We hope everyone out there is feeling blessed and cared for. Finally, we made it to the final quarter of the year, and as we do each year, it is time to gather around with our families, neighbors, and friends to celebrate the holidays of life, death, cycles & seasons, and beyond.
Traditionally it is a time to celebrate the end of the harvest season and prepare for and welcome in the Winter. It is believed that it is the day that the veil between the heavens and the earthly plane is the thinnest, and the spirits of the dead can visit us here.
In honor of this, Samhain is widely celebrated with gatherings, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies to honor the ancestors and give thanks. The celebrations typically include an ancestor altar, offerings, and connecting with nature through walks, hikes, and outdoor gatherings.
Día de Los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead'' as it translates in English, is a holiday created thousands of years ago in Central and Southern Mexico. It is celebrated on October 31st at midnight. On this night, families and communities all over Mexico dress up in bright, colorful costumes and build altars with skulls, flowers, food, and photos of the dead, all in honor of the spirits who have passed on.
The children's souls are believed to return on this night to be reunited with their families. The grand celebrations include food, drinks, singing, dancing, and music. Although Halloween is spooky and scary, The Day Of The Dead does not share that intention. Instead, it is believed that it is disrespectful to mourn the dead and that the dead should be celebrated with color, laughter, and love. The Day Of The Dead is followed by All Saints Day, November 1st, where it is believed that the souls of the adults return to reunite with loved ones. This day is also celebrated with remembrance, honor, gathering, and giving thanks.
As we prepare to celebrate and cultivate reverence for life, death, living, and beyond, we want to shine a light on our beloved Palo Santo. As it is this Holy Wood, that too shall be honored and celebrated for its powerful cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
Palo Santo trees and branches must fall naturally to the earth, and only after fermenting on the ground for many years are they resurrected. Palo Santo beholds beauty, power, and medicine for us all.
The sweet cleansing aroma of the smoke, the precious and sacred oils and hydrosols, and the sacredness and community cultivated around Palo Santo's gift. These are all things to remember and be grateful for this holiday season as we gather, sing, dance, pray, and give thanks with Palo Santo by our sides.
Happy Samhain, Halloween, Día de Los Muertos and All Saints Day!
Love, The Sacred Wood Collective
Written By: Kylie Ann Love