This is the time of year where many witches recognize the term ‘the thinning of the veil’. The veil between the worlds is a symbolic association between everyday life or a mundane existence and an existence of all things known and yet unknown to us. This is the mystery time when in ancient past our ancestors gathered the last of the crops and hunkered down for the coming season of the dark winter ahead. This night of celebration is often a mixed one, on the one hand there is the harkening back to our ancient past where preparations for the cold and starving times were made when objects of power were hung in doorways to keep predators, disease, and death away. Where ancestors of old not only embraced spirits so that they may watch over the household, but offerings could also be made to appease anything unsavory lying just beyond in the dark shadows of the oncoming winter night. Candles and incense were lit to summon up visions of the future from the dark. And on the other hand for some this has also been viewed as a celebratory time, when the shadows of the past and energies from other realms can be freed to dance once again with the living or let go to move on and change for the better. When the last great feast may be had in celebration and thanks for the bounty that spring and summer came to offer. Where the dark is not to be feared but understood with a greater learning so that we might adapt our nature to make it through the wilderness.
However your personal view and practices on the night of All Hollow’s or Samhain relates, whether your choice is one to honor, prepare for the coming winter, or to celebrate the last lights before the coming dark half of the year. Remember that one of the most important truths of Samhain is human perception. Comparing one Samhain celebration to another or judging someone else’s’ view of how to hold their rites based on preconceptions is not the point of this holiday. Every coven, tradition, and individual sees this night differently. And that is the point, to truly experience the energy flowing between the worlds, to honestly be receptive of the energies on all Hollow’s Eve, the laughter and the fear, is to experience the mystery and the power of all things unknown to us. These energies become better understood as each individual needs to see them for the year. Mystery and the unknown is just as much a necessary part of human need and as the feeling of love and to be loved. In today’s world where we move at such a fast and ever changing pace we often miss the subtlest energies around us. As we fill our days with technology and artificial sensory experiences we become less and less aware of the subtle natural and supernatural energies all around us. Samhain is a time when all peoples, regardless of title or religion have their ability to receive and perceive heightened, what they make of those experiences is up to them.
So as witches, wiccans, and pagans we must remember to use this time, when the veil between worlds is at it’s thinnest. This time of Samhain, when nature’s energy heightens as it transitions to winter. We should not correct people’s experiences of this time, but heighten them for ourselves and for others. For witches see what’s beyond the night’s veil first.