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2201 Maiden Story Excerpted from "The Bardic Mysteries: The Book of the Fool," by the Whyte Bard: The Maiden, being young and giddy, was watching the Men and Women as they played and laughed in the Garden one morning. She turned to the Fool, blinked her eyes, and said, "They are so fine and good, smiling all the time. How will they ever learn and grow if they have no obstacles; if there is no pain?" And Trickster smiled a mad smile, and gave the Maiden a box. It was a small box, of something that might have been wood, but wasn't, and it had no lock on it. It did, however, have a small, neatly lettered sign on its lid. Trickster pointed to the sign, and said, "That's called 'writing.' I haven't invented it yet." "Oh," said the Maiden, "But what's in the box?" "Oh," said Trickster, "You don't want to know!" "I don't?" said the Maiden, slightly miffed, "But I'm Deity!" "I know that," Trickster grinned, "But you still don't want to know." "Well....all right." And the Maiden flounced away, very much put out. Trickster watched Her go, and grinned. He then put the box down where the Maiden could see it whenever She looked in that direction, and sauntered away, eating an apple. The Maiden looked at the box for several days. "I wonder what's in there...." She would think to Herself. "That Person is always up to some trick." Finally, Her curiosity got the best of Her, and She walked into the Garden and picked up the box. She sat down under the apple tree, and spread Her skirts about Her, and placed the box on Her lap. She looked at it for a long time, and then thought, "Well! A little peek inside can't do any harm..." And She opened the box. Immediately, the lid sprang off, and a cloud of tiny things flew out! They were like flies, or mosquitoes, and they buzzed crazily about Her head for a moment, and then flew off in all directions. Trickster stepped out from behind the tree. "Well, now You've done it," He said. "Done what?" asked the Maiden. "Let loose what was in the box. Pain, and Suffering, and Envy, and Hatred, and Jealousy, and War, and Covetousness, and Sloth, and quite a lot more." Just then, the box gave a great heave, and a very tiny, very bright little Something flew out. Trickster smiled a warm smile, and said, ".....and Hope. I'm an eternal optimist. Want an apple?" "I guess so," said the Maiden. "What did it say on the lid, anyway?" "The usual. You know, 'Do Not Open This Box.'" "Oh. I guess I messed up, huh?" He smiled at Her, and said, "Not really. We would have had to do it anyway, and this makes a better story, though they might get it wrong." They both looked at the Men and Women, who were now sitting around on the grass arguing with each other. A couple of the Men were fighting, and a group of the Women were talking in whispers about another group of Women. Another Man had fenced off a section of the Garden, while another was coughing a little with a bewildered expression on his face. "Excuse me for a bit," said Trickster. "I guess I have to be the One 2202 to finish this, and get them started up the Path." He walked briskly over to the Men and Women, changing His Aspect as He went, until He appeared as a different sort of Being indeed. "Time to leave," said the Angel to the Men and Women. "Yes, we know," they answered, only half sadly, and the Men and the Women started out from the Garden, out on the Path Of Being Human. Trickster watched them go, out from the Gates. "Good luck....." He murmured, and he sheathed the Flaming Sword and closed the Gates of Innocence. Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so! --------------------------------------------------------------- 2203 The Sacred King The Men and Women were hungry. They would eat of those that walk in Fur, Fin and Feather, and thank them for their sacrifice, but that was not enough. They would eat of the wild fruits of the Earth, but that was not enough, for all of these must be found, and hunted, and a home cannot be built on this. And the Sacred King saw, and thought upon it for a time, and His face grew grave and sad. And He spoke to the Lady, and said, "I must die." And the Lady grieved for Her Lord, and He fell upon His Sword, and died. The Mother buried Him in the Earth, returning Him to Her Womb, and mourned, and Winter wrapped the World in ice and snow. She covered the face of the Sky with dark clouds, and Her Tears of rain poured therefrom in cascades and torrents. And the Tears of the Mother wetted the ground, and the Sun warmed the ground, and a green shoot appeared, poking its head out from the Womb of the Mother, and grew as the days grew, longer and taller, until the golden hair of the Sacred King once more waved proudly in the wind; until the Grain of the Fields stood, row upon row, as far as the eye could see; until the Bounty of the Mother, the Sacred King Himself, stood upon the World, ready to be harvested. "That was well done," said the Mother, "But it pains me to see you die." "It is as it must be," He said, "And does it not show them that Death is an illusion; is but another change in a MultiVerse of Change? It feeds them, too, and this is a good thing." "You are right," She sighed, "But I just wish it could have been done in a kinder way." "Maybe," He spoke, lowly, "But it is as it is nonetheless." Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so! 2204 The Gifts Of The Fool The Men and the Women were hungry. All about them was the Mother's Bounty, the Gift of the Sacred King, and no way to harvest it. The Fool came, and took of the Earth itself, and mixed it with water, and shaped a Pot. And He took of the Grass, and shaped a Basket, and Nets, and Clothing. And He took wood from the Tree. A straight piece of wood, and he took a stone, the very Bones of the Mother, and shaped it to a point, and fastened it to the wood, and made a Spear. With another stone He made a Hoe, and with another he crafted a Knife, and gave them to the Men and Women. And the Fool spoke, and said, "Look you here at Tools. They give you claws and fangs, and extend your reach longer than any of the Brothers and Sisters-in-Fur, even as high as the stars themselves. They will bring you food, and clothing, and shelter. They are good servants, but poor masters, for they can also be used in the service of War, and War will harm and kill you, and destroy what you have. Learn from Earth, and be wise." The Men and Women were cold, and the winds of Winter blew over them. Ice and snow rushed around them, and they huddled together, fearing. But the Fool came to them, with a new thing. He took wood from the Tree, and the Bones of the Mother, and made a small circle. And with the wood from the Tree He made Fire. And the Men and Women gathered around the warmth, as planets gather around suns, and were glad. And the Fool said, "Look you here at Fire. It is warm and good; a good servant, but a poor master indeed. Learn from this, that some things are good when used correctly, and very bad indeed when used wrongly. For Fire will warm your homes, and cook your food, and do many things for you, but it can harm you, and kill you, and destroy what you have. You will find many things like Fire. Learn from Fire, and be wise." And the Fool took the clay pot, and filled it with Water, and placed therein the meat of the hunt, and the fruits of the Earth. He placed the pot upon the Fire, and the Water rolled and boiled, and the smell was savory to the Men and Women. And the Fool spoke, and said, "Look you here at Water, the Blood of the Mother. It will refresh you, and cool you, and shall be your servant. But mind you do not let it be your master, for it will drown you, and flood you, and harm you and kill you, and destroy what you have. It is soft, but of all things it will wear thru even the hardest object. You will find many things like Water. Learn from Water, and be wise." The Fool sat beside the Fire, and hummed to Himself, and as He hummed He clapped his hands in time, and He made yet another new thing, and called it Song. And the Men and Women took up the Song, and sang, and rejoiced. And the Fool said, "Look you here at Air. Song is of the Air, of the very Breath you take. Song will comfort you in sadness, and rejoice with you in celebration. Song will weave Words into Magic, and can bend the edges of Reality. Treat it with respect, and do not misuse it, for Song, and Words, can twist and lie and turn you to a harmful way; take away your individuality and turn you to a Mob, that knows not what it does." 2205 "You swim in the Air as a Fish swims in Water. Keep it pure, and live. Foul it, and die. It is your choice. And beware of the Storms of the Air, for this insubstantial Element can destroy what you have, and kill you. You will find many things like Air. Learn from Air, and be wise." And the Fool took of the Sacred King, and He winnowed it in the Air. He ground it between the Bones of the Earth, and He made flour, and wetted it with Water, and baked it in Fire, and made Bread, the Body of the Sacred King. "Know that I am always with you," sang the Fool. "I am He who Saves, He who Teaches, He who brings Light to the World. I bring peace with one hand, and a sword with the other, that you may not stagnate, but might learn and grow, and attain the very stars in the Heavens." "You will always kill me, in many ways. I have been chained to a rock, and crucified, and burned, persecuted, and hated. I have been banished and slain, but always, always I return to you, and I will not be silenced." "My words will be twisted, and misunderstood, but with each generation you will strive ever closer to That which you reach for, forever striving, forever attaining, and forever changing." "Sometimes I will come in quiet, slipping in and out again before you have known my Presence, and at other times I will come with the sound of trumpets and proclaimations." "But always I will come, and I shall be with you, always, to the End of Time." And He gave the Bread to the Men and Women, and said "Remember!" And one approached, and said, "You have told us of Earth, and my husband was digging therein, and it fell upon him and he died. Therefore I shall kill you." And another approached, and said, "You have told us of Air, and a great wind has blown my mother from a high place, wherefrom she died. Therefore I shall kill you." And another approached, and said, "You have given us Fire, and my daughter has burned her hand therein. Therefore I shall kill you." And another approached, and said, "You have told us of Water, and my son has drowned therein. Therefore I shall kill you." And they took the Spear, made from the wood of the Tree, pointed with the Bones of the Mother, and thrust it into the body of the Fool, and the Fool smiled sadly, and, for the first time of many, died. "Will you always do this Teaching, O Fool?" said the Lady. "Assuredly so," replied the Fool, with a smile, "For are they not Our children?" "That they are," said the Lord, "But for how long shall You teach them, and be slain in return?" "For always," said the Fool. And he smiled, and a single tear coursed down His cheek. Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so! --------------------------------------------------------------- 2206 Death He was old. He felt old. His body did not work right anymore, and he was always tired. His eyes were rheumy, and there were pains in his joints that woke him in the cold night time. One night, as he slept, a soft white light filled his hut. He looked up, and saw the most beautiful Lady he had ever seen standing in the room. "Who are you?" he whispered. "Death," She answered, quietly. "Death?" His reply was confused. "I never thought Death would be so beautiful! We have always pictured you as some kind of spectre of fear." The Lady smiled. "You only fear Death because you do not remember it. Just as you fear Life, because you do not remember it. Come. Walk with me, and be at peace." He got out of the straw bed, and walked to Her. She took his hand, and he looked back at the bed. He saw his body, laying there. Still and unmoving. Dead. "It's quite a shock, isn't it?" Her voice was calm. "Am I .... dead?" "Most assuredly so. Come." They walked out of the cottage, hand in hand, and he noticed that they were not walking thru the streets of the village where he had lived. "Where are we?" "You'll see in a moment. Wait." "Am I bound for Hell?" he asked. She stopped, and looked him in the eyes. "There is no Hell. You have lived as most humans do, loving, hating, being loved and being hated. You did the best you could with the Light you had to see by. You have learned much, and earned much." Her voice was low, but filled with a vibrancy that touched his very soul. They continued a little way down a hill, and then turned a corner, or something very much like it, and he saw, and heard the laughter. "Is it Heaven? What is it? It's beautiful!" "This is the Summerland. Here you will rest a while, and play, and perhaps meet old playmates again and discuss your Game, and ways to improve It. It is time for you to remember all your lives." She reached up, and softly touched him on the forehead. "Now remember." And he did. --------------------------------------------------------------- 2207 Rebirth "It is time for you to go now." The Lady spoke to him in a sweet voice. "So soon?" he answered, "It seems as if I just arrived." "It always does," she smiled, "But it's time to move on to another life and another body. You'll like this one." "I hope so. Buchenwald was not pleasant...." "No, it isn't. But, like you folks say, 'that's Life!'" He laughed, and stood up on the so-green grass. "Yeah, I guess it is. See you in a while, folks." The Circle of friends waved at him, wishing him luck and good fortune, and he and the Lady moved off into a misty area. "Pretty foggy here," he remarked. "It will clear up soon," she said, and she took his hand. They walked for a long time, until he saw they were on a quiet street in a small town. It looked like a nice place. Around the corner was a park, and in it, two people, a man and a woman, were sitting on a bench, holding hands. They were deeply in love, and that love shone around them to those with eyes to see. "These are your parents. They're nobody special, but they're nice people and you'll like them," She said. "They look like nice folks," he replied. "Anything I need to know before I do this?" "I'm afraid I can't tell you. Life is one of those things that you just have to experience on your own." "OK," he said, "I guess You're right, all things considered." The Lady laughed, and touched him on the forehead. "Now forget, for a time, until you return to Me." And he did. --------------------------------------------------------------- 2208 Creation Mystery The Lord, and the Lady (and the Fool) were lonely. The All was not complete; there was none to keep them company, and laugh with them. There was none to know them, and none to be Their Children. And the Lady said, "Let us go forth and make Life upon the many worlds, that We may have Children, and a Family of Life within the MultiVerse. And let Us make them in Our image, and love and be loved in return." And the Fool laughed, and asked, "Shall it be so?" "No," said the Sacred King. And the Fool asked a second time, and said, "Shall it be so?" "Maybe," smiled the Youth. And the Fool asked a third time, saying, "Shall it be so?" "Yes!" said the Child. And the Fool smiled, and said, "If we do this thing, it shall be a wondrous thing indeed, for we shall make a Creature that shall have the Love of the Lady, and the Strength of the Lord, and a Curiousity to match Myself. It shall know Good and Evil, and Light and Darkness, and That which stands between them, and shall be very near and dear to us. It shall be arrogant, and willful, and cruel, but it shall also be kind, and gentle and loving. It shall be all things, and nothing at all." And the Fool laughed, and asked, "Shall it be so?" "No," said Chaos. And the Fool asked a second time, and said, "Shall it be so?" "Maybe," smiled Trickster. And the Fool asked a third time, saying, "Shall it be so?" "Yes!" said Prometheus. The Fool took up the stuff of stars, that whispers thru the MultiVerse, and mixed it with the dry clay of earth, and mixed the substance thereby made with the waters of the sea, and the tears of the Maiden, and the birth-waters of the Mother, and the spittle of the Crone; wet it was with the blood of the Sacred King, and the sweat of the Youth, and the milk on the lips of the Child. And the Fool laughed, and asked, "Shall it be so?" "No," said the Crone. And the Fool asked a second time, and said, "Shall it be so?" "Maybe," smiled the Maiden. And the Fool asked a third time, saying, "Shall it be so?" "Yes!" said the Mother. And the Fool smiled, and said, "Then let it be so, for I have asked three times, and three times three, and thus it is and so it ever shall be!" The Holy Fool bent, and sank to His knees, and She took the wet clay, wet with the waters of the sea, and the tears of the Maiden, and the birth- waters of the Mother, and the spittle of the Crone; wet with the blood of the Sacred King, and the sweat of the Youth, and the milk on the lips of the Child. 2209 And from that clay He made our Brothers and Sisters in Fur, Feather and Scale, and all the growing things. And one thing made of that clay was taken up by the Fool, and placed aside. And the Lady smiled upon Her Lord. And the Fool turned, and It was Prometheus, and shaped the wet clay thing further. Side by side, He made them, that none should stand above the other, but that all should walk as equals and partners, in joy and love. And the Fool turned, and It was Trickster, who shaped us to be curious, and to doubt, and from our doubt and curiousity, to learn, and to laugh. And the Fool turned, and She was Chaos, and placed a bit of Itself within us, that we may change and grow. And the Lord smiled upon His Lady. Man and Woman Prometheus made, and the making and the shaping was as years, and years upon years. And the Fool began to dance. And the Lady began to dance. And the Lord began to dance. They danced Life into the World, the Lady and the Lord, and the Fool. They danced the moon, and stars, and Sun, and all that there is, they danced into being. And they danced Death into the World, for we must close the Circle of our Being, and go forth unto newness. They danced Life and Death, and still They dance, a never-ending, ever-spinning Circle, endlessly spiraling upon itself, and uncoiling to start anew; hand in hand They dance, to a Music They have made, endlessly creating, and endlessly destroying. Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so! --------------------------------------------------------- 2210 THE TRIPLE GODDESS As the Maiden, I saw through your eyes as a child Spring rains, green forests, and animals wild! I saw you run freely on the Earth with bare feet! I watched as you danced in the winds, blowing free! I was there as you grew, getting stronger each day! I brought you rainbows, chasing grey skies away! I was there in your laughter - I was there in your tears! I was the acceptance you gained from your peers! I saw your first love and I felt your first blush, As passion first stirred in the night's gentle hush! I am there with you always in the fresh morning dew! I bring you the crispness of beginnings anew. As the Mother, I bore all the labor distress Of birthing your child, and I felt the caress Of your hand on the face of the new life so dear. I heard its first cry, and I eased your fear! I provided the milk which you fed from your breast Till the baby grew strong, and with health it was blessed. As she took her first step, I was there in your smile! I was there while you nurtured your beautiful child! On the first day of school, when the doors opened wide I was there in your fear - I was there in your pride. I am there with you always in the bright full of moon! I bring you fertility - abundance in bloom. As the Crone, I brought blessings of wisdom with age [Wisdom not found by the turn of a page]. I was there as you taught the correct way to live: To love and to trust - to take and to give! I was there in the twinkle of your aged eye! I was there in your thoughts of the years flying by! I was there when you taught the Mysteries of old! I was there in the fire warming you in the cold! In the weariness of age, I was there with you, too... I brought well-deserved rest and peace unto you! I am there with you always in the darkness of night! I complete your life cycle, guiding you toward the light. Maid, Mother and Crone - We are all One - Yet We are all separate, as each role is done. We do not leave you - We're always there As you walk through this life with your worries and cares; As you dance in the spiral, We live inside - Deep in your spirit - where nothing can hide! No matter your path, no matter it's length - We give you courage and We give you strength. We are there to support you every hour of day And deep in the night, when dreams take you away. Our gifts We give freely, for you are our Child... Yes, We are the Lady: Wise, Pure, and Mild! -Kalioppe- 2211 A GODDESS ARRIVES THE NOVELS OF DION FORTUNE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF GARDNERIAN WITCHCRAFT by CHAS S. CLIFTON No one occultist of the 20th century worked more vehemently in ad- vocating a "Western" - and within that, "Northern" - path of esoteric spirituality than did the English ceremonial magician, Dion Fortune. She founded an esoteric school that still persists, but beyond that direct transmission, her ideas seeded themselves into modern Neopagan religion to the point that they seem completely indigenous, their origins invisible. Certain of Fortune's key ideas, however, were not so much transmitted through her mystical writings and articles in The Occult Review of the 1920s, as they were passed on through a unique series of novels, one of which stands fifty years later as "the finest novel on real magic ever written," in the words of Alan Richardson, her most adept biog- rapher1. Primary among these key ideas was her raising up of a lunar, feminine divine power - not that she was the first modern magician to do it, but by taking the two paths of ritual and literature she gave the power two ways to go. The second idea was that of egalitarian magical working, something she came to late in her life (she lived from 1890-1946). This was a fairly radical idea in that all her associations with the Theosophical Society, the Order of the Golden Dawn, and her own Fraternity (later Society) of the Inner Light included the idea of hierarchies and grades, going back in her own self-proclaimed reincarnational history to lifetimes among the sacred priestly caste of legendary Atlantis. Both of these ideas are found in the Anglo-American branches of modern Witchcraft, which first made its presence known in Great Britain in the early 1950s, having, I suspect, been developed and codified into its modern form during the later 1930s and 1940s. While a demonstrable personal connection between the modern witches and Dion Fortune cannot be proven - unless one had her entire mailing list circa 1939 in hand - I think a literary connection can be shown. Her ideas about an earth-based Western tradition of esoteric, magical religion, which exalted the feminine principle, fit so neatly with the cosmology of those modern witches who came out of a similar esoteric British milieu, that the connection is unmistakable. The reason it has not been acknowledged until recently is that to do so would conflict with the frequent assertion that Witchcraft was the "Old Religion" brought forward unchanged in its essentials from centuries ago. Unfortunately for that assertion, the historical records, such as they are, showed little evidence for secret goddess religion persisting until recent centuries in Northern Europe. The voluminous "witch trial" documents of England, Scotland, and France, which the archaeol- ogist and folklorist Margaret Murray used to buttress her argument for the survival of a pre-Christian religion, do not mention goddess worship. 2212 If one looks for other evidence of a goddess arriving in the mid-20th century, the other suspect typically is Robert Graves, whose widely influential book, The White Goddess, was written in 1944. Parallel and contemporary with Graves is Gertrude Rachel Levy's The Gate of Horn, which treats much of the same material Graves does, principally from the viewpoint of art history.2 The thesis of The White Goddess, which has been enormously influential among modern Pagan groups, is "that the language of poetic myth anciently current in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe was a magical language bound up with popular religious ceremonies in honour of the Moon-Goddess, or Muse,some of them dating from the Old Stone Age (Palaeolithic), and that this remains the language of true poe- try." Graves believed that this language "was still the Witchcovens of medieval Western Europe."3 I do not contend that Graves and Levy supplied the dual male and female divinities of most modern Witchcraft covens. Their books were both first published in 1948, after Fortune's works had been in print for a decade or more. Before examining the influence of Fortune's works, however, I will summarise the "coming out" of the British covens. THE RE-EMERGENCE OF BRITISH WITCHCRAFT In 1951 the British Parliament repealed the Witchcraft Act of 1735 - largely at the urging of Spiritualist churches, who objected to its prohibition of mediumship. This statutory change unexpectedly led to the emergence into public view of a religious tradition thought to be extinct: Witchcraft.4 These British witches defied definitions of the term common both in the vernacular and in anthropology textbooks. They were of both sexes, all ages, and were not isolated practitioners of maleficent magic; rather they claimed to be inheritors of the islands' pre-Christian religions. Their religion was duotheistic: they wor- shipped a male god, often called Cernnunos, Kernaya, or Herne; and a goddess, sometimes called Aradia or Tana. Of the two, sometimes seen as manifestations of a nonpersonal Godhead, the goddess had the greater importance, and her earthly representatives, the coven's priestess, had greater ritual authority. Greatly condensed, this is a description of what came to be known as "Gardnerian Witchcraft," after Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), who retired from the British colonial customs service in Malaya in 1936, returned to England and - as he described - was initiated into what he himself thought was a dying religion in 1938.5 This was no overnight conver- sion: Gardner was fascinated for many years with magical religion and "practical mysticism". A recognised avocational archaeologist and anthropologist in Malaya, during a visit to England in the 1920s, he set out to investigate the claims of British Spiritualists, trance mediums and the like. As he wrote: "I have been interested in magic and kindred subjects all my life and have made a collection of magical instruments and charms. These studies led me to spiritualist and other societies..."6 Gardner wrote three books on Witchcraft, one novel, and two nonfiction works. The novel was High Magic's Aid (1949), a stirring tale of late- medieval English coveners dodging secular and clerical foes with something of the feel of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe or Robert Louis Stevenson's The Black Arrow to it. Interestingly enough, the "witch- 2213 craft" portrayed in High Magic's Aid differs from what was later called "Gardnerian Witchcraft." In it the goddess is de-emphasised; the rituals are more in line with the post-Renaissance traditions of ceremonial magic. Gardner's next two books, The Meaning of Witchcraft (1959) and Witch- craft Today (1954), are more definitive of the tradition. All three of the forenamed remain in print; an earlier novel, with the suggestive title A Goddess Arrives, is long out of print, and I have not been able to locate a copy. Gardner and his followers also produced a "book" that was, until the early 1970s, passed on as handcopied manuscripts: "The Book of Shadows." It is a collection of "laws" and suggestions for running a clandestine coven, performing rituals, resolving disputes between witches inside the group, and so forth. Although it appears to be written in perhaps the English of the 17th century, I have concluded that it was produced during and immediately after World War II. Its atmosphere of secrecy and underground organ- ising is not a product of the witch-trial era, but of the early years of World War II when an invasion of southern England by the German Army appeared quite likely, and patriotic Britons were planning how they would organise a Resistance movement like those in France, Norway, and elsewhere in Nazi-occupied Europe. The woman often assumed to have birthed the idea of a Pagan under- ground in Christian Western Europe was not Dion Fortune, but the Egyptologist Margaret Murray of University College, London. Professor Murray, better known as the time for her work with Sir Flinders Petrie in Egypt, began researching Pagan carryovers while convalescing from an illness in 1915. World War I had interrupted her work in Egypt, and she wrote in her autobiography, My First Hundred Years:7 "I chose Glastonbury [to convalesce in]. One cannot stay in Glaston- bury without becoming interested in Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail. As soon as I got back to London I did a careful piece of research, which resulted in a paper on Egyptian elements in the Grail Romance... Someone, I forget who, had once told me that the Witches obviously had a special form of religion, 'for they danced around a black goat.' As ancient religion is my pet subject this seemed to be in my line and during all the rest of the war I worked on Witches... I had started with the usual idea that the Witches were all old women suffering from illusions about the Devil and that their persecutors were wickedly prejudiced and perjured. I worked only from contemporary records, and when I suddenly realised that the so-called Devil was simply a dis- guised man I was startled, almost alarmed, by the way the recorded facts fell into place, and showed that the Witches were members of an old and primitive form of religion, and that the records had been made by members of a new and persecuting form." Murray's researches into medieval and Renaissance witch-trial docu- ments from Britain, Ireland, and the Continent (including those relating to Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais) led to her writing three books, The Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921), The God of the Witches (1931), and The Divine King in England (1954). In them she described her evidence for the survival of a pre-Christian religion centred on the Horned God of fertility (later labelled "The Devil" by Christian authorities) up until at least the 16th century in Britain. 2214 As the late historian of religion Mircea Eliade wrote, "Murray's theory was criticised by archaeologists, historians and folklorists alike."8 Pointing out some parallels between medieval witchcraft and Indo-Tibetan magical religion, Eliade gives qualified approval to part of Murray's conclusions. "As a matter of fact, almost everything in her construction was wrong except for one important assumption: that there existed a pre-Chris- tian fertility cult and that specific survivals of this pagan cult were stigmatised during the Middle Ages as witchcraft....recent research seems to confirm at least some aspects of her thesis. The Italian historian Carlo Ginsburg has proved that a popular fertility cult, active in the province of Friule in the 16th and 17th centuries, was progressively modified under pressure of the Inquisition and ended by resembling the traditional notion of witchcraft. Moreover, recent investigations of Romanian popular culture have brought to light a number of pagan survivals which clearly indicate the existence of a fertility cult and of what may be called a "white magic," comparable to some aspects of Western medieval witchcraft." One may thus argue that the existence of Murray's three works "paved the way for Gardner's reformation", as J. Gordon Melton of the In- stitute for the Study of American Religion put it.9 Gardner's "reform- ation" of whatever British witchcraft existed prior to his initiation into it had both theological and ritual aspects. The works he and his associates produced give a style of worship, a new set of ritual texts - and increasing emphasis on the goddess-aspect as the tradition grew - all of them pre-figured not in Murray's works but in Dion Fortune's. A PRACTICAL OCCULTIST In my experience, there is hardly a British, Irish or American witch of the revived, post-Gardnerian traditions who has not read something by Dion Fortune, and the same probably holds true in Canada, Aust- ralia, or New Zealand. Until 1985, however, biographies of her were nonexistent, even while the American Books in Print reference volumes listed twenty of her books in that year's volume - not bad for someone considered at best an obscure genre writer by the literary establish- ment of fifty years ago and of today. Neither her book on psychology, The Machinery of the Mind, written in the 1920s nor her works on occult philosophy, nor her five "occult" novels and volume of short stories received much critical notice when they came out. Such notice as was received was almost worse than none. A 1934 (London) Times Literary Supplement review of her book Avalon of the Heart begins, "The author tells us that she is the last of the Avalonians - of those who were drawn to Glastonbury as 'a centre of ever-renewed spiritual and artistic inspiration,' whatever that may mean." And clearly the reviewer was not interested in finding out! Alan Ri- chardson's 1985 work, Dancers to the Gods, while primarily about two members of Fortune's magical order, contained the first well-res- earched material on her life.10 He followed it with a full biography, Priestess, two years later, an affectionate and sensitive portrait of this woman whose spiritual trajectory has yet to reach the horizon.11 Charles Fielding's and Carr Collins's The Story of Dion Fortune contains more details of her and her associates' magical work, but is 2215 written in a wooden "true believer" style and marred by numerous edi- torial blunders.12 To summarise greatly, she was born Violet Mary Firth in 1890 in Wales, where her English father, together with his wife's relatives, operated a seaside hotel and health spa catering to a well-to-do clientele. When her grandfather's death led to a dissolving of the partnership, her father moved the family to London where he could live comfortably off his inheritance. Her spiritual quest as a young woman led her to Christian Science (which her mother adopted when it came to England), Freudian psychology, the "Eastern wisdom" of the Theosophical Society, the Qabalistic magic of the Order of the Golden Dawn, 8and study with an Anglo-Irish occultist, T.W.C. Moriarty, the model for "Dr Taverner" in her book of short stories, The Secrets of Dr Taverner. She would have liked to have studied Freemasonry, but could not, being a woman. She studied psychology while in her twenties, before the outbreak of World War I, and practiced as a psychoanalyst for a time, the field not yet being closely controlled by the medical establishment. Fortune was probably the first writer on ceremonial magic and hermetic ideas to draw upon and acknowledge the work of Freud and later Jung. In her novel The Goat-Foot God, published in 1936 and dealing with the effects of both psychological repression and past lives, its central character, Hugh Paston, asks a friend, "Are the Old Gods synonymous with the Devil?" "Christians think they are. "What do you think they are?" "I think they're the same thing as the Freudian subconscious."13 After Moriarty's death she headed the Christian Mystic Lodge of the Theosophical Society. In 1927 she married Thomas Penry Evans, a Welsh doctor practising in London, nicknamed "Merlin" or "Merl" for his own magical interests. They were priest and priestess, but never father and mother. The marriage, magically productive but contentious in the mundane world, lasted until 1939 when Evans left her for another woman. Fortune continued to head their group, which became the Society of the Inner Light and maintained, for a time, both a large communal house in London and another establishment in Glastonbury. The Society continues to this day, but Dion Fortune herself died of leukemia in 1946. Her penname derived from the motto she took as her magical name in the Golden Dawn, "Deo Non Fortuna", or roughly, "by God, not by Chance." Her involvement with the Golden Dawn lasted roughly from 1919 to about 1922, and while these were the sunset years of the Order, which had been founded in 1888, they set for her a significant pattern of what an esoteric order should be. That Fortune also eventually was influenced by Jung is apparent in her work, although she was an occultist first and a Jungian second. Since her time there has been a great deal of discussion of the "gods and goddesses" by such neo-Jungians as James Hillman and Charlotte Downin- g. Surely Fortune's blending of psychoanalytical ideas, Hermeticism, Qabalah, and Christian mysticism in the two orders she headed prefigures Hillman's question, "Can the atomism of our psychic paganism, that is, the individual symbol- 2216 formation now breaking out as the Christian cult fades, be contained by a psychology of self-integration that echoes its expiring Christian model?"14 I doubt that Dion Fortune would have answered as dogmatically as H- illman did, "The danger is that a true revival of paganism as religion is then possible, with all its accoutrements of popular soothsaying, quack priesthoods, astrological divination, extravagant practices, and the erosion of psychic differentiation through delusional enthus- iasms." Where she did agree with Jung is that Western methods are best for Western people. Jung wrote: "Instead of learning the spiritual tec- hniques of the East by heart and imitating them... it would be far more to the point to find out whether there exists in the unconscious an introverted tendency similar to that which has been developed in spiritual principles in the East. We should then be in a position to build on our own ground with our own methods."15 Compare Fortune's chapter "Eastern Methods and Western Bodies" in Sane in which she stated:16 "The pagan faiths of the West developed the nature contacts. Modern Western occultism, rising from this basis, seems to be taking for its field the little-known powers of the mind. The Eastern tradition has a very highly developed metaphysics.... Nevertheless, when it comes to the practical application of those principles and especially the proc- esses of occult training and initiation, it is best for a man to foll- ow the line of his own racial evolution.... The reason for the in- advisability of an alien initiation does not lie in racial antagonism, nor in any failure to appreciate the beauty and profundity of the Eastern systems, but for the same reason that Eastern methods of agriculture are inapplicable to the West - because conditions are different." It is clear from Fortune's novels that a "true", that is psychologic- ally informed, Paganism, was indeed what she sought in the late 1920s and 1930s. Time after time she created plots that mixed the t- herapeutic and the magical, drawing characters who combined psycho- logical acumen with non-ordinary wisdom. She defined her ideal mixture thus in Sane Occultism: A knowledge of [occult] philosophy can give a clue to the researches of the scientist and balance the ecstasies of the mystic; it may very well be that in the possibilities of ritual magic we shall find an invaluable therapeutic agent for use in certain forms of mental disease; psychoanalysis has demonstrated that these have no physiological cause, but it can seldom effect a cure."17 I see her as someone who shared a significant degree of philosophical accord with what would become "Neo-Pagan Witchcraft", but who in practice followed a different path. I have said her contribution to "the Craft" has not been sufficiently acknowledged; there is one exception. The works of two English Witches, Janet and Stewart Farrar, produced during the late 1970s and early 1980s, frequently refer their readers to Dion Fortune. In a recent instance, having laid out a ritual based on one in Fortune's novel The Sea Priestess and having received permission from the current leadership of the Society of the Inner Light to do so, they write:18 "In their letter of permission, the Society asked us to say 'that Dion Fortune was not a Witch and did not have any connection with a coven, 2217 and that this Society is not in any way associated with the Craft of Witches.' We accede to their request; and when this book is published, we shall send them a copy with our compliments, in the hope that it may give them second thoughts about whether Wiccan philosophy is as alien to that of Dion Fortune (whom witches hold in great respect) as they seem to imagine." Despite the Society of the Inner Light's disavowal, a good circumsta- ntial case can be made that Fortune's works, particularly her novels, could have influenced Gerald Gardner and his initiates. This insight was brought home to me while reading The Goat-Foot God, published two years before Gardner's initiation into the Craft. Its plot is typical of Fortune: a person down on his or her luck and near psychological collapse is rescued by a powerful magician or priestess and re-inte- grated socially and psychically. Hugh Paston, quoted above, is a wealthy Londoner on the verge of a nervous breakdown following the death of his wife and his friend - revealed to be her lover - in a car wreck. Aimlessly walking the streets, Paston finds a used-book shop run by a scholarly occultist who becomes the catalyst of his psychological integration. This incl- udes finishing some actions begun by a heretical medieval prior in an English monastery who may have been an earlier incarnation of Paston's or who otherwise overshadows him. What caught my attention was a remark given to the character of Jelkes, the bookseller, who in guiding Paston's reading on magic tells him, "Writers will put things into a novel that they daren't put in sober prose, where you have to dot the Is and cross the Ts.19 Fortune's literary output was divided between novels and "sober prose- ". Other "sober titles" included Practical Occultism in Daily Life, The Cosmic Doctrine, Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage and what is often considered to be her masterpiece, The Mystical Qabalah. Robert Galbreath, writing a bibliographic survey of modern occultism, defined her message as "spiritual occultism."20 "Spiritual occultists state that it is possible to acquire personal, empirical knowledge of that which can only be taken on faith in religion or demonstrated through deductive reasoning in philosophy. Further, this knowledge, arrived at in full consciousness through the use of spiritual disciplines, is said to reveal man's place in the spiritual plan of the universe and to reconcile the debilitating conflict between science and religion. The goal of occultism, the- refore, is the complete spiritualisation of man and the cosmos, and the attainment of a condition of unity." The novels, however, convey a parallel but somewhat different message. They do it using a different vocabulary, a more consciously Pagan vocabulary. While published statements of the Society of Inner Light proclaimed it "established on the enlightened and informed Christian ethic and morality," its founder's novels say repeatedly that Christianity has had its day and a new Renaissance is dawning. After his experience of inner integration Hugh Paston muses:21 "It is a curious fact that when men began to re-assemble the fragments of Greek culture - the peerless statues of the gods and the ageless wisdom of the sages - a Renaissance came to the civilisation that had sat in intellectual darkness since the days when the gods had with- drawn before the assaults of the Galileans. What is going to happen 2218 in our day, now that Freud has come along crying, "Great Pan is risen!" - ? Hugh wondered whether his own problems were not part of a universal problem, and his own awakening part of a much wider awakeni- ng? He wondered how far the realisation of an idea by one man, even if he spoke no word, might not inject that idea into the group-mind of the race and set it working like a ferment? Likewise, in The Winged Bull, set not long after World War I, Colonel Brangwyn the magician tells his new student, one of his former junior officers:22 "It [Christianity] had its place, Murchison, it had its place. It sweetened life when paganism had become corrupt. We lack something if we haven't got it. But we also lack something if we get too much of it. It isn't true to life if we take it neat." Later, during a ritual Brangwyn quotes Swinburne's poem "The Last Oracle" in praise of Paganism past - it was this aspect of Swinburne that G.K. Chesterton mockingly called "neo-Pagan" - making Murchison remember "that great pagan, Julian the Apostate, striving to make head against the set of the tide," and Murchison thinks to himself:23 "And the trouble with Christianity was that it was so darned lop-si- ded. Good, and jolly good, as far as it went, but you couldn't stretch it clean round the circle of experience because it just wouldn't go. What it was originally, nobody knew, save that it must have been something mighty potent. All we knew of it was what was left after th- ose two crusty old bachelors, Paul and Augustine, had finished with it. And then came the heresy hunters and gave it a final curry-combing, taking infinite pains to get rid of everything that it had inherited from older faiths. And they had been like the modern miller, who refines all the vitamins out of the bread and gives half the popul- ation rickets. That was what was the matter with civilisation, it had spiritual rickets because its spiritual food was too refined. Man can't get on without a dash of paganism, and for the most part, he doesn't try to." The notion of injecting a key idea into the collective unconscious of Western humanity appears over and over in Fortune's novels. It is not surprising that the writer who had two favourite maxims - "A religion without a goddess is halfway to atheism" and "All the gods are one god and all the goddesses are one goddess and there is one initiator" - should repeatedly call for attention to be paid to the Great Goddess. In another of his soliloquies, Hugh Paston thinks, "Surely our of all her richness and abundance the Great Mother of us all could meet his need? Why do we forget the Mother in the worship of the Father? What particular virtue is there in virgin begetting?" DRAWING DOWN THE MOON When the British witches went public in the early 1950s, the idea that Christianity had had its day and furthermore was not always the right path for Westerners was often heard. The major difference between their religion and that portrayed in the witch-trial documents Mar- garet Murray studied, however, was the reintroduction of worship of the Great Goddess. She was seen both as Queen of Heaven and Earth/Sea Mother, depending on the context. The best evidence for Fortune's inf- 2219 luence here lies in the construction of the key "Gardnerian" ritual called "Drawing Down the Moon."25 In that ritual, developed and/or modified by Gardner and his contempo- raries, the Goddess is invoked by the priest in the body of the priestess. It is expected that a type of divine inspiration will res- ult. Drawing down the Moon is a key part of every Gardnerian ritual c- ircle - and its elements and purpose are easily discernible in Fort- une's novel The Sea Priestess, which she was forced by publishers' lack of interest to self-publish in 1938.26 Richardson, her biographe- r, calls it and its sequel, Moon Magic, "the only novels on magic ever written," considering the competition. Although Gardner only hints at the workings of the ritual in his boo- ks, his successors, the Farrars, explain it more fully in Eight Sabb- ats for Witches.27 It comes after the drawing of the ritual circle - a conscious creating and marking of sacred space, defined by the cardi- nal directions and purified with the four magical elements, fire and air (incense), water and earth (salt). While the priestess stands before the altar (in a traditional Gardnerian circle she holds a wand and a lightweight scourge in her crossed arms, like a figure of Osiris), the priest kneels and blesses with a kiss her feet, knees, womb, breast and lips. Then a shift occurs, both in language and action. He ceases to address her as a woman and begins to address her as the Mother Goddess, beginning with the words,"I invoke thee and call upon thee, Mighty Mother of us all..."28 When the invocation is completed, the priestess is considered to be speaking as the Goddess, not as herself. She may go on to deliver a passage (authored by Doreen Valiente, whose role I deal with below) that is based partly on material collected during the 1890s in Italy by the American folklorist Charles Leland.29 I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and bey- ond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth." She may, of course, speak spontaneously; Janet Farrar comments that "'she never knows how it will come out.' Sometimes the wording itself is completely altered, with a spontaneous flow she listens to with a detached part of her mind."30 Dion Fortune believed that a re-introduction of both ritual and ps- ychological approaches to the Great Goddess would even the psychic balance between men and women, a theme carried on today by a number of feminist psychologists and writers, although with scant acknowled- gment. She wished every marriage to take on an aspect of the hieros gamos (divine marriage), and it is there that a parallel with Witch- craft ritual lies, since many rituals turn on sexual polarity, both symbolically and literally. Fortune foreshadowed this in The Sea Priestess when she wrote:31 "In this sacrament the woman must take her ancient place as priestess of the rite, calling down lightning from heaven; the initiator, not the initiated.... She had to become the priestess of the Goddess, and I [the male narrator], the kneeling worshipper, had to receive the sacrament at her hands....When the body of a woman is made an altar 2220 for the worship of the Goddess who is all beauty and magnetic life... then the Goddess enters the temple." This is not just Fortune's description of the magical side of marri- age, but a virtual schematic of the Drawing Down the Moon ceremony and its concluding Great Rite, as Gardner called ritual intercourse at its conclusion (something more frequently performed symbolically). As the Farrars state, "The Great Rite specifically declares that the body of the woman taking part is an altar, with her womb and generative organs as its sacred focus, and reveres it as such."32 I would suggest that when the Farrars openly built a new ritual upon the Sea Priestess, the "seashore ritual" mentioned earlier, which for- ms Chapter X of The Witches' Way, they were openly admitting a debt to Fortune which modern Witchcraft has always carried on its books. To recapitulate, the circumstantial case for Fortune's influence on the beginnings of modern Witchcraft fits the chronology. Gerald Gardn- er's initiation took place in 1939 in Hampshire. In the late 1940s he "received permission" to publish some things about Witchcraft in his novel High Magic's Aid, which appeared in 1949 and had little of the Goddess element in it. The Sea Priestess was written in the 1930s, but only available in a private edition at first, while its sequel, Moon Magic, was available in 1956. The Great Goddess becomes more central in Gardner's works from the 1950s and is absolutely central to the Craft as it developed in that decade. She did not, however, appear in Margaret Murray's works on the alleged underground Paganism of the Middle Ages, which Murray wrote in the 1920s. There may, however, be echoes of a Goddess religion in It- aly, based on Leland's research there in the mid-1800s. Leland pr- ovided another literary source for the Drawing Down the Moon ceremony. The person who re-wrote that ceremony and gave Gardnerian- tradition ritual much of its form is now known to be Doreen Valiente, who wrote four books on the Craft as well. Her contributions to the texts are discussed at length in The Witches' Way. Although not the only one of Gardner's original coveners still living (i.e., after he moved away from the coven that initiated him, most of whose members were elderly in the 1930s), she has been the only one publicly involved in a critical re-evaluation of the tradition's beginnings. Although Gardner and Fortune were contemporaries, she does not know if they ever met, she told me in a 1985 letter. She did, however, say that she is "very fond of Dion Fortune's books, especially her novels The Sea Priestess, The Goat-Foot God, and Moon Magic. It is notable that her [Fortune's] outlook became more pagan as she grew older." Whether this is a tacit admission that she drew upon Fortune's works, I cannot say. Witches are known for oblique statements, and Valiente walked a fine line between secrecy and disclosure. Given England's size, its relatively interwoven cliques of occultists, and the small number of novelists dealing with Pagan themes, it is unlikely that Valiente and Gardner were not aware of Fortune's novels at the time they were giving their religion its present form. As we h- ave seen, Gardner was himself engaged in a conscious search for ma- gical learning in the 1920s and 1930s, and it was in the 1930s that F- ortune's novels began appearing, while the chapters of SaneOccultism were published serially in The Occult Review , and influential British journal it is unlikely he would have overlooked. 2221 Valiente, meanwhile, was initiated by Gardner as a priestess in 1953 and left his coven to form her own in 1957, the year after Moon Magic came out. With such a coincidence of subject matter, place and dates, it is difficult not to see Dion Fortune as a previously unadmitted but significant influence on the development of Gardnerian Witchcraft. Today the Goddess revival seems to have its "applied" and "theor- etical" wings, with the Neo-Pagans in the first category and various Jungians, writers on feminist spirituality and historians of religion in the second. With her combined psychological and magical training, Dion Fortune could be considered a foremother to each. NOTES 1. Alan Richardson, Priestess: The Life and Magic of Dion Fortune. (Wellingborough, Northants: The Aquarian Press, 1987), p.37. 2. G. Rachel Levy, The Gate of Horn: A Study of Religions Concep- tions of the Stone Age and Their Influence upon European Thought. (London: Faber and Faber, 1948). 3. Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A historical grammar of poetic myth. (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1966), p.12. 4. Raymond Buckland, Witchcraft from the Inside. (St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1971), p.55. The law was a successor to the Witchcraft Act of King James I, passed in 1604 and repealed in 1736. 5. J.L. Bracelin, Gerald Gardner: Witch. (London: Octagon Press 1960). 6. Gerald B. Gardner, Witchcraft Today. (London: Rider & Co., 1954), p.18 7. Margaret Murray, My First Hundred Years. (London: William Kimber, 1963), p.104. The title was no exaggeration; she was born in 18- 63. 8. Mircea Eliade, Occultism, Witchcraft and Cultural Fashions: Essa- ys in Comparative Religions. (Chicago: University of Chicago Pre- ss, 1976), p.56 9. J. Gordon Melton, Magic, Witchcraft and Paganism in America: A Bibliography. (New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1982), p.105 10. Alan Richardson, Dancers to the Gods. (Wellingborough, Northants: The Aquarian Press, 1985). 11. ------, Priestess: The Life and Magic of Dion Fortune. (- Wellingborough, Northants: The Aquarian Press, 1987). 12. Charles Fielding and Carr Collins, The Story of Dion Fortune. (- Dallas, Texas: Star and Cross Publication, 1985). 13. Dion Fortune, The Goat-Foot God. (London: The Aquarian Press, 1971), p.89 2222 14. James Hillman, "Psychology: Monotheistic or Polytheistic." Appendix to David L. Miller, The New Polytheism. (Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications Inc., 1981), p.125 15. C.G. Jung, "Yoga and the West". In The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. (London: Pantheon, 1958), Vol XI, p.534. 16. Dion Fortune, Sane Occultism. (Wellingborough, Northants: The Aquarian Press, 1967), pp.161-2. 17. Ibid. pp. 25-6. 18. Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches' Way. (London: Robert Hale, 1984), pp. 95-6. 19. Goat-Foot God, p. 89. 20. Robert Galbreath, "The History of Modern Occultism: A Biblio- graphic Survey." Journal of Popular Culture, V:3 (Winter 1971), p. 728/100 21. Goat-Foot God, pp. 352-3 22. Dion Fortune, The Winged Bull: A Romance of Modern Magic. (Lo- ndon: Williams and Norgate Ltd., 1935), p. 169. It is no coin- cidence that the leading female character was named Ursula Bra- ngwyn,a name used by D.H. Lawrence for a character in Women in Love; Fortune was trying to re-state "the sex problem" on a "h- igher plane" than Lawrence had. 23. Ibid. pp. 154-6. 24. Goat-Foot God, p. 349. 25. A term that deliberately or otherwise echoes Plato's description in the Georgias of "the Thessalian witches who drawn down the moon from heaven." 26. Dion Fortune, The Sea Priestess. (London: Wynham Publications Lt- d., 1976). 27. Janet and Stewart Farrar, Eight Sabbats for Witches: and Rites for Birth, Marriage and Death. (London: Robert Hale, 1981), p. 15. 28. The exact terminology may vary from coven to coven; the Farrar's give Gardner's favourite. 29. Charles Godfrey Leland, Aradia: or the Gospel of the Witches. (L- ondon: David Nutt, 1899). Leland may indeed have found some fragments of a goddess religion. Gardner and Valiente expurgated parts of it, such as the invocation of the Goddess as a poisoner of great lords in their castles, and other homely arts. 30. The Witches' Way, p.68. 31. The Sea Priestess, pp. 160-1. 32. Eight Sabbats for Witches, p.49. TEMPLES, COVENS AND GROVES - OH MY! 2223 by KHALED There appears to be a fair amount of ongoing confusion as to what each of these is and what each of them should be doing, so let me stick my oar into it, too. But first, let's play the definition game. CIRCLE Three or more people who gather together to work ritual or Craft. Some are ritual only, some worship only, but most do both. The following are all special cases of a Circle: GROVE Circle usually led by, and under the auspices of, a coven. Frequently eclectic in practice, Groves are commonly used as an introduction to the Craft as a whole but not necessarily to any given Tradition. Groves usually don't initiate. May also be called a study group. COVEN Circle gathering at least once per month (with a majority gathering twice) for worship and/or magic. Membership tends to be stable with gradual personnel changes. Normally prac- ticing within a single Tradition, Covens typically have strong group rapport. Most train their members to whatever standard they use. Rites of passage (the "I" word) are the norm. TEMPLE Two or more Circles, generally at least one Coven (the Inner Circle) and a Grove (the Outer Circle), the latter being open to the public. Serves the public as a place to worship and/or learn about the Gods with advanced training for those seekers who meet the Temple's standards. I'm on shakier ground here, never having run a Temple, but I see a Circl- e/Grove open to the general public as essential to the definition, while the strong affiliation to one or more covens is a matter of observation (as is the relationship b- etween Groves and Covens cited earlier.) A fair number of practitioners do not distinguish among these terms (nor, for that matter, among Wicca, Paganism and New Age). Feel free to take issue with any of these definitions, but they are what I have in mind as I write this. Let's take a closer look at what each of these is and how they tend to function within Neo-Paganism. A Circle is a gathering of, preferably like-minded, individuals for p- urposes of magic and/or worship. None of those gathered need be of the same Tradition, nor even Initiate, though it makes for better results if at least some of them are. All Groves, Covens and Temples are therefore Circles. The reverse, however, isn't always the case since many Circles do not also meet the criteria for a Grove, Coven or Temple. A Grove, or Study Group, is a Circle of students learning the basics of Neo-Pagan (or Wiccan or any of the other subsets of Pagan) worship and Circle techniques. While normally under the tutelage of one or more Initiates, the members are not necessarily being trained towards Initiation in any particular Tradition, nor need the tutors be of the same Tradition(s) as the students (nor even of each other). 2224 Mystery religions, by their very nature, aren't for everyone, nor is any given Mystery suitable for all Initiates. The Grove is a way for potential Initiates to take a good look at one or more Traditions while learning how to handle themselves in just about any basic Circle. If this isn't for them, they can easily drop it. If it is, they can focus on the specific Tradition (or family of Traditions) which seems to speak most clearly to them (assuming they were exposed to more than one). Similarly, the tutor(s) can teach general techniqu- es to any serious Seeker without worrying about an implied commitment to Initiate someone unsuited to their particular Tradition. Groves do not normally do Initiations (they're done by the sponsoring Coven, if any), and tend to be oriented more towards teaching and worship than towards magical practice. They are also more likely to be fairly open to new members or even the general public than is the case with established Covens, while study groups, in my experience at least, are more likely to be invitation-only. The most effective Gr- oves (or study groups, of course) are under the helpful eye, if not out-and-out sponsorship, of an established Coven or family of Covens. A Coven, on the other hand, is a regularly meeting Circle, all of the same Tradition, at least some of whom are Initiates (and at least one of whom holds Initiatory power if the Coven is to survive or grow). Such a group tends to become very close ("closer than kin") and is bound by the rules and styles (deliberately non-existent in some c- ases) of its Tradition, and by its own internal rules and customs. A member of a Coven is normally provided training and, when deemed ready, Initiation or Elevation by that Coven's Priesthood/Elders. There are also magical considerations which go into the making of a Coven which further differentiate it from a Grove/study group, but it isn't my intention to go into them here. Suffice it to say that they are connected to the closeness and tend to enhance it. Because the bond is tight, and because a Coven generally intends to be around for a few decades, they're kinda fussy about who joins. The wise Seeker is equally fussy about which, if any, Coven s/he eventually joins. You're not joining a social club here, you're adopting, and being adopted into, an extended family. And this time round you have some control over who your kin will be! Neo-Pagan Temples are a fairly new phenomena combining many of the characteristics of Covens and Groves. I think that the clearest description of just what they're about comes from the (draft) Const- itution of the proposed Victoria (B.C.) Temple: a) To minister to the Pagan community by way of providing support, education, and sponsoring religious celebrations; b) to establish and maintain a religious sanctuary and place of wor- ship accessible to all who would worship the Goddess and the God; c) to provide a seminary for the training of Wiccan clergy; d) to provide accredited ordination for Wiccan clergy; e) to provide accurate information about Witchcraft to all who would ask and to engage in dialogue with other religious groups with the purpose of furthering understanding and friendship between us; and 2225 f) to do other charitable acts of goodwill as will benefit the comm- unity at large. As stated in my definition of Temple above, I consider the provision of Neo-Pagan (not necessarily Wiccan) religious instruction and servi- ces to the general public to be essential, and provision of community services to the local Neo-Pagan population highly desirable. To be taken seriously in the wider world, we need to have our clergy recog- nised by our government(s), which in turn means that we need to be visibly providing training and ordination which meets government accreditation criteria (which can vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). Such accredited ordination is most easily adminis- tered through Temples. To address a diatribe current on the Nets (computer Network Bulletin Boards: Ed.) so long as the governments we seek accreditation from think in Christian terms, then we will have to use Christian terms, carefully defined to earmark differences in usage, to describe our- selves to them. Sure, there's some danger of picking up some ina- ppropriate (to Wicca) ways of thinking along with those terms, but we're more likely to import them with converts who were raised as C- hristians. The solution to both problems is the same: clearly unde- rstood (by the tutors above all!) religious instruction. And if a Christian notion isn't inappropriate, and if it's truly useful, why shouldn't we adopt it? Religious intolerance itself is inappropriate to Wiccan thought, and I think we should be clearer in condemning it. So how does it all tie together? I think that the Neo-Pagan community needs a mix of solitaires, coveners and templers, along with sig- nificant variety among their Traditions, to remain intellectually and spiritually healthy. We also need umbrella organisations capable of meeting the needs of each of them, not only for credibility with gov- ernments and the general public, but to spread new (and not so new) ideas around the very community they should exist to serve. I'll talk more on what this umbrella organisation should look like in a bit. For now, let's get back to roles of the different types of Circle. One of the things that fascinates about the Craft is our teaching that the Gods don't need a Priesthood to run interference between Them and Their worshippers. Nor is this a new idea. Heroditus recorded with a certain amazement that Persians must call on a Magus to perform every little sacrifice, whereas among the Greeks of his time, anyone, including housewives and slaves, could sacrifice at any time, assuming they had the desire and the means. We have a Priesthood because some people feel called to a deeper understanding and expression of their faith than is the case for many. And while They don't need Initiated Priesthoods, humans find them very useful both as a source of thoughtful religious instruction and as a ready source of warm b- odies to stick with the administrivia of organising group ritual. Like sex, however, effective worship isn't something that just comes naturally. It must be learnt, and practised. Groves, festivals and Temples are all good places to learn the fundamentals, assuming you weren't fortunate enough to learn them at home. They are also good places to socialise with people who think much the way you do, a deeply-seated human need we do well not to overlook. If your need runs deeper, you will find Priesthood there to talk to. If your needs prove more mystically oriented, they should be able to arrange contact with 2226 one or more Covens, who can in turn, if appropriate, Initiate you into whichever flavour of the Mysteries they practise. Different Circle structures serve different needs. None is superior to the other except to the extent that it serves your needs better. For those of us simply seeking to express our religious feelings in sympathetic company, whichever form best serves that expression is all we're likely to need. But those of us who feel called to serve the greater community will need all of them to achieve the mandate we have set ourselves. To return to our model umbrella organisation, to serve a significant majority of the community it will have to address as many of the r- ather different needs of solitaires, Covens and Temples as is feasible without stepping on the concerns of any of them. To be effective, it has to have some standards, but it can't impose them from above witho- ut violating the sovereignty that all three segments of the community value rather highly. One of the difficulties with any ideal is that it manifests imperfec- tly, if indeed it can be brought to manifestation at all. Rather than a discouragement, however, I find that a challenge: to bring about the best fit possible between reality and our ideal. Here then are my ideas on some of the attributes such an organisation can aim for. To start from the top, I think the stated purpose of the organisation should be to serve as a liaison between member clergy and the Es- tablishment, whether government or public. Why clergy? Because we don't need government approval simply to worship our Gods, especially if we're doing so discreetly and on private property. It's our institutions which need public recognition in order to be a- ble to avail themselves of public resources available to other, alrea- dy recognised, religions, not the worshippers themselves. And ins- titutions effectively mean the clergy. Note I don't say Priesthood. I- t's one of the earmarks of the Craft that all Initiates are clergy, but in many of our Traditions, Priesthood requires a deeper underst- anding of traditional lore and techniques. The immediate needs such an organisation should attempt to fulfil are essentially three: 1) Establishment of a Seminary to provide the training necessary for government accreditation as a minister of religion for those who need or seek said accreditation. To achieve this it will be necessary to look into the minimal training expected by any intended licensing bodies and ensure that those standards are being met or exceeded by all graduates of said certification pro- gram. This accreditation is to serve no other purpose within the organisation: all of our members will be recognised by us as clergy, whether or not they seek further accreditation. 2) To act as a public relations and information office on the Craft to the general public. If we exist, we will be used as an infor- mation source, so we might as well plan on it and do the job pr- operly. 3) To act as a Craft contact and social network to facilitate Pagan networking among members and non-members alike. 2227 To expand upon the seminary somewhat, any member should be able to sit for an examination without taking the associated classes (a process known in Ontario as "challenge for credit"). If s/he passes, s/he is given the credit, if not, the associated courses must be taken before s/he may sit for another examination on that subject. In this way we can grant credit for existing knowledge without in any way comprom- ising our standards. I think it would be a very bad idea to grant an exemption from this procedure to anyone. Because very few of us are likely to be able to drop everything for a couple of years to travel to wherever we happen to establish the campus, one should be able to complete the courses necessary for certification by correspondence. Nor should the topics of instruction be limited for those required for accreditation with government. Let's also see to it that our ministers have a grounding in the phil- osophy of religion, comparative religion (especially comparative Pagan religion) and chaplaincy as well. Note too that I keep referring to the document as a Certificate, not a college degree. A university level of education, while great for the egos of graduates, is unneces- sarily high to meet the needs of our Pagan laity - a Community College is much more appropriate. The stages of learning in a guildcraft are apprentice, journeyman and master, NOT baccalaureate, master and doctor! Mind, I have no objection to our Seminary offering college level courses, nor any other course or seminar it may choose to offer. I merely object to the insistence in some quarters that since most Christian ministers must hold graduate degrees, then by golly ours must too! Horsefeathers! Our Organisation then breaks down into a Seminary to provide internal education, and accreditation, to Pagan religious tutors; a PR office to provide external education, and referrals to the public; and one or more Festivals, and no doubt a periodical (e.g. a newsletter), to p- rovide for contacts and networking both internal and external. Further, I see our Organisation as an ecclesia in the ancient Athenian sense of the term, and assembly of all those having the right to vote in our affairs. I don't feel the ecclesia should either set or attempt to enforce any standards beyond those required for government ac- creditation and a minimal ethical standard for membership. I feel that membership should be restricted to ordained clergy within a Pagan tradition, nor should the ecclesia itself set any standard as to what does or does not constitute clergy (though I expect it may have to define criteria for determining what is or isn't Pagan). All this because any other approach compromises the essential sovereignty of our Covens and Temples (for which purpose I see a solitary as a Coven of 1). Since our membership is composed of clergy, not Covens and Temples, I favour one-person-one-vote. Certainly, groups with a large number of ordained members will thereby gain a larger number of votes in the ecclesia, why not? The ecclesia has no authority over individual members nor the organisations they may represent. Its most extreme power is to suspend the membership of persons found to be in violation of the ethical code, which code is set and policed by the members themselves. Or to appoint officers to manage the ecclesia's property and affairs, which officers will be legally and constitutionally answerable to the membership. 2228 On the topic of polity, I see the ecclesia/AGM as setting policy which is then administered and interpreted by the officers. The officers should have no power to set policy themselves. Our structure should be absolutely minimalist to avoid unpleasant takeover bids later. Any office or function which doesn't need to be there, shouldn't be there. If someone has grounds for an ethics complaint, an ad hoc committee should be assembled to look into it. If amends are made or the objec- tionable behaviour corrected, then the case should be dropped (i.e. the committee is focused on correcting unethical behaviour, not punishing it). On the subject of officers and their terms of office, I rather like the notion of electing them in alternate years for two- year terms. A one-year term is too hard on continuity. One possibility to avoid little fiefdoms is to provide each function with two officers, one senior and the other junior. Each year the senior officer retires, the junior officer becomes the senior and a new junior officer is elected. Continuity is preserved, and each officer gains an assistant who has a year in which to learn the ropes. I think that barring the outgoing senior from seeking re-election as a junior would be wasteful of resources, myself, but it would certainly serve to break up fiefdoms even further, should the ecclesia happen to be particularly paranoid about them. A not-so-little proposal, but the subject is an important one. This is only somewhat-baked, and I see the need as both real and immediate, so please give me some feedback on this. 2229 THE FEMININE CURRENT IN THE GOLDEN DAWN by Peregrin (A version of this article first appeared in SWEEPINGS). Many Wiccans and Pagans, whilst declaring themselves "eclectic" seem to avoid the Golden Dawn like the plague. This is quite understanda- ble, since on the face of it the GD seems to be counter to most of the Pagan philosophies. (The open hostilities and down putting directed at Wiccans that pour out of some GD practitioners does not help the matter either.) The GD Is often viewed as inflexible, patriarchal, authoritarian and stuck up its own behind. A few Wiccans do practise the GD, but most of these, I feel do so with the belief that the two are watertight compa- rtments - that is Wicca is a religion and the GD a "system". Most (including myself), if they confide in you will admit that they view the GD as more "powerful" - at least in the magical as opposed to the religious sense. It is my aim here to show that the essence of the GD is not inherently patriarchal and opposed to Pagan ideology. This I believe can be r- eadily observed if we remember that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a late 19th century outward manifestation of a spiritual system aeons old. The essence of the system would therefore be con- tained within, but not altered by, and outward form that reflected late 19th century western occult ideology. (Remember also that the GD first emerged via Masonic sources and thus the outer form was heavily coloured by that system.) This essence can however be readily "tapped into". This will then help the magician avoid being trapped into "believing" the GD's outer form. The essence I speak of is, of course, the Goddess. On the face of it to say that the GD's essence is Goddess sounds absurd. But please do not judge the GD book by its cover. Forget the outer form, forget the Victorian pomposity, forget the props. Let's go a little deeper. First off, the original GD System relied heavily on its ceremonial in- itiations. The process of initiation (even the mimicry of ritual initiation) always involves a death and re-birth, which can only truly occur via Goddess, since only the "female" force of the universe can give birth. Thus straightaway we see that at the core of the GD is an unrecognised Goddess force. To deny it is to say that either, a) the GD initiations do not involve a re-birth; b) something other than Go- ddess can give birth; or c) the GD initiations are not effective, which anyone who has undergone them will heartily dispute. Christopher S Hyatt, the main collaborator with the late Israel Regar- die before his death, in a recent book - The Secrets of Western Tantra - makes several hints which echo the views I express. Says Hyatt, when tracing the link between the GD and the Tantric Goddess: " attribute among many others which gives the whole show away is the equality between male and female adepts." (p.69) For a Masonically derived Order in Victorian England this was an unpr- ecedented and daring move. Yet this had to, and did occur, since the Order's essence is based firmly on Goddess and the co-equality of the 2230 sexes. Looking a little more closely at the formation of the Order will also show many other clues regarding the hidden Goddess essence. Firstly, the leading light of the Order, S L MacGregor Mathers, was an ardent supporter of the equality of the sexes and the young feminist movement. In his introduction to "The Kabbalah Unveiled" he sets the record straight concerning the nature of divinity: "...the translators of the Bible have crowded out and smoothed up eve- ry reference to the fact that Divinity is both masculine and femini- ne... now we hear much of the Father and the Son, but we hear nothing of the Mother in the ordinary religions of the day." Presuming the hidden Goddess essence and following the mythology of the Order, it becomes apparent why the "Secret Chiefs" chose such a person to lead the GD. If the Order's essence was patriarchal they would surely have chosen a different man. Continuing with the examination we find that the Outer Order rituals are based upon a set of cipher manuscripts. In those manuscripts, as published in "The Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn", we find the candidate is often referred to as "she". In an age when women were still calling themselves "brothers" and "chairmen", this is significant. Further, the Order was chartered and given authority (ie, symbolic life) by a woman (Sr SDA). Now admittedly serious doubt has been cast upon this history, but regardless of whether the events occurred in shared space-time or Westcott's mind, the symbolism is important - it is a symbolic birth performed by a Goddess figure. This theme is further developed in the naming of the first true GD temple in England (and the initial temple of many GD Orders worldwide) as the Isis-Urania temple. Thus the Order is visibly dedicated to, and under the influence of, the Goddess. Behind all things, even GD t- emples, is the Mother. Before having a quick flick through Regardie's "The Golden Dawn" to see what Goddess essence we can find there, let's pay attention to some of the more prominent proteges of the Order. Firstly Mathers himself went on to utilise his GD adeptship to develop, along with his wife Moina, the Rites of Isis in Paris (the couple nearly always worked as a partnership in their occult work.) Secondly Aleister Cr- owley, despite his male ego, misogyny and viciousness went on to pr- oduce a sort of Nuit "cult", using GD based techniques. Crowley him- self is an excellent example of my point that inner essences do not necessarily reflect outer forms and vice versa. It is hard to imagine that such a person as Crowley (the man) could act as medium to such Goddess inspired beauty as the closing paragraphs of the first chapter of Liber Al vel Legis. Yet Goddess came forth anyway. Crowley, like the GD was outwardly patriarchal, but contained the essence of God- dess. There is no more Goddess inspired thealogy than Crowley's maxim, "Do what Thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". Dion Fortune, initiate of the Stella Matutina, also used GD based tec- hniques to help formulate her Pagan workings, the focus of which was the Goddess Isis. 2231 The most obvious evidence of Goddess in the GD is the Rose-Cross, the symbol of the combined female and male forces. The GD's Inner Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis claimed a Rosicrucian lineage, and the links between the Rosicrucians and Goddess have been detailed beautifully by Gareth Knight in his book, "The Rose Cross and the Goddess". We come then to the GD tarot, and find it restoring the court cards to an equal sexual balance based upon the Tetragrammaton. The male knave (page) of the exoteric packs of the era was correctly replaced by the female princess, symbolic of the Earth Goddess. In Qabalistic philosophy we find the spirit of the Divine often refe- rred to as Shekinah, which is seen as having a female essence. This is shown clearly by Mathers when he correctly translates a passage from the Sepher Yetzirah: "...AChTh RVCh ALHIM ChIIM: Achath (feminine, not Achad, masculine) Ruach Elohim Chiim; One is She the Spirit of the Elohim of Life." This thealogy is followed in the GD. Israel Regardie shows this in his ritual for Spiritual Advancement, which is based firmly upon the Z documents of the Inner Order. Here he implores the Mother of Goddesses and Gods (Aima Elohim) to aid him in his quest. Regardie even uses a cauldron as a symbol of the Great Mother. This, believe it or not, is not a Wiccan ritual, but pure Golden Dawn. The main weapon of the RR et AC adept, the Lotus Wand, has embodied within it much Goddess essence. It is described as, "...a simple wand surmounted by the lotus flower of Isis. It symbolises the development of creation." (The Golden Dawn, 5th ed. p224.) This indicates that the creation of the Spirit, the Heavens and the Earth comes from the Great Mother Isis. The wand also represents the Kundalini - a feminine Goddess force. This to me is a beautiful tool, alive with Goddess, much more so than the Wiccan athame (which is objected to by some feminist Witches as being aggressive and masculine). Finally let us return to initiations. The two most important init- iations of the GD/RR et AC system, the Neophyte and the Adeptus Minor ceremonies, both contain the hidden Goddess essence. The Neophyte ceremony is based on the myth of the Slain and Risen Osiris, where the candidate acts as the Slain Osiris. This myth ho- wever is a later patriarchal rendition of the Ishtar and earlier Inna- na myth of Goddess descending into the Underworld. The Goddess is thus present deep within the archetypal theme of the ceremony. Further, the act that seals the initiation proper, the final consecration, is conducted by Officers representing "the Goddesses of the Scale of the Balance". And as the badge of the grade is placed upon the new init- iate, "... it is as the two Great Goddesses Isis and Nepthys, stret- ched forth their wings over Osiris (the initiate) to restore him again to life." The candidate is thus re-born to a fuller life by the power of Goddess. The Adeptus Minor ceremony contains much Goddess essence quite openly. The clearest example of this is the Vault of the Adepti, and obvious symbol of the Womb of Goddess. As Regardie briefly points out in his introduction to the Golden Dawn, the candidate is led through the Twin Pillars which symbolise the vagina and into the womb itself. There she returns to the Great Mother and is re-born and out through the vagina 2232 once more. The symbolism is so obvious, so beautiful and so potent, and I am surprised some Wiccan/Pagan group hasn't adapted the ceremony in their own workings. From the foregoing it can easily be seen that Goddess is alive and well within the GD - at least in its essence. Sadly not many GD adepts are aware of this. Most GD magicians get too caught up in the outer form and potency of the system to notice where the energy and beauty originate. I am not claiming that the GD is, or should be, a religion. It is not, and its essence is not. The essence is however Goddess and Her continuing manifestation in this world. If we are to remember and consciously perceive this it will transform our GD work. Then the GD will no longer be "dry" and without life - the perceptions most Wiccans and natural Goddess worshippers intuitively feel. For 100 years the Golden Dawn has concealed Her, the Mother of Light, Life and Love. But now in this time when She is being worshipped by so many in so many different ways, the Golden Dawn will at last reveal its secret. And just as the Stone that the Builders rejected shall become the Cornerstone of the Temple, so too shall Goddess become the key to the 21st century manifestations of what is now the Golden Dawn. The new Golden Dawn shall one day become as important as the Wiccan movement in the collective invocation of Goddess. This process is already beginning, and we can all take part in and promote it if we Will. But whether we chose to or not, now is the time to bury the false split between ceremonial and Pagan magic, for both are born of the Mother and both will lead us back to her. 2233 THE RITUAL ABUSE SCANDAL IN BRITAIN 1991 reviewed & summarised by MICHAEL HOWARD (This article first appeared in issue 63 of THE CAULDRON) FEBRUARY: The liberal minded "Guardian" abandoned all its principles and published an astonishing attack on the Craft written by left-wing journalist Beatrix Campbell attempting to link it with so-called "Satanic ritual abuse". Transcripts of interviews with children in the Nottingham case were re-printed. This confidential information had evidently been leaked to Campbell, who is known to be sympathetic to the fundies. The article coincided with a failed attempt in Parliament by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens to make it illegal for children to attend pagan gatherings, Spiritualist Church services, New Age events or ps- ychic fayres. MARCH: Social workers and police seized nine children from their homes in the Orkneys in Gestapo-style dawn raids alleging "ritual abuse". This claim had originated from the confessions of other children involved in a normal abuse case. It was alleged a hooded, masked and cloaked figure known as "The Master", who also dressed as a Mutant Ninja Turtle, and who was identified as the local vicar, had led dances around a bonfire at a local quarry. Police seized items associ- ated with "black magic" from the parents' houses. These included a book of erotic poetry, and Oriental statue of a couple making love, a letter written to the tooth fairy by one of the children, and a Guy F- awkes mask! A week later the majority of children placed into care in 1990 following allegations of widespread "ritual abuse" on a Rochdale council estate were returned to their parents. In court the police said they had found no evidence and the social services were criti- cised for their methods. The Rochdale case was followed by an official statement by the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for the UK, Sir John Woodcock, who said the police had absolutely no evidence that "ritual abuse" existed, He said that concern about the subject had been exaggerated and got out of control. APRIL: The children in the Orkneys case were released by order of the local sheriff. Angry parents besieged the social services department. In Ayrshire ten children were taken into care amid fantastic alle- gations of human sacrifices and rituals held in a haunted castle, gra- veyards, and a hot air balloon by parents dressed as clowns! Granada Television's "World in Action" programme exposed the methods used by the social services to extract confessions from children. A child psychologist was quoted as saying that these methods were themselves a form of abuse. Police in Aberdeen confirmed they had dropped charges against six adults arrested for "ritual abuse". JUNE: A doctor in Brighton claimed there was widespread "ritual abuse" in Sussex involving animal sacrifices and "naked circle rituals" in local woods. A police officer in charge of the child abuse unit in Brighton said she was aware of the allegations but had no knowledge of any confirmed case. Media reports suggest leading fundies involved in spreading the "ritual abuse" myth in the UK were being secretly funded by an extreme right-wing American group who believe the British Royal family are international drug smugglers! AUGUST: Three young sisters were put out for adoption following the allegation of "ritual abuse" by their mother, her boyfriend, and their grandparents. This 2234 was despite the fact that the Crown Prosecution Service had found no evidence and were not contemplating criminal charges. "The News of the World" did one of its famous exposes on the Paganlink-Up Gathering, looking for evidence of "ritual abuse", but naturally found nothing. The judicial enquiry into the Orkneys fiasco began with social workers admitting they had ignored guidelines laid down after the Cleveland affair. The social services Director claimed there was a widespread conspiracy among the islanders to cover up the alleged abuse which involved the vicar, local GP, and district nurse. SEPTEMBER: It was revealed that none of the children in the Orkneys "ritual abuse" case showed medical signs of sexual abuse. "The Independent on Sunday" suggested stories of circle dancing had arisen from a Hallowe'en fancy dress party held by the Brownies at the Church Hall. OCTOBER: BBC Wales television programme "Week In-Week Out" exposed the activities of Maureen Davies, the Rev Kevin Logan, et al, and alleged they had fabricated evidence of "ritual abuse" in North Wales. NOVEMBER: The trial at the Old Bailey of a gypsy family allegedly involved in Satanic rites and child abuse collapsed after one of the child witnesses admitted fabricating evidence. It was said she got her ideas from pornographic magazines. Two of those accused - who are evangelical Christians and prison visitors - are seeking compensation and taking their complaints to the Court of Human Rights in Stras- bourg. One of them said he had been pressurised by the authorities to sign a false confession. The Orkneys enquiry nearly ended when some participants said they could not afford the legal costs without gov- ernment help. The inquiry is costing 100,000 (A$ 235,682) per week and is expected to last until the end of 1992! Allegations were made that the dawn raids were required because social services received i- nformation that parents had threatened to use guns to stop their children going into care. The saga continues..... Two lessons have been learnt from last year's events. Firstly that the ritual abuse myth is not a right-wing conspiracy. Left-wing journali- sts, so-called Liberal publications like the "New Statesman" and the "Guardian", and even Labour's spokeswoman on child affairs, have supported the fundies. Secondly, while the authorities are wasting millions of taxpayers' money investigating the "ritual abuse" myth and dragging innocent people through the courts, resources are being diverted from catching the real child abusers in our sick society, who sadly include Christian priests and social workers. 2235 WARRIORSHIP by Swein Runestaff There has been much written on warriorship in recent times and i- nterest in the subject shows no sign of diminishing. As Pagans we must come to understand our warrior ancestry and, more importantly, adapt its principles to modern life. If we fail in this task, we face the prospect of becoming either meek and herded sheep, or branded outlaws, condemned as were our ancestors, for our heresy. Although I have read widely on the historical evidence, my own u- nderstanding comes mainly from my training in a living Norwegian tradition and in the Rune-Gild. There are many academic theories and conjectures about the role of the warrior in Pagan society but very few academics who understand warriorship. We Pagans do not have the luxury of theorising, no matter how clever those theories may seem. If they are not of practical benefit to us in daily life, they amount to nothing more than intellectual wankery. Paganism is about freedom. Freedom from dogma, freedom from our ne- gative conditioning, habits, and inhibitions, freedom from our self- -limiting beliefs. We must not think that we can improve our situation if we break the bonds of the Judeo-Christian chastity belt merely to adopt fetters forged from the twisted scrap of a bygone age. Chri- stianity became fossilised before it reached the wisdom and tolerance of maturity, let us not make the same mistake. Paganism has always had its strength in its diversity and fluidity, constantly adapting according to time and location. The form is always evolving but the essence remains. This fluidity is indeed part of the essence, and differentiates us from the anachronists who seek only relief from reality. To the Pagan, reality is not the tiresome mud of everyday, but colourful clay to be moulded lovingly in our hands. Paganism is our way and warriorship is our vehicle. Without warri- orship, Paganism becomes quaint anachronism. In my tradition warrior- ship is not about aggression, in fact a warrior has gone beyond the need for aggression. Warriorship is actually magick, the art of ma- nifesting the True Will. An aspect of this is illustrated in our understanding of the Berserk. The word "berserk" comes from two words, "bare" and "sark" (a shirt). A berserk was originally one who fought without a shirt, bare from the waist up. Not only did they scorn body armour, they even went without the psychological advantage of a layer of clothing between their skin and the enemy's sword. In our tradition, the symbolism of removing the armour is of great importance, but before it is safe to do so, one must be adept at doing battle with the armour on. Whether on the battlefield or in the marketplace we all wear some sort of armour against "the slings and a- rrows of outrageous fortune", or more to the point, the barbs of our fellow humans. In order to operate efficiently we must know our stre- ngths and weaknesses, and become aware of the style and construction of our armour. As our movements become increasingly efficient, we find that we can afford to shed some of our armour. We then find that our movements become even more efficient with the resulting freedom. Eventually we find ourselves totally open to the world. No longer encumbered with 2236 layers of protection we are free to be our true selves. Every act becomes a spontaneous and joyous act of pure will. We become a vortex of pure will force. Paradoxically, while a novice stripped of armour would be instantly slain, an adept becomes impervious to steel. The berserk ceases to be a target by becoming as if devoid of gross substance. The Ynglinga Saga describes the Berserks when inspired by Odin, "They cut down the enemy, while neither fire nor iron could make an impression on them." That which offers no resistance cannot be cut. That which is flexible cannot be broken. Anyone who has been in combat situations will realise that uncontr- olled anger is rarely a friend in battle. Such emotion may well sti- mulate enthusiasm and fearlessness, but at the cost of judgement and precision. There is a Samurai saying- "The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life." The true berserk rage is certainly not blind anger. An angry warrior may be frightening and deadly but is unlikely to come out of a battle alive, let alone unscathed. The secret of the berserk's invulnerability is the ability to let the True Will flow unimpeded. This requires the warrior to be totally calm and centred while at the same time unleashing the destructive forces of the Will. This is a form of meditation infinitely more difficult than being calm and centred in a quiet room (something most people find almost impossible anyway). The slightest distracting thought can be fatal. By not letting thoughts interfere with the flow of Will, the berserk is always in the right place at the right time. Action flows, there is no rigidity or predictability, there is nowhere a blade can strike. The berserk acts without hesitation and is always in harmony with any situation. Harmony in this case means being true to the self and inte- racting with the situation in a way which is honest with the self. Th- is can only be done when there is no barrier between the self and the situation. One becomes a fluid part of the situation without losing one's individuality, an indispensable and autonomous part of the whole, every movement being a vital adjustment of one's position in the universe. It is only through warriorship that we will be able to practise our varied traditions without fear of persecution, for this fear betrays a lack of confidence in one's own magickal ability and in the power of one's tradition. Like the berserk, those who truly practise warriors- hip or magick will find themselves beyond the reach of any attack, and extremely unlikely to be attacked in the first place. Judeo-Christian culture has taught us that we are powerless as indi- viduals, that we must follow the mob to be saved. Pagan culture has always taught that we should accept responsibility for ourselves. Our power or lack of it is our own choice. Freedom is ours, taking res- ponsibility for ourselves is the price. Many are not ready to pay it, let them join the sheep of a herd religion until they are ready, they too have a valid place in the greater whole. This is why Paganism does not seek to make converts. Ultimately warriorship is a path of compassion. When we no longer fear others, we are free to sense their real needs. This is not sympathy or 2237 just being nice, sometimes a harsh lesson will be far more beneficial in the long run. Only fearless openness allows one to see the best way to interact. Without fear we can be more tolerant and less defensive, less inclined to take things personally, or become offended when others do things a little differently, or moralise and interfere with others because we feel threatened by their strangeness. Only fear prevents us from achieving our potential. Only warriorship will defeat the fears which divide us. (Swein Runestaff is Steward of the South Pacific Region of the Rune- Guild) GLENN INNES STANDING STONES: THE FIRST STANDING STONES OF MODERN TIMES Glenn Innes in northern NSW is home to many people descended from Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, Manx and Irish immigrants. The streets have Gaelic street signs, and in a marvellous initiative, the local Council have erected a stone circle "similar to those erected by Celtic People throughout Europe centuries ago". Three stones - named Gaelic, Bry- thonic and Australis - are the focal point of the circle; on the op- posite side of the circle four stones form the Southern Cross, with a Celtic stone acting as a pointer. Outside of the circle, stones at each of the cardinal points form an Ionic Cross. There are a total of 38 stones, with 24 being in the circle. Each one stands approximately 12 feet above the ground, and weighs several ton. Parts of the array of stones are intended to act as a calender, whilst other parts have a religious significance. Calculations by the Royal Australian Hydrographic Office were used to determine the position of the Winter Solstice; the positions of the Summer Solstice sunrise and sunset were observed on December 22nd 1990. Also in NSW, another stone circle - with a difference! At Mt Annan Botanical Gardens, 15 basalt crystal columns have been erected in a circle to form a "sundial of human involvement". This analemmatic sundial uses a movable marker to cast a shadow. And the moveable marker? A human, with arms raised above their head! The circle is so situated that it is possible to look out across the Blue Mountains, to the Sydney skyline in the distance. 2238 BEYOND REASON: A new look at an old Devil by Aries Inside my mind is a court room. It is dark and sombre, a few shafts of light from high slit windows etch out sloping pillars of swirling dust. In the public gallery are a representative sample of the great unwashed; fighting, fornicating, eating, suckling piglets, and other sub-Bosch activities that lend atmosphere to the Baroque wanderings of my imagination. The judge is unhappy. Whatever happens, someone, somewhere, will hate him for it. In the dock are the three grand-dames from Shakespeare's "Scottish" play, and I am counsel for the defence. The Advocatus Diaboli, I guess. In the witness stand is "Dance with the Devil" by Audrey Harper and Harry Pugh, and grave are its accus- ations. But first, let's have its story. Audrey Harper; a familiar tale of degradation and final redemption t- hrough our Saviour Jesu Christos; sent to a Dr Barnado's home by her mother, she grew up with deprivation and social stigma. In time she becomes a WRAF, falls in love, gets pregnant, boyfriend dies, she turns to booze, gives up her baby and becomes homeless. Wandering to Piccadilly Circus she meets some Flower Children with the killer weed, and her descent into Hell is assured. By day she gets stoned and eats junk food; by night she sleeps in squats and doorways. Along comes Molly; the whore with a heart of gold who teaches Audrey the art of streetwalking. She flirts with shoplifting, gets into pills, and then gets talent spotted and invited to a Chelsea party, where wealth, pow- er and tasteful decor are dangled as bait. At the next party she is hooked by the "group", which meets "every month in Virginia Water". She agrees to go to the next meeting which is to be held at Hallow- e'en. Inside the dark Temple lit by black candles and full of "A heady, sickly sweet smell from burning incense", she is "initiated" by the "- warlock", whose "face was deathly pale and skeletal... his eyes ... w- ere dark and sunken" and whose "breath and body seemed to exude a strange smell, a little like stale alcohol." She signs herself over to Satan with her own blood on a parchment scroll, whereupon a baby is produced, its throat cut, and the blood drank. Following this she gets dumped on the "altar" and fucked as the "sacrifice of the White Virgin". The meeting finishes with a little ritual cursing and she's left to wander "home" in the dark. Her life falls into a steady routine of meetings in Virginia Water, getting screwed by the "warlock", drug abuse, petty crime, and recrui- ting runaways for parties, where the drinks are spiked - "probably LSD" - and candles injected with heroin release "stupefying fumes into the air"; the object being sex kicks and pornography. She falls pregnant again, gets committed to a psychiatric hospital, has the baby, and gives it away convinced that the "warlock" would sacrifice it. Things then become a confusion of Church desecration, drug addiction, ritual abuse, psychiatric hospital, and falling in with Christian folk who try vainly to save her soul. For rather vague reasons the "coven" decide to drop her from the team, and she dedicates herself to a true junkie's lifestyle with a steady round of overdosing, jaundice, and detoxification units. The "warlock" drops by to threaten her, and she makes her way north via some psychiatric hospitals to a Christian Rehabilitation farm. She gets married, has a child which she keeps, 2239 and becomes a regular churchgoer. But beneath the surface are recur- ring nightmares, insane anger and murderous feelings towards her brethren. At the Emmanual Pentecostal Church in Stourport she asks the Minister, Roy Davies, for help. He prays, and God tells him that she was involved with witchcraft. An exorcism has her born again, cleansed of her sin. She gets baptised and has no more nightmares, becoming a generally nicer person. She becomes the "occult expert" of the Reach- out Trust and Evangelical Alliance, and makes a career out of telling an edited version of her tale. Geoffrey Dickens MP persuades her to tell all on live TV; "Audrey, to your knowledge is child sacrifice still going on?" To this she rep- lies, "To my knowledge, yes." After this the whole thing rambles into an untidy conclusion of self-congratulation, self-promotion, and self- justification; and for a grand finale pulls out a list of horrendous child abuse, which is shamelessly exploited in typically journalistic fashion, and by the usual fallacious arguments which links it to anything "occult"; help-lines, astro predictions in newspapers, and even New Age festivals. And so we are left with a horrifying vision of hordes of Satanists swarming the country, buggering kids, sacrificing babies, and feeding their own faeces to the flock. I would be tempted to consider this story a modern parable; a Rakes Progress for the late 20th century, were it not for the claim of truth and the accusations cast. Throughout her tale Mrs Harper shows herself to be a clumsy diss- embler; inconsistencies appear throughout, and the tone is shrill and hysterical. "I know parts of my story are hard to believe. I realise there are some sceptics who will not accept that such things can h- appen." This is a perfect example of the fallacy known as "poisoning the well", but what part might we find hard to believe? On page 79 with her bare face hanging out she tells us that, "I was, by now, quite an accomplished young witch. I could levitate. I could bring down the powers of darkness to move furniture about." Better a wilful sceptic than having us believe in levitating junkies. But was she a witch? When the Chelsea girl invites her along, "she never mentioned witchcraft. But somehow, as she spoke, her words conjured up an eerie atmosphere." And according to her testimony, nobody actually mentions witchcraft prior to Roy Davies, who is tipped the wink by Lord God Almighty. Regardless of that, she still promiscuously mixes up the terms; wi- tchcraft, Satanism and Paganism, playing free and easy with the rules of evidence. However, it does appear that there is a thing called Wicca or White Witches who "certainly do not set out to do evil", but are still damned because "even if they don't do deliberate harm, their activities are opposed to Christian teachings because they worship false gods." Obviously possessed of the spirit of discernment, or as Joseph Campbell said, "You can't fool around with Yahweh." 1 Okay, so where is the evidence? In Mrs Harper's reality tunnel the e- vidence is everywhere, for the world is full of "evils that are the work of Satan." Not for Mrs Harper the easy road of "hardfacts" when she assures us that "There have been mounting suspicions over the years that child sacrifices take place regularly. I believe that they do. I have no evidence to support this belief." "It's my belief that some of the hundreds of children and adults who go missing every year end up being sacrificed." All that she offers us is her belief, but is it a rational belief? Consider these words from another book, in a 2240 chapter called "Schizophrenia: The Demon in Control - "Let's say that when you awake tomorrow, you find standing at your bedside a man with purple scale skin...from Mars... visible and audible only to you...he warns you not to reveal his presence; if you attempt to do so, he threatens, he will kill you instantly... On the basis of what you can so clearly see and hear, you accept the fact, astounding as it is, that the stranger is what he says he is."2 Barbara O'Brien then goes on to describe the schizophrenic trip and how she toured America in Greyhound buses in an attempt to escape the "hook operators". But, what if someone woke up to find Satan by their bed? Mrs Harper is one of the sad minority to do just that. In hospital, after an over- dose she returned to her bed to find on it "a miniature hooded figure- ... I was sure it was Satan manifesting himself to me." If we check the diagnosis of schizophrenia we find that the schizophrenic "ceases to experience his mental processes and his will as under his own control; he may insist that thoughts are being put into his mind."3 And what does Mrs Harper tell us? She signed in blood a parchment scroll which stated that, "I am no longer my own. Satan is my master." As for arranging her social calendar, "I was rarely summoned... Some inner compulsion told me when, and where, to go...Satan could direct me to the coven by remote control." At other times there was "just the telepathic message buzzing in my head... Satan was beckoning... There was no resistance. I had to go." In fact most of the time "Satan was at the helm of my thinking processes." This is not all, for we also r- ead that the schizophrenic "hears voices telling him what to do."3 Three or four weeks after her "initiation", Mrs Harper experienced a blinding headache. "Then a voice came to me, telling me to be at H- ighgate Cemetery just before midnight." The voice went on to give her some travel directions, which was very obliging. "In acute stages of the illness other hallucinations and delusions of varied kinds may be present."3 I think we can safely classify levitation and telekinesis under the heading of hallucination and delusion, but what about babies being killed? Or coven meetings even? "The paranoid schizophrenic has 'a persistent idea...that there is a conspiracy or concerted action against him...a delusion of grandeur."3 Whenever she took an overdose, "I knew who was behind it all - the coven. This was Satan attacking me." Whenever things went wrong for Mrs Harper it was Satan, "making me follow foolish impulses...causing me to behave in a stupid way." Every time she got moving "Satan played another of his little tricks" to stop her short. "Delusions of unworthiness occur in depressive illnesses in association with misery and hopelessness." 3 Any comment Mrs Harper? "I felt myself wishing that I could be good, like these nurses, instead of a servant of the Devil." " inadequate I was compared with the other churchgoers." On her first TV programme she was asked, "How do you know you were not just on a bad trip?", to which she replied, "A bad trip doesn't last five years." But if this bad trip is schizophrenia, it could. As far as backgrounds go, hers was ideal for inducing psychosis; harsh, cold and alienating. Significantly she had nicknamed the matron of the home "the witch", and after her escape attempts "It didn't take the police long...they soon had me back under the spell of the witch." A process of learned helplessness. Bob Wilson 4 disc- usses the possible role of schizophrenia and self-medication in heroin addiction, and certainly at the more stable periods of her life she s- eems to have no problem giving up her drugs. Although this may not be important, it is worth bearing in mind that Virginia Water is home to the Royal Holloway Psychiatric Hospital, which, at the time of her t- 2241 ale, had a bustling schizophrenic population. Maybe this explains how she ended up so often wandering around dazed in the dark. Of course this is all speculation, but the mere possibility that an undiagnosed schizophrenic with a medieval delusion is trying to drag us into her fantasy, and to restrict the civil liberties of others has me worried. Even more worrying was a "Despatches" documentary shown on Channel 4 TV on the 19th February 1992, portraying an alleged expose of Satanism and ritual abuse. An array of "survivors" were brought before us; some of whom were severely traumatised individuals and in need of much care and help to re-build their lives. Others had me suspecting malice as a motivating force. These "survivors" refuse to go to the police, just like our Mrs Harper neglected to report a whole heap of crimes such as; desecration, rape, child abuse, drug running, animal brutality, murder, eating foetuses and stealing library books. When at long last someone goes as far as pointing to where the bodies are buried, the police do a lot of digging, but find nothing. Similarly, those cases that come to trial are thrown out on the grounds of insufficient evidence or doubts about the social workers' methods. Therapists and social workers assure us that the physical reactions of these people when under analysis are authentic, but this proves little. The link between mind and body is profound; the body reacts to the mind's content regardless of the authenticity of that content; i.e., belief will evoke as great a response as actual recall. What do these "carers" have to gain by their behaviour? I guess it's much sexier to be on a special Satanic ritual abuse group, rather than just another social worker in the child unit. After the "Operation Julie" team split up, the majority of its members left the police rather than return to normal duties - the power of being in a special elite sedu- ces the best of us. As is usual Uncle Aleister comes in for some ritual abuse; this evil black magician (sic) on the "Bloody Sacrifice"; and "Dispatches" quotes those infamous lines from page 219: "A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim."5 But they neglected the all-important footnote: "It is the sacrifice of oneself spiritually. And the intelligence and innocence of that male child are the perfect understanding of the Magician, his one aim, without lust of result. And male he must be, because what he sacr- ifices is not the material blood, but his creative power."5 We can surmise that either the "Dispatches" team are totally incompetent to have missed that footnote, or deliberately dishonest. As far as I can tell the only sin in what Uncle Aleister suggests is the Sin of Onan. (See: Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by J M Allegro for a full ex- planation of the link between sperm and sin.) Finally, after teasing us overmuch with hints of a secret Satanic gro- up that regularly murders babes in arms and worships Uncle Aleister in a basement Temple in the East End of London, they were going to reveal all. Well, actually not all: they stop short of naming names, due no doubt to a sharp eye on this country's libel laws. Instead we get shown clips of an arty video from The Temple ov Psychic Youth's playroom; a video I thought was available by mail order, and some of which was shown publicly as far back as 1987 at the 2nd Thelemic Conference at Oxford. The offending content was a little low-level S&M (low-level compared to what is currently available from Amsterdam), and certainly not as visually gripping as some films by Dali or 2242 Kenneth Anger. What seemed to have been forgotten is that Sado- masochistic behaviour is ritualistic, but that doesn't mean that rit- ual is an incidence of intention of abuse. It was confidently stated that claims of identical detail concerning Satanic ritual abuse go back 700 years; but in all this time, those tricky Satanists have evaded capture. "Dispatches" claimed that the wily Satanists escape the net because their crimes are "beyond bel- ief", and hence not believed. Personally I wonder whether the claims themselves may well be beyond reason. Suppose these survivors claimed to have been abducted by fairies, or the Evil Space Brothers; how wo- uld we react? Evidence is coming through that suggests that Multiple Personalities and UFO abductees show a tendency of abuse of some sort as a child. Hypnotised subjects are able to construct a detailed and realistic UFO kidnap scenario without having any UFO knowledge or ex- perience.6 We are obviously talking about something that is coming up from the deeper structures of the mind, possibly at the level of the Archetypes, and I'm sure we can agree that the "Satanic Ritual" s- cenario is well embedded in the group consciousness. We should bear in mind two things; firstly, the mind is a much more complex entity than our current models allow for. Also that memory is symbolic; it does not run back like a film; rather it is reconstructed from elements that "seem right", but the result is always partial, leaving room for symbolism to dress the events in a ways that serves a deeper need. A child being treated brutally by parents it believes should be loving, could then "demonise" them, so that images of "satanic parents" will slowly emerge in therapy as the real trauma is dealt with. The symbol- ic nature of this recalled material allows it to be easily dealt with by psychodrama such as exorcism. Maybe it's all true; many abusers use ritual trappings to induce fear, so maybe there are Satanic abusers; Lord knows there are more than enough Christian and non-Satanic abusers about. But to politicise others' pain and suffering is to my mind, both wrong-headed and dangerous. The truth is that there are a lot of sick people out there, both perpetrators and victims who are hurt and traumatised. They need all the help we can give, not exploitation. We have seen the effect of mass hysteria before; from the Pendle Witches and Jews up to the Guildford Four and Orkney Twelve. The Witch Hunts died out because wilful sceptics refused to believe on women flying about the country- side on broomsticks, and tended to (rather unkindly) laugh at the peo- ple who believed in such things. The UK is currently in its worse recession this century, and we can confidently expect a rise in the rates of suicide, child abuse and scape-goating. Right now we have a greater need of wilful sceptics than we do of fanatics fresh from a medieval reality tunnel. I rest my case. FOOTNOTES: 1 Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth 2 Barbara O'Brien: Operators and Things - The Inner Life of a S- chizophrenic 3 Richard L Gregory (Ed.): The Oxford Companion to the Mind 4 Robert Anton Wilson: Sex and Drugs - A Journey Beyond Limits 5 Aleister Crowley: Magick 6 Hilary Evans: Visions, Apparitions, Alien Visitors And not forgetting DANCE WITH THE DEVIL: A Young Woman's Struggle to Escape the Coven's Curse, by Audrey Harper with Harry Pugh, published by Kingsway Publications. (As an interesting postscript to this arti- 2243 cle: readers may be interested to learn that it was Audrey Harper's appearance on Australian TV, telling us all about the dangers of S- atanic/Witchcraft ritual child abuse that prompted me to found the Pan Pacific Pagan Alliance - Julia) THE PAGAN UNITY RITUAL For group workings: we have generally made this the first part of our meeting, after the erection and consecration of our working space. The music used for the working is "The Burning Times" by Charlie Murphy. Love it or loath it, this song is undeniably the anthem of the Neo-Pa- gan movement, and is played or sung at Pagan gatherings in Britain, Europe, Scandinavia, the USA and Canada. By using it for this working, we are making a very profound connection with the world's Pagan commu- nity. First form a cartwheel with your cords - loop them over each other, and hold the loose ends. Then stand in a circle, with the cords f- orming the spokes of the "cartwheel". Start the music, and as the dr- umming begins, so everyone slowly moves deosil in time to its beat. As you dance, you remember all the Pagans you have ever known, or worked with. If you don't know many, then think about Pagans who have in- fluenced or inspired you - writers, singers, poets, artists - it doesn't matter which, as long as you remember them. Throughout the song, continue to dance, and continue to remember: focus upon the image of the cords as a web which joins all Pagans together. In our groups, we generally end the dance after "The Burning Times" f- inishes with an "Eko Eko..." chorus, and then drop the cords to the ground to send the magic on its way. If you work alone, the ritual can be adapted. Instead of forming a cartwheel, you can weave your cords into a web-like pattern, or use knots - it doesn't matter which, as long as you remember, and focus upon the concept of the links with ot- her Pagans. If Australian readers have problems finding a copy of "The Burning Times", write to us, and we'll try and put you in touch with a supplier. This ritual has now been performed a number of times with Pagans from NSW, ACT, SA and the USA. It is also being worked in Britain, and a number of events that have happened recently seem to confirm that a very real current is being generated to strengthen Pagan Unity. 2244 TEN WAYS TO PISS OFF A PAGAN 1. Ask them if they are Satan worshippers. 2. Be considerate, rearrange their altar so it will look neat. 3. Blow out their altar candle if it is still day light. (No need to waste a good candle!) 4. Pick up their gems for a closer look. 5. Sharpen their dull black-handled knife. 6. Witness to them about the "true religion". 7. Untie the knots in their cord. 8. Take hold of their jewelry for a closer look. 9. Play card games with their Tarot cards. 10. Ask them if they are Satan worshippers. Blessing my New Home Touch the lintel and touch the wall, Nothing but blessings here befall! Bless the candle that stands by itself, Bless the book on the mantle shelf, Bless the pillow for the tired head, Bless the hearth and the light shed. Friends who tarry here, let them know A three fold blessing before they go. Sleep for weariness - peace for sorrow Faith in yesterday and tomorrow. Firends who go from here, let them bear The blessing of hope, wherever they fare. Lintel and windows, sill and wall, Nothing but good, this place befall. 2245 MOOSE! * When I was a young lass I used to like knights I'd play with their armor and fondle their tights. Till one day my champion was killed in the fights Now you'd never be treated that way by a moose * CHORUS: Mose, moose, I like a moose I've never had anything quite like a moose I've had lots of lovers my life has been loose But I've never had anything quite like a moose. * Now when I'm in need of a very good lay, I go to my closet and get me some hay I go to my window and and spreads it around Cause a moose always comes when there's hay on the ground * CHORUS * Gorillas are all right on a Saturday night, Lions and tigers they puts up a fight. But its just not the same when you slam your caboose As the feeling you get when you humps with a moose. * CHORUS * Ive done it with beasties with long flowing hair I'd do it with snakes if their fangs weren't there Ive done it with walrus, a monkey and goose But its just not the same when you screw with a moose. * CHORUS * Now that I'm old and advanced in my years I look back on my life and she me no tears As I sit in my chair with my glass of Matheus Playing hide the salami with marvin the moose * CHORUS * 2246 A BOWHUNTER'S PRAYER TO DIANA Oh Silvery Huntress of the Night! Diana of the pale moonlight! Oh Goddess of the Silver Bow Smile on your humble child, below Come now to me and be my guest, And aid me in this quest! In this endeavor, grant success Grant me patience - grant kindness Watch over me and guide my steps - As I walk into the forest's depths. Protect me from all injury And close beside me, always be. Aid me as I track the deer Through brush and thickets, far and near When it comes time to draw my bow Grant me accuracy, here below Guide my arrows with speed and skill Grant painless death and swiftest kill Silvery Huntress, I am your child... I hunt your forests, free and wild. Bless this hunt, I ask of thee Oh Great Diana, hear my plea Goddess of Wild Ones and the Night! Bless my table with food tonight! Kalioppe 2247 SPIRITUALITY "What is `spirituality'? Does it matter much today? And what is something `sacred'? Is it black and white...or grey?" These were the queries of a youngster, and gave me pause for thought; And as I rummaged through my mind, I found the words I sought. "Spirituality is a relationship 'twixt the Universe and you, And how you behave will manifest, no matter what you do! It's a friendship with creation - with stones and plants and trees, With birds and deer and butterflies...and even bumblebees; It's knowing that the life you have, is found in them, as well; It's awareness that creation is found in every realm, And that all of it is sacred and all of it's divine! That means it's very special - and will be for all time! The answers to your questions are both black and white, and grey, As spirituality and sacredness depends on you...each day!" I pondered well his queries as he slipped out the door, And wondered if I'd answered well - or if I should say more... But looking out the window, I saw him smile at me, And knew that I'd said plenty, as he reached out and hugged a tree! -Kalioppe- 2248 Creation Mystery,Part II By: The Whyte Bard The Lord, and the Lady (and the Fool) were lonely. The All was not complete; there was none to keep them company, and laugh with them. There was none to know them, and none to be Their Children. And the Lady said, "Let us go forth and make Life upon the many worlds, that We may have Children, and a Family of Life within the MultiVerse. And let Us make them in Our image, and love and be loved in return." And the Fool laughed, and asked, "Shall it be so?" "No," said the Sacred King. And the Fool asked a second time, and said, "Shall it be so?" "Maybe," smiled the Youth. And the Fool asked a third time, saying, "Shall it be so?" "Yes!" said the Child. And the Fool smiled, and said, "If we do this thing, it shall be a wondrous thing indeed, for we shall make a Creature that shall have the Love of the Lady, and the Strength of the Lord, and a Curiousity to match Myself. It shall know Good and Evil, and Light and Darkness, and That which stands between them, and shall be very near and dear to us. It shall be ar- rogant, and willful, and cruel, but it shall also be kind, and gentle and loving. It shall be all things, and nothing at all." And the Fool laughed, and asked, "Shall it be so?" "No," said Chaos. And the Fool asked a second time, and said, "Shall it be so?" "Maybe," smiled Trickster. And the Fool asked a third time, saying, "Shall it be so?" "Yes!" said Prometheus. The Fool took up the stuff of stars, that whispers thru the MultiVerse, and mixed it with the dry clay of earth, and mixed the substance thereby made with the waters of the sea, and the tears of the Maiden, and the birth-waters of the Mother, and the spittle of the Crone; wet it was with the blood of the Sacred King, and the sweat of the Youth, and the milk on the lips of the Child. And the Fool laughed, and asked, "Shall it be so?" "No," said the Crone. And the Fool asked a second time, and said, "Shall it be so?" "Maybe," smiled the Maiden. And the Fool asked a third time, saying, "Shall it be so?" "Yes!" said the Mother. 2249 And the Fool smiled, and said, "Then let it be so, for I have asked three times, and three times three, and thus it is and so it ever shall be!" The Holy Fool bent, and sank to His knees, and She took the wet clay, wet with the waters of the sea, and the tears of the Maiden, and the birth- waters of the Mother, and the spittle of the Crone; wet with the blood of the Sacred King, and the sweat of the Youth, and the milk on the lips of the Child. And from that clay He made our Brothers and Sisters in Fur, Feather and Scale, and all the growing things. And one thing made of that clay was taken up by the Fool, and placed aside. And the Lady smiled upon Her Lord. And the Fool turned, and It was Prometheus, and shaped the wet clay thing further. Side by side, He made them, that none should stand above the other, but that all should walk as equals and partners, in joy and love. And the Fool turned, and It was Trickster, who shaped us to be curious, and to doubt, and from our doubt and curiousity, to learn, and to laugh. And the Fool turned, and She was Chaos, and placed a bit of Itself within us, that we may change and grow. And the Lord smiled upon His Lady. Man and Woman Prometheus made, and the making and the shaping was as years, and years upon years. And the Fool began to dance. And the Lady began to dance. And the Lord began to dance. They danced Life into the World, the Lady and the Lord, and the Fool. They danced the moon, and stars, and Sun, and all that there is, they danced into being. And they danced Death into the World, for we must close the Circle of our Being, and go forth unto newness. They danced Life and Death, and still They dance, a never-en- ding, ever-spinning Circle, endlessly spiraling upon itself, and uncoiling to start anew; hand in hand They dance, to a Music They have made, endlessly creating, and endlessly destroying. Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so! --------------------------------------------------------- 2250 2251 HPS DISEASE by Vivienne West I am the leader of this group And before Me all you others stoop. Bend thou, adore Me on your knees For I have HPS disease! Slowly, silently, now the moon Lights My face with its silver shoon. Call Me "Lady", if you please, For I have HPS disease! For all you followers of the Law Versed in ancient Celtic lore, Tremble before My higher degrees, For I have HPS disease! Lions of Enoch, goats of Pan, Your magic has but little span; Know that I am greater than these, For I have HPS Disease! I am wonderful, I am good, I am everything a Goddess should. Kiss my lips, chest, groin and knees For I have HPS disease. You with mumps, diphtheria, HIV, hysteria, The earth will tremble when I sneeze, For I have HPS Disease! 2252 DISCOVERIES by Katrina McNeal-Dezern August 15, 1993 Walking down Life's road one day, I spied a path along the way, Small it was, and hard to see, But I just knew it was for me. I stepped on to that wondrous Way, What drew me there I cannot say, But there along that path I trod, Akin to the Goddess, akin to the God. Of course I did not know that then, I merely felt the power within; Sister to forests, plants, and trees, A part of Nature's Magesties! For many years I trod alone, Thinking all this was my own, For others did not seem to see, What was so obvious to me. Imagine, then my sheer surprise, When right before my very eyes, It was my fortune to discover, Another traveller, my own true lover! But still more wonders were in store, For on our path we found yet more, And now the way's no longer bare, We know that others travel there. Some to learn and some to teach, Some the heights of wisdom reach; Together we gather in trust and joy, All our resources to employ. To share the way we think and feel, To help each other grow and heal; How wondrous all this is to me, To have found a Spiritual Family! 2253 WICCAN RAP I face me to the east, an' Akila's there He's the fresh prince, he's the guardian of air. Homeboy'll guard us, protect us from the beasts, If anything ugly approaches from the east. (Akila... KICK IT!) Facin' to the south, and I got a mighty lion Leonos is my man, now you know I'm not lyin'. Comin' to the circle cuz I called upon his name, An' he's going to protect us, he's the guardian of flame. (Leonos... KICK IT!) Ormsilvern is the man when I face me to the west When you want it in the water, he's the one you want the best. Rise from the sea, come over to me, And tell the bad guys to f**kin' let us be. (Ormsilvern... KICK IT!) I make a right turn, and I'm headed for the north I'm callin' for the bull; yo, Taurus, come forth! Just call his name and the man is there, Holdin' up a circle with fire, water, air. By the powers of earth, air, fire, and water... ...keep it up, boyeeeeeeeez. -==- SONG by Vivienne West (after Taliessin) I am the sunshine on the verdant greensward. I am the Salmon that swims in the stream. I am of coal buried deep in the mountain. I am the Eagle that sees from the sky. I am the myth in the mind of the mystic. I am the Crow at the foot of the warrior. I am the shield and the spear of the fighter. I am the corn and the flower of the field. I am the fire that blazes at Beltane. I am the woman that rocketh the cradle. I am the egg that will hatch in fresh well-water. I am the Lizard that dances in ashes. I am the woman whose breasts are the hillocks. I am the old man whose gaze is of sunlight. I was with Isis when bodies were broken. I was with Arianrhod in her sky-castle. I was the Mare when Epona did gallop. Who but me is the wonder of rivulets? Who but me is the strength of the storm? 2254 PAGAN CHURCHES Written by Julia Phillips December 13, 1992 (This article appeared in issue #67 of The Cauldron) To be or not to be, that is the question. To be an accredited, main- stream religion, with society's approval, or to be a mystery path on the fringes of society; to be a formal religion of priesthood and laity, or a path for those who seek their religious experience outside of the mainstream. This subject has recently been hotly debated by Pagans and occultists from all over the world. Those in support (and they are vocal), insist that Paganism must come of age; must provide ministers who can lead society back to the Goddess, and who can serve the community as social workers, counsellors and priesthood. Those against point out that most Pagans seek the religion in the first place because it is a path of individual spiritual growth, which does not demand that its practitioners spend a large proportion of their time spoon-feeding a congregation, or acting as unpaid social workers. We appear to have reached a crossroads in the development of 20th (and 21st) century Paganism, and the decisions we make over the next decade will have constitutional and far-reaching consequences. Society is no longer in any doubt about our existence; it has not yet decided whether we are a Good Thing, or a Bad Thing, but it certainly knows we exist. Let us consider the problems that we face if we wish to make Paganism a mainstream religion. Firstly, most (all?) of you reading this live in a nominally Christian society, which will usually accept (with bad grace!) the other mainstream religions such as Muslim and Buddhist. Pagans, if they are considered at all, will probably evoke a reaction ranging from amused tolerance to outright condemnation for their heresy. So, how do we convince society that we are neither foolish (but basically harmless) eccentrics, nor are we dangerous heretics, ever on the lookout for a tasty virgin, or plump little boy for our altars? We can of course present society with the image that we wish them to see. Unfortunately, this must often be presented via the media, who, as we know so well, are more concerned with increasing viewing or circulation figures than being philanthropic about helping poor defenceless Pagans improve their image. And how do you deal with the ego-centric weirdos (sorry, no other word sounds half so effective!) who launch themselves regularly at the world, scantily clad, demon- ically masked, and twittering on about the shadow, cursing, cthonic experiences and the dark path of the occult? The fact that you and I both know that a genuine cthonic experience, or encounter with the shadow, would have these types running home to Mummy pronto, is neither here nor there; the public, who knows no better, is taken in a treat. "Aha", they cry, "see, we were always told it was dangerous to dabble in the occult, and look, it's true!". And of course it is, for these dabblers will undoubtedly cause themselves, and their poor followers, a fair bit of harm before they are through. But how does all this help our cause to become a socially respectable religion? Well of course it doesn't. Not one bit. And this is actually why I am rather fond of these ego-centric types, for although they are a superficial parody of the genuine occult path, they do serve as a 2255 reminder that the dark is ever-present, and that if we remain true to our spiritual core, then we can never be a socially acceptable, mainstream religion. Where these ego-centrics fail of course, is in promoting the dark satanic image as the ONLY path. They do not know any better, ignorance and stupidity being their main faults, and I really cannot see the Pagan/Occult community ridding itself of them. Instant fame is too strong a drug to withstand common sense and the hard work which the genuine occult and Pagan paths demand. But those who would present Paganism and the occult as all white-light and fluffy bunnies are equally at fault. Not only is it untrue, we are leaving ourselves open to accusations of whitewashing our practices for public consumption. But, it is nigh on impossible to explain Pagan philosophy in a TV studio, to an audience with a limited attention span. The principles are simple, but need to be comprehended, and that cannot happen in a TV or radio interview. The message has to be restricted to, "we do not perform or condone sacrifices"; "we do not hold rituals for the purpose of group sex"; "we are a sincere religion which encourages each individual to take responsibility for his/her spiritual development", and similar platitudes. Trying to present this information without coming across as a mixture of Doris Day and Lucille Ball is a skill few of us possess! But to return to the issue of accreditation and social acceptance; it never ceases to surprise me how many people reject one or more of society's restrictions or pretensions, and then do their damnedest to resurrect the same restriction or pretension as quickly as possible elsewhere. Let us consider a mainstream religion; let us look at the Anglican Church. A priest (or, gasp, a female priest!) ministers the divine word of God to a receptive congregation. At times of hatch, match and despatch, the priest not only administers the divine word, but also functions as society's representative to ensure that all is done in accordance with accepted ritual practice. The priest is trained, accredited, ordained, maintained, and supervised, by his Church. Let him mutter an unorthodox message, and see how quickly his superiors bring him to task! Contrast this with today's Pagan; no formal training, accreditation, maintenance or supervision from outside. There is of course in many traditions, an ordination, but these are not consistent throughout the branches of the religion, and nor are the ordinations "accepted" by most of society. In fact, many of them are not even "accepted" within the religion itself. When you have been told as often as I have that Aleister Crowley initiated your mother, or some mysterious group initiated you as you were cycling home one night and got yanked off your pedals, or "your family" has been secretly "in the Craft" for generations, you get a bit cynical about accepting some of these ordinations at face value! And this brings to us to the matter of accreditation; I have heard it mooted that now is time for Pagan priesthood to be formally ordained, and accredited to accepted standards of knowledge, skill and exper- ience. I would have more sympathy with this view if those who expound it do not give the impression that they are, ipso facto, of that standard already! Being of a pragmatic nature, I would also be inter- ested to learn just who is to pay for the training colleges and official priesthood that would necessarily result from such a prog- ramme? 2256 And this brings me finally to ask if we really do wish to follow a religious path which is constructed in the pattern of one which most have us have rejected as unacceptable. Writing in Children of Sekhmet Vol 3 No 1 about the creation of Pagan and Wiccan Councils, "Lucifer" said: "Pagan Councils are forced to compromise the outlook of the Pagan Community... My real concern is that behind the many calls for Pagan unity is the genuine belief that Paganism can be socially acceptable. The implication to this being that consensus Paganism is moving towards an acceptable middle ground which society can cope with; that the ecstatic vision of the Pagan Mysteries is slowly abandoned for the coarse cloth of a ritual practice calculated not to offend." It might be unkind to suggest that those who are desperately seeking official recognition have anything less than the purest of motives, but one does wonder. Is it simply a case that in this field, they are able to acquire titles and recognition which under other circumst- ances, would not come their way? The "big fish/small pond" syndrome. Or have they only superficially rejected the mainstream religious path, and all that it stands for, seeking to re-establish it in Paganism with themselves at the top of the pecking order? I have made some contentious statements in this article in the hope that it will encourage debate (and support!) from those other spirit- ual anarchists out there who do not want to see their religion debased into a formal structure of hierarchies, priesthood, and laity. I believe there is a place for open Pagan gatherings, and that exper- ienced Pagans are best placed to organise such gatherings. Where I draw the line is in accepting that any "official" body may legislate in matters of individual spiritual growth. The Pagan movement has always been self-regulatory in practical terms. This may not be obvious to those who are calling for "accredited priesthood", but I can assure them that the Pagan grapevine is active and effective throughout the world. We do not need framed certificates over the fireplace ("This is to certify that Lady Anthrax can worship to the satisfaction of the Convergence of Associated Deities" - Peregrin, Web of Wyrd #6), to prove our spiritual worth. B*B Julia 2257 The following article appeared in issue #8 of Web of Wyrd magazine. Searching by Carol Neist It has always bothered me that there seems to be an abnormally large lunatic fringe in Wicca; people who threaten others with curses from a "Council of Witches"; people who claim qualifications they haven't got; people who are so fundamentalist in outlook they put Fred Nile to shame. For despite the comments of Hawkeye (WOW #6) and Khaled's letter (WOW #5), there is, I believe, a strongly fundamentalist element within Wicca. It seems to be found mainly amongst those who, in Hawkeye's words, "believe in the objective reality of faery", and those who see the Gardnerian Book of Shadows as Holy Writ. Now I have no objection to people believing in anything they want to, but if they try to tell me that my more psychological approach (to say nothing of my cynicism regarding the aforementioned Holy Writ) is wrong, I naturally question whether I want to be classed under the same banner. Whilst I wholeheartedly concur with the premise that worship is a private matter between the practitioner and his/her deity, in actual practice it just ain't so, even in Wicca. "You have to do it our way, or you aren't one of us", seems to be a common attitude. The argument that formal teaching or a recognised clergy would destroy the right of each individual to approach the divine in her/his own way therefore, just doesn't hold water, since as things stand at present, a prac- titioner who doesn't agree with the mainstream viewpoint will very quickly find him/herself on the outer anyway. The "free form eclec- tism" touted by Peregrin (WOW #6) just doesn't happen outside the books, as far as I can tell. I'm certainly not suggesting that we ought to rush out and set up seminaries and parish councils, but I do think we have to accept the fact that we do already have a de facto clergy, largely self-appoin- ted, most of whom have no training in counselling or teaching. Like it or not, if you are leading a group of any kind, no matter how informal or unstructured, you are going to need both those skills. It's all very well for Michelin (WOW #6) to compare coven leaders to parents who "receive little or no training beyone that which they received in the family in which they grew up". It's actually a sad fact of life that we were all fucked up by our natural parents, thus creating the need for us to clear away the shit through spiritual practice. I don't want to be stuffed around by any more amateurs, thank you very much - my family of origin did a pretty good job already! It's obvious that hierarchic structures don't work, but what do we do instead? What we've got at present isn't really working either, and in many cases it is, in fact, very hierarchic anyway! It's a really hard one, and I don't think there are any easy answers. But, sadly, we have a situation where unsuspecting neophytes run the risk of being conned, robbed, threatened or subjected to various power trips, and even those of us who condemn such behaviour run the risk of being tarred with the same brush in the eyes of the public. 2258 Whilst Pagan organisations (such as the Pagan Federation, Pagan Alliance or Church of All Worlds) could be an excellent clearing house for people seeking groups, and groups seeking members, who is to decide which groups are "kosher"? Supposing a bright-eyed bushy-tailed tyro from Upper Woop Woop approaches an organisation, and asks to be put in touch with the nearest Wiccan coven. The organisation knows damned well that the only coven within coo-ee of Upper Woop Woop is run by a couple of dickheads who shouldn't be in charge of a street stall, let alone the vulnerable psyches of others. What do they do? If this particular pair of dickheads are paid up members of said organ- isation, how can enquiries not be passed on to them? It really isn't possible without some sort of formal screening system, to keep the lunatic fringe out of an umbrella organisation, especially when some of them are already well established in the Craft. Of course many people don't see teaching as a relevant function of the coven. But new members are going to look to the leaders for guidance, even if only at an unconscious level. Everyone who starts a spritual practice does so because they see life to be a mess, and they need to know how to get out of that mess. Personally, I think teaching is very important, and I will seek teaching on Love and Trust wherever it is offered. Over the last couple of years, I have found it mainly within Tibetan Buddhism. Similar to the Craft in many ways, the practice is more structured and the teachers have all been practitioners for twenty years or more. None of the teachers attempts to dominate the students; in fact they go to a lot of trouble to discourage guru-trip- ping. Teaching is offered by a variety of visiting teachers, so students get a range of opinions and practices, and they can ask for specific teaching as they need it. I've seen less power-tripping and ego-flaunting in this movement than in any other; they really do go along with the premise, "an it harm none do what you will". Their methods, having been tested for over a thousand years of unbroken lineage, really do work: I learnt more about magic from those guys in a month than I learnt in five years with the Rosicrucians and some twenty-odd years of private and group Craft-style practice. It isn't surprising that Tibetan Buddhism is currently said to be the fastest growing "new" religion in the west. Incidentally, I thought Hawkeye's comments on Eastern religions a bit sweeping: I know little of Taoism, but the Hindu and Buddhist faiths don't claim to be based on Absolute Truth. Rather, they are based on the belief that there is an Absolute Truth and that it is possible for the individual, without mediation from Priest or Guru, to find it. Quite a different proposition. All any teacher or group leader can do is point out ways and means; it's up to the individual to find her/his own way to the Divine, call it Goddess, Christ, Krishna, Bliss-Void or whatever. But finding suitable friends is the first step along the path - you really can't do it all by yourself. Whether you go in for counselling, therapy or spiritual training, the idea is the same - find someone who's been there already, and who knows how to give you a hand over the rocky bits. It is this which lies at the basis of the guru/disciple relat- ionship, not, as some would have it, a need to dominate or be domin- ated. The system is, like any other, open to abuse, but we only have to look around and see the same abuses and worse within the Craft, despite its supposed "free form eclectism". (Good phrase that, thanks Peregrin!) 2259 I still believe that the Craft is a beautiful path in theory, and could be so in practice, were it not for the large numbers of near- sighted people presuming to lead the blind. However, perhaps I'm expecting too much - maybe the Craft really is just a celbratory religion which offers a U-beaut party eight times a year and a chance to run around starkers once a month. Perhaps I am expecting too much in asking that it provide tools, teaching and example for personal growth as well? Nevertheless, this is what many people, including me, seek in a spritual discipline. I would like to think that somewhere, somehow, sometime, I might find it in Wicca. THE SWASTIKA The swastika or more properly the tetraskelion, gramadion or croix- patt*e, has been found in pre Columbia America, in Central Asia, China, Japan, through out Europe etc. It's found among people as varied as the Etruscans, Hindus, Celts, Aztecs, Mayans, American Indians, Teutonic and Nordic peoples etc. The swastika has represented many things to many people who never heard of Christ! It has represented the spinning wheel of life, time, progress, the four elements, seasons, health, wealth, prosperity and/or blessing in many myths & cultures around the world. The Swastika refers only to the rt. hand spinning cross such as used in Nazi Germany, the more correct & older version is called the Swavastika and spins the opposite direction. Hitler subverted the older symbol for his own perverse reasons. The left hand Swavastika refer to the male & the right hand Swastika refers female. In Hinduism the swastika has represented two forms of Brahma. Clockwise it represents Pravritti or the evolution of the universe flowing outward & counter clockwise it represented Nirvritti the involution of the universe. In India it represented Gamesa & Kali. In Ancient Persia the left hand swastika was used to represent sacred fire to their priests. Its left arm up representing receptivity and its right arm down representing blessing. The Swavastika has represented Thor's hammer spinning in Norse mythology and the cycle of time in Hindu and American Indian myth & legend. In many cultures it was a symbol of the power of the sun, a symbol of good fortune. It has also been a symbol of Dyaus, Zeus, Jupiter as well as Thor. In China its call Li-wen meaning thunder-scroll. In some cultures the right spinning Swastika has been used to denote the vernal sun and the left autumnal the sun. As the fyfot it has been used as a Christian symbol of the cross and a decoration at the bottom of church windows for centuries. Although some scholars think the Swastika originated in Assyria or India there is no single common origin for the Swastika because it can easily be discovered by anyone studying simple designs made in squares! The only thing known for sure about the swastika is that the symbol predates both Hitler & Christ. Fri 04-30-1993 12:48:58 Paladin 2260 The Theological and Social Implications of Hierarchical Discipline and Penance. Copyright (c) 1992 by Lisa Sergienko Reprinted from Moonrise, Fall 1992 The idea of a religious system disciplining and controlling its members has implications that I don't believe have been looked at seriously in the Pagan community. What does it say about our relat- ionships to the Gods and the cosmos when we accept such precepts as coven "discipline" of members or even the idea of the scourge. I would contend that the religious systems that have formal punish- ments or penances written into their theologies view human beings as inherently weak and corrupt, in need of a parental restraining hand or spanking. The idea is that humans are born and remain children in the eyes of the God(s). Thus, it is necessary to curb their willfulness. In this theological outlook humans are not seen as possessing inherent reasoning capabilities. Perhaps these ideas of control are in certain Pagan theologies because the systems are of European origin. An regardless of whatever claims they make to being Pre-Christian, there are bound to be Christian ecclesiastical overlays. These older ways did not survive in a vacuum but came to us filtered through a somewhat dirtied lens. Christianity and Islam are the only two major religions that have the belief that atonement is gained through pain and in whose theologies ecclesias- tical discipline is important. In Hinduism there is also an ascetic strain, but it is divorced from the idea of punishment for inherent sinfulness. A system of belief that holds in its tenets a model of ecclesiastical discipline is a system that is based on the premise that humans are not born with innate rationality. This is a stream that runs through the more orthodox of the Christian faiths where the hair-shirt and the confessional serve to remind the adherents of their churches belief in the weakness of humanity. Public confession and punishment meted out by the church authorities send the message to the penitent that he is under the rule of the church because without it he is damned. There is no provision made that the penitent may actually know what is best for himself. In an earlier article I looked at the founding ideals of this nation as perhaps a guidepost to a functional Paganism. I would now like to move from the 18th century into the 19th and see how the ethos of that period can serve to awaken us to ourselves as rational free individ- uals. We can begin with the 18th century ideals of the noble savage and the worth of the craftsman and the farmer. What happened to drive these people from the eastern seaboard towards the west? Why couldn't the village smithy remain in the village? Well, the iron works built a big foundary a few miles away and began casting in mass quantity those things our smithy had so lovingly crafted for so many years. So our smith is driven out of business and goes to the foundry to look for work. There he is told he can have a job if he agrees to submit to company discipline. He can't have beer with his lunch. He must report to work at a certain hour regardless of the weather. His pay will be docked not for poor craftsmanship since craftsmanship is now dead, but for infractions of the "rules." Our smith cannot believe that for all the years he has worked as a free and independent man he is now going to be disciplined like a school child. 2261 So our smith leaves on the next wagon train west. Western expansion was probably due in some part to the movement of free and rational adults who could not stomach the rise of the factory system in the industrial revolution. These craftsmen and women had come to view themselves and their products with pride and it was probably difficult for them to have the product now bear the factory owners name instead of their own. With the rise of the industrial revolution there was a breakdown of the more organic means of social control. Our smithy relied on community good will for his continued prosperity and probably worked harder at being a contributing member of society. Under the factory system, this concept of self-governance (the reason that many immigrated to the States) was replaced by more inorganic means of control. One no longer strove to maintain community goodwill through responsible citizenship, but instead toadied to the bosses who were now arbiters of ones financial status. How does this then relate to the problems of contemporary Pagan theology and sociology and the continentalism that so many systems seem to evidence. What does the 19th century have to do with us? People need to feel empowered, that they are in control of their own lives. The craftsman and the small farmer had this. The factory worker did not. I contend that discipline oriented theologies do not empower any but a select clerical hierarchy. I have never heard of anyone being "disciplined" in the community for doing magick wrong. Product is not the issue as it was for the smithy, but instead it is attitude as it was in the factory system. Some would argue that it is necessary to enforce a religious dis- cipline during a persons religious training. I dispute this based on my earlier proposition that humans are inherently rational beings with a knowledge of what is right. I realized this when I got to the point that I could not accept the idea that someone could tell me what to do when it came to my religiousity. This furthers my proposition from an earlier article when I stated that the Priesthood belongs to all. This makes us all peers as we stand before the Gods. A theology of discipline divorces us from a personal relationship with the Gods. It becomes a secondary relationship where our primary relationship is with the mediator/trix -- often the High Priestess. Why? Because it is not the Gods telling us in a one on one encounter what we did wrong and how we can make amends. It is instead a mortal being "interpreting" divine will and judgment. And as mortal the interpretation can be flawed or even perverted for personal ends. What sort of abuses pass for coven discipline? I doubt I'll ever know since so much is kept secret out of fear and shame. 2262 There are Pagans I have encountered for whom relationship with the Gods is subsumed and given a lower importance than the relationship with the High priest and Priestess who become as God and Goddess. As a solo devotee of Graeco-Pagan persuasion it is Hermes who mediates and guides. I had a very strange encounter with a fellow Pagan when telling him about this. He asked me in a rather sarcastic tone if I really felt that the Gods cared about what I was doing. I finally got him to understand when I likened my relationship to the Gods with his relationship to his High Priest and High Priestess. His was a theo- logy of discipline and in my observation, fear. We have lived too long only in moonlight and shadow. Talk to the Gods and see what they say. Try to get to know the Solar Gods too. Go West Young Pagan. The following article appeared in Web of Wyrd #8. Leave it out Leviticus by Aries You know, I'm not too sure that it's safe for me to be associating with you guys all things considered: "We have allowed the legalising of abominations like witchcraft, homosexuality and abortion." And to think I was fooled into believing that you were mostly harmless except for an interesting approach to sing-songs 'round the camp-fire and a strong attachment to strange jewellry. But no, my immortal soul is apparently in grave danger from "demonic powers behind the evils that we have allowed into our land." Oh how could I have been so blind? Woe, woe and thrice woe! I paid a visit to my friendly neighbourhood xtian bookshop ("We give a Bible message to everyone who comes into the shop") and came away with a bunch of one page factsheets warning me about the dangers that dwell in the world, and wait to entrap me in mind, body and spirit, and well warned I am. For instance: "Hallowe'en is the night when the spirits of the dead and demons visit the earth. That is why people dress up as witches and other frightening things." If these leaflets are typical of the modern xtian's world view, then there is much to be afraid of. The first two quotes come from, "An Introduction to Inter- cession and Spiritual Warfare", where the believer is exalted to, "stand in all the armour of God and wrestle in prayer." It may be just a coincidence but I kept thinking of Reichian Body Armour and the joyless life its possession entails. In "Hallowe'en" we are warned against Hallowe'en parties and encour- aged, "to find a wholesome alternative and to warn others of the demonic background of what is too often seen as just a harmless bit of fun." Having been raised a Puritan, I'm well aware of the dangers in harmless bits of fun, like Playing Cards. Were you aware that, "The first deck of playing cards was invented in 1392 for King Charles of France who incidentally was insane." Oh well, say no more; anything done for a loony must be suspect. The Puritans called cards "The Devil's Picture Book", and that's all that we need to know after being told of "The Brothel Game", where people talk dirty with each other using a secret code in the cards, and how the Holy Family are blasph- emed in hideous jest; we are then asked if we could then "go on playing with a sinful pack of cards?" But, I ask myself, how can 52 pieces of printed card be sinful? How do we measure sinfulness? What does it look like? What's its weight? Colour? You get my drift? 2263 However, this is nit-picking in the face of faith, especially when, "Witches and those closely associated with the occult use cards to trick and delude men and women into vice, error, deceipt, and finally into Hell." And that brings us back to Hallowe'en, doesn't it? By convincing our kiddies that this blasphemous Pagan ritual is harmless fun, you evil witches trick them into dressing up as witches and lure them thuswise into sin and perdition: "dressing as a witch you could open the way to being involved later with the real thing... Many young people have already been deceived in this way to their cost." I must admit that I'd always assumed that it was commercial exploitation by the business world that has added Hallowe'en to the list of religious festivals that are prostituted in the name of consumerism, and thus enter the public realm. Maybe Satan is a businessman? Why not? It seems imperative that the xtian sees the hand of Satan everywhere; "The attraction in witchcraft is the power that it offers even though this is from Satan." But how is this conclusion arrived at? Well, we know for a start that, "A witch is something that is hateful to God." and we know that God feels this way because He tells us so in Leviticus 20:6. Now, applying the logic of "who isn't for me is against me", we arrive at the situation where if God gets the hump with someone, they are automatically against him. Remember, there is no third way with Jahweh. By all accounts Satan is some else who's had a falling out with God, and this means that, "Since a real Christian is someone 'Born Again in the Spirit of God' (1 Peter 1:3-4, John 1:13), Satan is his enemy, and so are witches and all their activit- ies." It boils down to saying, "All my enemies are ganging up on me in a conspiracy", which may turn out to be an existential definition of paranoid delusion. You may, or may not, be pleased to know that witches are not alone in being hateful to God. In fact, I ran out of money before God ran out of people to hate. Spiritualism really rubs God up the wrong way, and again we have this on the authority of Leviticus 20:6; but probably worse in the eyes of the xtian is the possibility that "If there is no judgement then what sort of God do we worship who would consign us to have to live in the presence of tyrants and murderers like Hitler, Stalin, Herod and the like on the other side?" The problem that we have here is our belief in the mythic Just World, where goodness is rewarded and badness punished. And if things don't work out that way, if St Augustine has Vlad the Impaler as a next door neighbour in the hereafter, then the rhetorical basis of xtianity would appear to crumble. The argument that if you are good (ie, do as I tell you) you will go to heaven, and if you are bad (ie, don't do as I tell you) you will go to Hell, no longer has any validity. It could be argued that this Just World belief underlies much of modern society which seems to be coming increasingly under threat as the arbitrary nature of reality becomes apparent. Needless to say, Satan is behind all aspects of spiritualism. Satan, the guy who "knows the Bible better than many Christians", and who sees to it that, "we remain in spiritual darkness". Spiritualism is hopelessly in error in its attempts to communicate with the dear departed; such things are forbidden by God and yet again we can thank Leviticus 20:6 for this information. As for those shades who are 'all very happy here', "Demons can impersonate the dead". Why should they bother? Simple, it's all, "to keep man as he is, and lure him into a false sense of security before destroying him." And as for those healings, "What of the healings that occur in Spiritualist meetings? Those who have experienced them will admit that they do not always 2264 last." And to round it all up we have them "trapped by the spawn of Satan's scam", those who have been deeply into Spiritualism have found it almost impossible to leave, such is its hold. People trying to do so have experienced attacks upon their lives." The "Freemason" tract struck me as a master piece of subtlety. Satan is not directly implicated in this underground cult, although the odd dark hint is let slip when voicing concern that some xtians, "are practising Masons, who do not seem to understand the true nature of Freemasonry. Light cannot have fellowship with darkness." Masons are roundly attacked for their secrecy, their lack of "total allegiance and dependence" on Jesus, their vain presumption that they can achieve anything worthwhile in this world without cutting God in on the action. Worst of all is the hideous, blasphemous horror behind the secret of the Great Architect of the Universe, JAHBULON; that sacril- igious inversion of the Holy Trinity, where JAH=Jehovah, BUL=Baal, and ON=Osiris. But I always thought that the guy lurking behind burning shrubbery and bossing Moses about went by the name of Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews? Never mind that. With "The New Age of Aquarius" we are on firmer ground, with no need for pussy-footing around. "Christians who know their Bibles will recognise the New Age as only the old deception by Satan, who tempted Adam and Eve... Adam and Eve disobeyed God and let in a new age of evil in which Satan could invade their lives on earth." Apparently the New Age of Aquarius was kept a secret until 1975 when it was formally announced. The Theosophical Society gets implicated here, but exactly how is left a little vague. Clearly this is because, "The New Age has no visible head or organisation (although the Illuminati are probably behind it.) It is a network of Godless ideas such as humanism, pacifism, interfaith religion, feminism, abortion, holistic health, homeopathy, acupuncture, yoga and witch- craft." Goddam! I just knew that foul Illuminati had to be behind anything so Godless. (Ref my "The Aquarian Conspiracy Revealed", Children of Sekhmet Vol 3 No 2). Having said all that, it's claimed that the aim of the New Age is to unify the world under the Lord Maitreya, and centralising world food stocks and finance, "in a credit system, allocating a personal number to everyone." Those who know their Bible (or who watched Omen III) will know that Revelation 13 tells of the Anti-Christ who gives his followers a mark (serial number?) which entitles them alone to buy or sell, and coincidentally, "New Agers consider the number 666 to be spiritually very powerful." In case you haven't completely gotten the picture yet, we'll put it a little more clearly: "The Bible description of the time of the An- ti-Christ and his one world government is beginning to be realised in our lifetime, and it fits the New Age closely." Whilst the good xtian is born again through the power of Christ and with a little help from a Priest, "New Agers are expected to be re-birthed and receive Lucif- eric initiation, by their own efforts." In order to combat this Satanic deception the good xtian is urged to be vigilant for New Age terms like: networking; holistic; planetary vision; and finding one's higher self. But enough. I don't think I can take much more of this hate and horror. When I entered that xtian bookshop I also deliberately entered the xtian reality tunnel, and have ended up feeling like Marvin (the Paranoid Android) who wonders how anyone can live in anything so small. He was referring to Arthur Dent's brain; I refer to the xtian 2265 reality tunnel, which appears to me to be rather dark and narrow. To be a good xtian I would have to see Satan everywhere; world peace, inter-faith harmony, the good life; anything that threatens to bring happiness is sinful. As a xtian I would be expected to suffer, to sacrifice, to struggle constantly, to accept heavier and heavier burdens, to accept calamities as a test of my faith, to give unthin- king obedience, to never once rejoice in the world as it is, never count my blessings, and always, always see myself as fallen and sinful. And after all this, to accept that I may not get rewarded in this life, but have to wait for a putative afterlife for the just rewards for all that I have given up. As mentioned above, this belief in a Just World is a core construct of Christianity, and apart from all that suffering, the only other pleasure of the xtian is gloating over the fact that their opponents will, "have to face God's judgement in the hereafter." Spiritualism of course, "is a dangerous deception from Satan, from which it is extremely difficult to escape. Its end is destruction." As for the little deluded dupes of the New Age, all their efforts are in vain, because, "Even if the New Age does achieve a measure of success, its work will all be destroyed by fire at the end of the world." As for the witches who get their power to harm others direct from Satan on Hallowe'en, eventually they, "are them- selves destroyed by the one who gives them this power." Everyone comes to a sticky end, and the xtian caught in a web of guilt, fear and passive sadism, gets a real kick out of knowing that. Leviticus, who gets referred to as an authority on what God does and doesn't like, is 27 chapters of commandments, and shows the basis of many of our current social attitudes; women are of lower value than men; bodily functions that describe women are unclean, ie, child-bear- ing and menstruation, although to be fair, the emission of semen does make a man unclean for the rest of the day. Coitus, according to God, is for procreation only, in much the same way it is for the beasts of the field. After all, coitus with a woman who is menstruating can only be for the reason of enjoyment, which as far as procreation matters are concerned is a waste of semen. Needless to say, our concept of "sin" comes from the "crime" of wasting semen. Be that as it may, most interesting of all is Leviticus 16, where description of the scapegoat is given, and how "all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites - all their sins" are put on the head of the goat, who is sent out into the desert to die for their sins. Much like the later scapegoat, Jesu Christos. Of all the curious details in Leviticus, the one that the xtians took to their hearts is that of the scapegoat, and there seems to be no sign of a let-up. 2266 A Collection Of Heretic Remarks Notes on several Problems of Philosophy accumulated in time by Karsten Dykow 1. What do you experience? What does ANYBODY experience? Life, of course. Beginning and ending, every single moment of your lifes- pan. From birth to death, from being to not being, back to being again. Every birth tells the same story: Life has a purpose. What is that purpose? I don't know, you don't know, NOBODY knows. In fact, nobody CAN know, or they would die instantly of more or less "natural" causes. The ultimate irony of life is that the best comes after it is all over: finding out what comes after death. Again, nobody can know, except after death, which makes speculation all the less satisfactory. Yet every monotheistic and several multitheistic religions tell us that they know by "divine inspiration". I wonder where this inspiration came from, from heaven or from hell? Again, no living person can ever know, and anybody claiming to KNOW the truth about what happens after death can only be a swindler. I think it is interesting that so many people believe in this "divin- ity" fraud. People WANT to know. That is the ONLY thing that distinguishes humans from animals. Animals do not want to know, they just accept what someone tells them. Animals do not FIND OUT, they just believe. In gods, in nirvana, in karma, in whatever happens to be fashionable at the time. Two thousand years ago, the roman gods were "in", so everybody within the empire believed in them. Before them, we had Baal Zebub, Jahwe/Jehovah, the greek and egyptian gods, and so on. Now, we have christendom, and time is running out on them. Still, anybody who is not a christian suffers intolerance from the hands of his fellow animals. This strikes me as a funny way to behave for a people which calls earlier societies "barbarian". 2. Who is this God person, anyway? It certainly looks to me as if nobody living on this planet can give me God's adress or telephone number. As a matter of fact, nobody has seen Him, talked to Him, smelled Him, or otherwise sensory experienced Him. Thus, seemingly, God is nonexistant. For all practical purposes, at least. Or is he? Let's have a closer look at this. The only ways to get into contact with the christian thing called God is by prayer and by self-revelation of God himself. Or so the christians tell us. Well, of course, if I pray to some mystical entity, like this god they call God, to let something happen, and if I do this over a large stretch of time, the thing will happen. This is what christians call a MIRACLE, and scientists RANDOM FORCES. Of course, if I wish some- thing should happen to the ugly old heirloom clock on my mantelpiece that I don't dare to throw away because aunt Elma could find out, and someday the cat throws it down onto the floor, where the heirloom mysteriously, noisily and gloriously turns into a small heap of shards which I can throw away and still have a clean conscience when aunt Elma asks me what happened to it, I COULD say that my cat is my god and start taking my prayers to the cat instead of the church where I get thrown out anyway, because I never remember to take my hat off, not that I'd know why I should, but in the end the fact remains that 2267 my cat is not God, and God didn't throw that clock down, but the cat did, and I had a hell of a time getting those shards out of the carpet, and I still don't know how to tell aunt Elma, she'll rip my ears off at the knees or something. Anyway, god-dom is not about the destruction of something, but about the CONstruction of EVERYTHING. The universe. Everything. Excuse me, but that is a little too hard to swallow. Let us say, we do not want to overstretch our minds, and keep it down on the human-mind-level. God didn't build the car you got as a birthday present from your rich husband, the Ford Motor Company did. So, now, what is the criterium which defines who God is, or who is a god? Quite simple. Creativity. Creation is the word. A god is someone who creates. Clapton is God. So am I. Let us look back on the roots of the word: genus (lat.) means creation, genius (lat.) means creator. Philosophy defines a genius as someone who can create his own rules concerning something he's doing, just as I am doing now in writing this stuff I doubt anybody will read anyway. In this way, PER DEFINITIONEM, I am God. So any prayer of mine would be talking to myself, which I find rather dull, so I don't pray. But you may pray. To me. I am God. As shown above. Q.e.d. 3. What do you believe? Or, the same question stated differently: Why do you believe? The key to believing anything is knowledge. This is self-evident. If you absolutely KNOW something, then, and only then, you believe it. The problem with BELIEVING is that if you believe anything at all, you cannot learn anything about this "anything". This is log- ical, if you decide to leave your beliefs outside and come in to have a closer look at your own mind. If you are so sure about anything that you can swear an oath to anything that is holy to you (your sister's beard?) that the thing you are sure of is true, THEN you believe. The problem is, of course, that what you are sure of does not necessarily become true just because you believe it is; as a matter of fact, good scientists nowadays do not believe anything is true until proved to be true in the long run, the long run being something like fifteen billion years, that being the age of our physical universe, if we accept the big bang theory, which as a matter of fact we do not even have to take seriously because it is less than a hundred years old; still, lots of people accept it because they believe in it. This prevents them from learning new facts about the creation of this our physical universe, for the quite simple reason that they do not want to give up their belief. This has happened hundreds of times. When Copernicus announced his (at the time drama- tically new) view of the solar system, which was (insofar as the science of today is concerned) lots more correct than the ptol- emaian view of a flat earth and so on, he was rejected by almost all (at the time) modern scientists, just because they did not want to give up their beliefs. The catholic church played its part, to be sure, but the main factor in Copernicus' undoing was the violent and wild rejection of the "learned" people of his time towards anything that might force them to give up their beliefs. This is still a rather strong force today. Lots of people seek refuge in religion(s) or similar things, so they cannot be hurt by the harsh realities of the real world which come crashing in at them faster than the eye can follow. There is a problem here. People prefer to believe in a "god" person or in several of them, that keep them out of trouble, or if they do get into trouble, they think they are being "tested" by 2268 this (these) supreme being(s). This is, of course, the same effect as the one described above. People are too lazy to look the world in the eye, so they make up some god and start to believe in it. Later, when this entirely hypothetical entity fails to keep them from burning their fingers up to their shoulders when they start a barbecue grill by sloshing gasoline all over the coal and lighting it with a BIC, they are too lazy to give up their beliefs and tell everybody that "god wanted it this way to test my integrity". This is entire and absolute nonsense. If you lose all your money in a poker game, the only reason is that you were stupid enough to draw to an inside straight when you knew the cards had been fiddled with, and not because your god wants to test how you live up to your own stupid- ity. But still, even this cannot shake true believers. You cannot defeat them. Every time you come up with something you absolutely know for sure, they will tell you to stick it in your ear and light it with a match. Because they are just as sure as you are, and possibly even more so. This, of course, is a problem. But not mine, and I wonder why I write any of this shit at all. You won't believe any of it anyway. 4. How long do you wanna live, anyway? This, of course, is the title of a Stray Cats song. Still, apart from the song, the question itself remains. How long DO you want to live? Let us look at some facts. a.: Everybody (or almost everybody) wants to have a long life. b.: Nobody (or almost nobody) wants to be old. The first is a truism in any functioning society. The second is true at any time, only if you want to live a long life, there is absolutely no way to avoid getting old, and, in the end, BEING old. Let us have another look at facts1: c.: Everybody dies, sooner or later. It would be extremely lucky if you managed to get out of life alive. d.: The longer you live, the later you die. e.: Even if you die late, you die anyway. The first of these is absolute truth. I know nobody who managed to survive death. The second is also true, if we assume that time is linear, which we have to assume for now, since nobody I know of has designed and/or built a working time machine. The third follows directly from the first two truisms. So here are another two facts: f.: Most people are afraid of death. g.: Nobody knows what happens to them after death, and those who say that they do know have, up to now, been found to be frauds. There is an interdependence between these two points. What you do not know, you are afraid of. This, of course, is a psychol- ogical fact with very few exceptions indeed. And it is interesting, too, because it puts the truisms we looked at earlier into a close context. Everybody wants to get old, because getting old delays death, which everybody is afraid of because nobody knows what will happen to them afterwards. Actually being old, however, tends to remind people that they cannot stall kicking the bucket forever, because the older you get, the more likely you are to die soon. If you do not believe this, look it up in the statistics; you will find that the highest death rate of any age group remains with the newly born, and the older you get, up to an age of about fifteen years, the higher your life expectancy gets. But after the age of sixteen, 2269 which I will conveniently assume you have already surpassed, the highest death rate remains with the old people. So every day you live beyond the day when your joints start creaking brings you closer to death, which you fear for the previously stated reasons. Q.e.d. This problem connects easily with the problem of religion. Religions (well, most of them, anyway) tell you what happens to you after you die. Most people ignore the fact that what the priests of those religions tell them is not based on any evidence at all that they could produce, but they want to be consoled over the fact that they WILL die. This, of course, makes religions irresistibly attrac- tive to lots of people. Religion tells you that if you were a good boy (or girl), you are going to "live" forever in some paradise or other. This is the most profound piece of bullshit anybody ever dared to tell me other than as a fairy tale, which usually contains at least a small kernel of truth. The reason for my thinking these stories are nonsense is simple: Nobody living now can know (compare also 1.-3., and most of the rest of this collection). The overriding fact in religious belief nowadays is that most people are too weak, too disturbed, too lazy or too faint-hearted to face the truth about life. Life is death. Life feeds on death. This is what we call RECY- CLING. A human dies to give life to an apple tree or to grass, which is eaten by animals, which in turn have their lives given to feed more humans. Recycling in perfection. Nothing gets lost, except infinitesimally small parts of a gigantically huge machine called universe. This is what scientists call the second law of thermo- dynamics. Nothing gets lost, ever. It only is reformed, reshaped, regrown, again and again. The water you are drinking has been drunk over the millennia by dozens of other creatures. The same goes for the food you eat. These thoughts might give rise to the illusion that the same thing might happen to you. To your SELF. Your "soul", whatever that may be. Facts being one of the two things I am REALLY fond of. The other thing is fiction. This belief is what most religions are dealing in. Buddhism has multiple reincarnations, until you achieve such purity of thought and action that you dive into your own belly button and reach nirvana (ind.: nothingness), where your soul is allowed to dissolve so you no longer have to wander around in this "vale of tears" we call life. This makes death look good: Each death is a chance for a new beginning. Christian churches and sects give you another picture: One single reincarnation after your first death, and that reincarnation is indestructible, so you remain in heaven or in hell forever. Nice, is it not? To be bored in heaven - most people cannot imagine how long eternity actually IS, so you got all of this time on your hands and nothing to do with it but to do the same things all over again that you have done a billion times before. Logical, because the amount of time you have in eternity is infinite (that is what "eternity" MEANS) and the amount of things you can do is not - or to live your pseudo-life in hell in all eter- nity suffering great pain and things like that. This gives you a nice choice between being tortured to death without ever dying, and being bored to death with no chance of suicide. I really like this god person, you know, he is always so kind to his creations! This means that I, for reasons of retaining an untroubled mind that does not need to be catered to by expensive brain care specialists (so-called psychologists and psychotherapists, sometimes also witch doctors), have to choose the view that least troubles it. Which is that I exist now, have been existing from the time I became 2270 concious and will keep on existing until I die, and when I die, I die and that is the proverbial "it". The only problem is that you do not know you are dead until the first shovelful of dirt hits you in the face... 5. Thinking is addictive. It is not, however, contagious, which, in my opinion, is a shame. Take a good look at what thinking is: Most of all, thinking is extremely exhausting, sometimes causing stress; it can lead to frustration, to psychoses, to irrational behaviour in spite of those psychoses (NOT because of them!), and to success in making people dislike you. It is, therefore, little wonder that most people choose the simple way out and do not think. Oh, sometimes they think they are pretty good thinkers, and that everybody is calling them fools for no good reason at all, but the fact is that the reasons for such people to be called fools are rather deeply founded. The problem is, of course, to define what THINKING means. If you THINK, you scan all the data that you can get on the subject you are thinking about, screen out pertinent data and use it to build a model in your mind that works exactly as reality does. Since you need ALL the data you can get and more to build such a functioning model, this is a rather exacting piece of work, which many people simply do not WANT to accomplish because it is too strain- ing. This attitude of most people towards thinking as defined above (let us face it, we cannot avoid it anyway) leads to interesting symptoms. The most important of these are 1. religion, 2. video games, 3. TV serials. Religion usually is some kind of reality evasion. Living in the real world sometimes forces you to think, which is straining or even painful (for some people), so people have a tendency to suppress reality in a pseudoworld of beliefs, where other people, which are usually called priests, do the thinking for them. Video games serve the same purpose. You get out of this world to become a hero and do things which someone else has thought up for you to do. No thinking of your own necessary, no problems to think about, everybody is happy. TV serials are the second worst of these three (which is the worst? You should be able to figure that out by yourself!), because the only active part of the reality-evader (the audience) is to do absolutely nothing, least of all think, while the serial is on, except maybe to go into the kitchen during the break to get another can of beer. This is the ultimate apathy for people who have strong fears of having to think for themselves. There are, of course, always some people who DO want to do their own thinking. These people you find either on the top of society (any society at all), where they think up new religious rules for their followers, new video games or new installments for old serials, or somewhere in the middle (almost never in the bottom, though), where they look deceptively like everybody else, except for the fact that they read or create fiction. You cannot create fiction without having to think for yourself. This is self-evident. If you read fiction, which means novels of any kind, poetry, drama, science fiction, fantasy novels and so on, you have to create your own pictures in your head, meaning you create your own fiction, based on the words of the author. Movies and TV give you everything, you do not need to visualize it yourself. With bare words, you absolutely cannot do without thinking, being creative for yourself, and if you read fiction, you have to be creative. 2271 So this is how to decide whether somebody prefers to think for himself or not: The people who think also read. People who like thinking read more than those who like it less. People who do not read fiction you should not even try to start a conversation with; they cannot think for themselves. Mind you: with scientific literature, you do not need your imagination, you do not need to think. It is all in there, you need not visualize it, and what you need to visualize they print a photo- graph of. Mind you also: What you are reading right now is NOT fiction, so your reading this does not mean that you think for your- self! 6. Logic is a deadly trap. Do not misunderstand this suggestion to mean that logic is useless. It most decidedly is NOT. Logic only leads to problems if used where it does not apply. This is a logical conclusion from the fact that logic needs data if it is to work properly. Insufficient or contradict- ory data renders useless all logic that is being applied to it. The problem is the same that applies to computers: Put garbage into the system, and all the output you will ever get is garbage. With too little or with wrong data, logic cannot work. With contradic- tory data a valid conclusion can still be logically drawn: The data was shit1. Despite these problems, logic is still the univer- sally most important tool of mankind. If applied only to problems where sufficient data is available, it leads to solutions. Whether you like what conclusions you get or not is your problem. Many people do not like the conclusions they get, so they either ignore logic or feed it with data which does not apply, both of which leads to severe problems with reality. A virtual reality, meaning a mathematical or otherwise scientific model of reality is not reality, only a model thereof which does not have all the data the real thing has got. Thus, using this model, you get a whole lot of false information about the real world, only because you told your- self that all valid data is there (and that that should be suffic- ient), when in fact you withheld a rather inconveniently great amount of valid and applying data. Thus, economic crises are created. Also wars. And religions. If you read the bible or the Quran or the book of Mormon or whatever you got at hand on the matter of relig- ion(s), you will find quite astonishingly large discrepancies between several parts (chapters, books, surahs, whatever) of those books. Contradictory data, to say it in the slang I used above. Which leads to the conclusion that somebody is trying to fool you. The problem is that lots and lots of people are BEING fooled. _________ 1 Only this conclusion is of little use, because it leaves one right where one has begun. 7. With the right words, you can bust any communication. This is a universal truism in any natural language. The trick is to use the words of the language the way they were used when the words were formed into the shape (spelling, pronunciation) that they are known by nowadays. The trick itself consists of using the words literally. Nobody will understand what you mean correctly. For example, the english Cockney slang uses the word "fag" for" cigar- ette, several american english slangs use it for "male homosexual" (keep in mind that "gay" has acquired several meanings in this century alone!). The original word was "faggot", which, of course, describes a musical instrument. This meaning still is in use, but the shortened form somehow is never understood to mean "musical instrument made of wood and metals...(and so on)". It is, however, 2272 harshly misunderstood if used outside the area where the same contextual meaning applies. Ask a britishman "you a fag?", and he will offer you a cigarette if he smokes. Put the same question to a californian, and he will either kick your balls off or kiss you. Here you have another proof for the power of some words: Use this word, and you get one reaction, use another, and nothing happens at all. So, if you want to stay on the safe side, one might say, keep to using the unshortened words in their original context and meaning. The problem is, as indicated above, that nobody will under- stand what you are trying to tell them. The words change meaning not only with a change of place, but also with time. Take "gay", for example. In the "gay nineties" (the 1890s), no more people were "gay" (today meaning "homosexual") than today. It meant that the time was nice, everybody (or almost everybody) had fun and was gayly clad and so on. This is the problem when dealing with "original" meanings of words. You cannot use them anymore, even if you do find out what they were. The meaning of the words, as well as the context in that they are used, has been changesd over and over again. Another example: "joint". Now, a joint is usually (exception: if an M.D. is talking, and sometimes not even then) an enlargened roll-your-own cigarette that has been "salted" with either marijuana or hashish. Never mind the knee or elbows. So, if anybody asks you if you want a joint, tell them you already got several of them, and they'll ask you to share. Very funny, indeed. Language should not be fooled around with; it always serves the purpose it is used for well enough the way it is. 8. Let me tell you a fairy tale. Once upon a time, on a planet so far away both in space and in time that only very few people have ever heard of it at all, there was a musician who had written a song that was so good that it was going to be the hit of the century. Thus, he set out to find a record company that would publish the song, and eventually found a company that was willing to pay him a rather small amount of money if he would publish the song exclusively on this label and pay all studio costs. But, alas, you know how it is with industrial espionage, about one thousand and five hundred other record companies managed independently to copy the sheet music to the song and have their own recording artists have a go at it. And it came to pass that all these recording companies hurried the release of this beautiful recording, and finally got it on the market on the same day, all one thousand and five hundred of them. Of course, there was a lot of confusion (mostly on part of the cus- tomers who wanted to buy the original recording), so the one thousand and five hundred recording companies set out to clear up the matter by claiming, independently, that THEIR recording was the one and only original recording, and started printing brochures and even books to prove their claim to the annoyance of the other one thousand and five hundred recording companies, who had done the same, of course. Soon the companies were joined by fans of this or that group or singer or recording company who somehow believed that their version of the song was the original, and started fighting each other. To understand how this was possible, you must know that at that time this country on this planet had a very democratic government: The head of the government and its members had to be elected by the people. So people voted, and nothing changed, except that shortly before this song had been written, most of them had confused notoriety with ability and elected a second-class western movie actor for presi- dent. 2273 Considering what business this president had been in before, it is hardly astonishing that he was bought out of his government by a record company, so he could just go on reigning right until the election period was over, only he did not have to make no decisions at all, for which he got an awful lot of money. This was one of the one thousand and five hundred record companies that had covered the song. So, of course, they legalized killing anybody who would not believe that their record was the original recording. This led to the other one thousand and five hundred record companies publishing their records in other countries, where they had managed to get into local governments, so they could do the same as had been done unto them. Meanwhile, lots and lots of other record companies had covered the song, so it became still harder to find out which was which version. Eventually, some of the countries that were controlled by the recording companies were starting to fight each other, and soon they started to systematically destroy the con- curring records. This went on for a couple of hundreds of years, until, after two wars that were fought by almost all the countries on the planet, there was not one record of the song left. When this was discovered, some people said, "to hell with it, we don't care anyway", but most were still of the opinion that they had to have been the only company amidst all of the one thousand and five hundred record companies that had the original recording, and they kept on telling lies, and they kept their comany records to themselves, lest some body find out that there actually was no original recording, anyway because the songwr- iter had copied it from his father, who had been a street singer. And if they haven't died, they'll still make lots of money. This, of course, is a short version of the history of religions on earth. 9. Why are all religions so intolerant? Or rather, why are some reigions not intolerant? With this second question I refer, of course, to the normannic religions (the cult of Odin, among others). This group of cults, which formed the viking religions until the thirteenth century (northern Germany and Scandinavia), was the only group of religions known to me that was tolerant enough to let itself be infiltrated by christian ideas just to be left alone. All other religions have only changed under force, except where changes were introduced by the religious leadership to assimilate other religions. The latter is a very christian practice. The chris- tians have adopted the normannic feast of Ostara1 for the purpose of letting the normans have their revival and still be christians. The normans weren't too impressed, so the pope at the time decreed that the feast of Jul was to become the feast of the birth of their god's incarnation (now called christmas, although the cristians, due to trouble with the julian calendar, misdated the holiday by four days in relation to Jul (Christmas Day is on december 25, Jul is on december 21 and coincides with the winter solstice). In the scan- dinavian countries, the nonchristian midsummer night is still a major festivity of the year, in some places even more important than christ- mas. The normans, however, did not practice these forms of religious force feeding. When they conquered Normandy, they became the only people in the known history of the world to adopt the conquered country's language (french), and the local religion, which was (you guessed correctly) christendom. This they did not do because of any kind of superiority of chistianity or christians, but for reasons of keeping the peace. Proof for this assertion is found in the almost unknown historical fact 2274 that when Bonifaz felled Thor's Oak to prove that Thor would do nothing to prevent or punish this heresy, and killed two monks in the process2, the onlookers, a german tribe, laughed, but let Bonifaz go on preaching anyway. This happened at a time when pagans were shan- ghaied into the ranks of christendom by baptism-of-sword (I don't actually know whether this translation is correct, but I could not find the word in any dictionary, including the Random House Unabridged Dictionary of English. Could it be that this practice of the roman catholics actually has no english name?), meaning that some christian priest gave some pagan the choice between letting himself be baptized or being killed by the priests sword. This is all the more confusing for the fact that christendom is the religion that preaches tolerance and love and all that, whereas the nordic religions did not preach any such thing. (Histor- ical fact: The baptism-of-sword has not at present been abolished, it has only been taken exception to by some of the recent popes and is subject to reinstitutionalization at any time). This all leads to the thought that maybe christendom needs to employ force to survive. I, personally, find this a logical conclusion from the historical facts known to me at this moment. Christians have always aggregated where political power was, they have exploited the hallucinations of at least one roman emperor (Constantin the Great) to convert him and, de facto, make a power grab to become the real emperors of the roman empire. With the roman empire in their hands, they could take control of all roman provinces in their own time, and spread christianity wherever they went; after all, they had the roman legions. When Carl the Great (Charlemagne), then a mere king of the Franks, married the daughter of a Gallic tribe leader, who was a christian, he could only marry her under the agreement that he would allow himself to be baptised during the wedding ceremony, which was shrewd politics on part of the christians, and poor judgement on part of Charlemagne. Him being the de facto emperor of an almost european empire even before the acknowledgement by pope Leo III in the 800th year of the christian era, christendom could not be stopped anymore. ____________ 1 A virility and field goddess 2 The felled tree got cought in a sudden breeze, which turned the tree around in such a way that it fell on the two unfortunate monks and killed them. Considering this conduct of a church which claims to be the only way to their god's grace, and to be humanitarian in ALL its actions, it is hard indeed for me to remain a christian, which is why I am not one. It is my herewith stated belief (which I decline to prove here, as in my opinion it is self-evident from the way some people act) that to be a christian in the biblical sense, it is not necessary to be a christian in the ecclesiastical sense; I have known and still do know atheists who conform to all so-called christian forms of conduct but viciously decline to be called christians because they say (and, having read the bible in several translations, including Luther, Gideon and King James, I agree) that being an acting member of a christian church is contradictory to the biblical christian ideals. This leads me off in another direction: The christian ideal, as stated in the bible, is never to use force, no matter under what conditions. Iesus Ben Iussuf, the carpenter some jewish sectarians claimed was the son of their god (Jesus, by the way, always denied this kinship to his god, as you can read for yourself in the evan- gelia), set up a set of morals, but he compelled nobody to follow this moral code who did not really want to. This got him nailed to the 2275 cross, which ironically became the symbol of a religion that used brute force whenever its leaders thought they could gain a political advantage that way. This is what I call bad style. 10. People who force others to follow any moral code at all should be crucified. This is a good attitude at any time, I should think. Anyway, people who are good at preaching should always look out for people willing to give them a light. They might mean the pile of wood under your feet rather than whatever you want to smoke at the moment, if you're a smoker. If you are a non-smoker, you should be aware of the fact that the only reason for anybody offering you a light is to light the wood. Too warm a fire is bound to be rather uncomfortable. Iesus Ben Iussuf, the nazarenian preacher, got nailed to a tree for the simple reason of preaching too much, and too convincing- ly. What he actually had was the set of morals handed down from his parents, which was the torah. The torah (with some parts left out and two or three books added: the old testament) gives people a workable set of morals. These are expressed most understandably in the ten commandments. The ten commandments are rather hard to obey at times, and while they worked (and continue to work) for some five thousand years now, they are not the last word said on how to treat your fellow people. Jesus took these commandments, which are hard enough to follow already, and reinterpreted them in a way that made it IMPOS- SIBLE to obey them. "Thou who lookedst at thy neighbor's wife, thou hast already coveted her!", he sais. So what are we to do? Put our eyes out? Let's define what morals are. Morals are somebody else's idea of how you should lead your life. Meaning that whatever set of MORALS you have at the moment, you do not necessarily agree with them, probably circumvent them, and definitely wish they would not exist. Morals are, by definition, the thing your society - the society that raised you - put into your brain camouflaged as ethics. Ethics is what is necessary to regard in dealing with other people to keep you alive. You may be known as a womanizer (or as a vamp), but that does not conflict with your staying alive, except where the Quran, as interpreted by the schiites, is Law. So any set of rules that prohibi- ts fucking the arse off your neighbor's wife is, by definition, morals. Whereas ethics would only prevent you from doing this if she objects to being screwed by you, and if there is an inconveniently strong probablity of her husband either disliking it (which definitely is not always the case!), or finding out and sending you to the showers with a shotgun, thereby earning his wife's disgrace by putting shotholes all over the bed, which probably was quite expen- sive, especially the water mattress, and blood stains all over the sheets, you know how hard they are to get clean, and so on. It would be a good idea, I think, to get rid of morals as such altogether. Sometimes they DO represent some kind of social glue that manages to keep society together, but the few times they have managed to keep society together even after it was doomed, they created considerable trouble after the downfall of the society that created them, because they would not go down with the society but would, instead, hang around for another couple of centuries, wreaking considerable havoc. As to be seen in Germany after both world wars, when the basic morals of the time immediately before and during the war lingered on and prevented people from liberating themselves. After world war two this symptom was specifically grave. Germans 2276 nowadays are still trying to get rid of the paradox that the Israelit- es and Sinti and Roma and so on make them responsible for the atrocit- ies the Nazis committed against their peoples even though they were not even BORN at the time. Instead of concentrating on pleasing the societies we live in, we should, in my opinion, start to bloody please ourselves, committing ourselves to ethics rather than morals. This may be disturbing for a while, but while morals are necessarily dishonest, as you are bound to override your culturally implemented set of morals sooner or later (if you haven't already) while having to keep a face of utter obedience to morals, ethics are probably the most honest set of rules humanity is capable of producing. Ethics is a very individual concept. Everybody HAS to have their own. Otherwise, ethics could not work. By the definition given above, ethics is the set of rules that you need to stay alive in society. Since everybody is only what (s)he identifies with (and here you can see the trouble patriotism can get you into, if you think about it), everybody will make their ethics fit their identity. Identity is what you are. A patriot will die for his (her) country, because that is what (s)he identifies with. A death for the purpose of ensuring one's country's survival is survival of one's identity. Which, in my opinion, is a waste of identity, but what the heck, anyway. I am most definitely not a patriot. If it ever should come to a declaration of war that would involve my home country, all the border guards would see of me would be my back, getting away FAST. But whatever you invest your identitiy in, you want it to survve, even if it means you yourself are going to die. You pay for your identity by devoting your life to whatever it is you invest it in. The returns on such an investment are usually quite big: You get a purpose in life. You have a job to do. Anyway, what ethics means is that you actually DO have a set of rules you impose upon yourself to obey which will improve the chances of survival of whatever you have invested your identity in, whether you want to or not. So, if you just follow your own ethics, and everybody else did, there would be no lies necessary, because there would be nothing "shameful" in doing anything that goes against the line of others. So, to come to a conclusion, anybody who tells you to behave the way he wants you to behave, even if you do not agree with what he wants you to behave like, just remember that you can do the same thing to him: Tell him that he should follow your ethics as a moral code, and you will not have the trouble Jesus had. He had it coming, anyway: He disregarded his own ethics. 11. Everybody is going to wind up in hell, sooner or later. With "hell", I do not, of course, refer to the christian idea of the place (as described by Dante Aligheri), nor do I mean the moham- medan Gehenna. Nor Hel, Hades, or any other religious place for the dead. I refer to Hell. Everybody alive is busy creating their own, personal, solitary brand of Hell. This you do by doing things. No matter how rightly and correctly you do everything, something will always be wrong, and somebody will always be pissed off by whatever it was you have done. So they will react. They will do everything possible to piss YOU off. If you have read article #10 of this series, you will know the difference between morals and ethics. If you have not read that article, you should do so NOW, in order to understand what I am trying to tell you. You already know the difference between ethics and morals. That was easy. Now comes the hard part. The difference between ethical and moral BEHAVIOUR is this: Somebody ACTING morally does not need to conform to morals. He only has to imitate hem. You can be the greatest Casanova since Giacomo de Seingalt himself; as long as you 2277 manage not to let the neighbors catch on, you are, by definition, acting within their set of morals. Thus, moral behaviour always goes with a rather big set of well-prepared lies, which are used AFTER you have done something. Ethical behaviour always assumes that you do not care about morals, only about your own survival. This means that you have to work things out BEFORE you act, meaning if you are going to seduce your boss' wife, you had better find out if he takes exception to this, and if he owns a shotgun. It would be a good idea, too, to get a job with another company in case he fires YOU, and not AT you when he finds out (you can always be safe in the assumption that he WILL find out, sooner or later). This means that ethical behaviour needs a lot more preparation than moral behaviour does, which means that it is more uncomfortable to carry out. This, in turn, leads to the inescapable conclusion that most people living on this planet are infernally lazy, but that is another story entirely. Anyway, moral behaviour, which is, as shown above, mostly unprepared, always leads to unnecessary consequences, such as getting shot at by angry husbands. Ehitcal behaviour, which is only possible after thinking the possible consequences of everything over quite thoroughly, only rarely has unwanted results, or at least none that were not considered AND ACCEPTED in advance. Therefore, ethical behaviour tends to piss less people off than moral behaviour does. Meaning that the more you act morally, the worse your situation is going to be: more and more people will try to give you Hell, in the literal meaning of the concept. This is where you create your own Hell: You get people pissed off at you. They only do what you (to them, quite obviously) want them to do: Piss you off like you never got pissed off before. They feel pissed on by you, and they give you back your own feces, making you drown in your own shit. I know, it sounds rather smelly, but most people seem to like it that way. Otherwise, society would not be the mess it is. 12. There is no real "sin" in any religious or moral sense. This may not be self-evident, but if you dissect the religious concept of "sin" as related to "guilt" and "conscience", you will find that it is true nonetheless. Like this: "Sin" is something that makes you feel guilty and gives you a bad conscience. By feeling guilty, you penalize yourself for whatever sin you may have committed. This is what gives you a bad conscience. If you are canalized by any "moralit- y" religion, like chistendom or islam, you will feel guilty for the most unrational reasons, and sometimes for no reason at all. Like, sneaking a look at your neighbor's young wife standing stark naked at the bedroom window, or feeling horny about your prep school teacher, or something. Anything. More rational reasons for feeling guilty would be things like beating up your best friend, or stealing from your parents, or losing money at a round of Poker. I think that these reasons to feel guilty are more rational than those mentioned before because their consequences have something to do with YOU, not with somebody else or nobody at all. Thus, there may even be somthing like "sin" after all. This would be to act contrary to your own ethics, thus endangering your identity. Your ego, whatever that may be. Coming back to the religious meaning of "sin", I feel I must comment on the way the biblical religions (meaning christendom, judaism, islam, jehovah's witnesses, mormons, jesus people and so on, in short, all religions that rely on the torah at least as part of their sacred writings) treat this subject. In the torah, sin is defined as any act against the will of 2278 their god they call "God", "Jahwe", "Jehovah", "Jesus", "The Christ", and so on. The problem with this definition is, of course, that nobody can really know, according to those religions, what their god really wants, so they do not even know wheter they sin or not, in some cases. To clear this trouble up, this god gave them the ten command- ments, so they had some rules-of-thumb to act upon. Since only half of those commandments have anything to do with society, while the others are purely for the benefit of the priesthood, one might ques- tion the authenticity of those commandments, but that is not the question here. The problem is, after all, CAN these rules-of-thumb be followed AT ALL? The answer, after the first look, seems to be "yes".After a closer look, it turns out to be a resounding "NO!!!!" This is how it works: Take the fourth comandment, "Thou shalt not steal", and the fifth, "Thou shalt not kill". Then take them serious- ly. The problem is, every time you step on an ant or any living thing at all, you kill something out of "God's" creation. And every time you eat anything, you prevent it from being eaten by the crea- tures that usually eat it. If you eat meat, you steal from the car- nivores, and if you eat a really good salad, you steal from snails and butterflies and so on. Comes the time when you dare not move your feet nor eat anyting at all. Still, simply by EXISTING, you kill billions upon billions of bacteria and viruses. Thus, nobody can achieve the state of grace needed to get into the cristian "paradise", or its equivalents in other religions. Seems to me like everybody's going to end up in Hell, someday. Note from the author This (notes0.prn) and the other files named accordingly (notesx- xx.prn,x=0...9) is the author's personal comment on some aspects of religion and philosophy as taught by earth's "learned people". I have studied neither of these subjects, nor do I have the intention to do so before my next reincarnation, if such there be. Having seen the way theologians and philosophers argue and "prove" things, I can only assume that studying philosophy or theology is bad for the brain. Anyway, from my long and repeated talks with both theo- logians and philosophers, I got the impression that it is about time that someone disome thinking of his own and stop relying on those who have studied how-not-to-think-and-still-make-it-look-as-if-they-did. In the articles I have concentrated on philosophical and/or theological questions that had themselves raised as I started getting introduced to the subject of comparative religion. I do not claim to have said the last word on any of the subjects I treat in my articles, nor do I say that my conclusions are always correct. What I intend with this Collection Of Heretic Remarks is a new outlook on religion and philosophy (meaning philosophy as connected with morals and religion, and religion as connected with methods of enforcement, so-called piety and the quasipsychological babblings of so-called gods by so-called priests and other charlatans), that does NOT connect with any former such outlooks, except where my conclusions agree, only that I try to reach these conclusions independently of what is tought as philosophy or theology nowadays. What I am doing, actually, is to answer questions I have posed myself. Then I question my answers. If nothing else, I will at least (I hope) get some kind of discussion going that is going to make short process with any former prejudices against thinking for yourself, such as most religions have going to keep people from finding out the truth, which is that they 2279 only get to pay for other people's lives in (relative) luxury for the privilege of hearing pious poppycock in church once a week, and getting told the most outrageous fairy tales about the way the church spends its money (did you know that the Vatican owns large blocks of shares of several weapons factories through lots of dummy companies?). Despite myself (and SOME others, believe me!), I did NOT write these articles to criticise any existing religion(s), nor do I want to convert anybody to anything. I just want to get people to start thinking for themselves, and to discuss the sometimes unpleasant (to put it mildly) conclusions I got by thinking about the facts of life as seen by myself. Talking about discussion; discussion always means to hear ALL views held by ALL participants in the discussion. This may sometimes be rather unpleasant, as some of the views you will read will not be to your taste at all; but if you only hear a one-sided view on a subject, you're bound to get to false conclusions. This is self-evide- nt. In order to achieve a REAL discussion, I sometimes take the stand of a devil's advocate, so please do not feel intimidated out of reading my articles by the fact that the conclusions I drew from the facts I used are somewhat unpopular with other people. This is what I intended. Another thing about philosophy: The way the philosophers of the last ten or twelve centuries worked was this: They saw that the society they lived in was a mental wreckage all over because of the morals other philosophers had them try to follow. As these morals did not work, the later philosophers tried to make things more bearable by changing the system of morals. The problem was (and still is), that these philosophers did NOT dump ALL the older philosophers had left them to be miserable with, but changed only some of the details, and darned few of those. This is where I try (in my opinion, successfully) to differ. I try not to let myself be influenced by the garbage most of yesterday's and today's philosophers put out. (I write these articles in english, so as to reach the broadest audience possible.) Distribution The articles of this series will be published on this network by a friend of mine, since I myself have no access to ANY network at the mo ment. While it may take rather long until I can get the new articles posted, this collection WILL be appended from time to time. I will publish the articles in groups of twelve, for reasons of having nice small files while still being able to publish another one every half year or so. The articles may be circulated anywhere you wish, provided that they are not altered in any way, and that the distribution note (meaning THIS) is always distributed with any other file(s) out of this collection. Translation into other languages is encouraged, provided I get to authorize the translations before they are published. Authorized translations will bear an according remark from the author, that is, my own feeble self. The copyright remains with the author. If you do not want to wait until I get the next edition posted (which might take from a few weeks to about six months from the last update), you can send a 3.5" floppy with a self-adressed envelope and full return postage (and please add another DM -.20 stamp to allow me to answer letters from people who do not put the right return postage on the return envelope) to: Karsten Dykow Prassekstr. 16 23566 Lbeck (Germany) 2280 I will make it a point to send you the latest edition of ALL articles in the series with the least delay possible. The files will be in ASCII. You can also get the files converted for Apple Macintosh. Just note that you are an Apple user and which software you want to use, and I will send you the files already converted, if possible with what disk(s) you have sent me. I will NOT send anybody a printout of more than one article, since this would make it impossible to predict the postage needed. You can (and will, I hope) also write your comments on the articles to the above adress in german, english, french or czechoslovakian. If you want answer to your comments, you should a) state so and b) add a self adressed envelope with full return postage (and please add another DM-.20 stamp...) to your letter, since I have no intention of going broke answering letters from people who are too tight to pay for the postage of something they ordered. Did I forget anything? Yes. Anonymous letters (meaning letters that do not state name and adress of the writer on the envelope) will be burned unopened. Floppy disks will be initialized before use, so there is no point in sending me virus-infested disks. So, this is this. Enjoy the reading of the articles, if you can. See you, Karsten Dykow. Copyright Notice You may copy any article in the series and distribute them any way you want, provided that you ALWAYS attach this note and do not change the text. Also, you may not sell this product under any circumstances. You are not allowed (say both the german and the international copyright laws) to take anything in exchange for this work (meaning the articles) that is worth more than what you paid yourself in copying it... 2281 *--------------*---------------* | | | | | BEING THE GREEN BOOK OF SONG | | | | | *--------------*---------------* * a compilation of neo-Pagan songs from any place I could get them. * * I am always interested in more. Please send copies of such to GREEN BOOK, c/o PO Box 35190, Phoenix AZ 85069. Please include the author(s) name(s) and copyright information. * Be advised that not all the songs here were written by neo-Pagans, so do not assume that a listed author is or is not a Pagan just by the fact that they wrote a song with neo-Pagan content. Some of the authors are just friendly to neo-Paganism. Some of the authors just wrote the silly songs for the heck of it. Some songs have no author's name attached. I do not know who wrote those, but would appreciate finding out. Many songs in here are under copyright. DO NOT record them without the author(s)'permission! Many of the authors herein can be contacted thru the address above, and, remember: when -I- turns ya into a newt, you -stays- a newt! * the Whyte Bard Rowanhold Bardic Phoenix AZ USA * This songbook is not for sale. It is FREE. If you sell it, my tame lawyer will turn you into a newt. * 2282 * THE WICCAN REDE -Anonymous (Tune: "Leatherwing Bat" aka "Celtic Circle Dance") Bide the wiccan laws you must, When ye have and hold a need, In perfect love and perfect trust: Harken not to others greed Live you must and let to live, With a fool no season spend, Fairly take and fairly give Or be counted as his friend Form the circle thrice about When misfortune is enow, To keep unwelcome spirits out Wear the star upon thy brow To bind your spell will every time, True in love you ever be, Let the spell be spake in rhyme Lest thy love be false to thee Soft of eye and light of touch, Merry meet and merry part, Speak you little, listen much Bright the cheeks and warm the heart. Deosil go by the waxing moon, Mind the threefold law you should Chanting out the baleful tune Three times bad and three times good When the Lady's moon is new, Nine woods in the cauldron go, Kiss your hand to her times two Burn them fast and burn them slow When the moon rides at her peak, Elder be the Lady's tree, Then your heart's desire seek Burn it not or cursed you'll be Heed the north winds mighty gale, When the wheel begins to turn, Lock the door and trim the sail Soon the Beltane fires will burn When the wind comes from the south, When the wheel hath turned a Yule Love will kiss thee on the mouth Light the log the Horned One rules When the wind blows from the east, Heed you flower, bush and tree, Expect the new and set the feast. By the Lady blessed be When the wind blows from the west Where the rippling waters go, Bardic words be at their best! Cast a stone, the truth you'll know Bide the wiccan laws you must, In perfect love and perfect trust: These words the wiccan rede fulfill; "An harm you none, do what you will." * 2283 * THE WITCH'S BALLAD -Doreen Valente? Oh, I have been beyond the town, Where nightshade black and mandrake grow, And I have heard and I have seen What righteous folk would fear to know! For I have heard, at still midnight, Upon the hilltop far, forlorn, With note that echoed through the dark, The winding of the heathen horn. And I have seen the fire aglow, And glinting from the magic sword, And with the inner eye beheld The Horned One, the Sabbat's lord. We drank the wine, and broke the bread, And ate it in the Lady's name. We linked our hands to make the ring, And laughed and leaped the Sabbat game. Oh, little do the townsfolk reck, When dull they lie within their bed! Beyond the streets, beneath the stars, A merry round the witches tread! And round and round the circle spun, Until the gates swung wide ajar, That bar the boundaries of earth From faery realms that shine afar. Oh, I have been and I have seen In magic worlds of Otherwhere. For all this world may praise or blame, For ban or blessing nought I care. For I have been beyond the town, Where meadowsweet and roses grow, And there such music did I hear As worldly-rightous never know. * 2284 * THE THONG OF THOR -Anonymous (Tune: "Girl I Left Behind Me") In days of yore, the great god Thor would ramp around creation. He'd drink a pint and slay a giant and save the Nordic nation, Or kill a Worm to watch it squirm and vainly try to fang him, Or lock up Loki in the pokey and on the noggin bang him. Once he did bawl through Thrudvang Hall that on a trip he'd wander In a disguise from prying eyes, in Midgard way out yonder, So all his slaves, huscarls and knaves, packed up his goods and gear, O, And off he strode, on Bifrost road, a perfect Aryan hero. In Midgard land he joined a band of hardy Viking ruff-i-ans, And off they sailed and rowed and bailed among the auks and puff-i-ans. Whene'er they'd reach a foreign beach they stopped to raid and plunder; Each Nordic brute got so much loot their longship near went under. But as they rolled in coins of gold, they had one joy forsaken, For on each raid Thor's party made, no women could be taken. Each drab and queen fled from the scene when Viking sails were sighted, And Thor felt the need for certain deeds that had gone unrequited. Thor's brows were black as they went back to Oslo's rocky haven; Unto his crew he said, "Beshrew me for a Frankish craven "If I don't wrench some tavern wench, or else may Frigga damn her." Replied one voice, "You got first choice; you've got the biggest hammer." Into an inn that crew of sin disembarked upon their landing, Each tavern maid was sore afraid of pirates of such standing. But golden coins warmed up their loins and the ale soon ran free; Thor's motley crew poured down the brew and made an all-night spree. Thor's glances strayed unto a maid with hair as gold as grain, A lisp so shy, a downcast eye, and not a trace of brain; He swept her charms into his arms and to an upstairs bower, And did not cease nor give her ease for six days and an hour! When he rose up and drained a cup, she looked like one that's near death: Her limbs were weak, she could not speak, and only gasped for her breath. "You ought to know, before I go, I'm Thor," he bade adieu. "You're Thor!" said she. "Conthider me! I'm thorer, thir, than you!" * 2285 KING HENRY (Child #32) recorded by Steeleye Span "Below the Salt" Let never a man a-wooing wend that lacketh thing-s three: A store of gold, an open heart, and full of charity And this was said of King Henry, as he lay quite alone For he's taken him to a Haunted hall, seven miles from the town He's chased the deer now him before, and the doe down by the glen When the fattest buck in all the flock, King Henry he has slain His huntsmen followed him to the Hall, to make them burly cheer When loud the wind was heard to howl, and an earthquake rocked the floor As darkness covered all the Hall where they sat at their meat The grey dogs, yowling, left their food and crept to Henry's feet And louder howled the rising wind, and burst the fastened door When in there came a grisly ghost, stamping on the floor! Her head hit the rooftree of the house, her middle you could not span Each frightened Huntsman fled the hall, and left the King alone Her teeth were like the tether-stakes, her nose like club or mall And nothing less she seemed to be than a Fiend that comes from Hell! Some meat, some meat, you King Henry, some meat you bring to me Go kill your horse, you King Henry, and bring some meat to me! And he has slain his berry-brown steed, it made his heart full sore For she's eaten it up, both skin and bone, left nothing but hide and hair! More meat, more meat, you King Henry, more meat you give to me! Oh you must kill your good greyhounds, and bring some meat to me! And he has slain his good greyhounds, it made his heart full sore For she's eaten them up, both skin and bone, left nothing but hide and hair! More meat, more meat, you King Henry, more meat you give to me! Oh, you must slay your good goshawks, and bring some meat to me! And he has slain his good goshawks, it made his heart full sore For she's eaten them up, both skin and bone, left nothing but feathers bare! Some drink, some drink, you King Henry, some drink you give to me Oh you sew up your horse's hide, and bring some drink to me! And he's sewn up the bloody hide, and a pipe of wine put in And she's drank it up all in one drop, left never a drop therein! A bed, a bed, now King Henry, a bed you'll make for me! Oh you must pull the heather green, and make it soft for me! And he has pulled the heather green, and made for her a bed And taken has he his good mantle, and over it he has spread. Take off your clothes, now King Henry, and lie down by my side! Now swear, now swear, you King Henry, to take me as your Bride! Oh God forbid, said King Henry, that ever the like betide; That ever a Fiend that comes from Hell should stretch down by my side! Then the night was gone, and the day was come and the sun did fill the Hall The fairest Lady that ever was seen lay twixt him and the wall! I've met with many a Gentle Knight that gave me such a fill, But never before with a Perfect Knight, that gave me all my Will! * * 2286 LORD OF THE DANCE In response to many requests for information about the neo-pagan version of Lord Of The Dance.... The words are credited to Aidan Kelly, C. Taliesin Edwards, and Ann Cass; the tune (when it isn't "Simple Gifts") is credited to Jenny Peckham-Vanzant, and may be an old shape-note hymn. Aidan Kelly and C. Taliesin Edwards may be the same person. According to the article in the filksong magazine "Filker Up #3," (a reprint from _Kantele_ #12, Fall 1982, and written by Cathy Cook- MacDonald), the first four verses were written by Kelly and Edwards, four more by Ann Cass in 1975-6, and the four seasonal verses by Ann Cass in 1976. Gwydion recorded the song, with variant lyrics, on his _Songs Of The Old Religion_ tape (not the entire song, though). A version of it can also be found on the tape _Celtic Circle Dance_, by Joe Bethancourt. -------------------------------------------------------------------- She danced on the water, and the wind was Her horn The Lady laughed, and everything was born And when She lit the sun and its' light gave Him birth The Lord of the Dance first appeared on the Earth (Chorus): Dance, dance, where ever you may be I am the Lord of the Dance, you see! I live in you, and you live in Me And I lead you all in the Dance, said He! I danced in the morning when the World was begun I danced in the Moon and the Stars and the Sun I was called from the Darkness by the Song of the Earth I joined in the Song, and She gave Me the Birth! I dance in the Circle when the flames leap up high I dance in the Fire, and I never, ever, die I dance in the waves of the bright summer sea For I am the Lord of the wave's mystery I sleep in the kernel, and I dance in the rain I dance in the wind, and thru the waving grain And when you cut me down, I care nothing for the pain; In the Spring I'm the Lord of the Dance once again! I dance at the Sabbat when you dance out the Spell I dance and sing that everyone be well And when the dancing's over do not think that I am gone To live is to Dance! So I dance on, and on! I see the Maidens laughing as they dance in the Sun And I count the fruits of the Harvest, one by one I know the Storm is coming, but the Grain is all stored So I sing of the Dance of the Lady, and Her Lord: (more) Lord Of The Dance (Cont.) 2287 The Horn of the Lady cast its' sound 'cross the Plain The birds took the notes, and gave them back again Till the sound of Her music was a Song in the sky And to that Song there is only one reply: The moon in her phases, and the tides of the sea The movement of the Earth, and the Seasons that will be Are the rhythm for the dancing, and a promise thru the years That the Dance goes on thru all our joy, and tears We dance ever slower as the leaves fall and spin And the sound of the Horn is the wailing of the wind The Earth is wrapped in stillness, and we move in a trance, But we hold on fast to our faith in the Dance! The sun is in the southland and the days grow chill And the sound of the horn is fading on the hill 'Tis the horn of the Hunter, as he rides across the plain And the Lady sleeps 'til the Spring comes again The Sun is in the Southland and the days lengthen fast And soon we will sing for the Winter that is past Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn And we dance the Dance of the Sun's return! They danced in the darkness and they danced in the night They danced on the Earth, and everything was light They danced out the Darkness and they danced in the Dawn And the Day of that Dancing is still going on! I gaze on the Heavens and I gaze on the Earth And I feel the pain of dying, and re-birth And I lift my head in gladness, and in praise For the Dance of the Lord, and His Lady gay I dance in the stars as they whirl throughout space And I dance in the pulse of the veins in your face No dance is too great, no dance is too small, You can look anywhere, for I dance in them all! * 2288 CELTIC CIRCLE DANCE (c) copyright 1984, 1992 W. J. Bethancourt III recorded: CELTIC CIRCLE DANCE, WTP-0002 tune: "Same Old Man/Leatherwing Bat" (Trad. Appalachian) Hi said the Norn, sittin in the sand Once I talked to a great Grey Man Spun three times and said with a sigh Hadn't been for the Runes had His other eye! Chorus: Hi diddle i diddle i day Hi diddle i diddle i diddle ay Hi di diddle i diddle i day Fol the dink a dum diddle do di day Hi said the Lady, dressed in green Came the Stag from oaken wood Prettiest thing I've ever seen Saw the Lady where She stood She went down underneath the hill By the fire burning bright And came back out of Her own free will Came to know His heart's delight! Brian Boru, on Irish ground Hail to the Lady, One in Three Walked three times the Island round We welcome You and honour Thee Norsemen came lookin for a fight As You light and guard the night just another Irish Saturday night! Honour now our sacred rite! Hi said Lugh on the banquet night Hi said the Lady dressed in white A poet and a player and a good wheelwright Sang the Day and sang the Night A harper and a warrior and none the least: Sang the Land and sang the Sea A Druid and he got in to the Feast! Sang the Song, and then sang me! Harold Haardrada's face was red! Hail to the Lord at the Lady's side Came to Britain and he wound up dead Master of the Hunt, in the day You ride Stamford Bridge is where he's found Fire burn and fire bright Got six feet of English ground Honour now our sacred rite! The Legion with its Eagles bright The Circle forms, the Circle flows Marched into the Pictish night The Circle goes where no man knows Met them there upon the sand Hail to the Lady, one in three: Gave 'em up to the Wicker Man! Present is past and past is me! Eight-legged steed and hound of Hel By Sword and Harp, and Irish Hound The One-Eyed Man, he loves ya well Blessed Be: the Day I've found Fire burn and fire spark Hail to the Lady, one in Three Are you then feared of the dark? Present is Past and Past is WE Rhiannon's Birds are still in flight Fire and Water, Air and Earth all thru the day, all thru the night The Cauldron calls for our rebirth Hail to the Lady, one in Three Hail to the Lady, three times three Present is past and past is Thee! The Circle's cast; so mote it be! Salt and oil and mirror bright From East and South and West and North Fire and fleet and candlelight Call the Powers to come forth! By fin and feather, leaf and tree, Hail to the Lady, three times three, Fill the Cup and Blessed Be! The Circle's cast; so mote it be! From the misty crystal sea By Oak and Ash and Holy Thorn Came the Lady to the lea Blessed Be the day you're born! Sword and Roses in Her Hand Fire burn and fire bright Spread their seeds thruout the Land Walk in safety thru the night 2289 * CIRCLES -Gwen Zak (Tune: "Windmills") In days gone by, when the world was much younger Men wondered at spring, born of winter's gold knife Wondered at the games of the moon and the sunlight, They saw there the Lady and Lord of all life. CHORUS: And around and around and around turns the good earth All things must change as the seasons go by, We are the children of the Lord and the Lady, Whose mysteries we know but we'll never know why. In all lands the people were tied with the good earth Plowing and sowing as the seasons declared Waiting to reap of the rich golden harvest Knowing Her laugh in the joys that they shared. Through Flanders and Wales and the green land of Ireland In Kingdoms of England and Scotland and Spain Circles grew up all along the wild coastline And worked for the land with the sun and the rain. Circles for healing and working the weather Circles for knowing the moon and the sun Circles for thanking the Lord and the Lady Circles for dancing the dance never done And we who reach for the stars in the heavens Turning our eyes from the meadows and groves Still live in the love of the Lord and the Lady The greater the Circle the more the love grows * 2290 * SPRING STRATHSPEY -Gwydion PenDerwyn copyright probably to Nemeton Myrddyn was playing his pipes in the wood, And it sounded so good to my feeling. Hiree, hiroo stirred the dance in the blood, And my fresh maidenhood started reeling. Sweetly it drew me, the song that went through me, As if sure it knew me, a maiden-song, laughing long. I'm sure that I hear it, Oh, let me draw near it, I want to be merrily courted in spring. Round us the trees formed a wheel in my mind, As if all womankind were careering. Softly he touched me, our hands intertwined, And we gently reclined in the clearing. Sweetly it drew me, the song that went through me, As if sure it knew me, a maiden-song, laughing long. I'm sure that I hear it, Oh, let me draw near it, I want to be merrily courted in spring. Dew-fall to star-fall he made love to me, In a manner so free and revealing. Swift-footed, light-footed, goat-footed, he Played a sweet melody with such feeling. Sweetly it drew me, the song that went through me, As if sure it knew me, a maiden-song, laughing long. I'm sure that I hear it, Oh, let me draw near it, I want to be merrily courted in spring. Daylight and I wake to spring's sweet bouquet And a glorious day of beginning. Myrddyn has gone on his magical way, But the equinox day leaves me spinning. Sweetly it drew me, the song that went through me, As if sure it knew me, a maiden-song, laughing long. I'm sure that I hear it, Oh, let me draw near it, I want to be merrily courted in spring. * 2291 * BEDLAM BELLS -Joe Bethancourt (c) copyright 1992 W.J. Bethancourt III (Tune: "Mad Maudlin" aka "Tom O'Bedlam") Written as a theme song for the Bedlam Bells Morris dance troupe, and originally improvised at WesterCon 45, Phoenix, AZ. Tune guitar: DADGBD Out upon the Borderlands I've watched the stars a-falling I've drunk deep from Mad River and I've heard my soul a-calling CHORUS: Still I sing bonny bells, bonny mad bells, Bedlam Bells are bonny! For we all go bare and we live by the air And we want your drink and money! I now repent that ever My staff hath murder'd giants Myself was so disdain-ed My bells can call the thunder! My wits are lost since me I cros't I stamp my feet and tread the dance Which makes me go thus chain-ed And split the sky in sunder! To find our wits in Bordertown, My horn is made of Elven-blades, Ten thousand years we'll travel I stole it cross the Border! And maudlin go on dancing toes, The rainbow there is this I wear To save our shoes from gravel For my wits are out of order! I crossed into fair Elfland I went to Digger's Kitchen To find the soul I'd squandered To beg some food one morning To hunt my sighs in children's eyes I got my dreams served piping hot But still my soul had wandered And saw a city burning I had an Elfin lady, I'll wander thru the Borderlands And took her for to wife me With feathers in my hair-o She sleeps the day, she sings the night With my true love close to my side And hearkens to delight me! And back and sides go bare-o! Both in and out of Bordertown I'll dance the day, I'll dance the night I've drank Mad River's water And spend my time a-singing And stood upon the Bridge O'Dread Dance out the old, ring in the new And watched the sudden slaughter! With Bedlam Bells a-ringing! Take a drink for Tom of Bedlam Take a drink from the river's water! And speak in sighs from darkened eyes And court the River's daughter! * 2292 * BURNING TIMES/CHANT -Charles Murphy In the cool of the evening, they used to gather, 'neath stars in the meadow, circled near an old oak tree. At the times appointed by the seasons of the Earth, and the phases of the moon. In the center of them stood a woman, equal with the others, and respected for her worth. One of the many we call the Witches, the teachers and the keepers of the wisdom of the Earth The people grew through the knowledge she gave them, herbs to heal their bodies, spells to make their spirits whole. Hear them chanting healing incantations, calling forth the Wise Ones, celebrating in dance and song Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna There were those who came to power through domination, and they bonded in the worship of a dead man on a cross. They sought control of the common people by demanding allegiance to the church of Rome. And the Pope declared the Inquisition, it was a war against the women whose power they feared. In this Holocaust against the nature peoples, a million European women died. And the tales are told of those who, by the hundreds, holding together, chose their deaths in the sea. Chanting the praises of the Mother Goddess, a refusal of betrayal, women were dying to be free. Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna Now the Earth is a witch, and the men still burn her! Stripping her down with mining and the poisons of their wars. While to us the Earth is a healer, a teacher, a mother. She's the weaver of the web of life that keeps us all alive. She gives us the vision to see through the chaos. She gives us the courage, it is our will to survive! Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna....(repeat ad lib) * 2293 YULE SONGS * HARK THE NEO-PAGANS SING -"Sunblade" (Tune: "Hark the Herald Angels Sing") Hark the neo-Pagans sing, Glory to the Holly King! Peace on Earth and mercy mild, God and Goddess reconciled, Hear us now as we proclaim, We have risen from the flames, Our ancient Craft now we reclaim, In the God and Goddess' names Hark the neo-Pagans sing, Glory to the Holly King! Herne by highest love adored, Herne the ever-reborn Lord, At all times behold Him come, Offspring of the Holy One, Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, Hail Incarnate Deity! Our ancient Craft now we reclaim, in the God and Goddess' names Hark the neo-Pagans sing, Glory to the Holly King! * YE CHILDREN ALL OF MOTHER EARTH -Ellen Reed ( Tune: "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear") Ye children all of Mother Earth join hands and circle around To celebrate the Solstice night When our lost Lord is found. Rejoice, the year has begun again The Sun blesses skies up above So share the season together now In everlasting Love! * GLORIA -Ellen Reed Snow lies deep upon the Earth Still our voices warmly sing Heralding the glorious birth Of the Child, the Winter King Glo -- ria! In excelsis Deo! Glo -- ria! In excelsis Dea! 2294 Gloria (cont.) Our triumphant voices claim Joy and hope and love renewed And our Lady's glad refrain Answer Winter's solitude Glo -- ria!(etc.) In Her arms a holy Child Promises a glowing Light Through the winter wind so wild He proclaims the growing Light. Glo -- ria! (etc..) Now the turning of the year Of the greater Turning sings Passing age of cold and fear Soon our golden summer brings. Glo -- ria! (etc..) * OH, COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL! -Ellen Reed Oh, come all ye faithful Gather round the Yule Fire Oh, come ye, oh, come ye, To call the Sun! Fires within us Call the Fire above us O, come, let us invoke Him! O, come, let us invoke Him! O, come, let us invoke Him! Our Lord, the Sun! Yea, Lord, we greet Thee! Born again at Yuletide! Yule fires and candle flames Are lighted for You! Come to thy children Calling for thy blessing! O, come let us invoke Him (x3) Our Lord, the Sun! * SILENT NIGHT -Ellen Reed Silent night, Solstice Night All is calm, all is bright Nature slumbers in forest and glen Till in Springtime She wakens again Sleeping spirits grow strong! Sleeping spirits grow strong! (more) 2295 Silent Night, Solstice Night (cont.) Silent night, Solstice night Silver moon shining bright Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth Yule fireswelcome the Sun's rebirth Hark, the Light is reborn! Hark, the Light is reborn! Silent night, Solstice night Quiet rest till the Light Turning ever the rolling Wheel Brings the Winter to comfort and heal Rest your spirit in peace! Rest your spirit in peace! * GLORY TO THE NEW BORN KING -Ellen Reed (1st verse) Brothers, sisters, come to sing Glory to the new-born King! Gardens peaceful, forests wild Celebrate the Winter Child! Now the time of glowing starts! Joyful hands and joyful hearts! Cheer the Yule log as it burns! For once again the Sun returns! Brothers, sisters, come and sing! Glory to the new-born King! Brothers, sisters, singing come Glory to the newborn Sun Through the wind and dark of night Celebrate the coming light. Suns glad rays through fear's cold burns Life through death the Wheel now turns Gather round the Yule log and tree Celebrate Life's mystery Brothers, sisters, singing come Glory to the new-born Sun. * DANCING IN A WICCAN WONDERLAND -"Alexander & Aarcher" Pagans sing, are you listenin', Altar's set,candles glisten, It's a Magickal night, we're having tonight, Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland Blades held high, censer smoking, God and Goddess, we're invoking, Through Elements Five, we celebrate life, Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland, (more) 2296 Wiccan Wonderland (cont.) Queen of Heaven, is in Her place, Triple Goddess, now the Crone Face, Above and Below, She's the Goddess we know, Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland Now the God, is the Provider, Supplying game for our Fire, Above and Below, He's the Horned One we Know, Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland In a Circle we can light a Yule Fire, And await the rising of the Sun, It's the Great Wheel turning for the new year, loaded with abundance and great fun. Later on, by the fire, Cone of Power, gettin' higher It's a Magickal Night we're having tonight, Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland * SHARE THE LIGHT (The First Noel) CHORUS: Share the light, share the light! Share the light, share the Light! All paths are one on this holy night! On this Winter holiday, let us stop and recall That this season is holy to one and to all. Unto some a Son is born, unto us comes a Sun, And we know, if they don't that all paths are one. Be it Chanukah or Yule, Christmas time or Solstice night, All celebrate the eternal light. Lighted tree or burning log, Or eight candle flames. All gods are one god, whatever their names. * MOON OF SILVER (We Three Kings) CHORUS: Oh, Moon of Silver, Sun of Gold, Gentle Lady, Lord so bold! Guide us ever, failing never, Lead us in ways of old. Maiden, Mother, Ancient Crone, Queen of Heaven on your throne, Praise we sing Thee, Love we bring Thee, For all that you have shown. (more) 2297 Moon Of Silver (cont.) Lord of Darkness, Lord of Light, Gentle Brother, King of Might, Praise we sing thee, Love we bring Thee On this Solstice night. * JOY TO THE WORLD Joy to the world! The Lord is come! Let Earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare him room And Heaven and Nature sing, etc. Welcome our King who brings us life. Our Lady gives him birth! His living light returneth to warm the seeds within us And wake the sleeping earth, etc. Light we the fires to greet our Lord, Our Light! Our Life! Our King! Let every voice be lifted to sing his holy praises, As Heaven and Nature sing, etc. * * CHRISTMAS TIME IS PAGAN! (Gloria in Excelsius Deo) CHORUS: Glorious! Christmas time is pagan! Glorious! Christmas time is pagan! Christmas time is here again, Decorations everywhere. Christmas carols ringing out, Gentle pagans, we don't care. Modern folks all celebrate What they learned in Sunday School. In December, they don't know They are celebrating Yule! Let them have their Christmas trees, Decked in red and green and blue. We rejoice at every one! Christmas trees are pagan, too. Bowls of bubbly Christmas cheer, Fill your cup and quench your thirst. They think the tradition's theirs. Wassail bowls were pagan, first. 2298 CHRISTMAS TIME IS PAGAN! Every door and window bears Wreaths of holly, wreaths of pine. Circles represent the Sun. Every wreath is yours and mine. Christmas lights on Christmas trees, Candle flames burn higher and higher, Let us cheer along, my friends, As they light their Yuletide fire. There's a possibility That this song is yours and mine 'Cause the tune was known to all Back in A.D. one-two-nine. * * GOD REST YE MERRY, PAGANFOLK (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen) God rest ye merry, paganfolk, Let nothing you dismay. Remember that the Sun returns Upon this Solstice day. The growing dark is ending now And Spring is on its way. Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy! Oh, tidings of comfort and joy. The Goddess rest ye merry, too, And keep you safe from harm. Remember that we live within The circle of Her arms, And may Her love give years to come A very special charm. Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy! Oh, tidings of comfort and joy! * 2299 * BLESSED BE AGAIN! -Joe Bethancourt (c) copyright 1992 W.J. Bethancourt III (Tune: "One Misty Moisty Morning" (Trad.) Upon a dark and windy hill, As I walked out one May morning, On Samhain's eldritch night T'was on the blooming heather I saw the Crone with withered hands I saw a Maiden dancing there, By balefire's burning light In fair and sunny weather Her eyes were full of wisdom, The Beltane fires were burning high, The threads of life she span The dancers round did spin And sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! They sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! And Blessed Be again!" And Blessed Be again!" As I walked out on Yuletide, Upon Midsummer's heady day, The winter winds blew cold I saw John Barleycorn I saw the Winter King a-standing, Walking proud and tall there Grey and grim and old In the sunny shining morn His cloak was pulled around him, His beard was long and golden, A Child was in his hand He looked at me and then And he sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! He sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! And Blessed Be again!" And Blessed Be again!" Upon the morn of Brigit's Day, Upon a singing Summer day, I saw a lovely sight At dawn on Lammastide The Goddess standing by me, I saw the Craftsman smiling, All crowned in starry light On sunbeams he did ride The crescent Moon beneath her feet, He brings us light and knowledge, The stars were in her hand To help our fellow men She sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! He sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! And Blessed Be again!" And Blessed Be again!" Upon the first of April, Upon a chilly autumn day, I saw the Holy Fool All sheltered from the storm He was a merry prankster, I saw the Harvest safe at home, The Lord of all Misrule! The families snug and warm He looked at me, and winked an eye, They sat and gave their thanks, And danced and sang and then And they laughed and smiled and then He sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! They sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! And Blessed Be again!" And Blessed Be again!" Ostara came with blossoms, The Spiral Dance goes on and on, Life flourished everywhere The King and Youth and Child I saw the Mother smiling, The Gentle Mother, Aged Crone, With flowers in Her hair And Maiden meek and mild She stood among the growing fields, And so the Yearly Circle In heather and in glen Turns in eternal spin And sang "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! So sing "Blessed Be! And Blessed Be! And Blessed Be again!" And Blessed Be again!" And "Merry Meet! And Merry Part! And Merry Meet Again!" * 2300 * HARP SONG OF THE DANE WOMEN -Rudyard Kipling What is a woman that you forsake her? and the hearth fire, and the home-acre? to go with the old, grey Widow-Maker? She has no house to lay a guest in but one chill bed for all to rest in that the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in She has no strong white arms to fold you but the ten times fingering weeds to hold you out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you Yet, when the signs of Summer thicken and the ice breaks and the birch-buds quicken yearly you turn from our side and sicken Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters you steal away to the lapping waters and look at your ship in her winter quarters You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables the kine in the shed and the horse in the stables to pitch her sides and go over her cables... Then you drive out where the storm clouds swallow and the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow is all we have left through the months to follow Ah...but what is a woman that you forsake her? and the hearth fire, and the home-acre? to go with the old, grey Widow-maker? *