Traveller take heed for journeys undertaken in the dark of the year. Go in the bright blaze of Autumn's equinox. Carry protection against ravages of a sun-robber, a vandal, a thief. Cross no bright expanse of water in the full of the moon. Choose no dangerous summer nights; no heavy tempting hours of spring; October journeys are safest, brightest, and best.
I want to tell you what hills are like in October when colors gush down mountainsides and little streams are freighted with a caravan of leaves, I want to tell you how they blush and turn in fiery shame and joy, how their love burns with flames consuming and terrible until we wake one morning and woods are like a smoldering plain-- a glowing caldron full of jewelled fire; the emerald earth a dragon's eye the poplars drenched with yellow light and dogwoods blazing bloody red. Travelling southward earth changes from gray rock to green velvet. Earth changes to red clay with green grass growing brightly with saffron skies of evening setting dully with muddy rivers moving sluggishly. In the early spring when the peach tree blooms wearing a veil like a lavender haze and the pear and plum in their bridal hair gently snow their petals on earth's grassy bosom below then the soughing breeze is soothing and the world seems bathed in tenderness, but in October blossoms have long since fallen. A few red apples hang on leafless boughs; wind whips bushes briskly And where a blue stream sings cautiously a barren land feeds hungrily. An evil moon bleeds drops of death. The earth burns brown. Grass shrivels and dries to a yellowish mass. Earth wears a dun-colored dress like an old woman wooing the sun to be her lover, be her seetheart and her husband bound in one. Farmers heap hay in stacks and bind corn in shocks against the biting breath of frost. The train wheels hum, "I am going home, I am going home, I am moving toward the South." Soon cypress swamps and muskrat marshes and black fields touched with cotton will appear. I dream again of my childhood land of a neighbor's yard with a redbud tree the smell of pine for turpentine an Easter dress, a Christmas eve and winding roads from the top of a hill. A music sings within my flesh I feel the pulse within my throat my heart fills up with hungry fear while hills and flatlands stark and staring before my dark eyes sad and haunting appear and disappear. Then when I touch this land again the promise of a sun-lit hour dies. The greeness of an apple seems to dry and rot before my eyes. The sullen winter rains are tears of grief I cannot shed. The windless days are static lives. The clock runs down timeless and still. The days and nights turn hours to years and water in a gutter marks the circle of another world hating, resentful, and afraid, stagnant, and green, and full of slimy things.
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 . . . ."