Cover of the Halloween Issue of 3.1 Venice – The Death Tarot design by Rudy Garcia © 2013
I have written before that I love Halloween – and I still do. The idea of the veil between the spirit world and the world of the living being at it's thinnest on All Hallows Eve intrigues me.
As each morning grows progressively darker and the days shorter I see why ancient people believed spirits roamed in the ample darkness. Imagine how black the night was then – when the world wasn't lit up like a Christmas tree at all hours.
I question loosing that connection with nature and the often unexplainable things that happen when you embrace the energy of the earth. Living in Los Angeles I don't have a sense of the blackest night sky, I can barely see stars. I don't have a sense of the deepest quiet of night except what I read in poetry. I don't have a sense of appreciation for the minute movements of the smallest and humblest creatures. I don't have a sense of the rising moon until I stumble upon it as I wonder outside after a long day of work. All of these things were essential to my ancestors for their survival.
So when Halloween rolls around, for a moment I feel a connection to the earth, the ominous fragility of the winter coming, and the tap on my shoulder from the spirit world as the veil thins. I like to imagine I hear my grandmother whispering to me and guiding me once again as she did when she was alive. It's not hard to see why all throughout Mexico they celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this time of year. Honoring the past and remembering where we come from is essential to better connect with the future.
But for all the serious spiritual overtones of the holiday I also love the playfulness of Halloween. Especially the costumes! The food, games, and general joy of running the streets at night with groups of other Halloween party goers. This is how I imagine the Pagan worshipers, drinking and dancing around the bonfires of Samhain in the Celtic countryside.
I love Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Day of the Dead and Samhain because the celebration of fall reaffirms our humanity. No matter how far we have come as a technological culture we still need to acknowledge the power of mother nature, our fragility and the coming of winter darkness.