“I now walk where my ancestors trod,
In hallowed footsteps falling.
Bless’d are my feet on sacred ground!
Bless’d are the voices calling!”
The word Hallowe’en, as you probably already know, is a shortening of the phrase “All Hallow’s Evening. This is the evening preceding the Christian All Hallows Day or All Saints Day on November 1st. But from before the beginning of Christianity, many indigenous cultures honored the sacredness of their ancestors and the part that death plays in the cycle of life at this same time of year. Most pagans claim this holiday with first bragging rights. They certainly are entitled to, but what is more important is what it really means. What are we supposed to remember on this holiday? What is the true focus?
Obviously not cartoon character costumes, pranks, and candy corn. The definition of “hallow” is “to make holy.” What does “holy” really mean? It means to make sacred or to honor “by association with the divine” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) The obvious assumption would seem to be, then, to “hallow” or honor our ancestors at this time of year. They have blazed the trail for us. They have helped us evolve to who we are now. This is true, but is that all?
Couldn’t we, shouldn’t we also honor the next generation of ancestors? Oh! That would be ourselves, wouldn’t it? Hmmm. What will the next generation honor us for?
How about also honoring our children who would become the ancestors of our world’s future generations? As frustrating as they can sometimes be, we will be passing the torch to them, someday.
Maybe Hallowe’en could be a time to honor all human life on this planet. We all have that divine spark within us. If we recognize and acknowledge that purely spiritual component that connects all humanity, maybe we can grow it bigger and evolve a little further.
We are all sacred. We need to remember that and treat each other accordingly.