Since we’re coming up on Halloween, I thought I’d do a little post on why this is one of my favorite holidays and share a really neat experience I had a couple of years ago.
Most of us know Halloween for the costumes and candy. And I like that stuff too. Halloween pretty much kicks off the “Holiday Season” for me. But I celebrate October 31st as Samhain (pronounced sow-an), the Celtic New Year … the time of year when all the fall harvests were finally stored for winter and the livestock were brought in from the range to their winter corrals. And at this time of year (and also near May 1st) the metaphysical boundary between our world and where-ever-it-is that those who have passed on now reside is easier to cross. Some refer to this as a “thinning of the veil between worlds”.
While the Celtic peoples may have considered this a frightening prospect as there is some evidence they believed that the dead came back in spirit form to roam the Earth, I’m in the camp that believe it is a wonderful time to honor and commune with our ancestors. Every year on Samhain, usually close to midnight, I try to have a quiet meditation session where I “talk” to relatives who’ve passed on. I don’t always get a response but that’s OK. Two years ago I got a surprise visit.
Matt was a quality inspector in our build area. We didn’t know each other long, but we clicked almost immediately and he kept calling himself my “little brother”. Matt had dealt with stomach cancer about 5 years before I met him and had beat it. He was a true warrior type … he was a Marine and had spent time in Iraq and a few other places. He was a tough, sometimes stubborn fella. But he could be really sweet too when you got to know him. And he loved fish … we talked about fish all the time and he was always trying to get me into keeping saltwater fish.
After about 6 months of working with him, the cancer came back. He wasn’t pagan, but he and I had many conversations about karma and past lives, and how they may affect who we are and what we’re here for in this lifetime. He was convinced that he’d done something horrible in a past life and the cancer was his penance. What the hell do you say to that? I don’t know for sure if I was ever any comfort to him, but I think I may have been. Matt went into the hospital for surgery in (I think) early 2008 but never came back to work … he passed on a few months later. I’m pretty sure he gave up … I think he just didn’t want to go through all that again and I certainly can’t blame him.
Two years ago, on October 31st around midnight, I got myself settled and went into my meditation with the intent of “talking” with my grandmother. I was completely taken by surprise when I sensed what felt like someone happily bouncing into the room. And I realized a second or two later that it was Matt paying me a visit. While it was totally unexpected, it was nice to “visit” with Matt for a few minutes. And nice to have some confirmation that the core of who he was is still around and happy … or whatever passes for happy in whatever place he now resides.
I think that this experience had such a big impact on me because it was unexpected. If I had chatted with my grandmother it would have been nice, but would I have questioned the “realness” of it? Debated with myself as to whether or not it really happened or if I’d imagined it all? To have someone show up that I hadn’t thought about recently and hadn’t gone looking for made it seem that much more “real” to me, if that makes any sense. This year I may not try and visit with anyone specifically … I may just sit and see if anyone shows up.
© Copyright dragonfae 2011