Once There Was Magic
My first memory of being on this plant is neither clear nor precise. Like anything else we humans do, we tend to cobble together stories from bits of memory and then claim them as our own and project them as the truth. I’m not naive enough to believe that my stories are any different, so I’ll keep my comments centered around some general feelings and observations that have helped me to heal some of the experiences I may or may not have had and use them to help me explain how I found my way back toward the ultimate Truth.
There was magic, but not everyone could see it, or experience it or express it. Some of these people who were bereft of magic were powerful in other ways. They had wealth and influence in a primitive civilization at the time and had strength in their bodies, cunning in their minds and a desire to stamp out their fear of magic. So, they schemed and created a dogma that they could impose on other people in the hopes of enslaving their fears.
Many people today believe in science, and not in magic, and there seems to me to be a misguided idea that the god of science will reveal all the mysteries of the universe eventually, being coaxed, stolen and seduced out of nature the way a boy might cajole a Catholic school girl out of her panties; and that humans will at some point be able to harness life itself and control every aspect of nature to the point where it does our will completely.
Conversely, there are others who think that god has a vested interest in how our lives are lived and is really pissed about how we’re doing so far, and has a desire to beat us to death and then banish everyone who doesn’t conform to these psychotic whims to unrelenting anguish for all eternity; a psychopathic or sociopathic god who creates creatures with desires and proclivities and then condemns them to untold tortures unless they deny that very desire in favor of some other desire. Do you like the color blue? Well, too bad for you! God only likes green, so you will not be seen.
It has taken me many centuries to awaken to the thought that perhaps the god of hate should accept some responsibility for all the crap he created and doesn’t like. Seriously, it is a strange mind that creates someone and then condemns that individual for not being what it wanted in the first place. To breathe life into the soul of a creature of your own design and say, “Well shit, Betty, you gay freak! I had no idea you would use your free will to fuck Susie in the backside with a dildo, and for that I condemn you not to oblivion, oh no, but to a life of everlasting torture by the hands of some little shit Satan with a red suite and a pitch fork. And by the way, certain words I find particularly offensive, so if you continue to use them, I’ll find a special place in hell for you.”
Some Myths Are Easier to Understand Than Others (at least for me)
Thinking back, I remember being in a small gathering, and never having been outside of a few square-mile space in a forest, I never saw the changes that were storming towards me like some huge, two-headed monster, hell-bent on tearing my brain into little pieces and serving it back to me like coagulated bits of blood sausage. My world at the time was not complicated. We served the many faces of god, all of which were centered on the great mother, the giver of all life. The role of men was to serve her, and the role of women was to emulate her. She would give life, and we would tend to that life, as stewards, not as masters. I understood this myth much better than I understand the myths of today.
The new religion, the myth that stretches a few thousand years to today, the one that entered my village on the backs of horses with banners and flags and was forced down my throat and held in place like a sweat-soaked gag, the story that killed the feminine face for god and replaced our myth with a new myth of insanity, the one I would struggle with through many centuries and even try on as a Bible-thumping, hell-and-damnation minister myself at one point, has never been the easiest or most logical of pills to swallow. Except in its most mystical form, this new religion that was thrust on me at the point of a sword at first and then at the point of a gun, has little or no resemblance to God’s true nature, nor to Its desire for Its creations. On the mystical side, where gnosis resides, where few religious natures seem to find their way, and on the very opposite side of the same religious coin that carries a message of fear, there is love, like a flower pressing though rocks and smiling up at the heavens.
Digging in the earth and tending the garden, we came to understand that the world had few things that were not connected to the seeds of life. There was no denying your role. If you didn’t tend the garden, the winter would be long and there was a very good chance you would not live to see the next spring, except for what you might steal from a hibernating squirrel; and the frustration might spring from nature’s seemingly unkind and unrelenting challenges. We were tied to the earth and she never let us forget that. When drought came, many suffered and died. What we never realized is how much our thoughts, how much our wills had to do with the way the planet behaved. We still don’t understand that even today we have a good deal to do with what we witness on the outside, which is a direct interdependence on what we have going on in our minds.
My life then was truly simple and fulfilling before the invasion of a projected god. I remember knowing the cycles of the earth. I knew the plants, animals and the weather. I knew the magic that was everywhere, before science would crush and enslave it. Magic tethered in the minds of a few unimaginative souls who may not even be human. Harnessing the energy of nature and making it little, making it their own and placing a toll on it and then telling everyone that progress can never be made in this world unless there is the chance to enslave others. Even to the point of writing it into the bible that obedience, as a slave, is a doctrine of the almighty.
When god speaks the way you do, when he hates the same people you hate, and wants the same things you want, you can bet god isn’t involved at all. God is not in conflict. God doesn’t own property. God doesn’t make rules and laws that men obey. It creates only Love. Everything It creates is given all, and what God makes is shared by all and grows by its being shared. There is no zero-sum-game. Give it all away and it doesn’t leave. What is given of the ego is subtracted. What is given freely of God grows exponentially. And at that time, and even today, and well into the future of the ego, the projected god will try to oppress and create poised insanity.
I lived in a hut by today’s standards, but it was comfortable. Dug into the earth under a large tree, with thick, smooth walls and small circular windows to let light in. Shutters hung over the windows to provide some control over the light and kept the wind and rain from entering unabated. A bed, a makeshift table, a chair and cubby holes for storage. I was born, lived and died in a ten-mile area, and I was a part of the land and one with everything that lived there with me. I could fly through the will of my imagination. I could walk with wolves. I scurried with squirrels, and fucked like a bunny. None of us were married, but we paired and formed life-long bonds.
God was a woman, life-giving, and unpredictable, whimsical, loving and magical. Filled to overflowing with emotion and maternal guidance. We respected Her, and to do otherwise was to invite a host of misfortune. The goddess of all was in balance, and life was tied to her. When She was angry, our tribe would thin and grow hungry. When She was satisfied, we would grow fat and lazy. We didn’t defy Her or try to enslave Her. We understood that life was fleeting, and we didn’t fear death. We knew that to follow the ego meant we had a finite time in a particular body, but we also knew that we would come and go and come again. And we were all part of the great mystery that flows through all of physicality.
Days in summer were long, and we hunted, forested, farmed a little and gathered nuts, berries and fruit. We knew how to dry and preserve foods. We knew which foods would help with ailments and we lived in harmony with nature. It was a simple time, and while we spent much time working, the nights were quiet and warm, and with full bellies we would talk and dream and do incantations and pray to the Goddess for guidance and protection.
Fall was my favorite time. The nights would turn brisk and the air would be clear and crisp. Leaves would blossom and eventually fall, gently. The water in streams would swell with rain, and the night sky would reveal the patterns that would predict the winter. We would plan our harvest accordingly. And we would call on our ancestors, whose spirits seemed to spring back to life, their misty bodies translucent, and their faces glowing with love and affection. They knew and understood the hardships of winter, and would offer stories that we would tell and retell during the long, cold winter nights when darkness seemed unending, and even the moon would only peak over the horizon for a few moments every night and then hide away again. Midwinter the moon would be absent altogether, and it would often feel as though we were lost to the universe.
Warmed by the glow of a fire crackling a constant vigil against the cold, we would huddle together and sleep for long hours, our breathing in rhythm with one another. The women would slowly swell with child over the winter months and produce their fruit in the late spring. A child had the best chance of survival after a long summer of warmth and nourishment, and, every so often, a couple would pair too early or late and the child would suffer and often die. We didn’t look on this as a failure, but instead thought of it as the child making the decision to come at a different time. As with any hardship, we let it flow. Everything in life flows, people, animals, streams, trees, even stones echo the nature of God’s Love, and in this way, we never looked at death as a tragedy, but instead as a natural part of the energy that permeates all things living or dead. We didn’t try to conquer death or stuff our feelings. We grieved. Let the loneliness wash over us in great waves and let them pass in their own course. We didn’t force them out of our minds, and we couldn’t busy ourselves past them. Our lives were too slow and relaxed in our tribe for that nonsense.
Our demise was our passive nature.
We didn’t quarrel with what was, but let it pass naturally. There were wicked winds that held an unfortunate pattern for what seemed like generations, but even they would eventually change. And while our tribe was small and tired by then, we persevered and recovered. The Great Mother would not destroy our tribe. It was man who would do that. In the name of the unholy church, our ways would be condemned and our Goddess would be silenced, raped by the god of hate and relegated to a barren, virgin status that expressed little more than a sacred whore.
Fear drove the new religion and enslaved its followers. It allowed men to run their temper tantrums and slaughter everything in their paths. The men in our tribes could have easily overpowered our women and enslaved them. We didn’t enslave our women out of respect for the balance in all things. We listened to our women and obeyed their intuitions and their close connection to the Great Mother who helped us maintain balance in our society. But it would prove no match for the unrestricted fear and loathing that would drive the religion of death and damnation. Like a fierce parasite, it took hold and consumed more gentle societies like ours and proclaimed any passive and gentle society backwater, primitive and subservient.
When religion is turned inside out and projected onto people it takes on the ugly form of fear. Religion and spirituality are meant to be turned in on ourselves, and not out onto others. Only a fool would try to dictate the minds of others. And only a truly disturbed and damaged soul filled with fear would torture others to try to condition them to accept that which is unnatural. God is of light and cannot see the darkness because it is not in Its nature. The Goddess is life-giving, loving and paints on a canvas so vast that it is beyond our ability to see or understand intellectually. Only through Love can we begin to understand Her nature. We were overrun by fools of fear and tormented spirits clothed in shadows professing a god of death and hatred.
None in our tribe, not even our most advanced priestesses with the highest levels of wisdom, could understand the out-word hostility towards women, or the apparent mistrust for the great mysteries of nature. It was foreign to us to look on the world as a thing to be owned and enslaved. The world to us wasn’t a conquest. It was an extension of us, or we were in fact, an extension of Her. She had sprung us and supported us and loved us. And while She was not always easy to understand, we loved Her, and respected Her.
Our great leaders went deep into the mists of meditation and came out with few answers, most of which drove a wedge through our tribe. Some thought we should leave physical earth for a deeper and truer existence with more enlightened beings. And some among us did move on. They slowed their vibration until they became less and less visible to the rest of the clan. Then like the passing of clouds, they were gone. I could connect with them when I was peaceful. They respected our decision to stay, but felt deep sadness for our quest for balance in all things for they knew it would be long and arduous. I think we knew that, too. And perhaps it was folly to pursue a way of life that had been condemned in the name of a false god. And though the souls of our clan are few in this realm, and most of them unknown to each other, some of us are still here.
There is a false, Hollywood-style impression of our clan today.
Either barbaric, simple, slow to adjust and secluded or shrouded in witchcraft and malice. The image is of little people, dark and mysterious that science conquered, or of pointy ears or large hairy feet. Always comic, these impressions are also physical and suggest that anyone can ride a horse to a tree in the forest on a night with a full moon and slip into a hole and vanish into another long-forgotten world. Stories of devil worshipers who steal your soul permeate the lost culture of the hungry ghosts who move aimlessly through slavery thinking that they will be the next to take charge of all they see and put an end to their fears by killing their enemies and plucking the weeds of society who dare to think deeply or differently.
The truth is much less interesting without a physical frame of reference, but much richer. Our people were beautiful, and yes, some were dark and small, but others were white as ivory. None was more beautiful than another. We never considered one not beautiful, or another more beautiful. We didn’t have contests on physical form. Some we wanted to fuck, and that was fine. Others we didn’t, but each was to his or her own attraction. That isn’t to say there wasn’t jealously or argument or preferences. But it is to say it was balanced with a more feminine perspective. What was beautiful had as much to do with inner beauty. A woman doesn’t look at body parts and measure them unless her power has been stripped from her and all she has left is physical attraction. That was the way of the god of hate. The patriarchy crushed feminine wisdom and perverted it, making it into a pitiful reflection of a male-dominated society. And women were covered and shamed for leading man to Satan and hell. All the blame for sexual energy was cast, like a psychological net, over women, leaving men to wonder in lust without responsibility and leaving society unbalanced.
None of our elders or wise women could fathom the perverted idea of the male-dominated society. We could not understand the women who allowed and embraced these perversions, but then we didn’t think on a physical plane, either. We knew we were not bodies. We knew our nature was spirit, and that while the body is feeble and clumsy, the spirit is graceful. The spirit, that part of you that wasn’t born and doesn’t die, is as God created it. Love created like Itself and held our pure spirit form in perfect oneness, an inheritance waiting to be reclaimed. This is still as true today as it was back then.
We can still go where many of our tribe chose to reside.
The world of light is available to anyone who would align with the vibration of that realm. It’s not a place that can be traveled to, like on a quest. Many have tried that, but all have failed. Science will tell you it doesn’t exist, but then, science will imply that God doesn’t exist either, that all spirituality is just so many electrodes in the brain, or a wash of certain chemicals or maybe a tumor or an abnormality of some kind. Science is of the body and the spirit offers no solid evidence. No proof, so poof, it doesn’t exist.
But anyone who has slowed down and disconnected from the ego will know that the simplest and most natural state is the one God intended for you, and that science doesn’t exist. Like groping in a nightmare, feverishly taking notes and studying a dream, science can impact the body and convince lost souls that a pill or surgery or certain foods will change everything. But on the spirit level, nothing has changed. Your spirit self, that deep part of you, is still perfect, kept without the cloud of sin, just the way God thought it into existence. No pills. No imperfection. No guilt.
My end came when I was hung from the very tree that had housed me my entire life. There wasn’t a trial or discussion; I was pulled from my little home by a small group of slave owners and told that I was a squatter on their lord’s property. They gave me no options, just put a noose around my neck, threw the rope over the thickest part of the tree and yanked me up. My body was left there until it had decayed beyond recognition. A sign was posted as a warning to anyone of my clan who dared to remain that they would come to the same fate. That I had been born there and lived on that small plot of ground for more than three decades, and that my ancestors had lived there for more than a thousand years, held little sway. Strength through the sword was all that mattered, and I didn’t have a sword or any inclination to fight back.
It was difficult for me not to hold a grievance.
And while I understand God holds no grievances, I did not share Her conviction at the time that those who had hung me deserved forgiveness. It wasn’t until many lifetimes later that I understood that until I could find forgiveness without superiority or residual resentment that these same spiritual situations would occur again and again. The crest for me in this early life were all the peaceful memories of balance lived in harmony. The simple moments of laughter and love that we felt for each other. The long, winter nights wrapped together in pelts when our breathing synchronized and we listened to the wind howl and used our imagination to visit distant places and remember long-lost tribe members. When we slept, we were one, and the God-Love filled our hearts. And then it passed, expelled by our exhale.