This is the season. The season to be scary, the season to be spooky, the season to be silly and the season to be aware of the worlds of magic. Today is Halloween and in the Pagan traditions, Samhain. My tradition, RavenMyst, celebrates Samhain on the cross-quarter day — the exact middle day between the Fall Equinox and the WInter Solstice. It is a time of divination, magic, and the Ancestors. I’m going to save my reflections on those things for next week, though, as Christopher Penszak, Orion Foxwood, and others remind us, “Ancestors, not just for Samhain!” Samhain is a wonderful holiday, one of my favorites; and it is both secular and spiritual. It is the third of the harvest festivals in the Wheel of the Year. The first, Lammas on August 1st, celebrates the first fruits of the harvest and the abundance of grain and wine. The second, Mabon, brings us to a time of thanks and gratitude for the gifts of nature and our hard work. The third, Samhain, is the final harvest. We have taken all that we can from our fields and lands. The rest we leave to rot and mingle with the earth as fertilizer. What is left, has no use and cannot serve us. My High Priestess told me once that in some folk traditions, anything left in the fields on Halloween night are picked over by goblins. After that, it’s bad luck to take, eat, or store anything handled by the goblins. What is picked over by the goblins should stay with the goblins. That story has given me a vivid image to carry forward in my meditations and magic. Goblins figure wildly in our imaginations as horrible, ugly creatures that do nothing good and always have ill intentions towards humans and other beings of flesh and blood. They figure in our nightmares, our lore, and our scary stories. Much has been written about goblins but no one has been able to reframe goblins into anything other than meanness, greed, stupidity, and anything else that we associate with ugliness and fear. I have often said to myself and to others that there are certain lessons we seem not to learn. The lessons present themselves over and over in different iterations, different permutations, and way but at the root it is the same problem. These I call our “life lessons.” It will be something we were put in this lifetime to learn about and we mark progress all the time but, perhaps, we never leave it behind. It could be food, weight, money, anger, addiction, pain, sorrow, drama or any number of things. Over time, you are different and you grow, but somehow this issue presents itself over and over. “I thought I had dealt with my __________ ,” I have said and have heard others say. Yes, you have and you’ve done well, but there is more to learn. I do hate that but it is still true. For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with my weight again and been discouraged because I’ve made such progress since last March. But I’ve backslid and gained a few of the hard-won pounds I lost. I seem not to be able to resist food especially sweets. It occurred to me that I need to heal my relationship to food. Too often I use it when I am worried, bored, angry with myself, or some other issue. I’m not sure how to heal it but I’ve already started. One of the healing witches in my coven keeps a candle burning for the coven members to use and I’ve been accessing that energy. The other thing I’m going to do tonight is leave it for the goblins.
By coincidence [NOT], one of the many talented and creative members of my work staff gave me this paper coffin she made using her Cricut. I am going to take that add some food (a sort of libation coffin) that represent those foods which do not serve me well including sugar, fat, and etc, and leave it outside for the goblins. As I prepare it, I will say this little charm:
- If the use mean, cruel, or rude,
- Goblins take this bit of food.
- If I eat to soothe my mood,
- Goblins take this bit of food.
- If this is a harmful brew,
- Goblins take this bit of food.
- Take it, take it, take it.
As Dorothy Morrison has said many times, the Gods like to be amused so little bits of poetry, and little charms will amuse them and move them to assist us in our magic. It amuses me too. She also says that when we do magic, we must also do the things that reinforce the charm. So on I go to heal my relationship with food.
And finally on this wonderful Halloween Day, I want to leave you with a poem from my childhood. We lived in Indianapolis, Indiana when I was a small child. I spent my kindergarten days there and our teacher read a poem by James Whitcomb Riley, the poet laureate of Indiana. My paternal grandfather was a Hoosier and was very excited about the things we learned about his home state. This poem, Little Orphant Annie, has stuck with me these many years and I try to read it every Halloween. So enjoy and may you avoid the goblins of your life!
Little Orphant Annie
|by James Whitcomb Riley|
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay, An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away, An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep, An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep; An' all us other childern, when the supper things is done, We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about, An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you Ef you Don't Watch Out! Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,-- So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs, His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl, An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wasn't there at all! An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press, An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'wheres, I guess; But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout-- An' the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out! An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin, An' make fun of ever'one, an' all her blood an' kin; An' onc't, when they was "company," an' ole folks was there, She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care! An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide, They was two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side, An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about! An' the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out! An' little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue, An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo! An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray, An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,-- You better mind yer parents, an' yer teachers fond an' dear, An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear, An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about, Er the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!