A Ritual for the Deeper Meaning of Halloween

A Ritual for the Deeper Meaning of Halloween

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Connect with the wisdom of this holiday, which comes between the fall equinox and the winter solstice.

Halloween—it’s a time of kids, candy, and costumes. Whether or not you like to dress up in costume and eat mini-Snickers on October 31st, it’s worth considering the spiritual and emotional aspects of Halloween and what it means on a deeper level.

Halloween lands right between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, which means it heralds the beginning of the end: the symbolic death throes of the sun. The days get shorter and darker until they finally hit the winter solstice, the darkest night of the sun.

In the Celtic traditions, this time of year is called Samhain, a celebration of the dead that welcomes the dark half of the year. In Christian traditions, Nov. 1st is All Saint’s Day or Dia De Los Muertos, the day of the dead. Some believe that these are the days when the veil between our world and the other world—the world of spirits, ghosts, and all that we do not understand—is thinnest.

Halloween is a good time to look at our own lives with what mythologist Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls the death light: knowing that everyone and everything will die, what do you want to be present for while you still have time? How will you love the people in your life knowing that you won’t always have them?

Here is a ritual you can do on Oct. 31st or Nov. 1st to call in the wisdom of this darker season.

You’ll need:

  • A candle
  • A dimly lit, quiet place
  • An item related to a person or pet you want to remember. This can simply be their name on a piece of paper
  • A journal

Call up an image of your future self, a much older self. Imagine this future self with as much detail as you can. What does your much older self regret doing or not doing? What would they like you to remember now, while you still have a future? You may like to write your reflections down in your journal.

When this ritual feels complete for you, thank you future self for talking to you and let them go. When you are ready, blow out the candle to signify the end of the ritual.

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