Letter From The Editor: The Witching Hour

Magic dies in the explaining

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I was the kind of teenage girl who was into magic. If I pulled out my sixteen-year-old photo albums for you, you’d find tarot cards, un-ironic fairies, and other things I probably wouldn’t explain to you if you asked. Magic dies in the explaining. In fact, one of the many reasons I was perpetually vaguely annoyed at my now-husband in high school can be boiled down to the moment where he walked over to me and a bunch of lifelong girlfriends, pouring over a horoscope book (The Secret Language of Birthdays. Still have it.) He looked at us, and grumpily asked, “Are you guys into astrology? It’s idiotic.” Luckily for me (unluckily for him?) I was the kind of teenage girl in possession of a death stare and a sharp tongue, both of which I used in that moment.

Fast forward sixteen years (16 x 2, you tell me there isn’t numerology in that) and I’m madly referring to the exact same copy of the astrology book, to learn more about the date of our son’s birth.

Suck it, David.

All that is to say I’m the magical one, David’s the linear one (but I’m the organized one, so go figure), and we’ve somehow combined to be a little bigger than the sum of our parts. He may think tarot cards are stupid, but he’s wise enough to not comment on them much now. And while I find his dedication to the strictly tangible world confusing, his ability to solve problems in that world always astounds and delights me.

So in this month of Halloween (which now, with a kid, is the best holiday ever), we wanted to take a month to explore the in between. As I wrote in our call for submissions:

The Witching Hour—the mystical time when the spirits walk free, the hour when babies scream. It’s the marker between light and dark, natural and supernatural. Whisper us your secrets, tell us your tales, let loose the wild things. Next month, we’ll meet you at the hour where we’re all laid bare.

When we set out our editorial themes for the year, The Witching Hour seemed a nice balance to the linear organization of September’s Growing Up. It was also the space we carved out in our schedule where we didn’t know what was going to happen. Up until about a week ago, my editors were slightly freaked out, wondering what on earth we were going to talk about for a whole month. I wasn’t worried. If there is anything that sums up The Witching Hour, it’s living in the in between and allowing the answers to reveal themselves to you.

And as your stories have rolled in, I’ve recognized them. Many of them have started with “I know a little something about magic…” or “How do I explain magic to you?” But you don’t have to explain, because I never disavowed it.

So this month, we’re heading into The Witching Hour, with it’s horrors, joys, ghosts, and gifts. I’ll meet you in the hour where it’s all laid bare.

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