October 24th, 2005

Ghostes on postes

One of my party pieces when I was a Wiccan was, "Look, Halloween ain't that special. We celebrate eight festivals and they're all of equal importance."

It irritated me when journalists came a-calling and all they wanted to talk about were spooks and skeletons and magic pumpkins. "No," I said, "Wicca is just as much about spring flowers and high summer and icicles hanging on the wall...."

But I was always an awkward cuss. Show me an orthodoxy and my instinct is to start doing some spadework round its foundations.

For example, our temple was dedicated to the Sun.

Hermes, Aphrodite and the Unconquered Sun- those were our patrons- and as often as not we worked in daylight.

I was impatient with the mystification, with the smoke and mirrors, the mind games. I cut that stuff back and cut it back until finally I was standing in an open meadow with the sun directly over head and a clear view in all directions.

Then I shouldered my scythe and left the field, shutting the gate behind me.