Photo: Camelia Elias

As it happens, the oak floor I’ve been waiting for to be installed in the attic in one of the largest rooms of the house made a complete appearance in all its dark glory. The only polishing I needed to do was the natural kind, going over the whole surface barefooted and feeling the magic of the wood.

I thought of how the floors and the walls of the house are a liminal space, and how it may be a good idea to check with their state precisely at this time of the year, when the veil between the worlds is said to be thin. As a result of this thinking I found myself sweeping a whole lot today.

‘Leave the garage alone,’ my partner said, but I couldn’t. Now that we literally live on Broom Street, I figured that the only way in which we can honor our place is by considering the function of all our ‘ten thousand things’. If ghosts are to visit, let the pathways be clean. I made sure that both the shed and the garage looked pretty much like a cosy living room, with lit up lamps in the windows, glowing on the golden Buddha heads.

Photo: Camelia Elias

My partner nodded, but I think he was now worried about getting the ghosts confused. Will they all congregate in the outer houses, instead of rolling in the oak smell, at the heart of the house? Who’s to say what the ghosts desire.

I made new cord magic. Some of the strings are now hanging on the garage walls. The ghosts can use them as sign posts. All the rooms have now also been properly named: the white room, the darkroom, the zendo, the tatami room, the tarot room, the heart room, the starry room (that’s the garage, as I can’t bring myself to say ‘garage’ for purely phonetic reasons). I’m leaving out a lot more rooms…

Photo: Camelia Elias

In the Tao te Ching, we read the following:

The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery,
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

At this time of the year, many yearn for the manifestation of ancestral power. But then there goes the mystery…

In many folk lores we find the idea that on all hallow’s eve one can see the invisible witch. But the mystery of that also been busted by the witch craze that now has pretty much every woman of some opinion identify as a witch. A personality cult is useless if invisible. Some ghosts are sighing, ‘oh, the fads…’

If you’re into sweeping mode today, once you’re done with polishing your floors or cleaning up your starry rooms, you may want to light a pipe filled with fragrant tobacco, read some cards, and sit in contemplation of the difference between manifestation and mystery.

Photo: Camelia Elias

You may be surprised at just the ghost that will arrive to keep you company. Ask it what it wants. If desireless, then praise your luck, for you’ll be in the presence of mystery once more, away from names and their discontents.

Happy Halloween

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About Camelia Elias
Camelia Elias, PhD & Dr.Phil., is a former university professor. After 20 years in the academia, she left her career to pursue her interests in teaching and writing on the philosophy and practice of reading cards. She works with contemplative arts, oracular language, and martial arts cartomancy and Zen at her own school, Aradia Academy. You can read more about the author here.

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