Entering the Dark Half of the Year in Dark and Difficult Times


[A candle in a teal lantern on the windowsill burns against the darkness and backlights the silhouette of a small pumpkin as two dala horses cast shadows]

I don’t have the words tonight, with so much death, hate, and sorrow weighing on the world, but, especially in such a dark time, I want to honor and acknowledge those beyond the veil, be they at peace, searching for something before they can move on, or hungry for justice and a reckoning for the wrongs history has yet to right or is all too eager to commit again.

I am keenly aware today, as an Irish American pagan, that Halloween was brought to this country by immigrants “real Americans” didn’t want in “their” country. I am also keenly aware, as someone in a multifaith home and family with Jewish friends and loved ones, that we must all stand up for one another or we will surely hang separately. Let the lessons of old injustices not go unremembered, let the heartbreak of fresh injustices not go unmourned, let the warnings of injustices to come not go unheeded. The veil is thin, so let us listen to the voices of those hate has tried to silence, before it is too late.

It is our deeds in trying times that our descendants will remember and history shall judge long after we are dead and buried or our ashes scattered on the winds of change. As Dumbledore said, “Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” Or, as the Edda puts it:

Cattle die, kinsmen die,
The self must also die;
I know one thing which never dies:
the reputation of each dead man.

– Hávamál, The Poetic Edda, verse 77

3 thoughts on “Entering the Dark Half of the Year in Dark and Difficult Times

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