Maybe it's because I have an ongoing relationship with the beneficient ancestors, or perhaps I'm just prematurely curmudgeonly (is that a word?) or it might be that my dislike of Halloween is due to experiences I had as a bartender. (Besides St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve, Halloween is the worst night of the year to bartend. People get ugly in so many ways.)
On Halloween, when the veil is thin, instead of making contact with the wise ancestors, we purposely make room in many ways for the less wonderful members of the community of the dead. I find this practice very odd. Blood, guts, zombies, vampires - oh man, disturbed spirits really love it when they see us dressed up like that. They love the evils of a hard-core sugar high, followed by a serious blood sugar crash. They love scaring small children, also love all acts of a destructive nature whether large or small. All kinds of vandalism feed these spirits. They are not very nice.
According to my cosmology, the dead are not that different from the living. There are great, wonderful, loving ancestors who stand by at this time of year to offer guidance to those who seek it, and then there are the greasy, unevolved, creepy dead. We play with these not very nice spirits on Halloween. People say it's fun. Really? I don't get it.
Following is a very loving, compassionate ritual to help ghosts cross over to a place where they might find healing and renewal. It is the work of Pomegranate Doyle, a great teacher and former colleague of mine. I've used it many times. It always works. Afterwards, the space that has been cleared feels lovely, calm and welcoming. I published this rite a few years ago for Tess of the blog Willow Manor. Here it is again
Tomorrow Halloween will be done, then it's on to the holiday season. Onwards & upwards, oh yeah.
RITUAL TO HELP GHOSTS CROSS OVER
What you'll need:
Someone to work with (you need two people for this ritual)
Black or white candle
Two face-sized hand mirrors. They do not have to be fancy - drugstore mirrors work just fine.
A black cloth big enough to wrap around the mirrors
Smudge stick or a dried sprig of rosemary, or bells, singing bowls, or salt water (to cleanse the space afterwards)
A sense of humor
The ability to behave as if you know what you're doing
Choose a place in the house where you feel comfortable. You could go to the most haunted space, but if it creeps you out to work there, the ritual won't work as well. Let your intuition guide you.
Light the candle. If you feel the presence of the ghosts, proceed with the order of the ritual. If you don't feel them you might have to "wake them up." That involves going to the haunted spaces and clapping your hands, snapping your fingers, knocking on the walls, saying things like "Hey! WAKE UP!" Again, let your intuition guide you.
Order of ritual:
Place the hand mirrors back to back so that the mirror surfaces are facing outwards. Hold the mirrors tightly together between the two of you, at the level of your faces.
One of you will be working with the ghost(s) themselves, the other person will be calling in loving ancestors of the ghosts who will guide the lost spirits to wherever it is they go after death.
The person who works with the ancestors simply needs to be sincere in calling them to come to "the gate" (the mirrors form a portal through which the dead can pass on). Appeal to them in terms of how they once loved the ghosts, let them know the ghosts are stuck and how much they need the help of loving ancestors. Be firm, yet respectful. The ancestors will come, I promise.
The person who works with the ghosts needs to be more "in your face." What I do is look into the mirror and speak plainly and loudly. The point is to make the ghosts understand they are DEAD and it's time to move on. Ghosts are no smarter than you or I, and they're just as deluded. I loved the movie The Sixth Sense because Bruce Willis is so perfect as a ghost clueless about what has happened to him.
I used to hold the newspaper up to the mirror and point out the date. I always say, "Look at how I'm dressed!" The last time I did this I held my ipod up to the mirror and said, "Do you know what this is? OF COURSE NOT, because it's 2011!!" When I feel the ghost finally understands he/she IS dead, I tell them their ancestors are present and ready to guide them to a place of healing and renewal. I tell them it's time to go as if there is no other choice. The more conviction you can muster, the better.
When you feel the presence of the ancestors (feels very calm, wise and angelic) and when the ghosts seem to be aware of what's happening, both of the living people should begin to blow into the mirrors, each from his/her respective side of the gate. Often one person will feel warm while the other feels cold, though that doesn't always happen. You don't have to blow as hard as you can, but consistently. It might take two minutes or it might take ten minutes. You don't have to blow for an hour though - ten minutes is the absolute maximum amount of time I've ever had to blow, and that was for a LOT of ghosts.
At some point it will feel like Something Has Happened. Both people doing the ritual will know when the ghosts have crossed. Something in the room changes. Check in with each other.
Trust your intuition!
After Something Has Happened, immediately turn the mirrors to face each other and hold them together tightly. Blow out the candle. Both of the living say out loud "THE GATE IS CLOSED." Mean it when you say it. Wrap the mirrors in the black cloth and tie them securely together with string.
Some people bury the mirrors or throw them in the river. I like to get them outside of the house but I'll admit I've never buried them. After awhile the energy fades and they're just mirrors again. At that point I use them to apply mascara or whatever.
After the gate is closed and secured, cleanse the house by lighting a smudge stick and waving it around the whole house, or ringing bells or sprinkling salt water in the corners. Open the windows and let the wind blow through the house, unless it's too cold. Imagine that all the energy that doesn't belong in the house has dispersed.
Then imagine a secure boundary about the outside of the house. Sometimes it "looks" like a soap bubble, nice and shiny, encircling the space. Turn on all the lights in the house, play music or sing, laugh, dance around like an idiot. When the house feels full of living energy, you can turn off the electronics.
Eat something and have something non-alcoholic to drink.
That's it ... good luck!
And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!