Few things are more awesome than autumn, especially when you're a witchy type and totally dig on the translucent veil separating the overworld, underworld, and our world. Also, there's pumpkin. So. Much. Pumpkin. There's pumpkin soup, pumpking saag, pumpkin scones, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins. All vegan, natch, hopefully organic or local or both. There are fun pumpkin patches and corn mazes and haunted houses and skeery movies and paranormal month on the tee vee and horror novels and all kinds of my favorite shit in the world.
October really is the start of fun for those of us who are witches. And for once, we've PCS'd somewhere with a yard large enough and crazy enough to allow us to decorate. Boy howdy will there be decoratin'. We even have a very thick bamboo patch over here that I plan to turn into a spooky forest for all the trick-or-treaters to walk through. Skeery strobe lights, skeery things hanging from the fig tree limbs, and the very strange sound of bamboo rubbing together in the wind. Thank you, Navy, for sending us to the armpit of the country! I lurve it here!
Samhain is probably my favorite holiday because it reconnects me to my ancestors and gives me a sense of community and heritage and place I don't always feel. It's hard to attach to a spot spiritually when you know you're leaving in no time at all, but when you can attach to the people who once walked here, as well as to the people who have brought the spiral around to create you, it's so much better. And that, I think, is the greatest benefit of Samhain.
And then there's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have no fucking idea why they chose October to highlight this cancer but hey. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here often enough, but I now have had two family members diagnosed with breast cancer. My aunt's cancer spread, and I believe it was the brain tumors that killed her in 2003. She was my mom's BFF and had been since they were wee. They married brothers. My mom, as I've mentioned, just had a bilateral mastectomy. She's still recovering from that brutal bit of surgery.
In 2006, I walked in the Breast Cancer 3 Day as part of team Witch Way to the Cure. I told my teammates that year that if I ever made noise about wanting to walk it again - as this is a 60-mile test of endurance over three days - to hog motherfucking tie me, pin me to the floor, and wedge slivers of glass into my feet and knees to remind me why I do not actually want to walk this again.
The game has changed, though. There are amazing advances being made, and it's because of the publicity and funding breast cancer research gets. I know this time how to train (on concrete sidewalks with starts and stops, not pushing 50 pounds of sprog in a jogging stroller up a 40 degree incline mountain trail), I know this time which socks to get (soft clingy ones), and I know to get someone from outside to bring me a fucking blow-up mattress to sleep on because that ground is motherfucking HARD and I am old and creaky. I want to walk it again. And I want to walk it next year, preferably somewhere warm so that I have to cover myself in wet bandanas to ward off heat stroke (that cold ocean air sucked ASS last time, I tell you. ASS).
I will walk again as Witch Way to the Cure. I want a team. Witchy or not, I want people who understand that every step we take is focused intention, prayer, intensely physical magical work that wills a cure. That reminds us that everyone deserves a lifetime. Everyone deserves hope. And we can make that happen.
I don't have teammates yet, but I might do the unthinkable and establish a fundraising toolbar on this blog. I hope y'all don't mind. It's not cheap to participate: each person has to raise a couple thousand dollars to walk. It's not hard to do when you start early, but unfortunately, you do have to be *that* annoying SOB always asking for a donation. Unless, of course, you get a corporate sponsor. That would rock. But I know better. That won't happen for moi.
The walk I do will likely be in Atlanta. Right before Samhain, this time next year.
Samhain approacheth, y'all. Embrace the energy. Embrace the dark. That's where you'll find the light.