Season of the Witch

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Season of the Witch

Lana Del Rey

It's no secret I love Halloween. If you've come this far and it's a surprise, you really haven't been paying attention. What people don't always know is that it's not just an aesthetic, or an excuse to eat more candy. For me, it has one foot in a spiritual space.

As much as I do, and as much energy I expend to get things done, sometimes I lose sight of why. Even this last month or so, I was trying so very desperately to get the Inktober challenge finished, because I wanted to be able to offer an art book to those interested. I still think it was a good idea, but it didn't go nearly as I had planned. It wasn't because I wasn't drawing enough, or things that people liked.

I advertised, asked for support, and my pieces were increasingly motivated by what people might want to see. However, there was almost complete silence but for the occasional acknowledgement that a piece was good.

In distress, I took time away from my family and the work that I love to do, and feel more accomplished in, hoping that something would change if I only tried harder to do things the right way. The way I was seeing other people do it.

It didn't, so I stopped. My mental health instantly improved. I returned to the story that brings me joy first and foremost, yet I still want to share with others. I was going to, anyway, but it reminded me that while being a workaholic is harmful, not all detours are good detours.

As a millenial, raised in an atmosphere of "if your work isn't successful, it's all your fault," it was one of the hardest things I've done recently. It's not a blame game. It's a matter of perspective.

It's a matter of the in-between.

There are definitely black and white situations in life, but you can't rely on other people to point them out for you all the time. In thinking about what I wanted to share about this Samhain, I went back to read my Wheel In the Sky post.

And took myself by the collar.

Though I'd already made the decision to change what I'm putting my effort into, I also realized I'd gotten wrapped up in the patterns imposed on me, internally and externally. I haven't gotten around to lighting a fire in my new fireplace (yay!) but I'm getting there.

Samhain is a time to stop, and take a rest. Take some time to look at what you've harvested, that's uniquely you. You -- and I -- are unique events in space and time, and will not be repeated, regardless of what you believe about the afterlife. Happiness isn't just a blind following of emotions. It's an appreciation for what's come before, and what might be coming next, but not getting so wrapped up in that where we can't appreciate now.

The phrase we all know from pop culture is the thinning of the veil. Even apart from Hollywood, that has some very real applications spiritually. Depending on how literally you take it, there's no denying that this time of year has a different atmosphere.

I'm a person of the in-between spaces. I'm a liminal individual existing to paint in grey, and to both annoy and gratify those due for a challenge or change. Including myself.

Yet, even someone like me needs a moment to stop, consider, and change my efforts if needed. There's too much that I can look back on as examples of extreme and sudden change in my life for me to permanently lose sight of its value.

Perhaps the veil is thin not only in terms of the spirits, but to give us a better look at what's really going on, regardless of our beliefs. But, we still have to be willing to take a look, before this kind of opportunity is gone. Because maybe it won't come so nicely next time.

Until next year.

Follow the progress of Sydney West {HERE}, a modern, psychological sci-fi for lovers of the darkly familiar, just left of realism. There's no place like home, especially if it's the first day of your life and you seem to be to blame...

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