Dog fancy halloween costume

Halloween and hungry ghosts: East & West celebrations of the dead. 1

Halloween…So much chills and excitement are conveyed in this word. And so here we are, somehow halfway between the Autumn equinox that was on the 27th of September (Zhōngqiū Jié,中秋節; also known as mid-autumn festival, mooncake or moon festival) and the Winter solstice (冬至, Dōngzhì) that will be on December the 22nd . Regardless of where you live, our societies now blend Asian and Western philosophy and so it is interesting to see what each holiday tells us.

Dog fancy halloween costume

Halloween in celebrated during the Chinese Dog month. Credit:

Halloween is now an interesting mix between Christian and Pagan traditions and…Money making parties. Regardless, it is similar in nature and spirit to the Hungry Ghosts festival of the Chinese culture (Zhong Yuan Jie Jie, 盂蘭節), that is celebrated in late August (in 2015 it was on the 28th). The Hungry Ghosts festival aims at honoring the dead and scaring away the “evil”, or let say confused spirits, that are attracted to the energy of the livings. Such entities attached to you bring challenges to your life…The day of the dead in Mexico is also in a similar spirit and inside a very shamanic culture.

So, from a Feng Shui or energetic perspective, what to do on Halloween? My advice is as follow:

  • Clean your home and then do a cleansing either with sage or traditional Chinese herbs, such as the Taoist recipe described in my Sifu journal here:
  • Take care of your altar if you have one. Now is a good time to dedicate offerings to your ancestors and to the deities that you workship. Why not enhance your altar with a representation of the 5 Elements in season?
  • If the year has been challenging for you, focus on getting rid of the old Chi and/or entities attached to you. While autumn is not yet a time of renewal like Spring, it is a good time to mark a pause and see where you are heading, and start formulating plans for next Spring. The Winter will be a season of rest when you shall regroup rather than expand your Chi, in order to maintain good health and a strong business. We are about to reach the peak of the Yin energy: contraction rather than expansion…And so make a pause today, meditate, clean and cleanse.
  • I also recommend that you clean your mailbox and organize your computer today, to be able to refocus on work in a gentle manner in the weeks ahead. If you have debts, paying some back today will be good. Likewise, paying your rent on the 31st rather than the 1st is good, and giving to charity will be auspicious today.
  • If you can, take a walk in nature: a park or forest is ideal. Watch the sunset and find your inner peace: celebrate the abundance of nature at that time of the year. Then I suggest that you have a dinner composed of seasonal and local food – roots vegetables are appropriate here, as well as pumpkin, cinnamon and brown sugar. Don’t get me started on the Starbuck pumpkin late however…
  • And finally dress up in a way that reveals a bit your dark and twisted side: today is a day to party and celebrate the fact that we are alive, in a spooky way preferably. You want to scare off confused spirits so they don’t attach to you, rather than invite them…

What I don’t however recommend are “trips” of any sorts today, involving too much alcohol or drugs. The spirits and entities are attracted to this time of the year and you do not want to open your channel and mind too much under such influence. Likewise, if you visit the resting place of your relatives or friends who have passed away, keep it short and positive to not get sucked into the overall Yin energy.

I hope you’ll find this post useful and wish you all a happy Halloween, Hallowe’en or Samhain!

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