The Night Between the Worlds

All Hallows Eve, the last night of the Old Religion’s year (what we call Halloween night), is considered to be when the veil between this world and the next is the thinnest. These are the Days of the Dead in many different traditions, not just south of the border but (from what I’ve read) as far back and east as ancient Egypt.

In the Mexican tradition the way is lit for the souls of our relatives to find their way home. [For a deeper look at the Days of the Dead tradition, read this article by our beloved Jeanne Treadway.]


Walking through the Catacombs of Paris does indeed give a sense of the world of the dead. Along endless miles of tunnel lie the remains of seven million previous inhabitants of the city.

There is a tradition of offering as gifts to one’s ancestors rum and eggplant in cemeteries. The scent of the rum is alluring to the ghosts of our friends, and the spongy quality of the aubergine is pleasurable for them to inhabit for a little while.

Meanwhile, all over the U.S., kids are roaming around in costumes collecting candy on threat of frightening you. You never know. The kids in the skeleton outfits might be an actual apparition.

Something about these nights of the year shifts our relationship to death and decay. While you’re alive, that means growth, evolution and transformation. Yet then there’s the reality of the ultimate fate of everyone incarnate. Nobody can live fully without a conscious relationship to death. It serves as an essential anchor to one’s maturity.

Tonight, one day ahead of the night between the worlds, we’ve experienced the New Moon in Scorpio. Scorpio is the sign most often associated with death. Any New Moon is a moment of unusual psychic transparency, so the effect is redoubled; the door opening can take us that much deeper and wider. It may change frequency and tone as the coming nights and days unfold; as the Moon moves from darkening to conjunction to lightening, making other aspects as it does so.

Many people are out partying tonight; it would seem a more appropriate night for reflection, writing, art and sex. The portal that’s opening is within you.

Look in, listen silently or step through, if you dare. Contemplate the ‘ultimate realities’ of existence. Here’s one reassuring fact: your conscious mind has barely glimpsed the possibilities.

We exist in space-time consciousness on a thin subplane of the cosmic physical plane. We live at the edge of a galaxy, far from the core, in the boondocks between two spiral arms.

Anonymous Self Portrait, by Eric Francis.

Anonymous Self Portrait, by Eric Francis.

Our modest-sized galaxy is part of a vast migration of souls: the Lanniakea supercluster of 100,000 galaxies moving at what would feel like light speed if you actually experienced it for a moment. These galaxies are flooding toward a massive pool of subatomic particles that astronomers call the Great Attractor.

Whatever may lie beyond this world, there is plenty of it.

Within our meta theme for this time of of year, sexuality (by which I mean sex and eroticism) is the most accessible viaduct into existential reality. Experiment with ideas about what you really want. If you move toward embarrassment in any form you will invite discoveries not ordinarily available otherwise. Inhibition, shame and guilt are a veil beyond which exists the deeper pleasure and corresponding truth.

One thought on “The Night Between the Worlds

  1. Lizzy

    Such a wonderful piece, Eric. Was particularly poignant when I read it yesterday, as was woken by the building being rocked by another powerful earthquake in central Italy yesterday morning. This morning a wonderful Neapolitan intellectual, writer and poet, Erri De Luca, posted a marvellous comment about the earthquake on fb – at the end of which he quoted the beautiful lines of the Italian First World War poet, Giuseppe Ungaretti – which fit in with your piece, and this time of year, so beautifully:

    It’s like being
    in the autumn
    on the trees
    the leaves

    (Si sta come
    sugli alberi
    le foglie)

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