All Hallow’s Eve – Healing Rituals Honoring the Ancestors
An aura of mourning pervades my awareness in the same penetrating fashion as this full moon’s light pervades the atmosphere around us. In “the Olde Country”, as I remember my elders calling their European homelands, there were, and are, celebrations around the rituals of death and the dying season. I can hear echoes of their stories in my memories.
The presence of my ancestors comes forth sharply and more quickly as I delve into my ritual practices for exploring the mysteries of creativity with art, myth, and nature at these portal times of collective consensus. I find this intensifies my experience of the being in a split state of awareness. One state firmly anchored in the reality of the mundane, with the other deeply rooted in the state of the supernatural.
Surrendering to the effects of the trance-inducing ritual’s altered state of consciousness acts as a key to unlocking our inner realms, the realms of the imagination and the spirit realms of the unseen forces in the universe. The realms of mystery and wonderment. How very appropriate for this holiday season honoring these concepts, combined with the gifts of our Ancestors, both treat and trick.
At this time of year, when the leaves are changing from their green of the growing season, to their radiant yellows, oranges, reds, and purple flame-colors of the dying season, just before the letting-go of death, the trees transform in glorious fashion. My consciousness recognizes it as a signal to my whole being… to let go of my daily routines, pause for a moment to turn inward and find my balance. Then to come back to the world and celebrate the returning home, again.
Why take the time to pause for ritual, for inner exploration at all? In my experience, the practice of being aware on an inner level has provided rich benefits, deepening my self-knowledge and therefore my whole self. It has helped me to find meaning in the meaninglessness of life and death. It reaches into my being more deeply than any other practice I have explored, allowing me to find strength, wisdom and fresh insights for my own evolution as a creative being.
During the week of All Hallow’s Eve, there are many celebrations and rituals still being enacted in our contemporary society. How ironic, amongst a culture that reveres youth, that these ancient echoes of ancestor reverence have survived the ages. Evidence of our Ancestors’ influence on our lives today remains in these festivities. I have been witness and participant of many variations of these remembrances over the past half a century, or so.
They continue to provide meaning and purpose to the cycles of Life and Death on earth. This year, I returned to my roots. I participated in the practice of handing out Halloween treats to one of the most creative and popular places in town to celebrate. An entire neighborhood gathers together to open their doors to the children of all ages, just as we did in my childhood.
It was a fulfilling experience, to see all the creativity, the joy and the challenges of parents, young ones and those who are on the verge of adulthood. There were even more than a few adults joining in the trick or treating journey. The costumes were amazing. There was even an illuminated-by-black-lights mobile dance party that toured the neighborhood, spreading the party ambiance around, street-by-street.
The echoes of the Ancestors become more distinct, clearer and more direct at this time of year. It may be that under the collective consciousness of awareness, the supernatural becomes more pronounced. Or it may be that the lore of the “veil” thinning at this time of the year is a reality. I don’t know. I do know that my ability to receive visions and “downloads” of information is more accurate, faster and more immediate than ever.
I feel the presence of the Ancestors and the Unseen Spirits. I sense their energies more strongly as the nights grow longer and the seasons spiral forward. The same as one can sense the after effects of lightning by the hair rising all over one’s body. This ability to sense into the unseen realms has its blessings and its challenges. Both are equally valuable.
Now, as the full moon’s gate leads us into winter, the healing has been initiated. The rituals have been performed. The celebrations serve to integrate this Gate’s passage. The Ancestors require honoring to keep the healing moving forward. As we evolve our lineage also evolves. May the gifts of our Ancestors be revealed to us as we remember our origins and call ourselves home with love.
(Photo by CShepard – http://www.cshepardarts.com)