For children, Halloween is usually the most exciting, wild and imaginative holiday because they can dress up as anything or any character they want. My granddaughters find it so empowering to recreate theirselves as bugs, witches, feminist princesses, skeletons, unicorns,  power monsters or explorers. Playing with costumes fosters a more fluid sense of self for them and the realization that they can create themselves anew. Even as adults, we can explore parts of ourselves that need revealing, such as a sage or warrior persona. In the spirit of child’s play, is there a costume or persona that might express a hidden aspect you’d like to explore? See what transformational magic might arise with this practice. Many years ago when my daughter was little, I would dress up as a female samurai warrior and was actually able to incorporate some of the positive warrior aspects into my personality.

Halloween or All Hallows Eve is often a three day celebration from Oct. 31 to All Souls Day on Nov. 2, also called Day of the Dead in Hispanic cultures. It is also know as Samhain or the start of the Celtic New Year regarded as the time when Ancestral spirits return. As night lengthens and darkness expands, it’s believed that the veil between our world and the spirit world thins, making communication with departed loved ones easier. Honoring ancestors offers us protection and comfort as we descend into the darkest, coldest time of year.

Ancestral altars are decorated with foods, flowers, candles, photos and symbolic objects for the Day of the Dead. I have a special year-round ancestral altar to my matrilineal heritage of grandmothers which provides a sense of on-going protection, strength and guidance. Ancestors can also be spiritual figures, angelic guides or departed friends and animals. I know many of us have altars for our dear deceased pets. Could you consider creating an altar to the ancestors who inspire you and the lineage that birthed you into being?