After the candy is sorted and all the little ghosts and goblins are tucked into bed, I invite you to pull up a chair and sit by my fire. Pour some tea and wrap yourself up in your favorite blanket. The wheel of the year is turning and I can feel it in my bones (quite literally), the nights have called for flannel nightgowns and the days are crisp. The sun rises later and evening shadows are magical.
The light is different this time of year, sunsets speak directly to the soul.
It is time to honor our past. We call upon our ancestors, what do they need to share with us? What do we need to learn from them?
Long before our secular version of Halloween in the United States, the Celts were celebrating Samhain (SOW-in) for thousands of years. Samhain was a celebration of both the end of harvest season and a time of liminality. It was, and still is, believed that the threshold of the doorway between our earthly world and the spiritual world was very thin during this time of the year, making communication with our ancestors and other spirits much easier. The celtic people often left food and drink outside their homes as an offering to passing spirits. Places were set at the dinner table for relatives visiting from another realm. This became known as a “dumb supper” (as it was held in silence), and is still practiced by many pagans (and others) around the world today. Christians celebrate both All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2, to remember both the saints in heaven and other christian souls (who may or may not be in heaven). Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) originated in Mexico and is a time to remember loved ones who have passed beyond this world and to help those spirits on their journey. Visits to grave sites or altars to honor the deceased are very common.
My own ritual on this hallowed evening is setting a place for pictures of my ancestors and lighting a candle. The light is not only to remember them but also as a welcome to them. I welcome them to continue to share their wisdom with me. I ask them to provide guidance over my path in the year to come and to help me “see” what is hidden in this world. I thank them.
These are the aspects of Halloween that call to my own spirit. What calls to you? In this ever moving, fast paced, technology driven world, we can easily lose touch with the parts of ourselves that are in connection with spirit. As Christians have taken on the mantra of “keep Christ in Christmas”, mine is “keep the hallow in Halloween”.
Whatever your beliefs, take this time to slow down, and listen to spirit. She is speaking, are you listening?