Finally the year turns! For those of us who follow an earth centered spiritual path & have adopted the Wiccan Wheel of the Year as a guide to celebrations, Halloween is more than just a day to dress up & be silly, though Goddess knows we can all use more dressing up & being silly in our lives. Halloween (Samhain) is a day to remember & honor our ancestors, both personal & global. Those who have gone before us have gifted us with so much, the most obvious of which is our lives & lifestyles. They have given us the traditions which help us find our way in the world; they have gifted us with our culture which gives us a starting point in interacting rightly with others & ourselves; they have passed on to us their experiences which help shape our world view, help us to discern both what’s right & not right for us. The ancestors have taught by example both what is a good way to be & express ourselves & what is an absolutely wrong way to go about living. We owe them too much to recount, but keeping a gratitude journal helps.
Not all ancestors are old & any who are close to death are worthy of our respect because they are almost ancestors. Yes, even the infant on death’s door, painful as it may be. We honor ALL who have died before us, no matter how recent & thank them for their gifts. Someday we will make the same journey & though rememberances may be of no importance to US once we die, it is certainly important to those we leave behind.
I do not personally fear death. I have no reason to. The completion of a life well lived as well as the life ill spent is the same. It is part of the life cycle. By honoring the dead & even mocking death as many do in Halloween fun, we make some measure of peace with the inevitable. It is said the veil between the worlds is thinnest on Halloween night. I think when we mock death, death laughs & celebrates with us. To honor & mark with celebration the flip side of life is appropriate & necessary. It reminds us to make the most of our time here, to be the best selves we can be & that is the greatest gift we could ever give to ourselves & to those who will come after us: to live authentically as ourselves, lighting the path for others to do likewise. Happy Halloween! May the ancestors continually bless & watch over you!