October is my favorite month, with it’s early darkness and heavy mist. The colors, the smells, the coolness of the air; all these things bring me to a place of remembrance. Not the remembrance of old times, but the remembrance of people who have have passed from life, into the world of Spirit. With the fullness of Autumns embrace, the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead grows thin, becoming sheer and transparent, allowing those who have even the slightest bit of sight to catch glimpses of the other world.
In my home, as in the homes of my family; the approach of Samhain/Halloween, is invitation to celebrate our Beloved Dead. Photographs and memento’s that remind us of our family in Spirit come out, to be displayed with honor and thankfulness. Remembering these people, who walked the path before me, gives me a sense of place, and fills me with a sacred melancholy.
Sacred Melancholy, is a deep sadness or feeling of loss. It is a romantic feeling really, one that fills us with yearning and remembrance. It is something to appreciate and immerse oneself in, for it holds great depths of knowing. When we allow ourselves to connect with that feeling of loss, it is not the same as being depressed and suffering, but more a tender reminder of times past…like savoring the memory of a lovers goodbye kiss…there is a wonderment in the remembering itself.
When I place photos of my departed family out on display, I am consciously choosing to step into that powerful place of remembrance. I am also inviting the Beloved Dead in the pictures to be present in my home. I am asking them to infuse my space with their presence, to fill my memories with Spirit. This is my invitation for them to cross the veil, and pay me a visit.
As a Medium, I am fortunate to have communication with the Spirits I love, often. I do not need to wait for Holy days, such as Samhain/Halloween, to feel their presence, yet I still go through the effort of giving them honor at this time. I do this because they appreciate being remembered.
We are living in a time of awakening, a time in which we are finding our way back to the ways practiced by our elders, ancestors and tribal communities, for they have merit. We are remembering that we remain connected to our beloved ones, even after they have crossed into death. Our minds and hearts are opening, and we are seeking space for visitation. When we give them honor, they will come.
It is true, that some people are more adept at feeling them, seeing them, sensing them, but they come for all of us, and they are thankful.
*Find a shelf or stand in your home to use as an altar. An altar is a space used for things we view as sacred (spiritual, devotional, deserving of special attention).
*Remember everything placed on your altar should be intentional…no junk mail, car keys, or gum wrappers, unless you are doing specific work with such items. Your dead grandpa’s car keys would be ok, if they were used to remember him.
*Decorate your altar with photographs, knick-knacks, and other items of remembrance, that represent your Beloved Dead.
*Place religious, or spiritual items on your altar if you like, to give blessings to your Ancestors.
* Place a candle (doesn’t matter what kind) on your altar, that you can light whenever you want to give extra acknowledgement to your loved ones.
*Place a special treat on the altar (coffee, tea, cigarette, chocolate) for them occasionally. They will not actually eat it or smoke it, but will instead appreciate the energy of the offering you have given. Make sure to clean it up at end of the day.
*Keep your Ancestor altar up through Samhain/Halloween. You may keep it up longer if you like, some people choose to keep their up through the holiday season.
Remember, it is the judgement of emotions and sensations that make them uncomfortable. Melancholy, and sacred sadness are not things to avoid. We often rush the mourning process, telling ourselves that like all things modern, it should be efficient and productive. Well that my friends is bullshit. We need to understand that our emotions are complex things, and the feeling of loss created from the void of loosing someone we hold dear, is immense. Some of us will mourn deeply, for a long period of time…some of us, will mourn in bits and spurts. But to hold a place of deep memory for our Beloved Dead is a good thing. Do not hold your memories to the moment of loss, but instead allow your mind to take you on the journey of knowing the ones you love, while they were alive and vital. And remember, Spirits can see us and hear us much easier then we can see and hear them. They are listening when we talk to them, do it often and you may just hear a reply.