Halloween, or All-Saints-Eve, or Samhain, or whatever name you choose to call that time of year, is traditionally seen as when the veil between worlds is the thinnest. It may very well be; who am I to say?
But for me, the veil is the thinnest at the winter solstice, or Yule, or Christmas, or whatever name you choose to call this time of year. This shortest day. At least in our hemisphere.
Now is when most of life has spiraled down into that deep sleep and into those deep dreams. Bears are hibernating (or should be; there’s a local guy who didn’t get the memo). Trees have slowed their respirations and sap has seeped into the roots.
The days have shortened to this moment, and now they turn on their spiral and slowly begin moving upward. In a few days the light will be called back and the days will lengthen in increments too tiny for us to notice yet, as we rush through our hectic lives. But that sleeping, dreaming, earth out there knows.
This time of year has always been full of magic for me. From the younger days when I clutched my wooden nutcracker because I just knew he would come to life at midnight on Christmas Eve, to a parent telling a skeptical child that I choose to believe in magic at Solstice. And that those who turn away from the magic, whether you call it Santa or something else, will have lost something forever.
So why wouldn’t the veil be the thinnest right now, in this deepest of sleep, in this darkest of nights?
Why wouldn’t there be magic?
My Christmas tree has always been my memorial tree. The decorations are old and showing their age, but each one was touched by someone in our family now gone. Each one has a story. And each winter season I remember. And they feel closer to me than at any other time in the year. This year we will add a tiny green kayak.
So no matter how you celebrate this time of year, I hope you sleep deeply and dream, and in the dreaming, find what you seek.