Note: This blog entry is informed by my spiritual beliefs, which are somewhat eclectic, but primarily nature-based. I invite you to take what works for you, reject what emphatically does not, and perhaps give a little thought to the ideas that lie somewhere in-between.
Halloween or Samhain (pronounced “SAH-win”) is approaching. Pumpkins are for sale at all the markets (whether for pies or carving or both), and various decorations associated with the holiday have been clogging the stores since Labor Day. Samhain has long been a time when it was believed the veil between the worlds becomes thin, allowing our ancestors to return to the world of the living to give us help and advice. People set out lights to guide them in the form of hollowed-out root vegetables, and put out food as an offering. Now those helpful spirits are portrayed as ghosts and skeletons, the hollowed-out vegetables are pumpkins, and the food is the trick-or-treats we give to the children who come to our doors.
As the veil between the worlds thins, messages may come to us in a variety of ways. Some people consult their tarot cards, or other means of divination. I’ve heard of many instances where people suddenly smell a scent associated with a specific person who died, yet there is no obvious reason why that scent should be present. The thought is that the person is letting you know they are there, and watching over you. Sometimes they contact us through a favorite song unexpectedly heard, or a visual clue that makes us think immediately of them. Another method is through our dreams, which is often my source for information from my Higher Self, or even from ancestors. After my mother died, she visited me two or three times in my dreams, with messages that were relevent to my current life and helpful. There is a different quality to these dreams, and it is obvious to me they are not from my subconscious, or my brain making sense of the day.
For the past couple weeks my dreams have become more vivid, and sometimes disturbing. I realized this was probably because the veil between the worlds is thinning, and these are messages for me. But some have not fit the usual categories of messages from ancestors, or from my subconscious, or general “house-cleaning.” I have long believed that in the spiritual world there is no time or space (how else could God or Jesus or whomever hear all those prayers and give them individual attention), but in the past year I have begun to understand some of the ramifications of that belief. I believe in reincarnation. So if there is no time or space in the spiritual world, all my lives are happening right now. They aren’t really “past” lives, but rather “other” lives. So, as the veil thins, my Higher Self (which is how I think of my one soul that contains all those lives) has the opportunity to let me see some of those lives in my dreams. I believe this can happen at any time of the year, but is perhaps easier around Samhain.
This morning I had a particularly disturbing dream, the sort of thing a Freudian analyist would have a field day with. I checked in with my Higher Self and found out that, yes, this was a glimpse into another life. I responded in three ways: (1) I asked my Higher Self to convey my deep sorrow and apologies to the other person who appeared in my dream, (2) I was able to feel compassion for the history that caused my self in that life to behave as he did, and (3) I realized that life was one of the reasons I am a rape crisis volunteer in this life.
I share this with you now, because I suspect others may be having vivid and sometimes disturbing dreams during the weeks before and after Samhain. They may be visits from ancestors, or perhaps from other parts of your Higher Self. I encourage you to pay attention to your dreams, and to consider them as chances for healing and self-understanding. Above all, I wish you healing. Namaste.
[The illustration is the Six of Pumpkins from the Halloween Tarot, art by Kipling West (1996, U.S. Games Systems).]