After the Autumn/September Equinox as we approach Halloween or Samhain, we often hear people say that the veil is very thin at this time of year. But, what does that mean? And what is the veil that thins?
The veil is the liminal space, the threshold between the physical world and the non-physical world or the realm of spirit. In theory, the veil lies also between timelines, dimensions, and parallel realities, but for the sake of this post, I’ll use the terms physical realm and spirit realm.
The term “liminal space” is used in depth psychology to refer to the process of self-realization, a transformative process of meeting with and understanding our archetypes and shadows. This is often done through practices of altered states of consciousness, such as meditation, hypnosis, breath work, and shamanic journeying. Such practices are ways to thin the veil between our conscious/mental physical realm and our unconscious (psyche) spiritual realm.
From this we can see that we all have a personal veil that separates our outer and inner aspects, our self from our Self, respectively. Yet this veil, or any “veils” that people speak of, are not physical boundaries. You could say that they are energetic boundaries, built up by the multitude of individual human consciousnesses, by the mental expectations of humans for centuries, that the realm of spirit is somewhere else or doesn’t exist at all – out of sight, out of mind. But this is an illusion. The veil itself can be seen as an illusion, a construct of the individual and collective conscious mind.
So then, what is the thinning of the veil that many speak of at this time of year? First of all, many believe that the veil thins at the equinoxes and solstices. These are focal points of the year, as are the cross quarter points: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, and Lughnasadh (Lammas). These important times of the year were honored, held sacred, respected, and appreciated by cultures across the planet for much of human history and still today. I feel it is because of the spiritual reverence during these times, when a collective mindset desires and believes it can and is connecting to the spirit realm, that the veil created by collective consciousness thins.
Samhain or Halloween season is a more intense time of this thinning. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s when the days are becoming shorter and darker, when we are faced daily with the darkness that is symbolic of our psyches, shadows, and the spirit realm. These are also holidays, including El Dia de Los Muertos, All Souls Day and All Saints Day, of connecting with the dead, spirits, ghosts, and ancestors. Because there is a more intense collective mental energy of connecting to the spirit realm at this time of year, the veil is at its thinnest.
The liminal space is just that…space, and space is associated with the element of aether (ether), the element of Spirit. And the veil thins…
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung
And for a little haunted house Halloween story time…