Halloween Magic: Understanding Connection, Ancestry, and the Other Side

Happy Halloween! This is such a great time of year; such a fantastic day. There is so much energy in the air; so much magic we can make. We have the Sun still in Scorpio, in fact this day is roughly equated with mid-Autumn, meaning we are very close to halfway between the end of summer and the beginning of winter. Many of the symbols and meanings associated with Halloween are connected with this symbology. The shortening days, the early coming of darkness, and the falling of leaves universally connect us with death and dying since there is a feeling at this time of year that things are coming to an end. Certainly, there was a very distinct end to the growing season in times past, and people needed to make sure they had sufficient supplies to carry them through to spring or this time indeed would ensure them meeting their end.

Halloween dates back to the Celts, a group of people that lived in northern Europe some 2500 years ago. The Celts, and their priest class, the Druids, created rituals and celebrations that marked different times of the year for the people. In fact, October 31st, was the last day of the year in Celtic times, with November 1st, being their New Year’s Day. Halloween was believed to be the day when the wall between this world, the physical world, and the world of spirit was very thin. It’s so thin, that it becomes like a sheer curtain. Something that you might easily look through, and just as easily brush aside and step right through. The Celts believed that it was not only possible for us to travel to the realm of Spirit on Halloween, but more importantly, spirits from the other side, the dead, their ghosts, and entities from the unseen world, could step through the barrier between us and them, and join us here. And not only that it’s possible, but that they do!

That’s why we carve pumpkins and dress in costume, because those parts of the Halloween ritual might in fact protect us from any harm that an angry or malevolent spirit might bring into our home or our lives. The pumpkins and costumes helped to scare away unfriendly spirits or make us unrecognizable to them. It was a party, but it had the intention of warding off bad energy and since the Celts were moving into a New Year, they wanted to make sure they left anything unpleasant in the past.

So, that’s where all this Halloween custom arises from; an ancient European civilization that saw in the changing light of the year – a connection to the dead and the spirit world. They felt the accessibility of that world at Halloween and they wanted to make the best of it.

Today, we still have the costumes and the pumpkins. We even included a children’s candy ritual – something also to appease the spirits. Houses that had treats were thought to be spirit friendly. And those that weren’t, well they got tricks…or worse…a visit from the dead.

But what’s the truth of all this. Is there a thin wall between us and another side? Can it be crossed today or tonight?

I think the important question has to do with ancestry. Our ancestors; the people we are descended from – who were they? You have to know that even though you don’t remember or have ever even heard of most of your ancestors…you know like your father’s great great grandfather, or your mother’s great great grandmother, they still lived.  But who thinks very much about those relatives, right? But they existed. And you are who you are because they existed. If they hadn’t lived, you wouldn’t be alive right now. In fact, all that you are, genetically speaking has been handed down to you through you parents and their parents before them, and cumulatively all the ancestors that went before you.

And that’s why we have a ritual for the dead. It’s more an honoring and a remembering of family that came before you. A celebration of sorts; marking our place in time and history by remembering the place and time of those that came before us.

Without our ancestry what are we? Random?

The spirits would be very unhappy to think that you don’t have a moment for them. Or an evening. Or a night of merry costumed adventure. And believe me, you don’t want unhappy spirits.

And your ancestors, on this night, can be called in. You can make access to them. Remember you are their lineage. So, they want to see that you have expanded and grown their dreams and efforts. And they are there to assist you. In fact, our present dreams and efforts may be an expansion of theirs. As lifetimes move forward we certainly remain connected as family groups with extended friendships and significant others repeatedly entering our lives for common purpose. It means we’re meeting each other again. And we know it. We can feel it. That’s why connection has the mysterious draw that it does. Because as souls, as the spirit beings that we truly are, we recognize each other.

And on this day and night, our journey in this life gives us an opportunity to connect with those spirits who we have known but who are on the other side; the spirit side.

It’s a funny thing this word spiritual. I think a lot of people think of it as meaning someone who believes in spiritual things. But it’s a lot more than that really. Spiritual means that we recognize ourselves as spirit; as energy. And that we recognize the spirit in all things. Not just the physical aspect of life, but the energy as well.  And a truly spiritual life remains connected to that truth in every way. Spirit in all things. Spirit in the living. Spirit in the dead.

Well…we’re all going to have fun tonight. Pay attention to who you open the door for, and more specifically, who you invite in.


I’ll leave you with a little Halloween dreamscape:


A Halloween Dream


Now listen close

And do not fear

The ghosting hour

Is very near

And if it rains

or wind does blow

you should not ask

or want to know

about the things

that lie in wait

or hide in shadow

at your gate

For all you need

Is right at hand

A wish is yours

At your command

But make it wise

yet make it quick

Before your mind

Won’t let it stick.

           ~ Dr. Craig

Craig Martin