Saturday, October 6

Autumn

Okay, so this isn't the real reason autumn is my favorite time of year, it does sound like a pretty awesome sale! (I loved DSP as a customer long before I had the opportunity to love them as an author). 

But that isn't actually what I wanted to talk about today, it just so happened that I got the notice in my inbox just as I was starting to think about today's post.

There are lots of reasons why I love this time of year: the chill in the air (especially welcome after the beastly summer we just had), the turning leaves (so beautiful), apple cider (yum!!) two of my favorite holidays, Mabon and Samhain. Yes, for those who had somehow not gotten the memo, I'm Pagan. Wiccan mostly, with a strong Shaman leaning. But that's totally another story for another day.  

This is the cover of the edition
I read, a zillion years ago when
I was 13.
Autumn is a time of harvest and reflection, a time to sit back and enjoy what's left of the summer sun--and get out and take a walk under the stars. My favorite constellation is finally visible again (Orion, although really it's the dog star Sirius that I love. Blame Diana Wynne Jones [click for a great article about her] and her awesome book Dogsbody for that one. I totally recommend it; it's a YA title but there's some real meat to its bones. I read it back in the 7th grade and it's still my favorite book of all time. Not my favorite YA book. My favorite book. End stop. Yes, there are two series that I always site as "faves"--and they are--but Dogsbody is special to me on a whole nother level).  

Cover of the 2001 edition
Dogsbody hit the mark for me on a couple of levels; it's set in England (and written using British spelling, punctuation, and grammar--but it's the punctuation that always throws me). The protagonist Kathleen, is an Irish girl living with English relatives, terribly discriminated against (for being Irish--I don't know what it's like these days, but this was originally written quite a few decades ago, in a very different political climate). Kathleen finds and adopts an unwanted puppy who unbeknownst to her (but well known to the reader by this point in the tale) is the living embodiment of the Dog Star, Sirius, sent to earth to retrieve a powerful weapon--after he was accused of killing another luminary with it. Famed for his hot temper, Sirius is presumed guilty and shunned by most of his fellow luminaries. 

But its no ordinary dog's body Sirius manages to get himself reborn into; the mother might be an ordinary local hound, but the father is one of Arawn's hounds. (Arawn is the King of the Underworld and leader of the Wild Hunt in Welsh Mythology). And now take a wild guess as to the location of that celestial weapon... There's the most gorgeous depiction of the Wild Hunt I've ever seen, in which Sirius joins in with Arawn's hounds to hunt down and devour a stag--a stag that then rises up and resumes its actual form, that of Arawn himself. Talk about a Pagan theme...and an autumn theme (coming 'round full circle here, oh so cleverly  ;-)  because autumn is all about harvest, but from this year's harvest come the seeds for next year's crops. Everything in nature, and in life, is a cycle. 






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