As part of my observing pagan rituals for the past year… (Have I lost anyone yet? No? Perfect.) …I get the opportunity to celebrate the cycle of birth and death much more often than most people. If you read up on the ancient Celts, it seems like every holiday in spring is a new beginning, and then there are the solstices, and then there is Samhain… Samhain! Same day as Halloween, but oh-so-much-more meaningful. Connect with your ancestral spirits, honor them, acknowledge their influence in who you are, how you live, and how you act in your daily life. The long arm of the dead is ever-present. And since New Year is when we usually ask ourselves questions, let’s do that this week, instead of Halloween, which just lines the pockets of America’s corn lobbies and ups the medical bills of most Americans down the line… What will I commit to? What new experiment will I try? What will I banish from my practice? Think about those if you can before Halloween, light a candle, remember the dead. The recently dead, in America, the long-dead, in your mind’s eye. Draw on their strength to recreate the world the way you’d like to live in it.