The Veil, Thick and Thin

This time of year, we hear the “veil is thin” – but what does that mean, exactly?

We’ve talked about it in the past two episodes  of Menage A Tarot podcast, so I’ve been thinking about it lately too. Classically “the veil” is the separation between between the world of the living, and the world of the spirit. Spirit can either be supernatural and divine alone, or that plus the souls of the deceased.

Either way, as with thinking about mediums, in order to really engage with the idea of “the veil” we have to come to terms with our notion of death, and what happens after. To assume a veil separating worlds is to assume there is another world to be separated from. Veils and mediums assume an afterlife. If you believe there is no life after death, the whole conversation is baseless and futile.

But lets assume a basic belief of human consciousness continues after the body dies. We don’t know what that is like, it is hidden from our view…but there are hints…hence a veil and not a wall. Throw a blanket over something, you can’t see it, you don’t know what all is under it, but maybe you can guess something of what is hidden under the blanket. The thicker the blanket, the harder it is to guess the nature of what is underneath. Some people look at a distance, some people don’t want to think about the blanket at all, but some people are more skilled at engaging with the blanket/veil that covers the realm of life after death. Some people are able to touch the blanket, hear sounds from the other side and call back to the rest of us what they sense.

From what I’ve learned from other people with a more acute contact with the veil/blanket, there are natural ebbs and flows and seasonality to how much / how well they sense Spirit (I’ll use that to mean both non-corporal entities and the individual souls of crossed-over loved ones). The veil being thin just means that sensing spirit is a little easier, a little clearer a little more detailed than other times of year.

This might simply be because of the change of seasons. When the weather gets cold, we naturally tend to stay in more, be a little less social and a little more introspective. Perhaps that quieting of external distractions is why dialing into the inner and spiritual world seems easier this time of year. I’ve never thought to ask  southern hemisphere intuitive if they notice the same pattern or does the veil thin for them in March? If any of you are reading from south of the equator, I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter!

But so what? Whether it is March or October, so what if the veil is thin some time in the year and we can sense “the other side” more easily? I think it is a vital part of human psychology, health and well being. This is another area where I believe Tarot can help us be mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthier and live a stronger more empowered life. Tarot, along with Halloween (Dia De Los Muertos, Samhain, Obon, and other world-wide celebrations of the dead) help us to engage with important,  inescapable, parts of life. We are all going to die. It’s just a fact. To live fully, vitally, we have to deal with that fact in some fashion or another. Ignore it, fear it, acknowledge it and move beyond it…something. It helps to have some large cultural affirmation that there is something more infinite to us than a single mortal lifetime.  Life after death writ large, globally, across cultures and across millennia becomes cannon. At some point in our lives we come face to face with the idea, touch the blanket covering the other side, and know the truth of it for ourselves. A thin veil is a gentler thing to visit.  This time of year lets us all brush our fingertips against the veil and reflect: who do we miss, who do we remember, what truths do we know…

So a thin veil is just that. Nothing is revealed any more than any other time of year. The essential truths don’t change. Those truths just become a little easier to sense. It is a little easier to sense the love and call the greetings from one side to the other, back and forth. It is a time of communion and remembrance and celebration of the dark corners of human existance. Acknowledging the loss and the dark we find balance and comfort. The greatest fear is of the unknown. If we get to know the hidden, get to know the dark shadows through Halloween then the fear is lessened. Denying the dark only increases the fear.

A thinned veil in the time of dark lets light shine all the more vibrantly in its time.