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 episodes  of Menage A Tarot podcast. As we get closer to Halloween,  I’ve been thinking about it lately too. Classically “the veil” refers to some sort of separation between between the world of the living, and the world of the spirit.
“Spirit” in this sense can mean the supernatural, the divine, the souls of the deceased or any combination thereof.

However you define “spirit,” 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 veil conversation is baseless and futile.

But lets assume that some non-corporeal human consciousness continues after the body dies. We don’t know what that is like, it is hidden from our view. There are hints and shadows, which is why the separation is described as a veil, 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 by the shape that it takes. 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 are able to reach out and feel a bit of the hidden shape. 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.

I’ve been fortunate enough to know a few people who are very skilled at sensing those sort of things. To them, it is just that sort of experience.  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 and a little more introspective. Perhaps quieting external distractions lets us dial into the inner and spiritual world a little easier this time of year.

But so what? What good does it do most of us if psychics and mediums have an easier job of it some times of year compared to others?

It isn’t just psychics and mediums. I think engaging with spirit and spirituality on some level is a vital part of human psychology, health and well being. This is another area where I believe Tarot can help us 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 an important and inescapable part of life – death. We are all going to die. It’s just a fact. To live fully, vitally, we all 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 of life after death, thus touching  the blanket covering the other side. Consciously or not, we can 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.

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