Tonight is -- perfect. Windy and cold and only the tiniest cold sliver of a moon-white moon in the indigo-chakra-dark Autumn sky. You can feel ideas and change and odd bits of oddness blowing around, unseen, in the air and, every now and then, an acorn hits you hard on the head or an oak leaf catches itself in your hair or the unknowable touches the buckle of your spine.
My patroness is the Goddess Hecate, goddess of the crossroads on cold, windy nights when things go suddenly liminal and change is already flowing across the boundary between what couldn't be and what might become. She comes with her several-headed dogs, who look in all directions and She shows up, unafraid, I like to think, but afraid or unafraid, She shows up, and She midwifes both what's being born and what's dying. She stands there, where you have to choose, or where you have to admit that the choice has been made for you, and where two roads diverge in the wood and you, you'll take either the smooth one or the one less traveled by -- and that will make all the difference.
And so, tonight, when the veil's so thin it seems like a lacy membrane, when anyone can walk outside and sense the holes between HERE and WHERE HERE'S HEADED, when sugar skulls are for sale in Mexican markets and jack-o-lanterns light the way of the beloved dead all over America, I am almost drunk with my love of liminal spaces: childbirth, death, the Moon, which Hecate Soteria presided over as a land where souls went after death, elections, sea changes, emerging leitmotifs, the turning point on the Wheel of the Year where it stops being THIS YEAR and, in a moment, becomes NEXT YEAR.
Thirty-five years ago today, my hormones went FLUSH, I was overcome with tears, and 48 hours later, I gave birth to my wonderful Son. The road branched. And all unaware, with nothing but my catholic school background and grounding in the BVM and the saints, I felt Her then, my patroness, Goddess of childbirth (that liminal time when women turn their bodies into a portal for Life to come into the world and do so only by risking death, which may have been one of my very first experiences of using my body in order to do magic) wrapping me in Her cape and setting my feet upon the loveliest and steepest branch of the crossroads. And for many years, that was all that I knew: that I'd gotten the tiniest, vaguest glimpse of something and that, if I could ever track it down, I'd follow it all my life.
Today, both Son and DiL had major professional victories. Today, G/Son is preparing to trick-or-treat for the first time outside his Nonna's back porch. Tonight, I am preparing my home for the witches who will fly in tomorrow, sailing their broomsticks on the wild Autumn wind, to dance and sup and burn things and do magic here in my odd little cottage in the oak grove. Thirty-five years ago, I had no idea. And that's what makes it fun.
May your beloved dead visit you in love and may the coming year beckon warmly to you across the Swiss-cheese veil. Once more, once more, once more, into the breech.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."