Long before we became a civilized society, we lived in a world where Light was fleeting. While the common man cowered in his cottage, desperately hoping to fend off the coming Darkness, mystics reveled in the in-between times. Twilight, eclipses, fog, midnight, and certain seasonal dates were considered powerful times for communicating with spirits.
Because the veil between the worlds of the Living and Dead grew thin. Thus, it was easy to penetrate.
Although we’ve made enormous technological advances since those ancient times, our emotional evolution hasn’t kept pace. We’re still squeamish when we face the Unknown. Halloween has become a socially acceptable time to lampoon all things scary – including the most frightening Unknown of all: Death.
In ancient Shamanic traditions, Death was called “The Great Mystery.” Shamans (like Celtic Druids, Mexican Curanderos, and Cherokee Medicine Men) were responsible for “midwifing” a dying soul across the Veil into the Spirit World.
But the rest of the tribe interacted with those Souls too. In many Shamanic traditions, an annual Feast of the Ancestors was held in each home to express gratitude for all Good Things that the protective Spirits had made possible: bountiful crops, births, the purchase of new property, etc.
Halloween originated as such a tradition. In the Celtic language, it was called “Samhain,” the end of the year. Before going to bed, families would set out heaping servings of fruit, nuts, corn cakes, and honey mead. The Ancestors were invited to eat while the Living slept. These customs taught young people they were safe, that benevolent family members watched over them from the Spirit World.
How did such a beautiful tradition devolve into the garish lampoon that Americans now celebrate as Halloween?!
As you don your Vampire masks and Witch hats this year, I challenge you. Remember who you are. Remember where you came from. Honor the family members – both known and unknown – who contributed to the Ages of Evolution that culminated in YOU. Light a candle, offer a prayer of thanks, and welcome the loving, benevolent spirits of your Parents, your Grandparents, your loyal pets, and great life teachers.
Your Spiritual Ancestors are available to you at any time, to guide you. To love you. To help you understand the mysteries of Life. Celebrate this beautiful, mystical connection whenever you choose.
During this Halloween Holiday, may your connection be especially blessed.