happy halloween: a soul cake for you



Two of my favorite words are ‘soul’ and ‘cake’, so imagine my delight when I was reading about Halloween (*cough*procrastination*cough*) and came across the concept of soul cakes.

Once upon a time, boys and girls, on the night known as Hallowe’en, people handed out soul cakes – or, more simply, ‘souls’ – to children and the poor who went from door to door, singing songs and making prayers for the dead.

When you ate a cake, you saved a soul.

You released it from Purgatory.

Halloween is all about doors swinging open that under normal circumstances remain firmly shut. The doors of strangers; the doors of Purgatory; the doors between the living and the dead.

The rules of life are suspended.

Small lords and ladies of misrule prowl the streets as ninjas and wizards and robots and vampires. It’s a time to shrug off old identities and try on something new, even forbidden, and maybe in that space between the old and the new, what is permitted and what is taboo –

— you can let something go. You can release it.

After three years in a romantic relationship with a very lovely man, I am single again. I am slipping back into the skin of a single person.

The entity that used to be Us is peacefully deceased, and I’ve been in mourning.

When something in your life comes to an end, the challenge is to face forward. Give the past the respect it deserves, yes, honor and cherish it. But stay too long — reliving memories, getting tangled in what-ifs — and you’re caught in a Purgatory of your own design.

Maybe if I’ve learned anything in the last three or four years, it’s the importance of letting…things…go. What you hold onto, keep trapped inside you, turns against you: a healthy anger turns to poison, a lost love becomes demonic. Only when you let the experience rise through you – and let yourself feel every fucking feeling that attends it – can you then purge that energy from your system, release into the world, for nature to recycle into something fresh.

And in its wake, you create a sacred emptiness: so that some new beauty may enter, some new thing may begin.

Halloween celebrates that liminal place, the in-between: you stand on a threshold between worlds. We celebrate the dead, which is also to celebrate the living — being alive — this life, right here right now.

We look into the dark, we find what’s lost, we let go.

We let go.

Here. Have a cake.

The soul you free might be your own.

Oct 31, 2012

11 comments · Add Yours

This has always been my favorite holiday, and now you’ve given me reason to love it even more. Let all the doors swing wildly open! Cool mask. :)


Beautiful Justine. Here is a sacred yes to letting go, feeling every raw emotion freeing the soul, making a feast of your own soul, cake and all.


How is it that you say the words I need to hear? I’ve been twisting and stretching in my liminal space for some time now, and I can’t help wishing this transformation would just hurry the fuck UP already.

And yet. And yet. Perhaps I need to untangle the snarly ball of pain and tension sitting heavy on my limbs even though I fear I’ll get lost in the vortex. Perhaps the only way to heal is to feel it all, the scary and the dark, so I can come out cleansed on the other side. Perhaps the only way to scrape out all the clutter in my head is to let it all flow through me without trying to control or measure anything.

I’m glad I came here tonight. Everything I’ve been reading lately points to leaning into the discomfort and letting go of how I think it “should” be. Thank you for nudging me to be a shot of tequila and face my own shit. :)


Sweet. I’ve sat at that cosmic tea table in my abyss more than once and each time I was a better person when I came out. Happy Halloween, Justine.


Spiritually this is what this time of year is all about, worded beautifully.


I sensed the relationship with dude was waning. Congratulations and my condolences on the loss. Congrats on letting yourself be available to the lovely man. The first after a long marriage is risky but it has to be. Learning to love once again. Will it work out? Is he the one? It brings back thoughts and emotions that I went through after a 27 year marriage. My first love after the fire. Then the end yet once again. Shit it sucks! Guess that’s why they call it the end. Hey, will you take him back? You do know it may be coming if he hasn’t already. I’m available! Love to check in with your thoughts through words time to time. I’ve been reading since you started sharing. Love your Southern Cal. thoughts. Don’t always agree. You’re the bomb J. a real heart breaker.


Uggh, breakups. There’s a great book called The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. No to say you are broken hearted, but just in case.

I did some of the great suggestions in that book and also became very close friends with some cake, potato chips, and wine, but now things are smoothing out. Though I did have a dream last night that the ex rode up to me on a white Harley (his white horse) and brought me a fireplace for my new house. Letting go is….letting go.


@Sassy Queenpin Mama Wisdom of a Broken Heart. I will check that out….I like the knight-on-a-white-Harley image. :)


Wonderful wake-me-up-and-kick-me-in-the-ass words. Thank you for sharing yourself.


“The story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter, until the tigress learns to tell her own story.” –African proverb (slightly modified)

This is what happens to us modern woman who are born to break new ground.. Giving yourself permission to walk the talk… We all need to hear… It is our nature to want to be secure in loving relationship… Yet Our Own Story will define the future of what can be in relationships.. As we evolve and regroup. This is a compelling way to remind us Telling Our Own story is necessary. If you do not create your own life someone else will etc..

I got let go a few months ago.. As he said I needed to do exactly what this modified African Proverb says..manage my own sails.. Once I on track.. blowing where I must go… He says our paths will cross again. Ouch ! We were raised to know ” Daddy’s ” Walking the balance beam alone is thrilling but the instinct nature wants to bond.

When one door closes another opens as they say. All the possibilities that keep the choices at bay go back into the mix ~ While I know life works in waves scientifically it is sometimes hard to let go and ride with the wind in reality ! When things reach a plateau and one does not grab another wave… then it is descent. No matter what.
This is the force of motion we all on.
Not everyone in our lives can ride the exact same waves as us… This to me is the trick for male female relationships.. to learn to grove in a way that they flow on the same circuits of waves so can stay tandem in this evolutionary cycle of riding waves as that is all there is !! Letting go and surfing. Figuring it out in duality is the goal !


My thoughts exactly: If I’ve learned anything in the last three or four years, it’s the importance of letting…things…go. (Forgiveness) What you hold onto, keep trapped inside you, turns against you: a healthy anger turns to poison, a lost love becomes demonic. (Mourning the loss) We need to mourn in the way that works. Personally I hated the bitch for the way she let her new boyfriend dictate terms of the divorce property division. His motivation was to swoop in and reap her assests then leave her once they were gone. Men are pigs! Howevert, I refuse to allow past situations taint the reletionship with the mother of my children or any future romances.


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