A Samhain Story Told on Halloween
We are on the Cape on a windy October day. It is the last day of October to be exact. She has promised me a fine meal in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. She teases me all through the drive saying perhaps they will make an exception on Halloween or Samhain as we witches call the day. We have a reservation at the Salem Cross Inn. Dorothy says that no witches are allowed inside the Inn. They have some kind of seal or hexmark on the door to keep witches out. She continues to laugh and insists they will not let me in. I am not laughing and wondering why I am even with this woman. The free airline tickets - I remember. And then, yes – I settle back riding shotgun.
“We’ll see” I say.
“Yes, we will” she snorts, “and you won’t get in!”
I remember when she took me to Fort Mill, South Carolina gleefully anticipating that I would be horrified inside her church. Not Jim Jones but Jim Bakker and his PTL Club. It was summer of 1987 and Bakker had been banned from the church and was facing embezzlement and rape charges. He hadn’t been convicted and Tammy Faye hadn’t left him yet but Jerry Falwell had taken over the premises of Heritage USA. I, on the contrary, was fascinated. They were speaking in tongues during the service and I saw the Holy Ghost. Dorothy was pissed as hell that I saw or told her I saw the Holy Ghost - but I did see It. There was something…some kind of palpable energy…of some authenticity, there. Of course that did not make me want to convert, which was disappointing to her. Dorothy looked like Elvis (early 1977) but longed to be St. Augustine and make a good Christian of this lesbian witch. That was not to be.
Raindrops begin to fall as we
pull into the parking lot of the Salem Cross Inn. The skies darken and open and
it begins to pour. We run from the car to the shelter of the Inn. We stop short
of the front door. There is the hexmark. Like a Roman numeral
X or two
triangles with a line drawn through the middle. I look at her. She stands back
I summon the Goddess – Hecate of the crossroads - and place my palm flat covering and searing into the hexmark on the doorhandle. In that same moment, a crack of thunder and lightning hit the roof and a fire, a small fire breaks out on the roof of the Inn. It is quickly extinguished by the rain but all the lights are put out. I push open the heavy door and walk through crossing over the threshold of the Inn.
There is quite a hubbub in the place as wait staff run to and fro with candles to light up the now darkened dining room. I glance behind with a serious look and she follows me inside quite bewildered. We are seated next to a roaring fire in a fireplace which greatly warms me and helps us dry off. We enjoy a fine meal by candlelight.
What do we eat?
Mulled wine. I make a libation to the Goddess in gratitude for my safe entry.
Chowder of the sea cooks in a cauldron (how witchy).
Prime rib smokes on a 1700’s roasting jack. That could have been me roasting, I think.
I turn to being burned as a witch because it feels more comfortable than being hated as a Jew.
Hot cross buns, herbed roasted potatoes, and fresh butternut squash.
New England apple pie with fresh whipped cream.
Feels like a dream.
I am proud to be the first (known) Witch to be served an All Hallows Eve meal at the Salem Cross Inn.
I hope there have since been many more.
The Goddess was in the storm. The Goddess is always in the storm.
I hold the honor to channel and draw her down.
Blessed Be. Blessed Samhain.