This Sunday is Halloween, to my (neo)pagan friends and associates it’s Samhain, but to me and within my tradition it’s Dancing with Family. Of the Wheel of the Year holidays we celebrate –and there aren’t many– Dancing with Family is probably the only one close to the standard ideas.
Dancing with Family is about the Family that is disincarnate, on the other side. This refers to Family that have passed, ancestors so to speak but only going as far back as we remember; Family is also those that are yet to be born into the line, descendants; and it also refers to Family as a concept of people who are bound to us across various lives. I’ve seen the last called Karma Family or Soul Family, but frankly I think Family is sufficient.
Despite the term dancing it really is more of an offering feast, physical and spiritual, to the Family. The offering of food, energy, items, and attention serves several purposes. First and foremost, Family is Family, it is too easy to forget the Family that doesn’t have the advantage of getting our attention by having a physical body, so we make sure they are recognized and honoured. Second with the offering and communion we (as in the people in sacks of carbon and water) try to offer the Family what they need, be it a bit of direction or energy to be born somewhere, help moving on if they are ready, or help staying where they are if they’re not. Lastly, and least importantly, we give them offerings to they have the energy potentially to help us if needed.
We celebrate this feast on Halloween because we agree with the modern interpretation that for some reason the walls between this place and other places are thinnest at this point. We can’t say if it actually is so, or if we perceive it that way because we’re socially conditioned to think ghosty folks are most active around Halloween.
However you celebrate it or don’t, have a good one.
Below is a song that I originally fell in love with through the film Hocus Pocus covered by a talented young amateur singer Kate Covington. It has a Halloween feel to me, even though the lyrics are more suited for another holiday.