Candy, costumes, and creepy things! That’s what Halloween meant to me as a child. I remember giggling and prattling on with my friends about what we were going to become on that special night. A princess, a power ranger – I’m still bummed that my mom never went for my Xena Warrior Princess idea. I was going to make the chakrams out of cardboard and tinfoil and everything! The season surrounding Halloween was always intense and exciting. The seasons had shifted, the colors in the atmosphere had changed, and the energy was just all around different. It was like a certain magick wafted through the air – little did I know just how right I was!
As an adult, I still quite enjoy the novelty of Halloween, but what I truly celebrate is the original purpose behind such a holiday. Samhain – Dia de los Muertos – All Hallows Eve – this is a time to honor and connect with the spirits of those who have left the physical plane and passed through the veil. If we omit the spookism often associated with practices such as mediumship and necromancy, there is much value and solace to be found in connecting with our deceased loved ones. Just because they are no longer in this realm doesn’t mean that their love, care, support, guidance, and blessings have become null and void. Samhain is a celebration of death, not as a finale, but as the beginning of a new part of the journey of existence. Being newly aware of and daring enough to walk his part of the path has afforded me a most wonderful experience, and I’d like to share it with you all, so that you may know the power of recalling and calling on our ancestors.
Last night I set my altar and prepared to ring in the Full Moon with prayer, mediation, and ritual. I had been pondering on what kinds of Wisdom and blessings I wanted to manifest, and the most pertinent issue on my mind was finding and creating a home for myself and my loved ones. I said a prayer and evoked Goddess Chantico of the Aztec pantheon, “She Who Dwells in the Home”. I asked her to guide me through the experience of visualizing and feeling what I desired my home and my life to be like. It was difficult at first. I am notoriously indecisive, and I was giving myself a headache trying to pick out the details of my dream home. I felt something stir in my intuition, and I realized that it may be more effective for me to focus on the energy I want to concentrate in my home, and naturally, the vision became so vivid. My daughter and her little friends are there, and my family and friends, and children and people who needed a safe haven. The vision I had for my house became so much BIGGER, because I want to have a space where many people could be welcomed and accommodated. All of a sudden, I have a mansion! There are all kinds of rooms and spaces, for reading, for art, for music, for prayer and meditation. I have a huge and bountiful garden full of fruits and veggies, herbs and roots! I live on several acres, so there is plenty of room to frolic, plenty of places to gather in the woods and perform ritual. I have a beautiful pool and backyard space, and a huge kitchen. There are always people making delicious meals and treats. There are altars and beautiful decorum everywhere, and incense is always traveling on a current weaving its way through the house. I was so entranced by this vision, so in love with the space I was creating. I reached into my box and grabbed the fan that I had found at my grandparent’s estate sale. It had belonged to my grandmother. I began to fan the smoke of the burning blend I had made onto myself, and as I did so, I spoke aloud to my gran.
I thanked her for the legacy she had left us. My grandma Verna was a goddess of home and hearth. Most of my best childhood memories are centered around going to my grandparent’s house, and to the cabin they had near the river. My chin quivered as I realized just where the inspiration for my dream home and life came from. They had a huge home in Piedmont, California. There was always space for the entire family to stay, and there was a room for anything you could think of! I remember all the children’s books in grandma’s reading nook, the selarium where we did arts and crafts, the piano in the dining room area, where grandpa would play and we would all sing with him. The basement was the gaming area, with the pool and ping pong tables, and the good ole Atari console. I remember grandma’s sewing room. She had stacks and stacks of the most beautiful material, and she would make us custom outfits and snuggly blankets. And, man oh man, could she cook her behind off! She made the most delicious meals, treats, and snacks. Every year on Christmas Eve, we would gather at their house, and at night all the adults would take the kids out for a walk to see all the lights. When we came back to the house, gazillions of presents would be under the Christmas tree! Grandma would hoot and holler and tell us that Santa had come, and we would giggle and screech and search for the boxes with our names on them. As I recalled all of these wonderful times, I wept as I thanked my grandmother for the beautiful memories she had created for me, and my family as well. I felt something come over me, and I heard HER voice. She thanked me for remembering her, and for acknowledging all that she had done. She said that she was so proud of her children and grandchildren, and that she wished she could have met all her great grands. And she said that each and every time we keep up with a tradition, like celebrating Little Christmas Eve and putting a dot under a plate, and every time we smile and savor a taste of her beloved clam dip, that she is there, and that she celebrates and enjoys with us.
“Thank you grandma! Blessed Be!” I said, as the energy of the experience wound down. I dried my eyes and cleaned up my altar space, and just sat for a while, smiling. There was nothing spooky or scary about it. I still feel the love and peace brought to me by the experience. I thank the Goddess Chantico for guiding me to and through the experience of communing with my grandmother at such a time as this.
Samhain Blessings, indeed! )O(