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The Fates dropped by for tea the other day and I got this one as a bread and butter gift. Spo

Today is 20 August, which starts the sign of Virgo (oh the pain*) and something I nicknamed in my youth ‘The Witching Hour’. I was a dumb kid that the last third of August hardly constitutes an hour. However my silly sobriquet captured the transitional time that is the ten days before Labor Day. This time of the year feels like summer but there is a sense of autumn in the air. The nights are a bit quicker to come on and are cool enough to sleep with the window open. The timelessness of summer is usurped by the sense of looking forward to something, which is Labor Day weekend and autumn. The craft stores are full up with fall items. I remember in my youth The Witching Hour was a sort of boring time. We did all the swimming and boating and summer reading there is. Thoughts of going back to school had some excitement to it if only to break the monotony.

The true definition of ‘The witching hour’ is either midnight or 3AM when boundaries were considered thinnest to let in the spirits and other-worldly things. ‘The witching hour’ also refers to the time prior to the stock exchange closing when economic shenanigans are likely to happen. All these definitions have in common the concept of transition periods not being solid and who knows what’s coming.

For sometime I’ve had a vague terror my life is in a witching hour phase although it is hard to pinpoint what this means exactly. For some years my days and months and years too are predictable and without much adventure. Covid and politics have shaken the compliancy into a the current witching hour feeling. Unlike the 20 August-1 September type, this one has no clear end and while I like the fall what’s ahead does not look jolly.

Brother #3 has all the ‘Sandman’ series. While reading them I was struck by The Fates, who are drawn exactly like the witches in a comic book I used to read called… wait for it…. “The Witching Hour”. Such synchronicity to see these three again and on the eve of the August witching hour!

In ‘Sandman’, Morpheus asks each of three guises of Fate/the Witches a question. He gets answers but none greatly helpful. He thanks them and they reply as they disappear:

‘Ha ha ha! Did you hear that, my sister-self?

‘Oo hooo! ‘thank you’ he says! You don’t thank The Fates, dreamkin!’

‘Ahahahahaha! We haven’t helped you!’

and then they say in union:

“Your troubles are only beginning!”

When one is in a transition or in The Witching Hour (whatever the type) you shouldn’t try nailing down the answers but persevere and you will find out in time. Thus I enter the August witching hour and walk into the fall.

*Thems born under this austere sign or have planets aligned in Virgo (like Urs Truly) are maddeningly perfectionistic and orderly, always wanting to be better whether others want to or not.

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