I guess this week is supposed to be my Christmas?
As a metaphysical/spiritual/extra-dimensional practicioner, this is the time of year when I feel most like Santa. People kinda want me to put on my turban and eyeliner and dance monkey dance.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it. Everyone seems more game, more eager to have their minds blown or their spine chilled.
There are various explanations for this. The phrase I’ve most often heard bandied about is that “the veil is thinner between the worlds.” The “veil” being that cognitive cushion that is normally in place to prevent us from experiencing the invisible world at all times. The implication is that that cushion is exerting less of a hold than other times of the year. There are various ideas about why this is, but what concerns me more (as usual) is what the heck I’m supposed to do with that implication.
Traditionally the period of Hallowmas includes the time between Oct. 31st and Nov. 2nd. Oct. 31st is associated with the pagan holiday of Samhain, a festival to celebrate the end of the harvest, the pagan new year and the honoring of the ancestors.
Nov. 1st is the Catholic All Saint’s Day, which actually starts with a vigil on the evening of the 31st. Did the Catholics do this to coverup the pagan traditions? Or because they knew there was something to this whole "veil" thing?
The saints honored on the 1st are beings who, while alive on Earth, clearly demonstrated their connection to, and faith in, the unseen world of Spirit. They lived a certain way or performed certain actions (miracles) that belied their awareness of a primary, unseen reality to which consensual, material reality is secondary. The saints are like the rock stars of Spirit.
November 2nd, on the other hand, is all Soul’s day. This includes the saints, but also the sinners, and everyone in between. It’s a day to honor all the dead, and especially all of our ancestors, and is sometimes called the Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos. We say “I know you’re there now, but I remember when you were here.” They have demonstrated their connection to the Spiritual plane, not through miracles or sacrifices or faith, but simply because they are no longer physically present on the material plane. They are part of the unseen reality because they are no longer visible in the seen reality.
In my work, everything I do or say in some way relates to these typically unseen realities. I have made it my mission to point out the relative thinness of the veil AT ALL TIMES. Most people, however, need this veil to stay in place so that they can carry on with their daily lives. The power of the unseen reality is too challenging, or disorienting, or threatening to exist alongside consensual material reality. Some say this is why the veil is in place. And yet, many people have a memorable experience of a time when this veil has been pulled aside, or something pokes through, or the whole thing gets torn in half. These experiences can be scary, but only because it implies that this reality is not there, but here, all the time, coexisting; we just can’t or don’t look at it.
What’s unique about Halloween is that we want to be scared. We are looking for a thrill or a spook or a shock. I believe this is because we want the veil to be pierced by force. We’ve spent the rest of the year fully subscribing to consensual reality, material existence, so, by the time Halloween rolls around, the other side of the veil feels worlds away. It seems like we can’t just let it in… we need it to sneak up on us and scare us. But why? Because there is an under-attended part of our self which knows it’s there all the time. Halloween is a great time to be reminded.
There are other times of year when the veil is supposedly also thin (Solstices and equinoxes, new and full moons, and a few other astrological events), but like I said, I think it’s always pretty thin. It’s a veil, yo. Not a throw rug.
My suggestion for maximizing the moments of Hallowmas:
1. Have fun on Halloween. Raise Hell. Demonstrate your connection to the Other Side by doing something spooky, shape-shifting into a costume, or martyring yourself by being the one who takes the kids trick-or-treating.
2. On the 1st, do a meditation with a saint. Pick a tradition that you love – and look up some of the holy men and women associated with that tradition. Try to find a list and select one at random, asking “Which of these saints has something to teach me today?” Do a little reading, get an awareness of the saint, and then give yourself a 5-10 minute meditation period. Light a candle and do an invocation. “I ask the energy of ----- to teach me whatever I need to know on this day of All Saints”. No expectations or results necessary, you are calling on the frequency of the saint to align your own frequency with it. Sit until you’re done. Then offer gratitude to the saint and go about your day. You may see reflections of the material you turned up, or the energy that was transmitted by doing the invocation. Offer gratitude when you do.
3. On Nov. 2nd, make an altar to one or all of your dead relatives. Super simple: If you don’t have an altar, just set aside a space (a table, a window sill, or shelf) that won’t be used for another purpose during this time. Wipe it clean and put down a cloth or covering of some sort to designate the sacred space. A candle at the center, maybe a few more around it. Pictures of your relatives or items that belonged to them; accoutrements that make you know it’s for your family. I like to leave offerings of food for my ancestors. Maybe you buy or make something you know they loved, or if you didn’t know them, maybe a dish that is native to your ancestry or country of origin (You can leave them overnight and eat them on the 3rd). Flowers, incense, crystals, decorations, whatever you need to make the altar pleasing to yourself and your loved ones in Spirit. Once you have it set up, either alone or with your loved ones and family members (the alive ones, guys) do a similar invocation/meditation to the Saint’s day. Deep breaths, connecting to the energy of your loved ones in Spirit, say “I ask that my Ancestors give me their strength, power and protection on this day of All Souls.” Pause and receive their energy and love for 5-10 minutes and see if you have any memories, visions, thoughts or experiences that reveal the presence of your deceased loved ones within you and around you. No expectations, this is not as much about your experience as it is about honoring them, but usually, when you reach out with your love, they reach out with theirs. As always, say thank you.
Undying love and spooooooky light to all of you,