I’ve always had a curiosity in things of the occult–before you freak out, let’s break that down a little. “Occult” comes from roots of Latin meaning “secret” or “hidden”. In ancient times the occult weren’t things that were feared or hush hush as it’s seen oftentimes today. Ancient religions and spirituality was strongly intertwined with things recognized as “occult”. And honestly, many religions have threads of the occult woven into their own practices as well. Those interweavings peak my interest. It’s maybe also why I love fantasy and fairytales so much.
All Hallows’ Eve is a holiday closely associated with the occult. It’s one of the many pagan celebrations that has come into modern tradition, and modern religion. All Hallows’ Eve is also back-to-back with All Saints’ Day in Christian tradition (only one form of back-to-back Christian and pagan/occult connections). Both holidays deal with spirits/those who have passed on. It’s often talked about the thinness between the human realm and the spiritual realm in the days bookending Halloween. I never thought about this much–not until I experienced great loss of my own.
I like to think of the thinness as a gossamer veil–it seems delicate and fragile and weightless. I’m not sure how people generally experience this time–I’ve seen many-a movie or television show that mentions it in some form (whether in passing or as a “knowledgeable” source). To me, it’s a reminder that there is much about the spiritual word that is secret, or hidden. There is much we don’t know–that dependent on your beliefs we may never know. But it fascinates me the traditions that we hold to make sense of loss and grief. It fascinates me the way we pay homage to or commune with those who have passed on. In whatever way, it’s a reminder that they never really leave us.