Halloween is creeping in…

I’ve been invited to a party and this blog is my costume. When you’re invited to play dress up, what do you wear?

reading the Tarot in college
reading the Tarot in college

In my corner of this party, I’m reading Tarot cards. I have six decks for six different moods. (Still looking for decks to cover all the others.) Truth be confessed though, there is no time in my life these days for fortune telling. I can’t even remember if anything told back then has come to pass.

Witches have fascinated me since I was a kid.

The Other Side of a Story
The Other Side of a Story
I put my dad’s tape recorder next to the TV and captured all of The Wizard of Oz. The recorder stayed between my pillow and the wall and I would listen to the movie as I fell asleep.

Witches may be beautiful or ugly (“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”) but they get to do what they want. The townsfolk fear them. Maybe they are burned or drowned but they incite passion. Witches know what others don’t.

What do you know about witches? What does the word witch bring to mind? (“I’m not a witch at all. Witches are old and ugly.”)

my witch calls upon other witches
my witch calls upon other witches
I put witches in my stories but I rarely call them that. (“Only bad witches are ugly.”) What witches from fiction do you remember? Did you think they were beautiful or ugly?

For Halloween I don’t go to haunted houses or watch horror movies. That is not my Halloween. What about you? Do you like those slash and gore films? Vampire flicks? Killers in masks? They disrupt my sleep and perch in my thoughts for days. Once my friends tried to trick me into seeing a scary movie. When we got to the theater and I realized what film we were really there to see, I refused to get out of the car. “I’ve got a book in bag. Go see what you want but I’m staying here.” They begged and pleaded and promised it would be fun. But I knew what I didn’t want to see. They were surprised that I didn’t give in and join them. I stayed in the car.

Halloween ten years back
Halloween ten years back

How will Halloween find you this year? Dressed up? At a party? Handing out candy? Pretending the day doesn’t exist? Hiding in your home with the front lights off hoping the kids don’t realize you’re home? I will take my son–the red Power Ranger–trick-or-treating. At midnight I will be writing for now I don’t go to parties anymore. I start NaNoWriMo in a room full of strangers and friends. Telling a story is, after all, the very best kind of spell.

Now, go party. Talk to the dead. Eat sweats. And cast your spells.

A thanks to Vanessa for the invite and the idea.

29 thoughts on “Halloween is creeping in…

  1. So many questions, I can’t remember them all. Have you seen the play Wicked? It’s wickedly brilliant!!! And if you like Tarot cards, check out Kipling West’s Halloween Tarot. I love her wonderfully whimsical illustrations. I have quite a few packs myself but I rarely use them to do readings. More often I simply enjoy their artwork and sometimes I’ll pick a card or two and reflect on the symbolism that pops up for that moment, day, or question. I like fun or fantasy scary, but not slasher scary movies. I’m with you on that one. Nice to meet you. I hope you have a chance to fly on by and visit me during the party. And now, I must be off – whoosh!

  2. Witches know what others don’t.

    When I was a kid, somehow — somehow — I had this image, dream, flight of fancy, self-told fairy tale, I don’t know what… It was a theory, I guess, although it was accompanied by all kinds of imagery. The theory was that women knew everything men were thinking, that we could never keep anything secret from them, and that no other guy I knew even SUSPECTED this.

    At big family dinners — say, Thanksgiving — I’d sit very quietly, observing the conversations a-swirl around the table. The men were just talking; nothing in their faces said anything that their mouths weren’t saying too. But the women… They might be listening in on a male conversation, say, or even participating actively. (It didn’t make any difference.) At times when they weren’t saying anything at all, one woman’s eye would catch another’s, and something invisible would pass between them, and they’d both grin or roll their eyes or stick out their tongues simultaneously.

    It was amazing; I hadn’t heard the phrase yet, but it freaked me out. I never got over it.

    Any women reading this, you know this about the above (although guys may need to see it explicitly): it’s absolutely true.

  3. Wizard of Oz is one of my fave movies! There’s something wickedly calming about the sound of that tornado. I could fall asleep to that sound, only from the movie… not the real thing *lol*!
    So is Practical Magic! Gotta love brownies for breakfast & Midnight Margaritas *winks* And that “Put the Lime in the Coconut” song! CLASSIC!
    I love everything about Halloween. Always have since I was a little kid. Even the witches fascinated me. I loved how they could be close to the moon and fly on a lightweight broomstick and just be free… fly freely! I wish I had time like that! Where there are no worries and time stands still for a moment. (Imagine how much crafting I could do if time stood still for me) I don’t think witches are ugly! They have a good soul, MOST of them anyways. They harvest herbs and are all about well-being! Living GREEN! They love the Nature and honor Her! They love trees too! There’s many different kinds of witches! But most of them are open minded and open hearted… lover of nature and animals!
    I take my dd trick or treating! I bake until there’s no tomorrow! I love to see pumpkins of all sizes and colors! I cook a warm hearty meal before t-o-t’ing. I donate baked goods to a local bake sale to help them with their fundraisers! October is the month that I am most in my element!
    Happy October!

  4. Hi there

    it’s my first visit to your blog. I’m not into horror movies either. I rather prefer the original idea of Halloween as the Celtic new year. It signals to me a time to get cosy on the dark nights and to nurture my need to paint or write or just watch good BBC dramas. Or all 3!

  5. I love witches too! I also had a witch costume as a kid!
    Great information! I own a black cat named Spooky.
    I’ve always enjoyed witch TV – Charmed, Sabrina teen
    witch. Great party!

  6. You make a very lovely witch. I haven’t read the Tarot in so long.

    This year I will escort my 12 year old at what may be his last year trick or treating. I think I’ll don my witch’s hat and robe and will make a new collage half mask.

    If your head is spinning from all of the spells at the various parties, swing by my place for some brain tonic and three witches brew. Vincent Price is waiting to read you a story. Do stop by!

    Happy {early} Halloween!

  7. Read Red As Blood by Tanith Lee. All sorts of witches, and they are usually portrayed in a sympathetic way, even the evil ones.

    Your photo reminds me of I think Dionne Fortune from the cover of one of her books. It would have been published 20+ years ago and I no longer have a copy, so I can’t be more specific. Nice picture, however.

  8. I will spend Halloween with my best friend whose birthday is on the 31st. Halloween means to me tarot cards, magic, faeries and anything can happen on that day. I don’t like scary movies all that much unless it’s Vampires.

  9. Oh, I thought I already commented. Witches and gypsies and brujas, oh my. You know, witch is my default costume. Gypsy is another. I walk around with my black hair out, dressed in my own clothes and stick a hat on my head. Or layer all my chains over my hippie skirts and a vest and carry my tarot cards, tossing off a reading here and there.


    Or is everyday the costume?


    And 10/31… after the trick or treating and saying goodbye to my HS best friend and her 20 month old daughter, I will be gearing up for nanowrimo. I have serious doubts about finishing this year. There’s so much on my plate. Yikes. A challenge, Marta, a challenge.

  10. Well, as you might know, my birthday is on Halloween, so I’ve always loved the holiday, especially when I was a kid. And I loved witches too when I was a child. When I was in the second grade, my friends and I decided to act out the Wizard of Oz, and I was the only one who wanted to be the witch.

    This is the first year we’ll take Aidan trick or treating, although I think he might be a little weary. He loves Mickey Mouse, so we were going to let him be that, but then we realized he’d probably hate the mouse ears and big tummy costume, so we bought a Peter Pan outfit – it’ll be more comfortable, and I think he’ll wear it. It should be fun.

  11. Pamela

    The Wizard of Oz taught us there are good witches and bad witches. Some days I’m a good witch…somedays a bad witch.

    I had a witch costume I loved when I was very young. My father banned me from being a witch because he thought they were evil. I don’t know who bought me the costume. Probably my grandma, his mother in law who hated him. So for Halloween, I’m usually a witch. I’m avoiding a party I was invited to this year because it’s sure to be a total bore.

    I loved when you read my cards back in the day. Although, I have no memory of the actual fortunes. I have 3 decks.

    I have always loved Halloween because the veil is suppose to be the thinnest. Oh, who as a kid didn’t love magic? Perhaps witches are the ones who remember how to use the magic of childhood throughout their lives.

  12. I’ve never had so many comments and don’t even know where to begin… but I will say JES, that it does seem to me that women are a lot like you observed.

    Shelli, ever since I found out your birthday is Halloween, I’ve been jealous. Oh well. I do love trick-or-treating with my son. It is a blast now that’s he’s old enough to understand it.

    rowena, we will meet the challenge! Yes we will.

    Pamela, I remember reading your cards but, like you, can’t remember the fortune. I had fun that night even though I was a little freaked out at all the people who wanted their cards read. I did get a new deck of Tarot cards for my birthday. Appropriate this year! And I think your observation about witches being the one who use the magic of childhood is spot on. Absolutely.

  13. I love Halloween for it’s crisp autumn air, for the gathering of my family, for sugar cookies decorated with all the sprinkles, candy and chocolate chips! I love the smell of carving the pumpkins with fun images not scary ones. I love watching the fun that the disguised children in the neighborhood have as they squeel in delight as they collect their treats.

  14. I like halloween the way we celebrate it here at home…
    I’m not into too much scary things or horrormovies, but like strange creatures..;

    Are you curious visit some of my latest blogposts about halloween..

    greetings from belgium

  15. Oh, gosh.
    *I like scary movies like Se7en, dark psychological thrillers. Bowser likes zombie movies. I like the Grindhouse variety, but not the I Am Legend variety. If it is too violent, I barf. Really. Natural Born Killers sent me running to the theatre restroom.

    *I have two favorite costumes: Arachnophobia – which consists of a Huge Plush Spider hat, an iridescent black spider web shawl, and tons of cool make-up; and Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Rain – which consists of a dark grey sweat suit covered in swaths of pulled cotton clouds and a squirt bottle. When people ask what I am, I say Partly Cloudy, (squirt mist above their heads) with a Chance of Rain.

    *The Wicked Witch scared the crap out of me. I watched it with a babysitter when I was 7 or 8 and when I was in bed that night, she crouched outside my door and cackled, “I’ll get you my pretty. Yeh heh he heh heh” It wasn’t until I read Wicked and fell in love with Elphaba that I was able to go back and watch the Wizard of Oz again.

    *I think witches in general are fascinating. Historically, they were the feminists of their time and were tormented for their brazen pursuit of knowledge and/or their refusal to be exactly what society expected them to be. Nowadays, I think of modern day witches as those who embrace Mother Earth and understand herb lore and the spiritual entwining of the Universe’s creatures. Sort of a modern day version of the Celtic pagan priestesses of yore.

    *If you like Tarot cards, you should check out Medicine cards. They are based on the divination techniques of Native Americans and honor the healing wisdom and guidance of spirit animals.

    *This year’s halloween will be stuffed with the usual: I take the toddler to the 2nd grader’s school costume parade and stay for the class party. In the evening, my husband takes them trick-or-treating and I stay home in our Spooookkyy house to give candy to the trick-or-treaters who dare to come up our stairs and duck under the giant bat and wade through the cobwebs to get treats from the crazy Arachnaphobia lady.

    *I loved this post. The pictures were fantastic. You make a great witch. In every way.

  16. You know-usually Halloween in reality does find me hiding with the lights off. Last year however I got all excited and had a bowl of goodies at the ready. Nobody rang the bell!-maybe they had learnt their lesson last year and the year before that when the bell went unanswered. This year I am going to try again-I would feel a hypocrite doing all this online celebrating and not giving the little ghouls, ghosties and witches a treat.
    I hope you can decide what to do about your potential exhibition-it sounds like you kind of think you should go for it and your friends do but understandably you are scared. But I think that opportunities come along for a reason and you should maybe grab it.
    Good luck either way.

  17. im reading wicked right now and really enjoying it as i put it into perspective! i love wizard of oz but at the same time i am frightened by it. it is a curious emotion to like something so much but to be equally terrified. come visit me if you are still in party mode… or even if you dare… xx rosey

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