The Romans (of course) had a phrase for it.

Absit omen: “May it not be an omen.”

As resident priest here at the Temple of the Moon, I make offerings twice daily—mornings and evenings—and pray for the well-being of pagan peoples everywhere. As one might expect of a pagan temple, the prayers take different forms depending on what time of year it is.

The prayers, of course, are recited from memory. Twice now during the last few days, I've slipped up and started prayers in their Winter form. Both times, thankfully, I've managed to catch myself before I'd got very far, and corrected the prayers to the proper Summer form instead.

But now I'm starting to worry. Even though, here in the North, Winter is the general default setting, somehow (whether rightly or wrongly) when things go wrong in ritual, they seem to take on a super-charged significance.

It's been a cool, damp August here in the Land of Sky Waters, unlike our usual hot-and-dry end-of-summer. Here and there, you'll see leaves starting to change. The winter squash are coming in. It's easy to see why I inadvertently slipped into Winter mode. If you asked me, I'd say that signs are pointing to an early Winter.

But here's hoping that I'm wrong.

Absit omen.

Absit omen.

Absit omen.