So, what's this 'veil', anyway?

When Hallowe’en comes around, we start to hear that the “veil between worlds” is at its thinnest.

Someone asked me recently to talk a bit about this ‘veil’. OK, so this veil is a metaphoric veil of perception. It is not anything physical, because the world of the living and the world of the spirits exist together but in different dimensions (different vibrations). We are not in fact separated by time or space at all.

Sometimes a different metaphor is used, like, mist, or hedge. I mean, you can use whatever image you like. It is just a way to describe going from unknowing to knowing, spiritually.

The metaphor seems to have been born when Plutarch (a Greco-Roman of the 1st and 2nd centuries) wrote about a statue he saw in the Egyptian city of Sais.

The statue had an inscription that read, "I am all that has been and is and shall be; and no mortal has ever lifted my garment." Plutarch used the term peplos; which in English means "mantle" or "veil".

Plutarch identified the goddess as "Athena, whom [the Egyptians] consider to be Isis." But the statue was in fact, Neith (Goddess of all creation), mother of Aset - Isis in Greek - (Godddess of death) and mother of Ra (God of the sun).

(Please note that I’m not an Egyptian scholar, and the family tree and responsibilities of the Egyptian and Greek gods changed over the centuries, so you may find conflicting information, especially about Aset, who went from obscurity to stardom - as Isis.)

By Jeff Dahl - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The goddess Neith

was the first and the prime creator; the creator of the universe and all it contains and she governs how it functions.

In any event, the metaphor took on a life of its own.

In the 16th century, the metaphor was influenced by the symbols associated with of Artemis/Diana. ‘Veil of Isis’ came to represent the inaccessibility of nature's secrets.

From the late 17th to the early 19th century, isis and her veil represented the Enlightenment.

At the end of the 18th century, it was a metaphor for revealing the awe-inspiring truth of nature.

Getting closer to my religion, Spiritualism… in 1877, Helena Blavatsky (mother of Theosophy) wrote a book called  Isis Unveiled. Isis is not prominent in the book, but the metaphor is clear: Blavatsky writes that philosophers try to lift the veil of Isis, or nature, but see only her physical forms.

And, these days we hear about the "parting of the veil", "piercing of the veil", "rending of the veil" or "lifting of the veil" in contemporary witchcraft.

So there you have it.

For Westerners, the veil between worlds is the metaphysical boundary between the illusions in which we live on earth and the truth of Nature (which I would call ‘Infinite Intelligence’).

I’d love to know how the ‘veil’ it is described in other cultures - does anyone know?

In the mean time, let’s take advantage of the season and connect to the other side!