Spooky Stuff

          All of us are fascinated with spooky stuff.   From childhood, we've associated Witchcraft with ancient, hidden secrets ... a candle burning in a dark room, its light barely illuminating the cauldron and the altar ... the strange, shadowy figure of an old woman muttering the words of a spell ... ghosts ... mysterious hauntings ... restless spirits ... black cats ... séances ... noises coming from an empty, abandoned house ... the atmosphere of an old black-and-white Vincent Price B-movie (go rent "The House on Haunted Hill" [1958] sometime. It's a bad movie, but lots of fun to watch).   These things attract us in a strange way.

      There's a certain playfulness within all of us (regardless of age).   It causes us to enjoy being mildly frightened.   It causes children to look forward to Halloween.

      But when you get involved in Witchcraft   -   the real thing   -   you move beyond the play-acting stuff, and start doing serious work.   If you're not careful, you'll find yourself looking disdainfully at the "fun" part.

      I don't know of any tenet of Wicca that says you aren't allowed to have fun with it.   I think the question is where to draw the line between serious stuff and playful stuff (how much of each?).

      The same question pops up in Christianity.   There are churches where "they're so fundamentalist, all they do is sit around being right."   On the other hand, there are "full gospel" churches where the services are loud, enthusiastic ... and devoid of all substance.   Do you go to church to learn?   Or do you go there to "rejoice in the Lord," clap your hands, and holler "Amen" a lot?

      I heard it explained this way: you take a steak out of the freezer and drop it onto the kitchen counter.   CLANK.   That steak is full of protein.   It's a wonderful, nutritious thing.   But it's frozen solid.   You look at it and feel nothing.

      But then after it thaws, somebody fires up the charcoal and lays that steak on the grill.   Soon there's an irresistible aroma.   Your mouth waters.   You start wondering if there's any A-1 in the refrigerator.

      It's the same steak that it always was.   The difference is the presentation.

      I'm a pretty serious type of guy.   I forget that it's okay to be frivolous from time to time.

      On the other hand, you may be the type who celebrates the Craft with plenty of humor and laughter and fun.

      My suggestion is: Go ahead and give in to your Younger Self.   Let's have fun on Halloween.   Pay the $16.50 and go through the Terrortown Haunted House.   It doesn't take away anything from the serious side of Witchcraft.

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