Celebrating October

October activities include, planting tons of flowers, camping, Fall purging (like spring cleaning), building my Day of the dead alter, and making special jewelry for the holiday. I love October so much, I could marry it. And this just might be the dress I’d wear.

If you’ve been following my blog for at least a year, then you know of my love affair with October;   hands down the best month for celebrations!  On the list to celebrate are:  Fall, an anniversary, my birthday, my self-appointed New Year’s, Halloween, and Dia de Los Muertos– which carries the joy into November by a week.  October activities include, planting tons of flowers, camping, Fall purging (like spring cleaning), building my Day of the dead alter, and making special jewelry for the holiday.  I love October so much, I could marry it.  And this just might be the dress I’d wear.

It’s made out of paper!- wood block prints and papel picado.  I like it because the dress looks both Indian and Mexican in design.

What is there not to love about this, the tenth month?  The minutia of the change of seasons is fascinating enough; the colors of change in leaves and landscape everywhere you look- from the ground to the trees and sky.  The winds come, the first rains and storms of the season along with cooler and shorter days, and with it all comes that desire to pull in— to conserve energy.

This year, I feel a need to un-scatter, to nest and read more—in short, to slow down and make ready for the encroaching cold and darkness.  To some this may all sound dismal and macabre, but I feel the natural resistance of inertia- just before the inevitable turn of the wheel; the spiral on its way to something new.  Thus, my need to clear some head space, to simplify, to un-clutter my studio and make room for it. Whatever “it” will be.


October holds my ‘New Year’s day’ because I tend to tether down my dreams into goals and plans around my birthday, instead of in January.  So when the birthday comes, more than tripping about age, I check in (sometimes reluctantly) about whether I got anywhere in the dreaming department.  If not, no worries- I have about 75 days before Jan. 1 to do something about it; to either jump start, finish, or fine-tune what I hoped to do.

We’ve been planting lots lately.  Thankfully, Oakland is temperate; bulbs are confused and are coming up again, and we can plant winter gardens now. In preparation for Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead festivities, I plant as many marigolds as possible, inside and out of the house.  Besides brightening up the place- they will decorate my alter again this year.  Why marigolds for the Day of the Dead holiday?

“Flowers, symbolizing the brevity of life, are massed and fashioned into garlands, wreaths and crosses to decorate the altar… The marigold is the most traditional flower of the season. In Aztec times it was called the cempasuchil, the “flower of 400 lives.”  The fragrance of the cempasuchil leads the spirits home… (www.mexconnect.comhttp://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1427

Other links to explore:

October Celebrations

October is my favorite month; it’s my birthday month; it yields the most colorful change of seasons; it’s Halloween; it’s my purging time of year, and it’s the month I prepare my Dia de los Muertos alter.  To me, October is the most potent season of the year because it’s a time of renewal, which for me, makes it more of a New Year’s than any other month of the year.

Because I won’t be home much of Oct. or Nov with my performing schedule, I feel like I have to race to enjoy all of the things October represents; I started purging last month; I’m making more jewelry that feels like Fall, and Dia de los Muertos, and I’ll be setting up my alter earlier and enjoying it later ;).

Not only is Dia de los Muertos the traditional time of year to honor our ancestors (no matter our ancestry)- family and loved ones passed from this life- for me, it is also a time to celebrate everything we’ve gained and lost in the year.

I first started honoring the Days (Nov. 1 is a day for children, Nov. 2nd for adults) this way when I was in college in Austin.  A friend’s altar was her creative corner of the house with handmade offerings, bright traditional sugar skulls, calaveras figurines, pictures of relatives & friends who’d passed, and bouquets of marigolds.  But she also had lots of personal mementos from the year that marked anything she had lost, was grieving, or just trying to work out.  Big stuff and little stuff. She told me something that really stayed with me; during this time of year, in addition to the spirits that normally guide you through the year, you now have those whom you’ve known and loved from the past who are suddenly  close when the ‘veil between the worlds’ is extra thin.  This of course ties in Pagan beliefs of Halloween, and All Souls Day.  My friend said that because they will come close to give you guidance, counsel, and company-  you must generously prepare the treasured food and drink they love, and have pretty things for them to admire (like things you make).

Here are a couple of things I hope they will like. 😉  The hand painted ceramic pendant is from Gaea. I used pink opals and green howlite to bring out the pendant’s colors, a bronze charm from ashes to beauty and seed beads.  I’ll be posting more creations inspired by Gaea’s Day of the Dead collection very  soon.

And a very Fall cherry quartz necklace with copper.