One of my favorite books of all time is “The Mists of Avalon.” It tells the story of the King Arthur legend but from the perspective of women. Of course, there is plenty of magic, Goddess/Priestess spells, and herbs. These are all subjects of keen interest to me personally, but I am especially attracted to the idea of what lies beyond, a world unknown to us because we can’t see through the mist.
Soon it will be Halloween, or Samhain, one of the cross-quarter days of the year. There is also a tradition called Day of the Dead, or All Souls Day, celebrated on the first of November, and these traditions resonate with this idea of what’s on the other side of that veil.
We are all part of a lineage, an ancestry, that this time of year marks for us. When Day of the Dead celebrations take place to honor people who have passed, pictures of loved ones are placed on the altar, along with the departed’s favorite foods, and special treats are made for the children. Here in America, kids (of all ages) dress up in costumes and have parties and ask neighbors for treats or the “threat” of tricks. We carve pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. It is typically a festive holiday full of lights.
This transitional period, however, is all about acknowledging your destructive side, and it provides a last chance to release anything or anyone that is not supporting your growth. Honoring our ancestors and communication between the worlds, along with the trickster energy, is something we get to explore and contemplate now. Besides honoring any loved ones who have crossed over to the other side of the veil, this is also a time to look at your own shadow side.
“To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his light.” — Carl Jung
What are you afraid of? What part of yourself do you still deny? What aspects of yourself don’t you like? What about yourself do you project onto others? That is what the veil is hiding from you, and that is what you get to come to terms with.
It may sound dark or threatening, but take heart. Humor can take a bite out of that shadow. Maybe it’s a good idea to dress up in silly costumes after all or to at least laugh at ourselves. After all, we can see all sides of who we are and admit to the shortcomings of simply being human.
As your vision beyond the mist clears, take time to celebrate who you are. Enjoy some homemade pumpkin bread and light up a lantern or two. As Lenard Cohen wrote, the cracks are how the light gets in.
May you unveil all the Gorgeously Healthy sides of yourself,