Thinning of the Veil

Thinning of the Veil

Across many cultures and for endless generations the harvest season has represented a time of both abundance and death, gratitude and honor. It is the time for both the earth and humans to give thanks for what the season has offered and prepare to "go within" for the long, dark months ahead.

During autumn, nature releases her hold on life, and surrenders to the stillness of the winter.This surrender is not optional, and when the plants die, they leave their offspring as seeds. The earth welcomes those seeds under a blanket of seeming death, all the while knowing that the promise of spring will bring forth new life.

Halloween marks the point where the nature year ends and also begins. The veil between the physical world and the spirit world is easily lifted and the opportunity to connect with spirits is increased. And by spirits I don't mean ghosts and zombies - save that kind of fun for the local haunted house attraction.

Connecting with your ancestors does not involve crystal balls and Ouija boards (unless you're into that sort of thing...) but it does involve a lovely evening celebration feast. You can honor your family by acknowledging the memory of family members who have passed, and sharing memories and stories about them.

It is only natural to give thanks for the gifts and challenges your family has offered you. You can honor your family by practicing this little ritual.

  • Decorate - gather family heirlooms, old photos and other items that represent your family heritage. You can also include other Halloween items such as skulls and pumpkins - extra points for flair.
  • Illuminate-  dedicate a votive candle for each ancestor you would like to acknowledge.Add a few tea light candles throughout the room to amp up the mood.
  • Honor - say a few words to thank your ancestors and commit to passing on your family heritage.
  • Eat - create a fall menu with seasonal items such as pumpkin cookies, caramel apples or zucchini bread. Set an extra plate and cup of cider as offering to the ancestors on your altar/table.
  • Remember - tell a few stories about grandpa’s war experience or the summer family vacations at the lake. Look at old photos or mementos and share your experience.
  • Celebrate- pick up the ancestor’s cup and recite your family lineage and take a sip. Pass the cup along to each guest and replace at the ancestors plate.

After your celebration you can dedicate a small table in your home to keep your ancestor energy alive and well. Light a candle there every so often throughout the year.

The autumn harvest festival known as Halloween has a much deeper significance than the trendy costumes and gory film festivals of today. You can have a great time with all that too, but be sure to take a moment to go back to your roots and reconnect with gratitude, reverence and a commitment to live your life to the fullest.

How do you honor your family members? Do you visit a gravesite or watch their favorite movie on their birthday?  Share your experiences in the comments below!