My ulterior motive in encouraging a meditative practice at this time of year is two-fold. Most of us can use a little extra time being meaningfully contemplative throughout the year and never more so as we process through the end of the agricultural year. (It can also be a life-saver in the frenzy of activity that surrounds the winter holidays.)
Many of us have some sort of notion of Samhaintide as a hinge in the overall year and a time when the veil that separates the worlds of matter and spirit is very thin indeed. As I grow older, I’m unsure if I see this distinct separation between matter and spirit (that may be an essay in and of itself). But it is a convenient way to look at the accessibility of Ancestors at this time of year.
And that’s the second reason for engaging in a meditative practice–to get yourself to a place of listening with intention so that you may hear the voices in the wind, the advice that comes through the dry rustling leaves.
Do you honor your Ancestors? Have an Ancestor altar during the time leading up to Samhain? Or maybe you keep one in your home all year long. In school, years ago, we were told about the Ancestor veneration practiced in Asia. There was a sense that it was some sort of weird practice–cultural rather than religious. Not connected to the Abrahamic faiths that dominated our own Western culture.
And here I am, doing my own Ancestor gig. And that’s what we’ll look at tomorrow. Ancestors are the Reason for the Season.