Piercing the Veil
I think it is uncanny that there are different cultures that celebrate aspects of death in October. While Halloween derived from All Hollow’s Eve which was an attempt to Christianize the Samhain celebration of the pagan religions, it is the recognition of the passing of the God which coincides with the end of the growing season as the mature crops began to die off in their cycle of renewal. Coincidentally, in Mexico they celebrate “The Day of the Dead” when the spirits of those that have passed before us are gifted with an evening to come back to earth to fellowship with their earthbound loved ones that remember them. There seems to be a shared belief that the veil between the living and the dead are the thinnest during this time of year in both observances.
When I remember those before me in meditation, I try not to push for any specific person. I attempt to leave it open to whomever needs to come through. I position myself comfortably, clear my space and my mind and face directionally west. This seems to be best for me in the dark as it limits my distractions. I personally gravitate to darker candles or sometimes green which I tend to relate to sprit healing. Once I clear my space, I bring in my own energy by lighting the candle. At this point I close my eyes and use the creative force within me as I imagine that I’m sitting on a bench in a clearing. There is gentle fog rolling all around me and the air is comfortably cool. I cannot see very far in any direction, but I am completely comfortable that I am safe and loved. I take several breaths and feel the space around me with all of my senses. The light is dim. The temperature of the moist fog on my face and swirling around my hands is pleasant and I become aware of the texture of the ground. Perhaps it is sand, grass, or marble and maybe I can smell the ocean, the forest, or cut grass. I allow my mind to fill in the gaps as the space is designed to be exactly what I need in this moment. Once I am attuned to my environment, I become aware of soft footsteps approaching. There is no alarm but a comforting feeling as I hear them slowly drawing near, I notice a familiar voice humming a cheerful melody. I can see a blurry figure in the distance. As the figure approaches, I become aware of who it is and we share a few moments together. There is no need for words. A sense of understanding between us fills me with complete peace and at the conclusion of our time, my visitor smiles at me and I know that they are with me in my heart always. Then as the mist swirls around them and obscures them from view both the fog and the visit dissipate. I may sit in the moment a while longer before I open my eyes back to the reality of the flame, and attend my candle to reinitiate my day.
This meditation is important to me because although I know that death is just as important in the cycle of life as birth, it still hurts. I don’t believe this is selfishness on our parts, but a renting of an aspect of our own spirit. I believe when we care for someone that a part of our own light becomes entangled with theirs when we express love. When one of that pair transitions, there is a spiritual tearing that requires mending just as any wound would, but spiritual damage can ripple out to all aspects of our lives. Even after the wound heals, there are times when we can still feel the “phantom limb” that tied us to the person and we still feel them near. I like the concept that with the veil at the thinnest that my predecessors can be reached, even if just by feelings.
One of my fondest memories of my childhood would be standing in my front yard when the pine trees were dropping their needles feeling the cooler air while the flocks of birds were heading south. My mother and I would carve pumpkins together and we would shop for costumes or even better, we would make our own. It is these times most of all that I miss her. Hopefully, we can remember those who go before us in a way that gives us a comfort. I like to light candles for them enjoying the idea that I’m sending a little XOXO that way. I want them to know that they are still an important part of me because the same gift of the spirit that I gave to them was also reciprocated to me by them. It is my duty to honor them because that part of them given to me in love will live on with me all my days.