So the xmas decorations and sale items were up even before Samhein. Forget the old custom of waiting until after Thanksgiving. There's a note of desperation in the window displays of the gift store and the pyramids of xmas comestibles in the aisles of the grocery store. People are unlikely to buy as much useless stuff from China this year. And, O'Reilley's begun his ridiculous defense of xmas, daring anyone to wish him a "Happy Holiday." Every year, they start earlier and, by the time that the holiday comes, I'm overwhelmingly relieved to see it gone.
Which is sad, because there really is a lot of value to a holiday of light and warmth and plenty during the deep, dark, cold of winter. Trakl captured the feeling involved in the good such a holiday can do in his poem, A Winter Evening:
A window with falling snow is sprayed. Long tolls the vesper bell, The house is provided well, The table is for many laid.
Wandering ones, more than a few, Come to the door on darksome traces. Golden blooms the tree of graces, Drawing up the Earth's cool dew.
A wanderer quietly steps within; Pain has turned the threshold to stone. There lie, in limpid brightness shown, Upon the table bread and wine.
This poem reminds me of the Five of Pentacles, especially with its clear references to church. Heidegger saw even more in this poem.
Here's Joanna Colbert's take on the Five of Pentacles. And, here's Lunea Weatherstone's. For me, the Five of Pents will always be mostly about being blind to the warmth and riches available to you. So maybe Trakl's wanderer has already moved beyond the Five of Pentacles and on to the six of pents, where we are all able to both give of our bounty and receive from our need.
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 . . . ."