing fabulous posts recently about different ideas for a compassionate, plastic-free Halloween. My favourites are:
A Green Spell's Two Parter "Establishing Family-Focused, Compassionate Halloween Traditions". In these posts you'll find ideas about nourishing family traditions such as watching fun Halloween movies (I love Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic) and a fantastic account of how to honour those passed by making a "dumb supper".
I'm also enjoying homemade decorations such as My World Edenwild's twig broom and Fake Plastic Fish's plastic-free options!
Face Paint and Halloween by Domestic Witch has some pretty scary facts combined with a fantastic eco-friendly alternative! Yay!
I love this post on "The Secret Life of an American Witch"'s blog about the week before Halloween and her weekly tarot card- Temperance.
This guest post over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom (awesome blog btw) by Herb Mother provides great info on herbs and the Day of the Dead, November 1st (and a really fun herb-bread combination!).
I hope this All Hallow's Eve finds you all well and connected with our Planet my EcoYogi(ni)s!
article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com