Seriously…what’s with all the cleansing?

I was reading through a pagan facebook group I belong to yesterday when I came upon a post in which a young pagan lady was asking for advice. It seems she and her partner have heard noises they described as “growling” and saw flitting images out of the corner of their eye.  They wanted to know what they should do about it.

What followed was a torrent of replies, well meaning I’m sure, that offered dozens of different ways to drive out the “spirit” and “cleanse” the house.

I found myself flabbergasted that nobody other than myself, suggested welcoming the spirit. No one.

This is not an isolated case either. I’ve noticed over the last few years an ever increasing trend in the Pagan community to treating all spirits as “evil” at worst, and even angry and malevolent at best.  I really don’t know where this is coming from.  I suspect we’ve allowed hollywood and the local church to infiltrate our understanding of the spirit world to the point that we view it the same way they do…

…and that is a shame.

There was a time, long past…and more recent, when things were different….a lot different. My ancestors the Celts, and many other ancient cultures, viewed the spirit world in a very different way.  They viewed the spirit world as being much the same as the mundane world….i.e. normal.

In the spirit world of my ancestors there wasn’t any big “E” Evil. the spirits were pretty much the same as the people, which makes sense since a lot of them used to be the people.  Even the wee folks were just other folk with their lives and relationships and goals and dreams.

Just as very, very few mundane folk are “Evil”, you’d be hard pressed to find an “Evil” spirit.  What you would find is a mix of some benign, some friendly, some indifferent, and perhaps rarely even an angry spirit, but hardly ever, if ever, any spirit that would be considered “Evil”.

Even among the Gods and Goddesses of my people’s legends, there isn’t any “Evil” side like you see in the Abrahamic faiths. The closest you come is the Fomorians, whose only real crime is they opposed the Tuatha.  The great Sun God of Irish tradition, Lugh Lamhfada had a Fomorian Grandfather.

So if our stories and traditions had few if any “Evil” spirits in it, why then are we so quick to assume every spirit in our homes is somehow malevolent, out to harm us, or “Evil”? I’ve even heard Pagans refer to them as “Demons”, like we need to borrow any more baggage from the Abrahamic religions?

As to so many spirits being thought have as “angry”…. well maybe we’re to blame for that too?  

Our ancestors used to welcome spirits into their homes, whether the spirits of passed ancestors, or the wee folk. Our ancestors used to treat them like family, provide food and drink, and shelter. They would honor the house spirits with gifts and hospitality, and in return the spirits would watch over them, protecting them and making their farms and businesses and families prosper.

Nowadays any whisper of a possible spirit and it seems we’re so quick to draw the six guns loaded with sage and whatever other spiritual bleach we have at hand and drive them out into the street, no matter how long those spirits had inhabited the house before us. Is it any wonder then that they sometimes growl a bit, or knock over a glass or pull a lock of hair?  Perhaps they have every right to be angry with us, considering how we treat them.

So next time you hear a little growl or squeak, or see a fleeting shadow out of the corner of your eye, put down the sageguns and just speak to them.  Speak to them gently, and welcome them into your home. Make them feel the respect our ancestors used to afford them before we forgot our heritage.

When you make some treats for your family, put a little out for them on the windowsill, and make a point of inviting them to partake with you.  When you make up your Samhain feat, set extra places for them at the table the way your ancient mothers and fathers used to. When you toast your family, mention them too.

When you share your home with spirits, instead of pushing them out the door, you will not only be making connections with your own ancestors and traditions, you’ll be making friends in the spirit world. And that’s not half bad.

What is Wicca?

A primer for answering questions from members of other religions;

The target audience for the entire article was Conservative Evangelical Christians and I was asked to take an oppositional view. Therefore you will find references to Christianity that may not fit your particular beliefs or properly represent all Christians. If I offend anyone, please accept my apologies in advance.


What Is Wicca?

Wicca is a group of religions based on the re-creation, more or less, of the religions and practices of North and Western European pre-Christian civilizations. In reality Wicca is very diverse, possibly more so even than Christianity. One of the differences between Christians and Wiccans is that we don’t spend a lot of time arguing over which Wiccan beliefs are right and which are wrong. Wiccans will often refer to themselves as “Witches”.

Most Wiccans believe that the Divine is present in an all-encompassing form which manifests itself in the male God and Female Goddess archetypes. This is very similar to the Three-in-One concept of Christianity but from a different origin. Many Wiccans believe in the further manifestation of the Archetypes into what may be called the “named” Gods. These are the various Pantheons of the ancients such as the Celtic, Norse, Saxon, Roman, Greek, etc Gods and Goddesses.

Most Wiccan beliefs correspond to what is termed the “Three Pillars of Paganism” which is the connection between all the Pagan and Neo-Pagan faiths. The word Pagan derives from the Latin word paganus which means literally, country dweller. In the early history of the Christian Church during the time of Constantine, the legislated conversion of people to the new religion took place first in the cities where it was easier to enforce. The country folk retained their chosen faith much longer, thus the word for country folk became synonymous with non-Christian. Today’s Pagan religions encompass a wide variety of religions generally regarded as earth based (more on that later). Some of these religions have unbroken traditions (Hindu, North American Aboriginal, Siberian Shamanism), some are recreations or reconstructions of religions that were stamped out by religious colonialism (Celtic, Asatru, Stregha).

The Three Pillars of Paganism are philosophies which tend to define Pagan religious thought. Most Pagan faiths contain some measure of these three ideas, although some may emphasize one over the others.

1) Pantheism




\Pan”the*ism\, n. [Pan- + theism.] The doctrine that the universe, taken or conceived of as a whole, is God; the doctrine that there is no God but the combined force and laws which are manifested in the existing universe; cosmotheism.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc


Pantheism is the idea that the Divine within all things, that each object, creature, and person together contains a portion of that which altogether makes up the divine. This is one of the factors which contributes to the idea of earth-based religions. Since the Divine is in every object and creature, since the Earth herself is divine, it behooves us to take special care of the Earth.

2) Polytheism




\Pol”y*the*ism\, n. [Poly- + Gr. ? cf. F. polyth[‘e]isme.] The doctrine of, or belief in, a plurality of gods

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc


Polytheism is the idea that more than one god exists. Most Pagan faiths believe in at least two distinct deities, God and Goddess. Some, like Celtic and Hindu, believe in hundreds. Almost all believe that Gods and Goddesses outside their own pantheon also exist, either like the Romans, who believe most Gods and Goddesses of other religions were just renamed Roman Gods and Goddesses, or like ancient Europeans who believed different Gods and Goddesses held sway over different parts of the earth. Polytheism is one of the factors which allow modern Pagans of different faiths to worship together in joy and harmony. Our Gods and Goddesses are not jealous.

3) Animism




\An”i*mism\, n. [Cf. F. animisme, fr. L. anima soul. See Animate.]

  1. The belief that inanimate objects and the phenomena of nature are endowed with personal life or a living soul; also, in an extended sense, the belief in the existence of soul or spirit apart from matter.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc


Animism is closely related to Pantheism. Animism teaches that each object, creature, and person is endowed with a living spirit. This combined with Pantheism results in a universe in which each object is both a part of the divine and an entity in its own right.

These three principles are commonly called the Three Pillars of Paganism. They are not universal but the vast majority of Pagan Religions contain all three to a greater or lesser degree.

Another very common principle is the idea that all paths lead to the Divine. This is not so much a nod to relativism as it is an acknowledgement that the nature of the Divine is not completely knowable by humans, that all religions are simply human interpretation of a concept to large for the human mind to grasp directly. Therefore no religion is the absolute truth, but rather each is a way of understanding the nature of the Divine in ways our minds can grasp. Since each religion is an interpretation, no one religion is the truth, nor is any religion false. This leads to a cooperative nature among some very radically different belief systems that would be impossible among the Abrahamic religions, even among the practically identical Christian sects. Modern Pagans of vastly different belief systems commonly gather to worship and fellowship, emphasizing their common principles rather than their differences.

Universal Duality is a concept common to almost every religious belief system. Duality is the idea that the universe is composed of two groups, either complementary or opposed. The Abrahamic religions, for example, adhere to a duality of opposition. For them the Universe is composed entirely of that which is Good (i.e. belonging to their God or their belief system) or that which is Evil (i.e. belonging to Satan or any other belief system). This yields a Universe that is drawn up into two armed camps with constant warfare (spiritual or physical) between them. Anything that is not of your particular faith (even if it is only marginally different) is evil and must be conquered. A good example of this is the amount of marshal language inherent in Abrahamic religious writings (armor of God, soldier of the cross, Armageddon, etc.).

Pagan Dualities, on the other hand, usually consist of complementary pairs. Male and Female is a good example. In most Western Pagan belief systems there is generally a God and a Goddess. Nature is divided into male and female aspects as are all aspects of human or Divine thought. This yields a Universe where opposites are complementary rather than opposed. Cooperation of Male and Female in the act of Love creates new Life and thus the continuation of the Universe. Because our duality is not based on a concept of Good and Evil we tend to view all things and all actions individually. Just as Nature knows no Good or Evil, humans are not Good or Evil. An Individual Human may heal or harm in any given situation. Those who heal more than harm are wiser and more mature souls. Those who harm more than heal are foolish and less mature souls. Because there is no Ultimate Evil, there is no original Sin, there is no need for salvation each soul is held accountable for deeds actually done, whether fair or foul, and lessons learned. The result of that accountability varies among different Pagan Faiths.

Wiccans generally hold to a concept known as “The Rede” which is often stated as “you may do as you will, so long as you bring harm to no one”. The Rede places great responsibility on the shoulders of a Wiccan as whether something is “lawful” or not is not sufficient to permit it to be done, it must also be weighed against its potential and possible consequences to oneself and others. The concept of consequences is described by the Three-fold-law (or sometimes the hundredfold law or sevenfold law depending on the trad). Most Wiccans view the threefold law as being akin to a law of the universe, as in the law of gravity, rather than a religious stricture. The basic concept is that whatever you send out comes back to you threefold. I.e. if you do harm then that harm will return to you threefold, if you heal then that healing will return to you threefold. This tends to reinforce the Rede and makes the concept of an Evil Witch rather unlikely. Witches also hold sacred the concept of free will. This means that Witches will not perform healing or pray for someone whom they know or suspect would be unwilling to receive it even if it were for their own good.

This ties in with the concept of Magick as well. Most Wiccans believe Magick is also a physical force, like electricity, that can be manipulated by those knowledgeable in it’s attributes. Magick has no morality attached to it so the concept of white or black magick is redundant. Just as electricity can be used to heal or harm so magick is employed as to the intent of the practitioner. The consequences of the threefold law and the sanctity of free will, prevents the use of magick for harmful purposes. Most Wiccans also believe that magick for healing is additive while magick for harm is subtractive. This means that a person who chooses to do harm will never advance in power and experience beyond the beginner level while the person who heals gains power and experience.

Love Dance of the Lord and Lady

I wrote this article after witnessing the eclipse of June 10th, 2002.

I went down to the park this evening, looking to observe an astronomical event of some rarity. An eclipse, even an annular one, is not an event for any Witch to take lightly. The last two eclipses observable from here were both overcast and hidden from mortal view. With the next solar eclipse not due until 2012 and the clouds resting from their tyranny I was determined to see this most awe inspiring of celestial events.

Down to the park I went, Stang in hand and drum slung over one shoulder. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of my Fathers before me had taken this same trek, down a lonely path to greet the planetary dance. We know that the Celts, and many other ancient cultures, made accurate astronomical calculations of the trajectory of Sun and Moon. One can only suppose they must have been aware when these would intersect, but I digress.

I arrived at my customary space in time to catch the first sliver of coincidence of the two great spheres of our beloved couple. As I looked through darkened glass that shut out everything save the blazing glory of the Sun I marveled at the scene before me. As I lowered the glass I noticed a group of Elders watching me. I walked over to them and saw that they were mentally challenged on the one hand, and gloriously old on the other. I offered the ladies that were their caregivers to let them see the eclipse through my glass. As each in turn brought the glass to their eyes they called out in wonder, as if a child seeing all of creation for the first time. Each took their turn, each patiently waiting for the others to finish, each marveling at a vision they had never seen before and would not likely live to see again. Through it all the Lord and Lady continued to dance, dance for the love of those blessed Elders and for each other.

I left those souls with smiles and beacon-ed eyes and climbed back to my spot. I watched for a while, and drummed, and meditated and watched. As I saw the great occlusion progressing I became aware of an energy, a feeling, a gentle touch upon my soul. The feeling was familiar, raw and exciting and yet comforting and benign. This emotive calling was achingly familiar and yet dissociative, as if I were experiencing emotions not my own, but resembling those I had owned in the past, and recently.

Suddenly it dawned on me. What I was experiencing; what I was seeing before my eyes and into my soul, was the lovemaking of our Lord and Lady. This cosmic dance, so rare and beautiful, was the consummation of passion of lovers on a scale unfathomable by Mortal Beings. Each day they pass, reaching out to one another, barely brushing fingers outstretched. Longing for the rarest and most breathtaking lover’s touch which is denied them through long years of waiting, waiting. Today then is the time, ordained from the pattern of inundate on the floor of the universe when first the cauldron of life was overturned. Today then is the time that hope and longing, hunger and passion, grasp hold of the moment. With joyous abandon they come together, each merging with the other, light and darkness, life and death, passion and fury, warmth and cool, cool, release.

As the dancers whirl and grasp I drum. As the heavens dim in awe of the spectacle I drum. As my heart beats and surges and thunders, synchronised to the ebullition that surrounds me I drum. As the last cosmic paroxysm gasps out the name of love I drum, quietly, slowly. As the lovers recline in each other’s arms and slowly separate, and with one final kiss, release to go about their stellar journey, I drum. Tears of joy and sadness fall upon the drum head, adding their staccato rhythm to the brush of my hands on skin and I remember. I remember the thrill of skin on skin and the soft trembling voice of my own Sylph, my own Earth Faery. And I drum.

I gather my things then, and leave the lovers in the afterglow of lengthening shadows. I am spent as if I had run the course myself. I ponder the mystery I have been privy to. This is the Great Rite in its most quintessential incarnation. This is the dance of life on a scale that will not be repeated for another decade. I have been privy to an act of love so fundamental that the memory of all my Fathers before me have culminated in this one act, this one union, this one Loving Embrace of Moon Goddess and Sun God. I am well and truly Blessed.

Salt Spring Unitarians

September 9, 2018 – 10:30am

Jill Cooper with Amanda Tarling “The Music of Pride!”

Acclaimed Victoria Musician Jill Cooper will play the most icon and stirring songs associated with Pride and the history of the LGBTQ+ movement.  There will be lots of sing-a-long options for these powerful anthems.  Come celebrate Pride on Sunday morning with an array of inspiring songs and hear about how the songs became so important to the LGBTQ+ community.

Salt Spring Unitarians

Sunday Services 10:30AM at:
379 Lower Ganges Rd,
Salt Spring Island, BC

An Eye for an Eye: An Historical Perspective

Most people believe that the the phrase “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” is a Christian edict, or perhaps more accurately Hebrew. Still others will point to the fact that this rule is contained in the Code of Hammurabi, which predates Hebrew writings. Interestingly enough the phrase is actually older even than that. It originates in Madagascar and is somewhat altered from the original phrase, “An Aye-Aye for an eye”.

The tradition comes about as a result of the believed sinister nature of the animal by the natives of Madagascar. The Aye-Aye is a medium sized Lemur that resides only on that island off the east coast of Africa.

The aye-aye has coarse, shaggy black fur with a mantle of white guard hairs. It is a medium-sized nocturnal lemur weighing about 3 kg (6.6 lb). The aye-aye is found in a variety of forest types in Madagascar. Its varied diet includes insect grubs, fruits, nuts, nectar, seeds and fungi. It is also known to raid coconut plantations. The aye-aye is a nocturnal forager. Most of the night is spent traveling and foraging in the upper canopy. The day is spent sleeping in a nest constructed in a tree from interwoven twigs and dead leaves. Large trees may contain as many as six nests. Although the aye-aye is generally solitary, males and females occasionally come together outside of breeding periods and interact briefly, often when foraging. Both males and females may mate with several partners.”

“In some parts of Madagascar, the aye-aye is regarded as a harbinger of evil and killed on sight (The Sakalava believe that the aye-aye enters houses during the night through thatched roofs and murders the sleeping human occupants. It supposedly uses its elongated finger to cut the aortic vein of its victims.

(Goodman & Schütz 2000))”

The natives believed that two good eyes were necessary to protect oneself from the dreaded Aye-Aye. This allowed one to sleep with one eye open to keep an eye out for the Aye-Aye. If a person struck out the eye of another, especially the right eye which was considered the best eye to keep open, and thus know as the Aye-Aye eye, that person must make amends by taking the eye of a live Aye-Aye and giving it to the victim, who otherwise could not sleep with one Aye-Aye eye open.

To take the eye of a live Aye-Aye was no mean feat. The nocturnal and tree-dwelling Aye-Aye was almost impossible to catch in the canopy which it calls home. Thus the hunt was made into a village affair wherein the guilty party was assisted by the entire village. The hunt was conducted under the supervision of a seasoned chief who was almost always one-eyed himself, and known as the Aye-Aye Captain. It is thought that the participation of the whole village to ameliorate the crime helped repair relationships damaged by the incident.

As the tradition spread to other lands it became increasingly difficult to honour the tradition as increasing distance caused more and more of a burden on the entire village. By the time Hammurabi considered adding the tradition to his code of laws it was practically impossible to fulfill this geas for the average Babylonian. Thus Hammurabi was quoted as saying “What a crock! And what the Apsu is an Aye-Aye anyway?”. Being a practical, albeit unimaginative man, he had the phrase changed to its present form and codified into law.


Another well known tradition comes from the natural behaviour of the Aye-Aye.

“The aye-aye is different from the other lemurs because it is highly specialized in many ways; …and its long skeleton-like middle finger used to extract larvae from holes.” (Mittermeier et al. 1994)

Naturalists have also observed the Aye-Aye hunting the young of certain predatory birds. The Aye-Aye hides beneath the nest where the mother bird cannot see, to avoid being attacked by said mother bird, and probing the nest with it’s long and slender middle finger protruding from a clenched fist. If the Aye-Aye encounters a fledgling it flips the unfortunate creature out of the nest and consumes it.

The natives of Madagascar emulated this behaviour with a similar gesture involving a clenched fist and extended middle finger probing the air in a signal meant to say “I wish the Aye-Aye had got you when you were hatched”. The gesture has come to us with a similar meaning of ill-will and is known as “flipping the bird”.


The second half of the phrase in question, “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” also has its origins outside the middle east. It was originally a prescription for a herbal remedy for toothache. Vermouth, an herbal infused wine from European countries, often contained wormwood, a powerful analgesic.

“The firm Martini & Rossi is the world’s largest producer of Vermouth. “Martini and Rossi” was founded only in 1863, but vermouth – or something very much like it – dates back nearly to the threshold of history itself. Early Mediterranean cultures are known to have improved the flavor of their date and grape wines with honey, resins, and a host of herbs and spices included pepper, cinnamon and ginger.

Besides tasting dandy and raising the spirits of people who drunk them, many of these wines were thought to promote good health when combined with specific leaves and blossoms.

On of the most popular classic botanical additives was wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), a herb related to tarragon and sagebrush and prized in many cultures for its curative powers as well as its ability to stimulate appetite and aid digestion. Because wormwood was an important ingredient, the beverage became known as wermut- from the German word for the herb. Soon it was gallicized to vermout; and eventually, somewhere along the line, the h was tacked on to the end.”

Thus the entire saying, etymologically traced to its origins, should read something along the lines of…

“An Aye-Aye for an eye, and some vermouth for that tooth.”

{with apologies to James Fraser}


This little essay has always been a favorite of mine. It speaks both to the sort of intolerance that we see every day, and to the ways we can deal with it. Sometimes you need to be careful what you ask for…

Well, it had been yet another bad day in the office, and once again it was the fault of that new girl, MaryAnne. She is one of those Wiccans,  a so called witch. How can anyone in their right mind make this claim, knowing that it goes against God and all of the teachings of the bible? She doesn’t even have the common decency to keep her satanic symbol,  her pentagram necklace hidden from the view of the decent, God fearing people in the office. She has some nerve. I find that I cannot hate her for this though, for I know that she has been deceived. Satan works his  evil in ways that she cannot see. I’ve seen that so called Wiccan Rede that she has tacked to the wall above her computer. On the surface, it looks like a decent loving belief, but all one must do is look, look closely and see that by practicing this way, and not embracing Jesus  Christ as savior she is on the pathway to hell. As I’ve said, it was a bad day in the office.

Three times in the past few weeks I have been called in to see my supervisor, and he has told me that I am not allowed to preach to MaryAnne the word of God, to show her the error of her ways. Today, my  supervisor told me that if I continue to “harass” MaryAnne, he will be forced to terminate me. How can he say this? He himself is a God fearing man. And, how can he be so tolerant of the evil that he sees  insinuating itself into our workplace? As I lay down to sleep last night, I asked the Lord for guidance. “God, grant me a true vision of you, so that I may better lead the faithless onto the righteous path,” “Oh, a true vision of Me is it? Are you sure that you’re ready, truly ready to see, my son?” I sat  bolt upright in bed, and there, at the foot of my bed, white of hair and beard, in a long, flowing white robe, stood the Lord my God. I made to leap from the bed and fall to my knees in front of Him, but he stopped me with a gesture. “Kneel not before me at this time my son. Instead, rise and walk with Me, so that you may get a glimpse of what I  truly am, as you asked of me in your prayer.”

He took my hand, and as I looked, my bedroom was no longer there, but a  pathway thru the woods. We started to walk, and I was too awestruck for words. We took the path to the left, and we were then inside St.  Catherine’s Church, in the middle of a service. While still standing beside me, God seemed to expand and fill the whole of the church. I could see smiles of contentment forming on some of the  parishioners faces. I felt blessed. God smiled upon me.”The Catholics hold such pretty masses, don’t they? I like to stop here in this church, because not only do they speak the words, but they live the  life, thru teaching, helping the sick and poor, not only with handouts, but helping them learn to help themselves. Now let us walk on,” And we were back on the pathway.

We traveled a bit further along, and then were in the parlor of a  funeral home. A young woman was kneeling before the casket, resting  her head on it and crying. I could see by the similarity, that this dead man must be her father. God knelt beside her, and drew His arms  about her. “Miss him, that is all right, but weep not for him, for now he is with Me”. She wiped her eyes, and stood with a sad smile upon  her face, and said “Good-bye Daddy. I’ll miss you,” and turned and left the room.

And we were back on the pathway. We walked a little ways, and we were  in front of a large lodge of some kind. I could hear music and laughter spilling out of the windows. I turned to look at God, and was  shocked to see, not the flowing white robe, but Him wearing leather and animal furs, his hair and beard now the color of wheat, and a sword  strapped across His back. He strode forth, and I saw him approach a figure I had not seen before. As I looked close, I was shocked to see that it was the same face that I had just seen dead, but looking young  and strong, and dressed in ancient looking garb, an ax strapped to his waist. God strode up to him and grabbed him in a great bear hug. “Welcome my son. We’ve been waiting for you. Now, go inside and raise a cup or two, and meet with your brother.” And, with a hearty slap on the  back, he sent the man inside. And then we were back on the pathway.

We walked a bit further, and then we were in a mosque. At least I believed so, as I had never been in one before, but had seen pictures  of them. The group of worshippers was not large, but I could see their rapt faces as they listened to the mullah speak. He was speaking to  them of purity, both of the mind and the body, bringing them closer to Allah. And as he spoke, God, dressed now in the robes of the desert, walked among them and briefly laid his hands upon each set of shoulders. And, from their faces, I could see that these men knew that the words of the mullah  were true, and that their spirits felt touched by God. And then we were back on the pathway.

After we had walked a bit, we found ourselves in an African village.  People with skin as black as night, the women with their breast shamefully bared, were dancing in a circle, to the rhythm of the drums being played by a group of men. Somehow though, I was not offended by the bared breasts, and the music seemed to seep into my soul. God was  then a mighty lion, and He let forth a mighty roar. The villagers did not seem to hear, but the drums increased their pounding, and the dancers danced with a frenzy. And then we were back on the pathway.

We walked a bit more, and were on the top of a cliff. There sat,  painted and covered with feathers, an old Navajo man. As I watched, he  seemed to change into the form of an eagle and take flight, and we were flying with him, soaring high into the air, seeing the vista spread out  below us. And God, in the form of an eagle Himself, seemed to guide this other eagle thru the air, over mountains and thru valleys, until he came upon a group of men. As I watched, the old Navajo man was no  longer an eagle, but a young boy instead, and he sat at the feet of these men, to listen to the words of his elders. And then we were back on the pathway.

We traveled a bit, and then we were in a forest clearing. I knew this  place. It was known as a place of devil worship and evil. In the center  of the clearing roared a great bonfire, and kiwi torches outlined a circle of sorts. Inside this circle, in a circle themselves, stood 7  men and 6 women, dressed in robes of varying colors, their arms raised to the moon. Was that one woman MaryAnne? I really couldn’t be sure.  And God walked among them in the circle, touching each one. He seemed not to be an older man now, but as he made each of three turns around the circle, he was first a young girl, bouncing with energy, then a  woman of middle years, with a tender smile for all Her children, and finally, an old woman, body bent, but holding Her head up with pride. And a woman stepped forward, and yes, it was MaryAnne, and lifted her head to the sky. “Great Goddess, Mother of us all, thank you for  joining us tonight. Stay if You will, go if You must. Know in our hearts You will always be welcome.Blessed be!!” And we were back on the pathway.

As we walked along, ahead in the distance I saw the most beautiful man.  Yes, beautiful, though I would never normally think of a man this way. With blonde hair, and a golden robe, he seemed to radiate sunshine. God  and this golden man nodded to each other as they passed, sharing a smile together. “My Lord” I asked, “was that an angel?” “Well, yes, he is known as that to some. He is also known to some as a good himself. That was Lucifer” And His words caused me to stumble. I couldn’t believe that we had just passed the ultimate evil. God looked  at me, and He knew my mind. And he chuckled a bit. “Think about it logically My son. The Lucifer that you know is a fallen angel, cast out of heaven for challenging Me. If I am the all powerful being, above all others, how could he do this? How could I allow it?” “But, in the bible….” I stammered. “The Bible is a wonderful book, as are the  Koran and the Torah and many others, but they are just books, written by the hand of man, not written by Me. And, it’s a bit confusing as well if the truth be known, but that’s not up to Me to fix. These books are wonderful, but only as guidance, for each man and woman must think for themselves.” And, I believed He was right in this.

“Now, come forth, we must journey a little more before you go back” and  He took my hand once again. As we followed the pathway, we soared thru the stars, listening to the music of the heavens, we became a little  flower and a mighty oak, we became a babbling brook, and a mighty ocean. We flitted from flower to flower as a little honey bee, and ran across the plains as a mighty stallion.

And, all too soon the pathway returned us to my home. God held my hand  a moment longer, and smiled into my face.

“My son, you prayed tonight for a true vision of Me. For vision, you must only open your eyes and see what there is to see. Good night to you”. And then He was gone, and I was back in my bed. A dream I thought, only a dream, that couldn’t have been real. At that  time, a bolt of lightning lit up my room thru the window, and thunder crashed thru the sky, and I thought I heard, from seemingly far away, “Remember, the Lord works in mysterious ways My son”.

This morning as I entered the office, I went to the machine for a cup of coffee, and standing there, I spied MaryAnne. As I approached her,  I could see her barely cringe, and I could see in her face that she was expecting yet another onslaught from me and my book. She seemed to cast her eyes about for a way to escape, but there was none. I walked  up to her and smiled. “I think I owe you a bit of an apology” I said. “I’ve been a bit narrow minded of late, and I really had no right to subject you to what I did. It’s not up to me to say how you find your path to your spirit, and I was wrong to think that was so,” MaryAnne  just stood there, not knowing what to say.

“So, I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry, and I hope you will forgive my trespass. God bless you MaryAnne, and…uh…. Blessed Be?”  You know,

I always thought that it was just a saying, about people’s jaws dropping  to the floor, but MaryAnne did her best at that moment to prove me wrong.

“The Pathways” was written by Dream Dancer.