Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Skin Between

Hunter's Moon over Malvern
(October 4, 2009)

Ahhh ... too cloudy for a Hallowe'en Moon ...

The Skin Between

They say the skin between the physical and spirit worlds grows thin during the month of October, and thinner still during the night of Hallowe’en. Now is the best and greatest opportunity for all manner of wraiths, ghosts, disembodied and dead personalities to pass through the curtain from the hidden realm of the spirit to the prosaic land of the living. Before I heard this, I wondered why I have always felt freer, lighter, and happier in October. I sensed an air of expectancy, as if something special waiting just around the bend (Now, I still wonder, but what’s life without a bit of mystery?).

And, Hallowe’en? Before the last decade brought sudden and inexplicable fears of hobgoblins and witches; before Hallowe’en Parades were deemed dodgy, and forced into a box labeled Wholesome Harvest Festival; before hospitals started offering to X-Ray Hallowe’en candy (does your health insurance cover that?), Hallowe’en was labeled F-U-N, and, nothing more.

Now, the spooky festival is either a dangerous party or a reason to party dangerously. We go full out ghoulish or try to rescue another holiday for Christendom. Witches compete with angels; goddesses war with [pregnant] nuns; candy cigarettes have been replaced with bags of generic sweets that bear the guarantee: “A scripture in every snack!

Meanwhile, no one but the neo-Pagans wants to talk about the thin skin between the worlds. Come to think of it, no one wants to talk about the thin skin between the people either. And, probably for the same reason: thin skins are truly scary. Where the skin is thin, you never know what you’re going to get. Good spirit, bad spirit, neutral indifferent spirit. Flu, STD, Hepatitis C. Lover, hater, interloper. Those who open up, those who open you up, those who walk or run away. Those who shred the tissue between, unrepentantly, stare you in your third eye, and dare you to blink.

Tcha. Such a crapshoot when the armor of the world or the armor of the person is breached. So terrifying when the defenses are down and you don’t know what’s coming over the wall.

Trick or treat.