Today I received a newsletter from the lovely Ponysweat (if you like 80s LA style non-competitive aerobic style classes I highly recommend her). She reminded me in the midst of this chaotic year, Samhain is just around the corner. For those who don't know, Samhain is a Pagan festival that marks the halfway point of the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It coincides with our modern-day Halloween as well the Full Moon in Taurus this year (eep!). It is believed that this is when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. So as a tradition, on the 31st of October, it is an excellent time to take the time to communicate with our loved ones that have passed on.
If you don't have someone on the other side that you feel connected to, I suggest thinking about a pet that gave you so much joy but is no longer here or a person that you found incredibly inspiring like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Prince for example. Our pets, beloved ancestors, and personal heroes gave so much during their time on Earth. Samhain is an excellent time to give gratitude for all of the inspiration, love, and beauty they gave to us unconditionally.
With these thoughts regarding Samhain, I am brought to my own childhood being a kid from a Korean American family. Every year, the extended family would gather to celebrate the Korean tradition known as Jesa 제사. This is where my family would perform ancestor rituals to acknowledge my deceased grandparents. A lavish altar would be created, filled with lit candles, bowls of rice, delicious Korean dishes, fruit, and framed photos of my grandfather and grandmother looking stoically on. Because my parents never explained things to me, I found this tradition morbid and confusing. As the years passed on, the tradition was given up and photos of my grandparents were put away in a closet. But as I got older, realizing the amazing value of this tradition, I started making my own "Jesa" with my maternal grandmother with whom I had a strong connection. By her small photo from her schoolgirl years, I will light candles and say a prayer letting her know that I miss her and ask if she would like to pass on any messages to me at this time. The messages I hear are often very loving and at times kooky. My grandmother was definitely a bit wacky. So many times as a Reiki healer when giving healing sessions, I also often get messages from deceased pets and grandmothers of my clients acknowledging how much they feel a connection to my client and only want the best for them.
So with this Samhain and since most of us are stuck at home anyways, perhaps take the time to make an offering. Buy some fresh flowers and put them in a vase, find a photo of a deceased loved one (can also be a printout, a drawing, or collage), light some candles, and place them together on your lovely altar. Say a little prayer giving thanks, find stillness and let the wisdom from the spirit world fill your intuition and heart, and know that you (even for a brief moment) are so cared for during such a messy, crazy, chaotic time.