As a child of the eighties, I can tell you that Hallowe’en was a very different event then to what it is now (well, it was in Scotland anyway). Today it is very much a pumpkin patching, marshmallow toasting, get-those-spooky-decs-up-two-weeks-before-the-big-event kind of affair. Back ‘in the day’ Hallowe’en was, how can I put it, more of a two-hour frenzied chocolate dash where you ran into strangers’ houses and hoped you got given the candy apple, not the monkey nuts. And heaven help the house that ran out of sweets and started dishing out money instead; they were descended upon like locusts attacking a b-list character in a Mummy Returns film.
And the length of time the festivities go on for now is insane. So far this year, my kids have two parties to go to, one school event, and they have already been to an over-rated pumpkin patch – Hallowe’en trick or treating is still days away! Back in the eighties, we had only one shot of having fun: the actual night of Hallowe’en.
Costumes were polar opposites to today’s elaborate apparel too. I mean, I spent three consecutive years in a ‘witch’ costume that consisted of me being draped in a black bin bag and sporting a torn-up After Eight wrapper stuck on my tooth to give the appearance of a gaping cackle (please don’t feel sorry for me, the whole of Scotland ran about in that get up). One year, my mum pulled out all the stops by taking down our net curtain to make a veil and I proudly roamed the streets as a (slightly moth-balled) bride. Yeah, it’s safe to say it was a lot more low-key back then.
Sometimes I wonder what has made us go so crazy for the spooky season. I see people paying a fortune to get exquisite ghoulish make-up painted on their faces for just a couple of hours wear (is it just for the social media photos?). Costumes have gone bat-shit (pun intended) crazy too and anything seems fair game to be sexied up. I even saw a sexy Mrs. Potato Head costume. Wrong. Just. Wrong. They can ruin whatever they want but in the name of the wee man please leave Toy Story alone.
Consumerism gone mad
Like everything in modern-day life consumerism has gone into overdrive. Every shop is stuffed with Hallowe’en themed purchases. You can even buy Hallowe’en favours and pulling crackers. If I was Christmas I would be seriously bummed out at the copycat cheekiness of it all. I like to think there’s a fuming Santa over in the North Pole hollering, “Go think of your own ideas, you pesky Grim Reaper! Get back to dunking for apples!”
Now, I’m aware this sounds like I don’t like Hallowe’en. I do! I promise! I just hate anything that makes me feel like manufacturers and retailers are coercing me into making lots of needless purchases just to keep up with my neighbours. Surely I can’t be the only parent who feels the anxiety of trying to juggle day-to-day life and work while kicking themselves for not making petrified jelly worms and carving a dancing unicorn out of a pumpkin. I don’t need 20 ‘sour strawberry-flavoured Dracula’s blood bags’ or a ‘giant inflatable Frankenstein’s monster head’ so why am I even considering buying them?
Only do it if it feels fun
I hope I don’t sound like a kill-joy. Of course I’ll put some decorations up. My kids love them. But I’ll try and get some that last so that I don’t need to buy more and more every year. I’ll maybe bake cakes or carve a pumpkin with the kids too – but only if I feel we’re all in the mood for it. Not because I feel I should otherwise I’m a bad mum (and believe me there have been Hallowe’ens when that’s the way it’s felt). If I feel like embracing Hallowe’en I will; if I don’t, I won’t. And that’s the approach I’m trying to take to life in general these days. Life is too precious to be worrying about whether I’ve bought a good enough dress-up costume.
If I ever I feel I’m getting over-anxious about something that really isn’t worth my anxiety (as if it was that easy to decide, eh?) then I now take a step back from whatever is making me frantic. More often than not the root of the problem is in comparing myself to others. If I find myself asking, “Why do my decorations look so rubbish compared to theirs?” or “Where do they find the time to bake ghost-shaped cookies when I went to work with two different black boots on?” (yup, that actually happened) then I know there’s no point pushing myself over my limits. It’s time to recalibrate because there’s no point doing things like this if it’s not fun.
It’s okay to love Hallowe’en too
Don’t get me wrong, some years, I’m the mum baking the cookies and hosting the party. And that’s fine too. As long as I’m not doing it out of some misinterpreted idea that I have to do it otherwise I’m failing at life. Now that I’ve become self-employed I actually do have more time this year and I’ve already painted pumpkins with the kiddos (easier than carving! High fives all round). Last year, when I was working in a corporate role, not so much. It’s all good. Whatever keeps me sane keeps my family happy (that’s not my family motto but it does have a ring to it).
So, that was a bit of a digression from my usual posts. I guess I should get on to the crystals part 😉
8 Crystals for Hallowe’en and autumn
Autumn (fall) is symbolically associated with harvest time when the farmers collect in everything they have worked so hard for. So, for me, it is a great time to review and reflect on what I have achieved the past few months and what I want to let go of (before moving into winter which is typically associated more with hibernation and introspection). I’m finding my body already wants to slow down as the dark nights are coming in so I like to start doing some preparation as I transition into the next season.
Doesn’t that sound more relaxing than mummifying your front door with toilet roll? 😉
Here are 8 great crystals for Hallowe’en and autumn that I like to work with…
Amethyst: It is believed that the veils between this world and the next are thinner at this ghostly time of year so use amethyst to help connect to other realms and receive wisdom from your ancestors and spirit guides. Amethyst is a stone that is associated with the crown chakra and can help open up your third eye. It is also good for grief, which can be soothing at this time of year when the doors between our different dimensions are ajar and the loss of loved ones is felt more keenly.
Black obsidian: One of the best stones for scrying and connecting with the spirit world. Is there any better crystal for a Hallowe’en ritual?? It is also good for providing you with balance as it helps release any connections or things that don’t serve you any more.
Carnelian: It restores vitality and motivation so will give you an extra boost as those dark nights start to envelop you. Carry it if you feel a cold coming on. It is also associated with past lives and rebirth so it’s a good stone to use at this spirit-filled time of year.
Citrine: Sunshine in a stone, Citrine is great to have on you as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer. It is a happy stone that will brighten your outlook, attract abundance and repel negativity. It’s another gem that will give you a good energy lift as you move into the winter months.
Goldstone: A man-made stone, its red shimmery appearance is the perfect bridge between autumn and the sparkle of the Christmas months. It is an uplifting stone that gives you confidence, courage and motivation.
Red jasper: A good grounding stone it also helps with rebirthing. It is a stone of health and will help you fight off winter colds and flu.
Smoky quartz: Great for dispelling negative energy and helping you to leave behind anything that no longer serves you. This is also a good stone to use at times of grief.
Tiger’s eye: Great for introspection and for helping you accomplish your goals. It is good for balancing yin and yang (great for the autumn equinox when the day balances the night), energising you and lightening your mood.
What to do with the crystals…
Some things you can do with them include:
- Hold them while you meditate
- Place them on your crystal alter or sleep with one under your pillow
- Pop them in your bra or pocket to feel their energy throughout the day
- Place them in an autumnal bath filled with red, orange and yellow flowers
An autumn self-healing ritual
Or, why not try the following autumnal ritual…
1. If the weather allows, sit outside to connect to nature. If not, this can be done inside too.
2. Create an alternating circle of any of the crystals mentioned above (or any others you feel intuitively drawn to). Feel free to add in some dried leaves that are changing colour, or any other elements of nature. Burn some incense (perhaps sandalwood or dragon’s blood for autumnal vibes) and light a candle to set the mood.
3. Sit in the middle of the circle and take several deep breaths to relax yourself. Imagine roots coming out of your base chakra or feet. Picture them travelling through the earth, all the way down to its core where they wrap around a crystal of your choosing.
4. Once you feel grounded, imagine a warm orange glow radiating all around you, protecting you and warming you inside and out.
5. With each breath, inhale the invigorating orange light and exhale brown air to represent everything that does not serve you now leaving you.
6. Once you have relaxed. Take a pen and paper and jot down any things you have achieved over summer and think about how they will help you throughout the winter season. Make a note of 5 things you feel grateful for and anything you would like to let go of (whether it be a situation, toxic relationship or a goal that no longer serves you). 7. Finish with a relaxing bath filled with any of the crystals above. You could also add some detox salts for added cleansing.
I’d love to know what your favourite autumn rituals are? Are there any crystals you love to work with at this time of year?
If you’re interested in learning more about my crystal healing services then click here.