Happy New Year! We’re fast approaching the “still point” of the year that I mentioned in last month’s column – October 31st, Samhain/All Hallows Eve/Halloween, and its counterpart Dia di los Muertos (or Day of the Dead). This is one of our cross-quarter periods, when Earth Element steps in to usher Metal into Water. This is when the art of allowing really comes into play as we fully release our grip on what has been, what has transpired, what is finished, and we move into the gestation phase of the new year (November, December, January). Whether it’s the weather, the sunlight, the garden, or a project or relationship which has come to an end, now is our opportunity to surrender our attachments or addictions to whatever no longer serves our lives, and to rest in the faith that Life has more in store for us as the wheel continues to turn. 718da50b-8436-486e-8292-408be1f6dfdc

For me, this is the time for deep introspection, for slowing down the “doing”, and to focus on the “being” in the darkness, silence, and stillness, as we descend into winter. It’s a time to notice and bless my fears of lack, limitation and not-enough-ness. To notice and bless my fears of failure or loneliness, and to reflect on the year as it passes through this portal. Years ago my family adopted the tradition from Dia de los Muertos of creating an “ancestor altar” to honor the family and friends who have crossed the threshold from physical to non-physical. This altar sits in a prominent spot in the house, adorned with a black velvet cloth and many photos and mementos of our beloveds. There sits a pipe that was my grandfather’s, and glasses that were my grandmother’s. A beer and an Almond Joy for my father, a glass of red wine for my husband’s father. Candles are lit and burn throughout the day, and as we pass the altar we pause and remember and give thanks for the blessing that these people brought to our lives, and for the exquisite opportunity to surrender our attachments to those relationships and allow them to pass on to their next incarnation without our interference.