Inside the pumpkin’s heart
Sits Jack, the lantern-man.
“I will light thy way”, says he,
“But, you’ll have to walk with me.”

At the top of the well
Bobs Rufus, the apple-man.
“I will feed thy way”, says he,
“But, you’ll have to swim with me.”

At the edge of the wood
Lurks Cara, the tree-woman.
“I will clothe thy way”, says she,
“But, you’ll have to hide with me.”

Above the murky path
Flutters Jabol, the bird-woman.
“I will sing thy way”, says she,
“But, you’ll have to fly with me.”

So Wicca, the man-woman
Calls Jack, the lantern-man.
“Lift me high”, says he,
“And a walking we shall go.”

Down the path they went,
Where winds tore their flesh.
They smiled on the out,
And were whole on the in.

Jack disappeared, and the end was the start.

So Wicca, the woman-man
Calls Rufus, the apple-man.
“Sit on me”, says he,
“And a bobbing we shall go.”

Down the well they went,
Where water bruised their skin.
They were hurt on the out,
And were warm on the in.

Rufus disappeared and the bottom was the top.

So Wicca, the sidhe-bairn
Calls Cara, the tree-woman.
“Come with me”, says she,
“And a hiding we shall go.”

Deep in the dense wood they went,
Where hunters pierced their mask.
They were killed on the out,
And alive on the in.

Cara disappeared, and the heart was the head.

So Wicca, the bairn-sidhe
Calls Jabol, the bird-woman.
“Ride on my back”, says she
“And a singing we shall go.”

High in the stormy night they went,
Where lightning ruptured their flight.
They were silent on the out,
And raucous on the in.

Jabol disappeared, and the sky was the ground.


Where the end is the start,
Where the bottom is the top,
Where the heart is the head,
Where the sky is the ground,
Is where four paths shall meet
And a fire shall always burn,
Is where a fifth shall come
And the dead and holy follow.

Wicca, the fifth, came
Along the spiral path,
That is an argent star,
But once a year.

Each week belongs to one of the four,
But there is another day, a dead day.
This day is free for all, no-man’s land,
It is gone before it has come, it is a dead day.

Night came, and the dead day was Wicca’s day.

“Come, o, death of my death!”, called Wicca, rattling spears.
“Come, o, birth of my birth!”, exhaled Wicca, beating drums.
“O, come my barrow-womb!”, charmed Wicca, the one voice.
They came, of their own volition, for their own reasons.

Hallowe’en came, and Wicca’s wish was a dead wish.

First came the blackened ones,
The flesh-dwellers, the brain-burners.
They grasped, and Jack appeared
With his flaming smile.

They disappeared, and Jack haunts them still.

Next came the cadavers,
The tempters, the poisoners.
They hissed, and Rufus appeared
Washing their venom away.

They disappeared, and Rufus drowns them still.

Next came the cannibals,
The hackers, the swallowers.
They struck, and Cara appeared
Deflecting their swipes.

They disappeared, and Cara confuses them still.

Then came the flashing ones,
The burners, the sunderers.
They crackled, and Jabol appeared
Chanting their magic away.

They disappeared, and Jabol deafens them still.

“Come, o, birth of my death!”, called Wicca, rattling spears.
“Come, o, death of my birth!”, exhaled Wicca, beating drums.
“The spiral path leads to the womb and the barrow!”, said Wicca.
They came with their night, bearing gifts.

Hallowe’en came, and Wicca’s wish was a holy wish.

First came the black ones,
The tender ones, the primitives.
With them they brought love,
And in their leaving lies despair.

Next came the silver ones,
The dancers, the heath-dwellers.
With them they brought knowledge,
And in their leaving lies frailty.

Then came the golden ones,
The singers, the civilised.
With them they brought wisdom,
And in their leaving lies death.

Last came the invisible ones,
The hidden, the unbroken thread.
With them they brought power,
And in their leaving lies destruction.

Two by two, they embraced Wicca,
And presented their gifts.
Wicca remembers them in all their glory,
And embraces them still.

The holy came, the forebears, and their night was born.


Bonfire2“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

What has Ritual got to do with Reading and Writing?

It’s simple really – the use of ritual enables a particular state of mind and this can be helpful both with reading and writing. I am not suggesting that you cannot do these without the use of ritual but I would recommend using ritual that you’re comfortable with to get yourself into the zone.

I’ll clarify what I mean by ritual. It is an action that when repeated over time will create a subconscious ripple and speed up access to the required state. This ritual can be a simple action such as wearing your lucky socks, playing your favourite music or stirring your coffee 3 times anti-clockwise. Or you could channel the spirit of William Shakespeare – whatever floats your boat.


It doesn’t matter as long as it is meaningful to you and gets you into that zone quicker and takes you deeper into it.

I am a great lover of creating superstition and myth and believe it has a powerful role to counter a lot of the madness of modern life. When I really want to write and block all else out I shut the door, put on some Fields of the Nephilim, don my lucky writing hoodie (yes, really – I bought it for this sole purpose) and brew a strong, thick cup of coffee. I made a New Year’s resolution this year (which is unusual for me) and that was to only drink coffee when I’m writing. I love coffee, the thicker and treaclier the better, so this was a real big thing for me and I’ve stayed true to this.

Once I do this I’m instantly in the zone. No, more than that – once I have assembled the ritual I am a writer. Nothing else exists but writing. I have created a magic circle around me in which I have invoked the best writer I can be. I have created a myth inhabited by the great writer who quite naturally writes mythic tales.

Now think about it whether you write or whether reading is more your thing I bet you have developed some rituals around your reading and writing. But don’t you think you could up the game a bit? Add another layer, just one simple ritual and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits.