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Reconnecting with Our Ancestral Traditions

Ever since childhood I get giddier and giddier with each advancing day in October. And it seems I’m not alone. As the skies get darker and darker this time of season, it really makes cultural sense to have a holiday that teaches us to bring light to our fears, to honor those who have passed on into the dark night and to embrace all the masks we wear.

Our ancestors knew the best way to pass down knowledge is through story, especially SPOOKY, attention-grabbing ones. They gave us the answers to vanquish all those metaphorical monsters that come at us. They taught us to:

Stick with the good and powerful witches. Any one with deep connection and knowledge of healing plants and minerals and how use them is a good friend to have around and/or become.

Beware of the Dr. Frankenstein-esque plastic surgeons who feed on insecurities and are willing to replace every part of your body, piece by piece in exchange for money and power.

Don’t let any one or thing eat up all your brains. Whether it’s on an electronic screen or something eaten or drunk or a person endlessly talking out their ass—if the experience makes us feel duller, dumber and zombie-fied, run fast towards what and who stimulates lively ideas and creativity.

Make peace with the past. Don’t let the ghosts of regret haunt you. Honor and make peace with those who have transitioned into the mystery.

Vampires come in all shapes and forms. If we come across anyone or any activity that vants to suck our life forces dry in order to bind us into servitude—Expose the mf-ers and their misdeeds to the light and they’ll disintegrate. Also, eat a shit ton of garlic to keep the creatures of the night (viruses) from taking you out.

Beware of the dark magic. It’s often disguised by the warlocks behind pharmaceutical companies, food industries and dealers of harmful goods. They may charm us, but if it makes us just sick enough to be pliable, it's no good.

More than that, Halloween is a chance commune with all the spirits on this Earth and beyond and unleash the spirits that reside within us. We get this cultural pass to be just about anyone or anything. I’ve been a potato, a fairy, a llama, a dinosaur, an intergalactic space cat just to name a few. “Normal grown-up lady” is by far the oddest costume for me to don. — But they all represent a part of me.

I think many of us are drawn to the chance to express a side of ourselves that usually feels obligated to be stuffed down inside society’s tight-fitting box. Business clothes are just as much of a costume as any other they’re just usually not as joyous to wear.

My hope is that when the jack-o-lanterns start to rot and the candy gets all eaten up, that we still hold on to the knowledge that we are the ones to free our spirits and bring light to the dark.

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