In western culture, Halloween is often hailed as a holiday for eating candy and dressing up in festive costumes. Carving pumpkins, trick or treating, and baking pies are all great activities. However, what is the meaning behind this mysterious holiday? This blog post will discuss part of Halloween’s fascinating history and explore how Qi Gong ties into the ancient celebration.
History and Meaning
Throughout history, people of all cultures have found special importance in communing with their deceased loved ones. So much so, that most cultures have a holiday dedicated to acknowledging and respecting those who have passed away. Mexico celebrates Día de los Muertos, Ireland celebrates Samhain, and in the Philippines, Panganguluwa is a popular holiday, just to name a few.
In all cultures, their holiday is an opportunity to communicate through the veil that separates life and death. At its core, Halloween is a chance to celebrate our ancestors, learn about where we came from, and set intentions for our future.
Like Pagan culture and the origins of Halloween, Qi Gong is deeply connected to the natural world and relies on a sensitivity to subtle energy. Many of the essential things in life aren’t physical or obvious, but they’re still extremely powerful and important in our everyday life. The journey of death is one such experience that we struggle to understand because it exists outside of our five senses. However, when we hold space for our ancestors and lost loved ones, we can learn and grow in more ways that we might have realized.
Connecting with our Past
Each person’s journey starts long before they come into the world. Even on a physiological level, each person carries millions of years of information and energy stored in the DNA. In Qi Gong, we also refer to this as Prenatal Qi—the Qi that we’re born with and fuels who we are. Although our previous generations may no longer be present in the same way the living are present, they are still very much with us and a part of who we are.
Halloween is an opportunity to cultivate gratitude for all those who came before us. In the busyness of daily life, it can be easy to not take the time to truly tap into our appreciation and love for those who have passed away. By stepping back and acknowledging the gifts of our ancestors, we can strengthen our connection to our past and feel the presence of our deceased loved ones.
Halloween is also an opportunity to tap into our karmic gifts as well as challenges. Some of our energy in life is acquired after birth (Postnatal Qi), but much of is predetermined at birth through our ancestors (Prenatal Qi). Prenatal Qi is a beautiful gift, but parts of it are easier to appreciate than others.
Most of us can think of a great quality or characteristic we’ve inherited from one or both of our parents. Unfortunately, we also get some of their negative Qi that can cause us suffering or frustration.
Just as we can appreciate the gifts of our ancestors, we can also choose to hold space for the negative patterns and challenges that we’ve inherited. By deeply connecting to the suffering of our past generations and allowing it to transform, we can experience karmic healing and the overcoming of past pain.
Looking deeply at our ancestral past can help us gain clarity and guidance for the future. Sometimes, by remembering our past generations we can realize an important part of ourselves that we’ve been neglecting. After all, modern life can be very good at distracting us from some of the things that matter most. Tapping into our ancestral journey can help us remember who we truly are.
In other cases, we may realize that we still embody negative patterns from previous generations. Fear, sadness, and even anger can be passed down from parent to child.
By taking the time to hold space for our ancestors, we can understand what parts of ourselves we want to let go of, and what parts we want to return to. Through this process, we can allow the wisdom of our past guide our intentions for a better future.
In Qi Gong, we often seek to let go of or purge our toxic energy, and cultivate or tonify our positive energy. In many ways, Halloween is no different. Halloween is an opportunity to let go of negative patterns, and cultivate the positive lessons of our past.
In addition, tapping into our past ancestors and experiencing Qi are quite similar. Both are based on sensing the subtle energy that is constantly present yet doesn’t usually yell for attention.
In Qi Gong, we hold space for the subtle yet powerful life force energy that flows within us. For Halloween, why not direct your “Qi” sensitivity to the wisdom and lessons that your deceased loved ones have to share? By doing so, you’re not just tapping into the true spirit of Halloween, you’re appreciating and nourishing your ancestral journey.
By Ian Drogin