Samhain’s Solemn Spirit

As October comes to a close, it is natural to think of Death.

Halloween, Samhain and the Mexican Day of the Dead all sit at the end of the calendar month, the latter spilling over into November. Placed between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, these observations not only mark the end of the Harvest, but furthermore ring in a time where “the Veil” becomes thinner. The Spirit World is accessible; those who have moved into the Beyond are lored to be Present, and thus we honor them. In the Northern Hemisphere, nature itself shifts into a state of decay. The Darker half of the year welcomes such symbolism of ghosts, both ancestral and spectral.

Darkness encroaches on the Light as we soon approach Winter. 

Antonio de Pereda, Allegory of Transience, c. 1640

With archetypes always in mind, Autumn – like Spring – is that of Balance. Between worlds, it holds the essence of Past and Future, Light and Darkness. The Zodiac seems wildly aligned with this seasonal process. The Sun entered Libra around the Equinox, Latin for “scales”, aligned with the midway mark. Before Libra, Virgo frolicked, a sign of Earth, symbolized by the “virgin”. The tale of Persephone’s entrance into the Underworld walks alongside the real world’s last Harvest, a timeless tradition throughout centuries. After Libra, the shadow side that is Scorpio, representing transformation and death, anchors the timeframe of Halloween. The Maiden Divine, Daughter of Agriculture, descends into the Underworld and the Earth’s abundance wanes with the change in weather.

Chloe Niclas, Thinning of the Veil

Quite a few close friends left the Earthly realm in past Novembers. This month will forever mark the departure of three close comrades who all died unexpectedly, too young. Each passed a year or two apart, and when November nears, it is impossible to not think of them all. While rooting in the Life I have now, the Life that is being Lived, the harsh truths of humanity’s easily shakeable existence, our bodily vulnerability, can not be ignored. Time has grown and acceptance of the Present fills me with deeper honor in their Memory. I am grateful to have known them and, while I think of them often always, this particular time holds space for those who are now gone physically, but always here in spirit.