Happy Halloween, lovelies. Who loves this day? Who doesn’t really get it? And who feels that it’s just a little spooky + weird? I think that with all of the commercialism + consumerism in these modern days, we tend to forget, overlook, and misunderstand the spiritual meanings behind this very mysterious, mystical holiday.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s not fun to dress up, go to parties, scare the bejeezus out of people, watch scary movies, and decorate with spooky, silly stuff; because it is. And I looooove it all. But there is a much deeper meaning behind what we do. A meaning that can only add to the mystery + suspense of the season. Something that actually might help us to not only understand why we celebrate this freaky, crazy day; but, also how this holiday just might be able to give us some deep perspective on… well, life.
So, on this All Hallow’s Eve, I want to share with you a few things to remember from now on. A few things that will add magic + meaning to your Halloween festivities every single year… and give us a chance to take back this holiday from the greedy, materialistic, flashy world, and place it back in the center of our ever-evolving spiritual lives. Here’s our chance to make this holiday more than just costumes + candy.
→ Remember it’s roots:
Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, rises from the Celtic + pagan celebration of Samhain. One of 8 festivals celebrated throughout the year, following the cycle of nature, it is a holiday that falls on midway point between the autumn equinox (September 22) and the winter solstice (December 21). With this festival, from the 7th/8th centuries (if I remember correctly), pagans celebrated the end of harvest + the onset of winter. It was designated as a time of starting over and of celebrating all that has come before. A kind of festival of endings. And that’s easy enough to understand why they chose this time of year to celebrate endings… it’s obvious all around us in the northern hemisphere. Nature begins to slow, to shed her leaves, to turn inward, and to settle into darkness.
Yes, they also celebrated the dead back in the day. But, more on that later. For now, know that it was a remembrance of the lost lives, the lives of saints, and a celebration of the magic that it just might be that on this night the spirit world is a bit closer than usual.
→ Remember that we are part of something bigger:
Halloween + Samhain are simply celebrating the eternal. A reminder that we are all spiritual beings, continually changing, evolving, transforming. A reminder that our physical bodies die, but that our energy, our spirit, perhaps, simply changes form. This is nothing new or weird for most religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. We are in a constant cycle of death and rebirth. And we are much more than just individual humans inhabiting this earth. We are united in spirit. Connected by our humanity. And that’s something that even atheists and agnostics can agree to, I hope + believe.
The point is, there is a cosmic, energetic, mysterious, mystical, universal connection between us all. And, on Halloween, many of us celebrate that connection between all of us living and all of those who have come before. That’s not freaky. All of us seek a connection, if only through memories, with those who have gone before us. It’s beautiful.
→ Remember those who have come before
Speaking of those loved ones and ancestors who have gone before, Halloween and Samhain remind us that it’s important to take time to honor our loved ones. To find inspiration and guidance and wisdom in those who have passed away, whether this past year or many years ago.
It’s a great time to remember to explore and discover our own family lineage or do an ancestry search. To ponder who we are, from where we originate, who our native forefathers + foremothers were. And how we carry their spirits with us today. What have we learned from loved ones who have died during our lives? What can we glean from the lives and stories and legends of our ancestors that walked the earth hundreds of years ago? Do they have any meaning to us?
We’re not worshipping the dead, mind you. We are honoring and remembering them. Allowing thier memories to teach and guide and inspire us.
→ Remember the cycle of death + life
Tonight, if we dare, we can face the fact that we are mortal. That death is a part of life. Our own lives. We may be afraid of death, we may feel uneasy and freaked out and scared and have death anxiety, but it is a reality. And, accepting + admitting our pending physical death is simply acknowledging that we are part of the circle of life. That we are part of the natural cycle of death + life.
My friends, death happens. And, the truth is, we don’t know anything about it really. So perhaps a good, honest look at death will help us to live more in the present. Because all we really have is here + now. The fact that we will die someday gives meaning to this moment. Each moment we live is precious, and as Krishnamurti said, “[It] is far more important to find out what happens before dying than what happens after.”
→ Remember to rest
As we celebrate Halloween, we enter the darkest time of the year. From now until December 21 (the winter solstice) each day, in the northern hemisphere, will be shorter. There will be more + more darkness every day. And, so, it’s hibernation season. A season of rest and restoration. A season of slowing and sleep.
Seems countercultural to what happens in the world around us as everyone prepares for and stresses out about the upcoming holiday season. But, what if we did it differently this year? Beginning with this Halloween of remembrance. Slow down this time of year, my friends. Follow the example of nature. Rest. Regroup. Reset. Because this slow season will only last for a short while. soak it up while you can.
→ Remember to let go
Since we focus on death and darkness and endings during Halloween and Samhain, let’s remember to let go. It’s the end of the harvest season. It’s time to let die what needs to die. It’s time to learn from the leaves on the trees, to surrender to this season, in preparation for a new season to come.
Remember tonight to set aside a tiny bit of time to reflect on things that you may have had to let go of during this past year. People, jobs, ideas, dreams. What things have come to an end for you? What do you need to let go of in order to move forward? This is the night to put it to rest. To let it die. To let it all go.
You know, pagans and witches celebrate this season as their new year. Not bad timing actually. We literally see the endings of things all around us. So, it’s a beautiful time to close the door on the previous chapters of our life, and of this year; and to begin to set intentions for the coming one. No matter if we celebrate the new year now or in January. We can use this time to begin to ponder how we want to move forward.
→ Remember that change is in the air
The only thing to remember about change is that it is constant. Should we find the courage to accept that, to go with the flow, and to let things unfold, trusting our intuition to guide us + trusting life to move on, then we will live with much more inner peace + calm.
Let yourself embrace change tonight.
→ Remember to say goodbye.
Say farewell tonight. Wave goodbye to the old you. To old patterns + habits. To old ways of thinking. Think about completing projects, tying up loose ends. Take a moment or two to bask in the work that has been done. Look at what you have harvested. Reap the reward of the work you have done.
And begin to look to the future. No need to make plans. Just focus on saying goodbye. And letting things go. Focus on accepting change and admitting that we, too, will die someday. Remember to rest your body + soul; and remember, with love, those who have come before. Remember that we are all part of something bigger, something mystical and beautiful that is both known and unknown.
And, remember, on this All Hallow’s Eve, that the magic that is this night is not evil or dark or scary. Instead, it is empowering, rooted in deep traditions focused on the natural flow of the cycle of life, and filled with truth and hope for creating a better future by acknowledging both our past and our present.
Happy Halloween, my fellow magical beings. xoxo. liz.