It is commonly known that around Halloween time, the veil that separates the spirit world from the physical world is at its most permeable. This makes right now the ideal time to meditate on your connection with those you love who may have passed, as well as to your ancestral heritage and those you may never have got to meet, but whose lives have shaped you as a person today.
The History of Halloween
This season brings two of the biggest holidays that people celebrate, both Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos, otherwise known as Day of the Dead. Each of these holidays traditionally honor’s our ancestors and those who we have lost.
Halloween and Day of the Dead may be associated with different cultures, but each is an ancient tradition to acknowledge that our loved ones live on beyond their bodies, and are still with us in spirit. They also both reinforce that energy knows no bounds and the permanence of love and connection.
Halloween is an ancient holiday that was founded in Celtic Pagan tradition. It was once considered Celtic New Year when Christianity took over Britain and the Church incorporated their holidays into the pagan calendar. It was then called All Hallow’s Eve. This was a day dedicated to calling upon the spirits of ancestors who have passed, building bonfires and altars to honor the dead.
Many believed that on this night, the veil between the spirit and physical world was most thin, and spirits roamed the earth freely. Many even practiced rituals that would ward off bad spirits. The New Year was celebrated with many things, including bonfires, feasting, food offerings to the spirits, treats and trickery.
How to Connect to Those Who have Passed
The Significance of Fire: Halloween centres around fire and candles, which are thought to illuminate the path for spirits and the dead. This may urge you to build a fire, in either a fireplace or fire pit, or even watch some fire, and be present in the moment in order to connect with your surroundings.
You may use this time as meditation and may want to spend time thinking about those that you love who have passed, reflecting inside and connecting with them. This time of the year can be a perfect time to access sacred spaces, such as the threshold between physical and spiritual places.
Build An Altar
Shrines and altars have been around for centuries, and have been found by archaeologists in practically all places where humans once resided. Building a shrine or altar dedicated to a loved one is a great way to channel your energy into a tangible form, and will give you the opportunity to remember, reflect and honor those we love who have died.
The first step to building an altar is to choose a space. Either pick an existing space within your home or use a temporary space like a table or shelf. Cover the space with whatever fabric suits your purposes.
Next, collect and display photos, objects related to and things that remind you of your loved one. These could include trinkets, clothing or jewelry, or even books and films that remind you of them.
Lastly, add any flowers, shells, stones, crystals and candles to your shrine. As fire can be a useful tool for connecting with spirits, you may want to light the candle when you are meditating in front of your shrine.
In order to think of your loved ones who have passed, spend time in meditation, prayer or silence in front of your altar space or candle. Focus on your breathing and your surroundings. You may want to hold a photo or trinket of your loved ones in your hands as you meditate.
Write Your Loved One a Letter
It is a good technique to feel closer to those you have lost to write them a letter, and be able to say things that you never had the chance to, or were too difficult to say when they were here. Share things about your life or simply memories you shared together. You could even voice any regrets you have, and let them know how much you miss them. You can ask questions and express yourself freely in this letter, and you may even want to think about how they’d respond, possibly writing this down also.