Witch Hazel is having an existential crisis.
Despite the assurances of her magic mirror, she's worried that she's getting prettier as she ages.
The doorbell rings.
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Tiny flowers of summer
Waving colorful flags
of the season’s surrender
against a backdrop of dry leaves
Lifting tender, hopeful
parched but promising
a last hurrah
a final fling
a tiny majesty
Spots of glorious color
on dry ground
Proof of life’s own love affair with itself.
Here in the UK, the weather has turned and the colder air sweeps down from the North. Nights are longer, as the sun jumps along the horizon with each rising and setting, heading further and further towards the south. Trees are changing colours, and plants are beginning to die back, the green fading into golden and tawny hues, foliage less dense and earth beginning to peek through the underbrush.
The tide of Samhain has begun, when, after the autumn equinox we prepare for the darkness to come. The balance has been tipped, and we have tipped with it, our internal clocks trying to adjust to new temperatures and light levels. Often, we try to establish our centre, attempting to find some foothold or handhold in the coming darkness, our egos crying out the great rallying cry of “I AM!” The darkness, however, knows the folly of this, and smiles as it creeps ever closer.
In the darkness there are no guidelines. There are no boundaries. There is no up or down, no left or right. There is only impenetrable night, a sweet release from the constraints of the known.
“Volatile” would be a good word to describe the chart of this Full Moon, and because there is an eclipse, we should pay close attention, since eclipse charts are generally in effect for several months to a year. You need only read the news on any given day to see the dramatic changes and upheavals that have accompanied the square of Uranus and Pluto that has been in effect for a few years now. This eclipse activates that square, and lights a fire under it through a Fire grand trine. Find the chart here, if you want to follow along.
There's so much during this season that I find myself trying to find any lightness, any humor. Hence the title of this piece. We hardly need to bring them out, Python-style, when they are insistently demanding our attention as the nights grow like looming stalactites.
Tonight I want to write a bit about Ancestor altars. Do you have one? Do you leave it up, year-round, or put it up just after the Autumnal Equinox? I've been asking colleagues which they prefer and it's about evenly divided. For the record, I keep one up year-round because my root work is dependent on keeping my Ancestors in-the-know. And also, happy. I like some happy Ancestors, me....
It is harvest season and my Mabon altar features the bounty of my farmbox. Piles of fruit and vegetables arranged carefully around ritual tools with a sunflower bouquet in the center. I sit back to admire how beautifully balanced the altar looks - for about 10 minutes. That’s when my cats discover the changed altar and promptly invent a game of apple soccer, sweet potato rugby, and squash - played with real squash. The apple is round enough to roll gently, the scratches on the sweet potato don’t bother me, and the squash has thick skin so I let them have at it. But when my precious pomegranate gets unceremoniously dumped off the altar, bruising and bleeding red on my bedsheet, I draw the line and stage a rescue mission amidst sharp teeth and claws.