“The veil is thin.”
It’s a classic thing to say at this time of year, when Samhain close (it’ll be just past by the time this post is published). But what does it mean?
Well, some people probably think of it literally – if there is another world, in which the dead live, this is a time of year when the dead are closer and can more easily be contacted. I prefer, though, to see it as a metaphor (my world-view doesn’t really have a space for a physical World of the Dead in quite that way).
I think of it as the smell of autumn – of rotting leaves and trees going to rest. I think of it as the shortening days, the earlier evenings, the sun seemingly weakened. (Of course, the sun is not really weaker, just further away and at a different angle; but Paganism often chooses to focus on how things seem to us.) I associate it with the cold and the urge to sleep longer.
In these circumstances, it seems no wonder that death, and those who have died before us, are on our minds. Rather than reject that in fear, it can be embraced and accepted calmly, and perhaps acknowledged in ritual.
May you have a blessed Samhain and those whom you have loved and lost be remembered.