The farmhouse if filled with the scent of fresh pine . . .
I can’t sleep so I creep downstairs and put a vintage record on the turntable. Handel’s music floats upwards to the airy corners of the room. I turn my sleepy eyes to our Christmas tree and notice a strange, uncanny thing. We’ve erected our tree in the very same spot I’d happened upon our Thanksgiving ghost. My mysterious visitor has now been transformed into a Christmas tree.
If my ghost was just a glimmer, a gasping momentary spirit passing, our Christmas tree is very real, full of magic. Spirits of the season, little fiery imps carrying Wands hop from branch to branch. Pentacled ornaments droop on heaving bows. Pentacles fall with soft thuds each time an imp lands too hard on a limb.
The Star glimmers precariously on top of the tree. The Star reminds me she’ll always be there to guide and provide comfort, even in my darkest hours. The Sun’s infernal warmth radiates out of the tree, an evergreen symbol of life. The strings of colored lights sway, each a tiny refraction of the warmth coursing in our veins. The Hanged Man breaks face, offers me a quick wink and moves back into solemn meditation amidst the soft needles.
The Tower is suspended high above me in clouds responsible for the snow rapidly piling up outside the ancient glass windows. Suddenly there is a thumping upon my door. A stranded motorist? I answer, shocked when I realize who beckons.
I fall to my hands and knees and offer a tearful prayer of thanks to my Hierophant. He gently pulls me up and plants me on his lap like Santa. He strokes my cheek, tucks my hair behind my ears and tells me that we are but one and the same. He whispers of the many wonderful lessons to come and I can’t help but giggle. His neck smells like cinnamon and apples.
The Empress’s dewy face glows, flush with excitement and illuminated by embers of the fireplace as she wraps gifts for me. She’ll do things with scotch tape and tissue paper to blow your mind. When Martha Stewart made her pact, it wasn’t with the Devil but with the Empress! Speaking of the Devil, he’s in the basement scaring off little critters that’ve decided this old house might be fun to nest in. I let the Devil upstairs every now and then – but only in moderation.
I can hear Temperance banging pots in my kitchen. Temperance has moved in with me for the next few months. She will make sure I don’t spread myself too thin. Temperance is great to have around but always begs for fast food on road trips.
Strength reclines gracefully on the couch and says if I want any, I’d better get back to bed. Heading her advice, I head up the stairs. I peak on my Ace of Wands, my little girl’s sleeping face. Ah, to be five years old at Christmas! I tuck her one last time for good measure and retire to my room.
My darling husband, the Magician, sleeps soundly beside me. He has put his tools away. He’s performed enough miracles this year, pulled a hundred rabbits out of hats and ignited our deck over and over again. Now, is time for him to rest.
Visions of this strange, wonderful year pass before me. Shadows in the corner of the darkened room appear moving, rearranging themselves. Merging they become one and blackness becomes deep purple draped over a feminine figure white, like the moon. It is the High Priestess come to wish me goodnight!
The High Priestess and I gaze at each other, nose to nose, for what seems an eternity. Her eyes appear violet and dissect every fiber of my being. Saying nothing, a faint smile graces her lips. As silently as she appeared, she slips back into the shadows. Morning light sweeps across the floorboards.
“Mommy, wake up!!! Its Christmas . . . “