Last weekend was Halloween. Okay, so it wasn’t but for our local pagan community we made it Halloween as certain people couldn’t make it the following weekend. Halloween, or Samhain as it’s known by most modern pagans, is seen as the time of the year when the veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest. It’s seen as a time for divinations and the like as the spirits that communicate with us at the time find it easiest to get through.
You can see this how you like. As a philosophical rather than a theological pagan I tend to see all forms of divination as being the same. Whether by Tarot cards, astrology or contact with the dead the result is the same, that we manage to gain information or insight that we wouldn’t otherwise have. All these divination systems free up our intuition and seem to enable these insights and the source becomes irrelevant.
The actual date of Halloween is also a bit of a moot point as it’s more a factor of the time of year. We are finally saying goodbye to the summer, autumn is no longer in doubt and to an agrarian dweller the world seem to be dying. So the date, give or take a week is somewhat irrelevant.
However, Halloween isn’t only about Tarot cards and apple bobbing. It’s a time for remembering our dead. Many pagans have a respect for their ancestors, but remembering some amorphous people who’s names we hardly know and certainly never met seems a little distorted when each of us most surely have been to a funeral or two. So when we come to remember our ancestors let’s pay homage to those recently departed, Aunty Jane or Uncle Bob, or even Mum or Dad. It matters not that they may not have shared our path because despite the fact that they may be different to us, may have opposed our pagan perspective or may never have known who we really are, these people are our ancestors. These recent ancestors are our flesh and blood we should remember them for, perhaps, nobody else will. And if we do then, perhaps also, those that come after us will remember us.