Sin Eater II

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Upon this hallowed evening
the spirit of the growing season
undertakes its timely death
with the setting of the solemn sun
and thus creates, a thinning of the veil.

Within the twilight’s glimmering
and his passage gained admittance
Jack-of-the-Lantern passes
across the threshold of the spheres.

From the nether world of shadows
to this world of blood and flesh
attend his rustling footsteps
as he treads upon the corpses
of countless fallen leaves.

As deeper grows the darkness
his lantern burns the brighter
the Sin Eater beckons all
the living and the dead.

As loathsome ghoul reviled
glowing eyes and garish smile
oft mistaken for incarnate evil
a holy calling he bears instead.

A purger of sins unrepented
he gathers with his lantern
as moths they fly from withering souls
their guilt at last surrendered.

Upon himself he takes these burdens
the cardinal and the venial
then with the sacred star shine
eerie alchemy he works
and transmutes the dross of souls.
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While we now tend to celebrate the Celtic Cross-Quarter day of Samhain with Halloween, the actual mid-point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice falls somewhere between the 5th and 7th of November, being November 7th this year.

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2014.html
“Cross-Quarter moments are interpolated as the midway points between the Solstices and Equinoxes measured in degrees along the ecliptic. Former NASA scientist Rollin Gillespie uses this spatial method rather than simply splitting in half the time interval between a Solstice and an Equinox.”

Background info from different sources:

The term “will-o’-the-wisp” comes from “wisp”, a bundle of sticks or paper sometimes used as a torch, and the name “Will”: thus, “Will-of-the-torch”. The term jack-o’-lantern “Jack of [the] lantern” has a similar meaning.

A will-o’-the-wisp /ˌwɪl ə ðə ˈwɪsp/  are atmospheric ghost lights seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o’-lantern, friars’s lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English[1] folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.

There are various explanations for the Will o’ the Wisps, the most general being that they are malevolent spirits either of the dead or non-human intelligence. They have a mischievous and often malevolent nature, luring unwary travellers into dangerous situations. Wirt Sikes in his book British Goblins alludes a common story about a Welsh Will o’ the Wisp (Pwca or Ellylldan); a peasant, who is travelling home late in the evening sees a bright light travelling before him, looking closer he sees that the light is a lantern held by a “dusky little figure” which he follows for several miles, suddenly he finds himself standing on the edge of a great chasm with a roaring torrent of water rushing below him. At that moment the lantern carrier leaps across the fissure, raises the light over its head and lets out a malicious laugh, after which it blows out the light leaving the unfortunate man far from home, standing in pitch darkness at the edge of a precipice. They were not always so dangerous, and there are tales told about the Will o’ the Wisp being guardians of treasure, leading those brave enough to follow them to sure riches.

14 thoughts on “Sin Eater II

      • Yes I have it my Pa left me all his writings! I was just reading it last night:
        Will-if-the-wisp
        She has eyes of blue and golden hair
        And because she’s my daughter, none so fair
        A Will-o-the-wisp is my little girl
        She’s not a gem, she’s more like a pearl
        She is so rare that I can see
        A man would keep her indefinately
        When so litttle she cuddled close to me
        But now she’s growing and I can see
        A day when she will go her way
        But thoughts of her will always stay
        As a pleasanr memory when I am old
        For I’ll still remember her eyes of blie and hair of gold
        Will-o-the Wisp my Micki
        Dan Antell
        I have many poems my Pa wrote I seem to pour over them looking for clues and answers to all my questions which lead me to more! I believe to really know the heart of a man you should take the time to read his words and sift them! My Pa always said I was mischievous and a fighter and also a rebel and I am! I’m older and wiser at least I hope so! Wow! I have to tell you that shocked me that ypu used this phrase! I dont know what that means but it means something! Sorry for the long comment! Have a great night!
        Beautiful thought provoking post!
        Night!

        • Wow, thanks for sharing all of this, Michelle! And what a lovely gift from your father; it must mean so much. Sounds like he truly treasured you.

          • I come from a long line of writers, I don’t write much I’m waiting to find my words, maybe they will never come back but…..anyway. So I post my art, photos and sunrises. He was a treasure and continues to be. Have a wonderful day! I love your quiet place here!

    • Thank you, Wendy Kate! (it’s always so fun to say those double names: Wendykate ) Happy Cross-Quarter to you as well!

    • Thank you, Tania! This one has been incubating for a couple of weeks, and it was only last night, when the veil was thinnest, that the words actually came through. The writing of it did feel momentous. Warm blessings, dear one.

  1. A meaty post with much food for thought! I only just this year began observing what happens around the solstices and equinoxes. Now I will watch for the happenings that surround the times at the middle points in-between those times, too! Thanks for sharing this poem and post!

  2. Reblogged this on Mind Chatter and commented:
    As I am really interested in old folk tales and folk lore, this piece is very interesting. I love how Cnawan offers explanations of the folk lore. Thanks Cnawan.

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