To voluntarily move into shadow, to inhabit the dark, takes a pinch of faith, and a pitchfork of fortitude. It is a caterpillian-choice, either to curl in, or break through the cocooning carapace to emerge a butterfly. In the northern hemisphere, we celebrate this dark entry, this ‘crossing over,’ as All Saints Day, or Day of the Dead, or Samhain, and yes, left-over Halloween. We march from harvest’s bright field to stand under cold-tumbled skies of falling leaves, to contemplate the surrender of the year, and the end of long, warm daylight. We move irrevocably toward the unknown, releasing our harvest of experience, of regret, and loss. We digest and regenerate for what will be, but not yet is.
Samhain, and All Saints, celebrate the dead, the well-loved spirits who once inhabited a life. Despite the skeltons and bad movies, it is an un-American celebration. Our DNA prefers Halloween, the joys of candy and fantastic costuming, where orange masks and haystack wigs make a lot of money, but denigrate solemn rites of passage. American spirit was built on forward movement, of no looking back, a conquering, can-do grab of life. This young spirit has not yet been able to cross over from its original genesis to embody adult soul. Of course, many individuals do cross, and for those, Plutonian riches await. When willing to wrestle with demons, and desires, the underworld teaches that what happens on the journey is not half so important as how we respond to the inner battles.
It is our willingness to surrender, heal and resolve unfinished business that offers soul-dharma. This dharma can be a path, a role, a friend, a talent, a job, a journey. It can be diurnal and/or nocturnal, of spirit and/or matter. When it is in the service of radical change, stretching us beyond old conventions and comfort zones, we cross over as saint and/or sinner. Being in relationship with both, creates wholeness. When we are in communion with shadow, entering the dark is not so scary as when we have no idea of what’s in the dark. When we have been impassioned by our demons, and done battle with passion, our dharma is muscled in resilience. There is an ability to understand that when we are suffering, it is because of what we think we are experiencing. When we are able to cross back and forth, we are able to shift perception. We open to different interpretations, and not only suffer less, but know that herein lies our freedom!