October is upon us and, with that, my favorite season…Samhain, or, as most folks call it now, “Halloween.” Ever since I was a small child this has been my favorite time of year. It was not about the treats (although those would not be turned down by any means) or even about the costumes (although I did win a contest or two over the years). It was actually about Spirit and Ancestral Spirits. When I learned why these things were more prevalent for me it all began to make sense. Most folks think of stuff like this to be childish superstition. However, ever since I was very young I found myself able to see and speak with spirits. And the closer it got to Halloween, the more spirits there seemed to be hanging around.
At this time of year, the energies of the earth change. Of course the seasons are changing, gradually (hopefully) introducing snow into the equation of the weather system. But as the earth changes position as it orbits around our sun, the energies change as well. In the Northern Hemisphere that line between this world and the next, or what we in the business of Spirit call “The Veil,” becomes weaker, more pliable, and it certainly allows the cross over between this world and the Otherworld to happen with much greater ease.
This is a time when wondering spirits make their way through our dimension, visiting here and there. It is also a time when communication with the dead, and with our Ancestral Spirits becomes clearer. Think of it as a telephone connection that, when normally having static, becomes crystal clear and you can hear the entire conversation. The t.v. goes from a snowy screen to a clear 3D picture. But enough of the metaphors. The point is the connection is clear as a bell…for many.
There are those who will only be able to detect a visual “shadow” form. Because details are lacking, fear arises, because humans don’t tend to like what they cannot define. However, think of this as simply a cross-over of dimensions. Where they are the “shadow people” in this dimension, we are the “shadow people” in theirs. They may be as freaked out as you are!
I find that there are some ways to connect, if you cannot perceive them to be one thing or another, that may help to alleviate your fears and insecurities:
- Light a candle in honor of their presence. Of course, you need to take all the normal precautions about the candle, but if you were to say something like,”I honor you and your presence. You are welcome as long as your are not disruptive,” it tends to set the boundaries fairly well. You can then, if you choose, sit with the candle and still your mind, opening it to communication with the spirit at hand. Sometimes all they want is for someone…anyone…to acknowledge their presence and then they can find their way to crossing over to the other side of the Veil and staying there.
- Placing black tourmaline crystals around your home can provide protection from any spirit that may have malicious intent.
- Placing flourite crystals in central parts of each room can transform any negative energy into positive energy.
- Scattering sea salt on your matress, underneath the matress cover and fitted sheet, can help to purify your own energy and protect you from any spirit that is not kind.
- Using a black mirror, or “scrying mirror,” can assist you in clearer communication with any spirits that are present.
- Wearing something like an iron nail will also help to ground negative energies so that they cannot harm you.
- Taking time in meditation while wearing a pointed witch’s hat will help channel the energies better, thus enhancing communication with spirits.
I do NOT recommend using a Ouiji board at this time. The reason for that is that too many people “play” with this board without any proper guidance or instruction and then freak out when things go terribly wrong.
When it comes to communicating with spirits, I always suggest that you take it personally. By that I mean that they are giving you the honor of communicating with you…they have chosen YOU…and so it is important to honor that while, at the same time, keeping things respectful between you and the spirit.
If you encounter a negative or malicious spirit, then it is time to call in an expert to clear your space of their presence and set up wards to make sure that they do not return. But once that is done, it is important to NOT open communication with that spirit again. That would simply be inviting them back into your home. An example of this is a home whose energy I kept going back to clear over and over. It became obvious that someone in the house wanted the spirit to be there, even though it was malicious. It turned out that, despite the wards that were being set up, there was a teenager in the house who was angry and jealous of a sibling (the sibling whom this malicious spirit was harassing). This teenager thought it funny to mess with the wards and invite the spirit back in to haunt and harass the sibling. NOT FREAKING COOL! This was taking passive aggressive to an entirely new level!
When this was discovered the wards were changed and the teenager’s own abilities were bound so that they could not do that again. A number of years later this person came to me to ask if I would unbind them. I asked about the relationship between them and their sibling, and then checked to make sure they were telling me the truth when they said that the relationship was good. Once confirming, the unbinding could take place. But I was not about to open their abilities so they could continue to use them as a weapon against a sibling because they were jealous. In the meantime, the wards were still working years later, which is good.
So, you might be wondering about the bats and cats part of the title. I already covered the witch’s hats part in number 7. I wanted to mention why these two particular animals are associated with Samhain. Many of you may already know, but just in case someone was wondering, here it is.
Cats are psychic. They see spirits and energies quite easily. This may contribute to their excellent hunting skills. Beyond being able to see in the dark, they are also able to perceive the energy trail of other beings. So tracking becomes much easier. This is similar to how I track the energy of the soul when doing soul retrieval work. So it is natural that cats are associated with witches. Often a witch or shaman will have what is called a “familiar,” which is an animal who is connected on a deep soul level to the witch or shaman, and whose purpose it is to energetically help the practitioner in the work that he or she is doing. Black cats in particular are often associated with the witch, but really they can come in any color and be effective. Often witches are attracted to black cats because they look mysterious and regal and because they can hide in the shadows when necessary. But a familiar can also be any type of animal, reptile, bird, insect, etc. Personally, my familiars have often come in the form of dogs and wolves. It is just that one prefers to sleep on my sofa and the other prefers to roam the woods at night.
So why bats? Besides the fact that they, too, are nocturnal, the spirit of the bat is in many cultures associated with the “shaman’s death,” which is actually an awakening of one’s psychic and spiritual abilities and connectedness. So it has become an animal of “rebirth,” in many forms of magic. I personally am not thrilled by the presence of bats in the physical form, as they can often carry diseased and, if you happen to be bitten by one it can be quite dangerous. It has happened and does happen, no matter how “at one” anyone is with bats. However, on a spiritual level, I am completely down with bat energy. In fact, on the evening of my official initiation into shamanism, it was bat who signaled me to come to the group of shamans who were initiating me. For this I will always be grateful, even though the experience was also terrifying and overwhelming. It was still completely worth it. I do think that it would be wonderful to be able to, like a vampire, burst into a thousand bats and fly away in uncomfortable social situations. Haha! However, this is not really the proper, if I can use that term, use of bat medicine. It is more about confronting your fears (which often people have a lot of at this time of year with all the wondering spirits) and accessing your inner strength and fortitude.
So there you have it, folks! Just a little ditty about October and the fun stuff that it brings along. I hope you enjoyed this public service announcement. Tootles!