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                                 THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                                  (c)1986, Buck Jump

          Greetings, my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you.  May the rain fall gently on your rhubarb.  May the hail
     fall in a lake or on a parking lot.  May our little six-legged
     friends develop an allergy to your pickle patch.

          Now is the sweet season of our year.  Our Mother the Earth
     is pregnant with the harvest to come.  The days are long and the
     thoughts of the season are long, long thoughts.  In the soft
     afternoon sky the white thunderheads sail serenely on like ships
     of dream in dreamland seas.  Surely even such as I can be
     forgiven for dreaming a bit, for letting the fancy roam free.

          In dreams I see a world set free.  I see the human race
     living in peace, with each one going his own way but with
     courtesy to all who go another way.  I see us as one species,
     which we are, and all of us acknowledging that fact.  I see each
     walking in beauty, with dignity, and respecting the other
     person's dignity.  I see us loving one another, helping our
     fellow men along their way.  When I dream, I don't mess around -
     I rear back and dream up a doozy!

          So much for dreams; back to the world we live in, back to
     the life we know.  Before I spring my question for the day, a
     little background, a few facts:

          Every one of us must come to terms with his environment and
     his heredity.  We all live on one Earth.   That is the main part
     of our environment, or at least the location of it.

          We are all human beings, homo occasionally sapiens.  That is
     the basis of our heredity.  
     
          Anything that is done to one of us is done to all of us. 
     Anything that happens in one place on this planet has some effect
     on every place on the planet.

          We are, all of us, stuck with our whole species.  Here we
     are with a bunch of people we wouldn't willingly walk down a
     country road with.  Indeed, we are as ship- wrecked mariners in a
     lifeboat with a bunch we wouldn't sit down to eat a free meal
     with.  To jump out of the boat is to drown.  To try to toss those
     _______________s out is very apt to upset the boat and drown all
     of us.    These facts are self-evident, axiomatic.

          I have always held that we should all walk the path of life
     with our hands outstretched in fellowship with respect and love
     for all.  Of course, I have a caveat - keep a Bowie knife handy
     in case they haven't all heard the message.

          As the Ultimate is reported to have said when the mountains
     were made, "Now for the background".  The present situation is a
     mess.  Violence is everywhere.  Not even foolish violence, but
     violence without reason.  Surely a leopard is in our streets and
     a shark loose in our swimming pool.


                                                                             871

          An armed bandit shoots down an unarmed clerk who is
     cooperating.  A litigant in court shoots down an attorney.  A
     parent beats a child to death.  A driver gets cut off coming onto
     the freeway and guns down the chap in the pickup who did the
     off-cutting.  An otherwise reasonable young man is annoyed by the
     sounds of traffic on a mountain road and starts shooting at the
     cars passing.  Those are only a few examples culled from the news
     in recent months.  In truth, senseless violence is loose in the
     land.

          As it is with the individual, so with groups.  From the
     racist fringe movement on to great governments. Violence for the
     sake of violence is epidemic.  Each age of history has had a
     plague - the plague of this age is senseless violence.  I have
     friends of the "born again" persuasion who tell me that it is the
     Devil doing it.  I don't think so.  As far as I can determine,
     devils are a disorganized bunch.  Satan Mekatrig Lord of Chaos is
     a confusion in terms.  Seen another way, that's organized
     confusion.  As I see it, the flow of the power of the Universe is
     organized and rational.  So it seems to me that any force opposed
     to that flow must be disorganized and irrational.  That is to say
     nothing of the personal devils within us.  They must have a hand
     in at least some of this senseless violence.

          I have other friends who blame it on some as yet
     unidentified virus.  Could be, but it's a rare virus that has no
     fever, nor nausea accompanying its onset....

          Others hold that it is all explainable by Sigmund Freud and
     others of that ilk.  Again I say could be, but what mental
     discomboomeration comes on suddenly with no sign of
     disorientation nor disturbance until it suddenly manifests itself
     in the acute stage?

          For all I know, none of the above are correct.  The fact re-
     mains that a wild unreasoning violence is loose among us, a
     danger to us all.  The fact is, we are all in the same boat, and
     the boat is encountering some heavy weather.  Don't you think we
     should do something about it?  I personally can think of a whole
     lot of folks who I don;t really care to rescue, but being as we
     are all in the same boat, I am sure going to do my best for
     them....... But what?

          In case this is all some psychosis, maybe we should engage a
     firm of head shrinkers to drag in a trainload of couches and get
     everyone to undergo psychoanalysis.  I refuse to consider the
     logistics of this.  The idea by itself causes my mind to boggle.

          Or, suppose it is a virus.  In that case when the
     virologists and immunologists have a bit of spare time from their
     search for the cause and cure of AIDS, they could do the same for
     the senseless violence virus.  In view of the fact that we are
     all at greater risk from senseless violence than from AIDS, it
     might be a worthwhile task.

          Or, just in case the gnostics have some truth in their
     ideas, and it is Auld Clootie, maybe a mass general exorcism is
     in order.  Once again, my mind refuses to consider the logistics.


                                                                             872

          In view of the fact that the cause of senseless violence is
     still unknown, we might get a government grant to study the
     problem.  Considering the speed that such grants usually get
     results, I would expect a definite answer by the twenty-second
     century.  Of course, such a grant would have the added advantage
     of keeping a large number of researchers out of the pool halls
     and off the streets.

          Now I am going to go against my usual custom and make a
     suggestion; only a suggestion, mind, and not to be taken as a
     dictum, but only as an idea to be considered.  It has been my
     observation that there are only two occasions when magic is apt
     to work.  One is after all other methods have been tried and
     found ineffectual.  The other is when there is no other method. 
     Now I believe that I have explored the other methods and found
     them impractical if not impossible.  So I feel that I am safe in
     saying it's going to take magic to stop this purposeless killing.

          So how to go about it?  What spell, what charm, what
     ceremony shall we use?  What power shall we invoke?  What power
     evoke?  Magic works, the proper ceremony at the proper time, done
     for the proper reason, will work.  True for you, you may well
     say, but which ceremony?  When?  Why?

          I just told you.  The proper one.  The one that is proper
     for you is the one you yourself believe is proper.  This is not
     an essay on morals and ethics, so I refrain from putting in my
     two cents worth on what is in my estimation proper.  When you are
     fighting a grass fire is no time to discuss what sort of shovel
     to use.

          In my dream we were all walking each in his own way, each
     helping the others as much as possible.  So here let us not try
     to all walk in one path.  No point in the universe can be reached
     from only one direction.  Let us rather each from where it seems
     most right and comfortable, try by magic means to stop this
     senseless violence.  Not-ice I said senseless violence, not just
     violence.  Some who follow the old Norse way could hardly be ex-
     pected to endorse some anti-violent intention, but I know of none
     who do not deplore reasonless violence.  We have our differences,
     but surely no one objects to improving all our chances of kissing
     our grandchildren.

          So, what I propose is this.  Sometime in the next quarter
     year, whenever it seems most proper, let us in our various ways
     by whatever means one believes in, try by magic means to stop
     this epidemic of senseless violence.


                                                                             873

          I have noticed a few things about power on the unseen side. 
     For a ceremony to be more than a mere charade, everyone involved
     in it must believe in the ceremony and in whatever power is used
     in it.  Everyone must believe that the ceremony can and will
     work.  Everyone must want the ceremony to work.  If anyone
     involved in the ceremony does not so believe and want, that
     person will be a dead weight on the others that do.  When I say
     everyone, I mean everyone, all, each one with one belief and one
     resolve.  What can be done by a group acting in true spiritual
     harmony is indeed amazing, but first you must have that true
     spiritual harmony.

          That is why I suggest we go at this not as some sort of
     super- coven ecumenical pagan group.  I have seen a few of these
     "lets all get together" bunches back in the sixties, and they
     couldn't even get drunk.

          I personally am in favor of any religion that don't practice
     human sacrifice, interfere in the private lives of the
     nonbelievers, or use force in conversion.  I love 'em all, but
     I'm not fool enough to yoke the ass and the ox together.  So
     let's all go, but let's not try to make it a parade.

          That is my suggestion, and my question is why not?  I'd
     appreciate your ideas on this, I truly would.  If you have any
     ideas on the subject, please communicate them to the editors of
     the RMPJ.  Even if the ideas are along the lines of, "You're
     Nuts!!", just say why you think so.  I'd appreciate it.

          May your dreams come true; may the wind cool without
     chilling, and may you reap a harvest even richer than the seed
     catalogue said you would.  May your shadow fall long on the
     Earth.  Go in peace, remember your fellows, and with these words
     I do part now from thee.
            ________Buck Jump.       ....from RMPJ 8/86


                                                                             874

                                 The Heretic's Corner 

          Greetings, my Pagan friends, may your Gods be well disposed
     to you.  May the sad and ugly in your lives be covered by the
     blessing of beauty even as the trash of Autumn is covered by the
     beautiful snow.  May all that is sad in your lives decompose
     beneath the blessings even as the dry leaves decompose beneath
     the snow; out of the dead past a living future.  The flower of
     hope ever springs from the mulch and compost of dead regret. 
     Remember, a curse may force its way into your citadel, but a
     blessing only enters through an opened door.  In other words, my
     blessings upon you, may your Gods bless you, but do your part
     too.

          Samhain has come and past, the leaves of autumn have fallen
     to the ground, the veil between the worlds is once more grown
     thick.  It is winter now, early winter, but winter none the less. 
     Our mother the Earth is now the old woman by the fire- side, past
     all passion now, but also past regret.  She is the loving wise
     woman, the old one who looks back in order to show us the path
     ahead. Youth is the time for courage and hope, but courage
     without caution is spectacular suicide and hope without wisdom is
     gentle madness.  The  fruitful Mother Summer changes the snow-
     baby's diaper, but Grandmother Winter shows her how.  The Romans
     dedicated this quiet season to Janus who looks back into the past
     and ahead into the future with good reason.  It is the season of
     history and prophesy.    The sound of the pipes dies in a wail,
     the nimble fingers of the harper are still upon the strings, a
     hush falls over the hall and the blind seer of things unseen
     makes his way slowly up the length of the Ard Righ's great hall,
     tapping with his staff before him.  It is the hour of telling the
     King's fortune,  the tribe's fortune.  When the blind seer begins
     to chant all tongues are stilled, all ears are straining to catch
     every word.  So it was, so it still is, and my guess is, it will
     be so as long as men walk the earth.

          Now for my questions.  A heretic without questions is a
     confusion in terms.  I may be confusing and even [some say]
     confused, but I am a bona fide heretic here to question any faith
     - even my own.

          First question:  What do you see up the road before us? 
     There are Tarot cards, there are Runes, there are crystal balls
     and dark mirrors, peep stones and visions in the mind.  I can't
     even begin to list all the ways of looking into the future, but
     whatever method you use, won't you tell us what you see?  As a
     voting member of the human corporation you owe it to your fellows
     to share your vision with us all.       So come on all you
     astrologers, scryers, mystics and shamanic prophets, give us the
     word.  Now I know how hard it is to go out on a limb, I lived in
     a tree house for a while.  No one but a masochist or a publicity
     hound wants to be proved wrong in public.  Even the delphic
     oracle used to state her predictions in ambiguous terms.  The
     fact that any prophet can at times be wrong tends to make serious
     prophets a rather close-mouthed bunch.  I understand how that is,
     no one's complexion is improved by egg on the face.


                                                                             875

          Now I think I have a way for you to share your vision
     without going out on a limb and falling like Lucifer if the limb
     breaks.  Write your prediction to the editors of the R.M.P.J. and
     ask that your name be kept confidential.  It will be.  I know
     Kyri and Gary and I give you my word and oath, they are honorable
     people who will respect your confidence.  A Pagan Priest or
     Priestess is no more apt to break the seal of confession than a
     Christian one.  In the case of astrologers this is hardly the
     case.  The stars are a matter of public knowledge and any error
     in an astrological prediction is a matter of interpretation
     rather than false vision.  To some degree readers of cards and
     runes are the same as astrologers - the error is more apt to be
     in the reading than in what is read.    Anyway, in these troubled
     times [that is a redundancy] we all can use any guidance we can
     get, so please pass on to the rest of us any vision you have. So
     that is the first question.  What do you see, and that's a public
     question.

          Here is the next question, and it is a private question -
     that is, answer it, but don't pass the  answer on.  If you do, it
     can only  lead to quarrels, argument and sorrow.  We have enough
     trouble in the world without adding to it.  Answer, but keep your
     answer where you found it.  The question is this:  Is the future
     you saw the only future possible?

          The idea that the future is fixed, that the last day's
     doings were inevitably programmed before the first day's dawn did
     not begin with John Calvin.  If the future is fixed then it can
     be known - however, if it's fixed, knowing it won't help.  In
     fact in a totally known or knowable future even your finding out
     is part of the programme.

          Now as for me, I'm a heretic.  I truly can't call myself a
     Pagan and I'm sure not part of anything else either.  I wouldn't
     try to get anyone to share my beliefs.  For one thing, being "a
     poor seeker after the truth, whatever it may be" is lonely, for
     another it is apt to give a person lots of shocks.  So if I toss
     in a bit of private faith at this point don't think I'm trying to
     make any converts.  I only bring this up for your consideration.

          If you see a coyote chasing a rabbit and the coyote is
     gaining, you can predict rabbit dinner.  The odds are you will be
     right unless...  You didn't see the hole one jump ahead of the
     rabbit, or you may have overlooked the hawk already stooping on
     the rabbit.  All of these, coyote, rabbit, and hawk, are living
     creatures, self-directed by minds, so we must consider these
     possibilities too.  The coyote may become a vegetarian, the
     rabbit may take a quick course in judo and the hawk may become a
     guru and announce that she has become a butterfly.  The future
     will probably be a continuation of the past, what is in motion
     will probably stay in motion, but so long as minds are a part of
     the future, the future is changeable.  The ability to change is
     the chief attribute of a mind.


                                                                             876

          So, if I'm right any vision of the future, even if it cannot
     be totally exact will be of value to me.  If I'm wrong and the
     future is fore-ordained, prearranged, fated or kismet, I would be
     wasting my time even considering it.  The worst part of that is
     even my wasting my time must also be fated.  I don't believe
     that, but it is a consoling thought when I've lost the rent money
     shooting pool.

          Now the last question.  This one can be public or private as
     you prefer.  I can't see how the answer or how you answer would
     in itself cause any real trouble.  Oh, those who agree with your
     answer will call you wise and those who disagree will call you a
     blind fool, but that goes on all the time anyway.  The question
     is this:  How did some of the old-timers in the game of
     prediction roll up their impressive scores?
     There was the oracle at Delphi, the Roman spurinna, St. Malachy,
     and Coinneach Odhar the Brahan seer;  they all rolled, so far as
     we know, a perfect score.  How did they do it?  Or did they?  It
     may well be that their hits have been remembered and their misses
     swept under the rug.

          Then there are others; Nostradamus, Homer Lee the hunch-
     back, Roger Bacon and Robert Nixon the cheshire idiot, to name a
     few.  These all proved quite accurate after the fact.  That is,
     their pre-dictions have been seen to be accurate after the events
     predicted have come to pass, but difficult to understand before
     they happened.  This in spite of the fact that both Lee and Nixon
     were quite plain spoken.  

          Some have had dream visions, some have been suddenly granted
     knowledge, some have had visions in trance and some of them were
     correct. Others by the same methods or means have been totally
     wrong.  Is there a way to tell the true from the false before the
     predicted event either comes to pass or passes beyond
     possibility?  If so how?  Did they, the visionaries whose visions
     were accurate beyond the laws of chance, see the real and only
     future, or the most likely future?  Did they perceive the causes
     in their times and follow them logically to their final efforts,
     or did they physically go forward in time?

          No big deal, but something to while away the hours when the
     snow keeps all but those employed outside (and brave fools)
     isolated by the fireside with nothing but a bunch of books to re-
     read and the idiot box to look at.  When the white blanket cuts
     us off from society it is well to have something to occupy the
     mind.  Figuring out the prophets of old ought to last even a busy
     mind through a day of blizzard.

          Any way, let us have a bit of prophetic prediction from the
     readers. I have no doubt that there is at least one Michel de
     Nostredame out there and probably several William Millers. 
     Miller, if you don't know, was the gent who predicted the end of
     the world for Oct. 22, 1844.  If you haven't noticed, he was
     wrong.  Let us hear a word from the future from these Rocky
     Mountains.


                                                                             877

          The snow grows deeper up in the hills; old Yuler skiis over
     the mountains and through the canyons, his long red cap trailing
     behind like the tail of a comet and his merry laugh ringing in
     the crisp air.  Yuler of the winter stars, friend of wolves,
     fools, drunks and children - enemy of armies, noble princes, and
     "the brave of mouth, coward of heart", - may he take a liking to
     you.  Even more, may you be the sort of person he likes,
     cheerful, full of laughter, not boastful, simple of heart, open
     of mind and blessed with a generous giving hand.

          Be of good cheer dear friends; listen to the voice of our
     Mother.  The longest coldest winter will end one day in spring. 
     However deep beneath the snow the seeds are buried, in time the
     flowers will bloom again.  I don't need a crystal ball to see
     some rough times ahead.  Times are hard and getting harder, but
     we humans have weathered some bad times getting this far.  We can
     make it.  My blessings on one and all, with which words I do part
     now from thee.
     __________Buck Jump
     .......from RMPJ 12/86


                                                                             878

                                 THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                      Copyright (c) 1987 by Buck Jump

          Greetings my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you.  May the smoke go lightly up your chimney, taking the
     ills and sorrows of your house with it.  May your wood pile
     diminish slowly and your fire kindle quickly.  May you not lack
     for ale nor friends to share it with.

          Yule has come and passed, the sun has once more turned North
     and the short winter days grow longer.  For all that, the wolf of
     winter howls the louder around our doors.  The sky holds a
     promise of spring; the wolf howls louder and prowls closer around
     our doors for he knows his time is short.

          We people of the North Intemperate Zone are the children of
     the seasons.  Our special magic is weather magic.  Out of the
     cold hard winter and the hot blazing summer we have fashioned our
     arts and our inventions.  All the strength under the sky is of no
     avail without some-thing to push against.  Yet for all our clever
     inventions we are still shaped by the seasons, ruled by the
     weather.  here in the rockies, all our promises and our contracts
     carry the unspoken clause, "If the road is open and the crick
     don't rise."

          Our Mother the Earth speaks to us by the seasons, in the
     ever changing, ever repeated weather.  Hereabout when Mother
     speaks all men listen.  Now in the hard season be-tween the
     winter solstice and the vernal equinox the lesson Mother teaches
     is one of patience and introspection.

          Consider, my friends, how it is this time of year.  We walk
     abroad in a world that seems dead, or at least dormant and
     sleeping.  Yet out of this seeming death will spring the life of
     the summer to come.  Life into death, death into life the seasons
     roll on.  Under the frost the seeds of the plants to come are
     waiting.  Deep in their roots the grass and the greenwood trees
     are gathering strength for the green to come.  A person who won't
     learn from nature won't long cast a shadow on the earth.

          Now is the time for planning and preparation.  Now, when
     every thing is moving slowly is the time to set our minds for the
     quick decisions to come.  The time to plan for a journey is
     while the road is blocked with snow.  Perspiration without
     preparation is a waste of effort.  Now in this quiet time we
     should prepare for the busy season ahead.  In this life the quick
     and the dead are judged.  Those who ain't quick are judged dead. 
     True enough, but quick alone won't get it.  The frog that means
     to survive must be ever ready to jump, but he has to jump in the
     right direction.  Old Blue Heron gets many a meal from frogs who
     jump the wrong way.  We live in a hard world where to do nothing
     is to die, and to do the wrong thing is suicide.  The eyes that
     look not ahead are soon stopped with grave dust.


                                                                             879

          Look into the future to plan for the future, but don't
     forget the past.  Old defects and mistakes are a better teacher
     than old triumphs.  Remember what went wrong in the past, so it
     won't go wrong again.  Anyone alive to read these words must be
     at least fair at for-seeing the future, or have luck beyond the
     ordinary.  Now is the time to get out the crystal ball, cast the
     horoscope, shuffle the Tarot cards, consider the predictions of
     sages and experts, read the record to establish a pattern, and
     then meld them all into some sensible plan of action.  It's not a
     bad idea to have a contingency plan or two on hand just in case.

          Enough of this, I am beginning to sound like a guru, and I
     only meant to pass the time of day.  I have no certificate of
     appointment signed by the ultimate and witnessed by our Mother
     the Earth appointing me councillor to the human race.  No, I'm
     just the asker of questions, and I don't need an appointment for
     that.  Does a bird need an appointment to fly?

          Don't pay too much attention to me, or to any other tribal
     elder.  We are all of us ever tempted to sit in the seat of the
     oracle, and reveal to the young the words of the Gods, that we
     heard in the age we call golden.  If the elder is really good at
     it he can even recall an age when every goose was a swan and
     every goat a gazelle.  The flower children who said "don't trust
     anyone over thirty" had good reason for saying it.  I would add
     "Don't trust anyone under thirty, either."  If you can't trust
     your own observations and intelligence, you have a real problem.

          I trust you to know the difference between gold and bull-
     plop.  I will propose questions, you will have to find your own
     answers.  If I, or any other old crock,knew the answers to all of
     life's questions, do you think we'd be here casting our pearls of
     wisdom to the winds?

          When, and if you have a bit of time to consider general
     questions, after considering your own specific problems, here are
     a few good ones.

          What should our relations be with one who has gone wrong? 
     We should love all life, even the self made mess, the scoundrel
     who knows no law save his own appetites, the seeker after free
     lunches, the T.V. evangelist and all the self proclaimed "great
     leaders".  We should love them, but how close should we get? 
     Holding hands with a fool who insists on standing under a tall
     tree during a thunderstorm just isn't bright.  The laws of nature
     have no pity, and being an innocent bystander is the most
     dangerous employment known to man.  So the real question is, how
     close should we get?


                                                                             880

          Another to ponder, how far should we go in turning one of
     our fellows from the wrong path?  "No effort to great to promote
     the right" sounds good but is it?  Consider: When does a
     friendly word of warning become a pack of alarmist lies?  How far
     does friendly persuasion go, before it becomes `unfriendly
     coercion?  It's all very well to be the dedicated teacher, but
     when does the teacher become the demagogue?  How far can a
     teacher go before he is interfering with the student's free will? 
     Where does seduction end and rape begin?  Just how far can one go
     in correcting a friend gone wrong without buying in to a real bad
     deal?  I was once picking apples with a fellow who was color-
     blind.  With the best intention he picked a small round hornets
     nest.  We learn by observation.

          Here's one to ponder on long cold nights when old Fenris
     howls outside the door, and ghost lights gleam in the northern
     sky.  Can right ever be wrong?  At first glance, it looks like
     the Old Heretic has drunk too deep from the good plum wine. 
     Could be, but consider before you judge.  Take for instance the
     statement "The Earth is our mother, we should all love, cherish
     and protect her."  Now, I don't think you can find a sane person
     anywhere who don't agree with that statement, at least in spirit. 


          Self-preservation demands that we try to save our home and
     our heritage.  So far so good, but just how far should we go in
     our protecting?  What weapons should we use, and how use them? 
     Adolph Hitler had the idea that over-population was our big
     problem, and he set out to fix it.  The laws of nature don't need
     a bunch of petit bureaucrats to enforce them.  No judge and jury
     are needed to sentence a fool to dismemberment for failing to
     show the proper respect for high explosives.  It doesn't take the
     hand of Lud to drown a fool who shoots a hole in the boat.  The
     laws of nature have no pity, you who know better and are in the
     boat with the armed idiot will drown along with him if he fires
     the shot.  The trick is to save the boat.  In a case like that,
     anything that works is right and proper--if it works.  Throwing
     the armed lunatic overboard is fine if you can do it without
     upsetting the boat.  
     Anyone can cure a dog of running away by shooting him in the
     head.  
     It's a poor medicine that causes more pain than it cures.  It is
     not enough to know right and defend it, you must still be right
     after your defence triumphs.  The end would justify the means
     always, except any end must reflect the means and be a part of
     them.  So I lied a little, right can become wrong.  The real
     question is how does one defend right without destroying the
     right defended?  That's one we all damn well better have an
     answer for every day.


                                                                             881

          These grey days that keep me indoors have gotten me full of
     questions; a house-bound heretic is a menace to man's peace of
     mind.  Here is a question to discuss with friends by the fire
     over a mug of ale.  I toss this in as a gift.  After you have
     discussed the weather and displayed your knowledge of sports
     you'll need a topic of conversation.  That boring lull in the
     conversation is all too easy to fill with remarks about the
     neighbors, and that leads all to often to digging a grave in the
     frozen ground.  So here is my gift to the peace of the
     neighborhood.  When is it proper to work weather magic?

          I won't bore you with a discourse on the ways and means of
     weather magic, they are many and for the knowledgeable person
     they all work.  I know that there are a few world-class weather
     fixers in my audience.  Most of us are somewhere between poor and
     fair at weather magic.  In terms of snow we range from a white
     frost to an occasional ground hider.  The real adept can bring on
     a real road-blocker at will.  The question is not "can it be
     done?", the quest-ion is "When should it be done?"
     Why? Before you answer it might be well to consider another one
     of those laws of nature.  There is one that can be stated
     `whatever you do by whatever means is your responsibility', or in
     the vulgate "if you order it you have to take de-livery on it and
     pay for it."

          My first three questions are intended for private answers, 
     I don't want to know your answers, but I hope you do.  As long as
     your personal moral code doesn't endanger me, I'm in favor of
     you keeping it personal.  I have trouble enough with my own moral
     code.  I'm not interested in yours, but I hope you are.  

          I'd like some input on the last question.  If you have any
     ideas on the subject please pass them on to our ever-tolerant
     editors.  We who love our Mother Earth, and practice a bit of
     benign magic owe it to each other and to humanity generally to
     share our ideas.  Some of the magi of the old times seem to have
     worked out the morality of weather magic, but that was then, this
     is now.  Or does that make a difference?

          I have done my best to give you something to think about,
     something to keep boredom at bay and break the monotony of the
     cold grey days.  If this doesn't work you can shovel snow and
     keep your body so busy that your mind won't have time to grow
     bored.  If you don't have any snow of your own to shovel I'll let
     you come over to my house and have at the drifts with a shovel.

          My blessing to one and all; may the green grass of spring
     know your shadow - with these words I do now part from thee.

     P.S.  Women:  Please read mankind for man, and Hers or His for
     his.  I respect all of you persons, but I plead `non culpa' to
     the charge of male chauvinism - I did not invent the English
     language, I only use it.


                                                                             882

                           THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                               by Buck Jump

          Greetings, my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you; may the bugs flee your patch as from a crow; may the
     gentle rain fall softly on your flower beds; and may your lovers
     be all you wish them to be.  Now at the season of long lovely
     days and short passionate nights, when our Mother the fair Earth
     is at her richest and most bountiful, it is hardly the season for
     deep thinking.

          When nature is at its very best and the season most
     enjoyable are we not all of us tempted to shut of maymental
     processes and enjoy life in a purely sensual mammalian way?  Of
     course we are, to do less would be an insult to creation.

          At this glad time, here comes that old pest, the heretic,
     like the ghost at Ceasar's feast.  Consider, dear friends, even
     as the screech owl is put into this world to scare goose bumps on
     our backs, the here-tic is put into the world to ask hard
     questions and discomboomerate the quiet mind.  The only place on
     this sweet earth where we can look for a quiet unchanging stay is
     a graveyard.  It is so with me, even as with you.

          The other day when I was minding my own business [a most ha-
     zardous occupation], a stranger came to me with a request.  He
     wanted me to magically restore to him a lost love.  It seems that
     he had, by his own actions, turned his lady's love if not to
     hate, at least to an active dislike.  He was sorry.  He knew it
     was all his own fault.  He agreed that she was justified in
     leaving him.  He beat his chest and cried `mea culpa', but he
     wanted her back, and he wanted me or someone to, as he put it,
     "push the right button", and change the situation.  Before he
     came to me he had been to a friend of mine.  The friend is a
     scholar and practical magician who is rather more daring than
     most- he had by magic means caused the lady to recall the best of
     the past.  With that, the lady consented to talk with her ex-
     inamorata, and discuss, in a civilized fashion, her decision to
     be done with him.  At that, the magician bowed out.  He pointed
     out to the petitioner that from there on, it was up to him.  My
     friend maymagician can be, when he has to be, a most impressive
     man, and I gather he dismissed the `lorn lover' with a definite
     dismissal.

          Then he came to me.  I pointed out that there ain't no free
     lunch in the universe and I had no intention o    making on a
     karmic debt of considerable proportion for his possible benefit.
     I told him that it is easier to move a mountain than to move a
     human mind if it will not be moved.  I told him that he was
     trying to find someone to do for him what could only be properly
     done by himself.  I pointed out to him that his situation was an
     effect of a cause, a cause that he was responsible for.  I told
     him that magic is fine as a last resort, but hardly to be
     considered as first aid.  I told him ......  I wasted my breath.
     Such a one hears only what he wants to hear.


                                                                             883

          The petitioner only said, "I just need someone to push the
     right button - she used to love me.  I am not asking much, I just
     want things to be like they were."

          I refrained from pointing out that Hitler could have said
     the same thing in the bunker.  Then he said, "I am willing to pay
     you.  Just tell me how much it's going to cost." Some things are
     an insult from a knowledgeable person, and a joke from a fool.  I
     laughed.  He was the sort who would ask "How much?", referring to
     one's head.

          Now I am, I think, a reasonable sort, patient, and in my own
     way polite, but enough is enough, and this chap was rapidly
     becoming too much.  I told him flatly, that I was not about to do
     any button pushing.  I gave him what I felt was good advice.
     That is, I told him that if he was determined to further his
     amours by magic means to learn to do it himself.  I referred him
     to a most knowledgeable teacher.  I was in that way certain that
     he would either learn what was involved in his request and give
     it up, or more likely abandon the whole thing as too slow and too
     difficult.  (The teacher informs me that he never bothered to
     even go around to see what the teacher had to offer.  A case of
     "Gimme my daily bread, I'm willing to wait with my mouth open".)

          Then he countered that if I wouldn't "push the button" could
     I refer him to someone who could, or would.  I inquired around.
     One col-league I know is willing to try just about anything.  He
     once did a weather spell out on the high plains in tornado season
     and another time worked a charm to rid a field of grasshoppers in
     hail season.  I add, both were successful in a disastrous way.
     When I contacted him with the case, his words were, "I'd like to
     but I'm going on a trip to South America."  Surprised, I asked
     about the trip, adding I hadn't known about it.  He replied, "I
     didn't know about it either, but if that dude shows up here, I'm
     going!"

          Failing to find a genuine scholar and practicing magician
     to attempt the matter, I tried a couple of unethical charlatans.
     In view of the fact that the petitioner was a large muscular sort
     who would expect instant results, they regretfully declined.


          I was beginning to feel like Sinbad the Sailor when he
     carried the old man of the sea piggyback around the island.  At
     wit's end (where I have lived for years), I suggested that he try
     religion.  I offered to introduce him to some nice Pagan folks,
     or even get him in touch with some T.V. type evangelists.  He
     refused on the grounds that they would be too slow and uncertain. 
     He wanted instant gratification.

          At last, thanks be to the power that watches over well-
     meaning fools like me, another lady hove into sight, and he took
     off in her direction with deep breath and flashing eyes.  This
     sad fellow is but one of many I've had my misfortune to meet.  I
     am sure most of you could recount similar sad males.  We'll all
     have to get together and I'll haul out the portable wailing wall,
     and we can share a cup of tea and all sympathize with each other.


                                                                             884

          I wouldn't have bored you with this all too familiar tale
     except I have a question.  How does one deal with such people?
     Is there some way to tell a person with a real problem who can be
     helped from the person who has an endless amount of wants and no
     energy to help himself?  That is, some way, without finding out
     the hard way?  I can handle skeptics (I am one myself), I can
     handle cynics, I can handle atheists and deal with convinced true
     believers of all sorts, but how do I deal with a person who
     believes that I can work miracles?

          One question leads to another.  I have a few more on the
     same line.  How comes it that as soon as people, some of them at
     least, find that one is not part of some main line orthodox
     church, they straightway want you to work some magic?  Are Roman
     Catholic and Episcopal priests pestered by miracle seekers?  Are
     T.V.  evangelists?  If not, why not?  They deal in magic as much
     as any Pagan or free thinker.  Is the prevalence of lazy
     freeloaders the reason that Christianity for the last fifteen
     centuries or so has been down playing the magical basis of the
     early Church?  This is a topic worthy of our consideration.

          Another question comes to mind at this point.  A question
     about magic in general.  I am sure you know what magic is, just
     is I am sure I know what it is.  The definitions are many and
     varied, but they all basically state in one way or another, that
     magic is the practical side of religion, and the practice of
     magic is the art of causing changes in the tangible by intangible
     means.  Or, to put it another way, magic is a mental way of
     changing the physical by means o    the spiritual.  That is what
     magic is, no question there.  The question is what does the
     uninitiated, uninformed layman think magic is?
          If you are going to make a living repairing televisions and
     radios, it is not enough that you know electronics.  You must
     also know what your customers believe about electronics.  The
     degree of success in the TV-Radio repair business is generally in
     direct proportion to the amount of customer knowledge the
     proprietor of the business has.  The rule is, if you deal with
     the run of humanity, you must understand the general run of
     humanity.  You must not know only what you know, but also what
     people ignorantly suppose you know.

          I pass this bit of wisdom on to you, for I think it has
     value to any serious student of matters intangible.  An old
     doctor of medicine told me this some forty years ago.  The
     occasion was a patient of his inquiring about an operation for a
     then inoperable condition.  I, only an army medic, was astounded
     at the fellow's ignorance and when the Doc and I were alone, said
     as much.  "Son," the old doctor said, "Here is something to
     remember  Anything that works that you don't understand is magic
      and a magician can do anything.  That's not the truth, but
     ninety per cent of the human race believe it is." That is how
     people who have never studied the arts of magic see it.  To them
     it is a power without cost and without limit.


                                                                             885

          Now, the final question for this time is, what should we do
     about this situation?  How should one handle a request made in
     good faith, to do something clearly impossible?  Don't tell me
     the answer is nineteenth century elitist secrecy.  Even if one
     is a member of The Mystic Confraternity of the Aureate, six
     fifteen A.M. some well intentioned ill informed citizen is going
     to crawl out of your woodwork either begging for a miracle or
     demanding one.  Secrecy restricts the free flow of information
     and the cross fertilization of ideas, besides which it don't
     work.  I fear that people more or less like the chap I described
     at the start of this will ever be with us.  What can we do about
     them, how should we do it?  I am as always serious with my ques
     tions.  If anyone has some idea on the subject please let us all
     know.  Write the editorial staff of the RMPJ.  Don't hide your
     light in this dark world.

          Now, having done my best to dispel the boredom of too much
     of a good thing, I part now from you.  May the sunshine fall
     softly on you, tanning but not burning.  May our sweet Mother the
     Earth long know your shadow.  May you go ever with the current of
     the power of the Absolute.  My blessings on one and all.
              (c)1986, by Buck Jump  .........from R.M.P.J. 8/86


                                                                             886

                               THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                          Copyright 1987, Buck Jump & RMPJ

          Greetings, my Pagan friends--may your Gods be well-disposed to you. 
     May the rain be sufficient unto the needs of your gardens but not so much
     as to change the creek bottom geography.  May the fish be attracted to your
     bait and the deer flies and mosquitos find you nauseating.  

          Now is the sweet season of our year when our sweet Mother the Earth is
     at Her most satisfying, must nurturing aspect.  Ripe Summer just a moon to
     come, Spring with her fickle teasing just a moon past.  Now the days are
     long and our thoughts are longer.  The nights are short and our sorrows
     even shorter.  To add my blessing to the blessing of being alive in this
     glad season would be to lay a penny on a gold-piece.  Rejoice and be glad
     that you are alive in this season.

          According to my Almanac, which holy writ I have so far found to be
     true, on the night of June 25 the Sun and Moon will both be in Cancer. 
     That night if the clouds are not intervening we will be treated to the
     sight of the new moon with the old moon in her arms.  The earth light then
     is so bright on the moon that we can see it from here.  

          The Teutons call it the geigenschine, and, in the old times at least,
     believed it was the time when one might peer through the veil of time, to
     see both past and future.  The Celts held that the new moon was pregnant
     with the harvest to come on these nights.  Those who follow the seasons in
     their doings hold it a grand time for beginnings.  A good time for marrying
     and giving in marriage.  The Hebrideans hold it to be the luckiest of times
     for launching a fishing boat.  Come to think about it those two things are
     not very different.  

          Any way it's a fine night for a bonfire and a picnic.  I must confess
     in my own case it's hard to think of a night that isn't good for a fire and
     a feast, but when the new moon holds the old moon in her arms seems the
     best of nights for partying and feasting.  It is a time without equal for
     blessing ceremonies -- especially ceremonies to bless the beginning of
     something.  
     Most of you, I am sure, know more about this than I do, but I thought I'd
     just give you all a gentle reminder.  Another thing -- it is generally said
     to be ill luck to start the new cider in the fall with over half the old
     cider still not drunk.  Party time, friends!!


                                                                             887

          Now I may seem to change the subject.  I have found that only the
     Absolute Ultimate Intelligence and the tables of mathematics can be trusted
     totally.  That is why I trust the Almanac, the axioms of geometry, and the
     equations of physics more than the revealed words of all the prophets.  Not
     that I think prophets are liars, far from it, but one man's truth may be
     another man's fairy tale.  If you don't think that is so, consider:  Three
     honest, fair, sober citizens witness the same event, say a wreck on the
     highway.  One is a farmer from the San Luis Valley, one a Denver truck
     driver, and one a sheep herder from Craig; they tell their story in what
     they all fondly believe to be standard English.  What do we hear?  Three
     different stories that don't even seem to concern the same event.  Now take
     three metallurgists, or chemists, or physicists - any three people all
     knowledgeable in the same physical discipline.  Let one be a Swede, one a
     Chinese and one an American; let them all make the same observation and
     report on it each in his own language.  The equations they use explaining
     the observation will be identical.  That is why I hold Almanacs and such to
     be holy writ.

          Interesting, but what has that piece of information to do with a feast
     by a bonfire or a ceremony under the new moon?  Music is what.  Music is
     that form of mathematics that describes and evokes emotion.  A ceremony
     without music is like a feast without food, a confusion in terms.

          I can't speak the highland Gaelic, but when a good piper blows "I will
     see ye no the more" I understand what it is to go bravely into a battle
     knowing you won't win, and can't win, but can't avoid either.  They had no
     piper, but I wonder if someone didn't whistle that sad brave tune inside
     the Alamo that morning when Santa Anna's trumpeter blew "Death and Glory." 
     A native American blowing on a bone flute can tell you more about the Hopi
     nation and what the coyote's song means than a whole library full of
     anthropological studies.  A classic Chinese orchestra playing "Dragons
     Crossing a River" will put you more in tune with China than a year spent
     studying Kung Fu Tse in translation.  A drummer from the Congo banks and a
     drummer from the Shetlands don't have the same beat, nor do they carry the
     same message, but each can understand the other.

          Magic is at least in part emotion, a mood-thought or as we say in the
     country `you have to hold your mouth right.'  So if you do plan some
     ceremony for the night of the double moon, give a thought to the music.  It
     is not enough that a ceremony "work" it has to "work right."

          Now for my question.  I am not just being silly with this, I ask it in
     hope that we can establish some uniformity of terms.  At the night of the
     new moon we who count time by moons begin a new count.  Different folk in
     different places name the moons differently.  That is, the full moon
     occurring when the Sun is in Cancer or first after the Summer solstice is
     called Green Corn moon, Catfish moon, Strawberry moon, or First Heat moon,
     to name only a few designations.  I am not trying to establish any
     uniformity in these names.  As the heart feels let the mouth speak.  Any
     way a list beginning with the Full moon next after the Vernal Equinox is
     easily translated from one name system to another.   


                                                                             888

          What I'd like to know is something else.  The other day I was playing
     trivial pursuit and one of the questions was "what is the second full moon
     in a month called?  I missed it.  The answer was a "blue moon."  I lost
     fair and square, a game is played by the rules of the game and damn the
     facts.  In fact, a blue moon occurs whenever there is a cloud of volcanic
     dust in the stratosphere. We had several after St. Helens blew up.  There
     were some emerald sunrises at that time too.  We had `blood on the moon'
     some fifty years ago during the dust storms.  That red moon phenomenon
     occurs during forest fires too.  Signs in the moon of impending doom and
     disaster are too well known to warrant comment, so I won't make any.

          What I want to know is what does one call the second full moon
     occurring in the passage of the sun through a single sign of the Zodiac? In
     four full years there are 48 sun signs, but 49 full moons.  What does one
     call that extra full moon?  For instance it happened now would it be
     "second full moon", or "early currant moon", or "more catfish moon", or "If
     you didn't catch 'em last time moon get 'em now moon"?  Being as I'm not
     color blind I know it's not a "blue moon" but what is it?

          So dear friends the year rolls on.  Enjoy the good green days when
     Summerland is here and not hereafter.  To look ahead at the cold to come
     will spoil the enjoyment of Summer but it won't make Winter any less sharp.
     So enjoy the sweet days while you may.  May you so live that the Summer
     days will live in your hearts throughout the whole cycle of seasons and be
     with you even when you pass this way again.  May our Mother bless you and
     guide you.  With these words I do now part from thee.
                                                                     --Buck Jump
      


                                                                             889

                           THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                           (c)1986, Buck Jump

          Greetings, my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you.  May your harvest be bounteous, may your winter meat be
     fat and easily gotten, and may the autumn sun warm you for the
     cold to come.

          Now is the time of the grand payoff when what we have worked
     for throughout the long summer is at last laid in the granary.  A
     little while to enjoy the sweet earth, the time between harvest
     and wood chopping. Our Mother is especially sweet just now - past
     bearing but not yet the wise old grandmother, our Earth is still
     warm with passion, a lover of pleasure without consequence. 
     Autumn is the year's reward.  May yours be rich and filled with
     ecstasy. 

          The black birds flock for the long trip south; the wild
     geese return from the arctic barrens.  The coyotes sing their
     wild song of life and love.  A night wind rustles the drying
     leaves under the Hunter's moon, and I hear the horn of the wild
     hunt rushing over the land.  The veil between the worlds grows
     thin and the past comes back into the present.

          There is a sweet nostalgia in the past.  Old loves still
     warm the cooling blood; old triumphs still make the heart beat
     faster; old mistakes still bring a blush to the cheek.  "Old
     mistakes", as the English sailor said in the Japanese bath house,
     "Aye, there's the rub."  
          I hope the wild hunt in passing your house, starts only such
     game as you will want to see.  I fear that old Herne has started
     a hare in my woods that I neither knew was there nor wanted to
     see.

          My Pagan friends, forgive me... I goofed.  Mea Culpa, and I
     should have known better.  At least I give thanks that I can
     acknowledge my goof before it goes farther, and thanks too that I
     haven't entirely dislocated my arm patting myself on the back.

          When last I wrote in these pages, I suggested that we all
     work some magic to put an end to senseless violence.  I thought I
     was being reasonable, I thought my idea would perhaps inspire an
     outpouring of spiritual power that might well improve our common
     environment.  It seemed like such a good idea.  I was proud of
     myself.  Well, pride goeth before a forced landing.


                                                                             890

          I have a friend with whom I've debated many an issue of
     moral philosophy over many a cup of coffee. He shall remain
     nameless here, but I can identify him as a Talmudic scholar who
     has taken a post graduate course in human nature in the "second-
     hand" business.  He is a master schooled in both theory and prac-
     tice.  As soon as you issue of the R.M.P.J. came out, I
     rushed down to the coffee shop to gloat and play `one-up' with my
     friend.  I went in like a falcon and got shot down like a goose. 
     He read my prose carefully, and re-read parts of it.  He is a
     scholar and a gentleman.  The former kept him from agreeing, the
     latter kept him from being nasty about it.  Every philosopher
     should have such a friend, someone to keep our feet on the
     ground.

          "I agree with your position", he told me, "I think you have
     a noble idea, but your first premise is false.  There is no
     senseless violence -- all violence seems sensible to the one who
     does it.  Now you, I, and every well intentioned reasonably
     intelligent person must agree the examples you cite are
     senseless.  To us they are senseless, but to the people who did
     them they were sensible."

          Then he proceeded to show how, from the warped viewpoint of
     these violent people their actions were, to them, both sensible
     and justified.  He convinced me that I was making a moral and
     value judgement rather than a positive statement of natural fact. 
     In order to achieve what I wanted, I now realize, would require
     some drastic reshaping of a lot of minds, an overhaul of millions
     of psyches.  I didn't realize what I was asking.  Well, when I
     dream, I dream big....

          If all the moral philosophers, gurus, religious leaders,
     prophets and shamans who have tried and failed to re-shape
     humanity en masse were gathered together in a single place, it
     would take a Texas wheat field to hold them.  In order to stop
     senseless violence it will be necessary to get everyone to agree
     on what is senseless.  I know what is right, you know what is
     right, but that wierdo next door has some other idea.  Before we
     can feel safe around him we have to get him to agree with us. 
     I'm not too optimistic about a mass mind change even by magic. 
     It is worth a try, but recall - in the past, some real eternity
     class magicians have tried and failed.  Some of those old boys
     could control the weather, transmute metals, turn juice or water
     in to wine instantly and levitate, but they couldn't change the
     mind set of mankind.  It's easier to move a mountain than a mind. 
     To use force either real or implied, either physical or social,
     is only to replay the inquisition, and we've already had too many
     remakes and sequels to that.  Education seems to be the only
     method that works, and that's as slow as evolution.


                                                                             891

          Right and Justice are not to be had in job lots, even with
     magic.  Every case must be approached individually one by o@e. 
     To change minds in mass lots can be done magically; however
     people who are so changed are not really changed, but only
     suppressed -- what you get are a bunch of zombies.  So far as I
     know this sort of thing is only done by magicians on the dark
     side.  Adolph Hitler and Jim Jones are two examples that come
     readily to mind.  For all I know both of the named examples may
     well have started with the highest motives.  When you start
     superimposing your mind o@ the mind of another or others, things
     have a way of coming unglued.  History is full of examples of
     groups that acted with one mind for a while and then unravelled
     when the guru leader either died or ran out of gas.  No my
     friends, it won't work, even with the noblest of motives it just
     won't work.

          I knew all this from long ago, but I was misled as to what
     was going on.  I thought the senseless violence I saw around me
     was from some outside source.  A mad spirit, a virus or some sort
     of "dis-harmonic vibration".  If that were the case my idea would
     have been a good one.  On the off chance that something like that
     is now afoot in our world a general intention for reason and
     against violence can't hurt, and may well do some constructive
     good.  I'm all for anyone who tries to clean up our environment,
     seen or unseen.  Considering the sort of good folk who read the
     R.M.P.J. I'm not too worried that anyone who read my last little
     effort will be misled by it.  I fear that at worst, those of you
     who followed my suggestion may have wasted both time and effort -
     - I hope that at best, you may have done some good by promoting
     reason and discouraging confusion.  Cleaning the house won't stop
     a fire, but it will lessen the chances of spontaneous combustion,
     and make a fire easier to fight if it does break out.  As I see
     it, my mistake was in supposing we all have more or less the same
     values and in externalizing he source of senseless violence.

          Enough of apology and explanation.  Breast-beating and
     patting your back are both good exercises   .....in futility. 
     One good bray from the donkey, o@e good hoot from the owl, and
     then back to work.  We are still at risk from some angry fool
     armed and dangerous.  What can be done?  What should be done?

          I can think of several things to do.  First, learn to
     perceive the violent odes.  Some of us can see auras, some can
     pick up on "bad vibes", some can "smell" trouble --  however,
     whichever, my advice would be to use it.  An antelope don't long
     survive in the veldt without looking, listening, smelling and
     generally  keeping on the alert.  Second, surround yourself with
     protection.  Some walk in a sphere of protection, some are guided
     by some unseen force, I rely on my guardian spirit, guardian
     angel or however you call her.  In any case, whatever protection
     you have, use it.  Whatever ceremonies, prayers, incantations or
     deep meditations you use, don't neglect them.  That is about it. 
     We're back where we were when we wore fur bikinis and hunted with
     stone-tipped spears, but haven't we always been there?  Safety
     is, in this life, I fear only an illusion.


                                                                             892

          One thing more we can do, and should do -- we can teach. 
     Part of the debt we all owe to life is to clean the place.  Non
     only should we pick up the trash, but we should also clean up the
     vicious bull-shit wherever we find it.  Like it or not we are all
     teachers.      Whatever we do, whatever we say is part of the
     lesson we teach.

          Before all the Gods I wish I had some magic formula to give
     you that would clean up the world both seen and unseen, but I
     don't.  The life of mankind is a hard road to travel, that is why
     the ultimate designed a hard bunch to travel it.  My blessings on
     you one and all.  May you find enlightenment.  You are smart, may
     you find wisdom.  Let this subject now be closed between us.  If
     you have any ideas on this subject pass them on to our long-
     suffering editors.

          Now it may be that I can resume my clown suit and once more
     arm myself with my gadfly stinger and get back to the heretic
     business and leave metaphysics to those better equipped to deal
     with it.  A silversmith shoeing a horse rarely does a good job of
     it.

          In the spring the wild plums were a'blooming.  White
     blossoms on the bough, lace for the bride.  In the long summer
     the little green plums grew and changed to a lighter green color. 
     When the first frost was still up in the high country the plums
     grew sweet and turned a lovely purple-pink shade.  Then at the
     time of the autumnal equinox, they were picked and crushed.  Now
     the new wine works behind the air seals in the fermenter.  The
     promise of spring blossoms is redeemed in the good strong wine of
     winter.  What we learn in any one place we can use in another
     place.  The wild plums are a part of life; from them we can learn
     about other parts of life.  When the wine falls clear, a drink
     all around, a toast to life.  May we all go our separate ways
     bound for a common goal.  May the flowers bloom where we have
     passed.  Go in peace, well disposed to your fellows.  With these
     words I do now part from thee.____Buck Jump
     .......from RMPJ Oct '86


                                                                             893

                                  THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                                Copyright 1987, Buck Jump
                          and the Rocky Mountain Pagan Journal

             Greetings my Paganfriends; may yourGods be welldisposed to you. May
     the breeze  of Autumn cool your  sun-browned skin while the  heat of summer
     past  still warms  your heart.   May you  find pinon nuts  in plenty -don't
     forget to leave a  few for our furry friends.  May the cider of your apples
     be finer than the best champagne.  May the  sacred blue corn from your corn
     patch be enough to see you through the winter, enough to plant next spring,
     and still  enough to make  cornbread for  all your friends  when your  next
     year's corn is as high as your knees.

             The full moon of Libra  rides now in the sky.  The  Blood moon, the
     Hunters' moon, time  for such  of us as  are not vegetarians  to go on  the
     hunt.  Now is the time to make proper apologies and then lay in  the winter
     meat.  The fine days of Autumn are upon us.  Enjoy the beauty of the season
     even as you work like  one bailing a leaking boat in the middle  of a large
     lake, to prepare for the cold to come.  These are fine days, these are hard
     days.  Our Mother the Earth loves us, but she is a stern parent.  It's work
     or die for us  Her children.  Be glad that this is  so; if Mother only gave
     what a bunch of spoiled brats we would be.  So dig your potatoes  and while
     you dig remember the folks  who held this land  before us.  Bless them  for
     the  potatoes and the sacred  blue corn.  Tread  lightly on the ground -who
     knows whose graves we walk upon.

             The  other day a lady inquired of me  as to where to get some clear
     quartz  crystals.  I  referred her to  a couple of  rock shops that  I have
     found to both reasonable and reliable.  In the course of our talk she began
     to question me about the ghostly and magic qualities of crystals generally.
     I had  to tell her  that as to  crystals, my knowledge  was rather  like my
     knowledge of electronics-- purely academic.  I know that both are useful in
     the hands  of one knowledgeable  about them,  and I know  that I am  not so
     knowledgeable.  I advised her to get some of the good  books on the subject
     and to enroll in a class to study that discipline.

             I wonder  why it  is that  people assume that  because I  have some
     incomplete knowledge of magic  sticks and enchanted rings that I would know
     about  crystals. Some  folks  suppose  that since  I  can  play a  mountain
     dulcimer I can  also play an indian flute - I  can't.  Do they also suppose
     that  a  stone mason  knows  the  cabinet  maker's  trade?    Most  of  the
     definitions of magic I have read were written by magicians,  from within as
     it were.  Here is  one written by one not at all knowledgeable about magic,
     from  without.  It is this, "Magic is anything that I don't understand that
     works."   It also has  a corollary: "A magician  can do anything."   That's
     another  good reason to soft-pedal your  pagan beliefs.  Besides the people
     who want to throw  stones at you, you have  to contend with a pack  of nuts
     who expect you to turn their leaden lives into fine
     gold with no effort on anyone's part.  I digress, but I feel this paragraph
     may be of use to you.

         So back to my conversation with the crystal seeking lady.  She next
     remarked that  I probably had  never had a lucky  piece nor a  lucky stone.
     Again, I surprised her.  I told her that I had several such.  That led to a
     discussion  of lucky  stones in  general, and  the difference  in crystals,
     metals, and shapes that will work for any knowledgeable person, and special
     talismanic  tokens that have power usable only  by an individual or a small
     group of people.


                                                                             894

             A true lucky stonehas a value,at least to itsowner, that hasnothing
     to do with its price.  A natural crystal has a price fixed more or less in
     relation to its value.  Such a stone is rather like any other tool or piece
     of  equipment.  Personal  lucky stones are  another matter - I  know a good
     deal about  them, learned by both  study and experience.   Any solid object
     may be a  lucky piece.   Usually  it is  a natural  object, but  it can  be
     something manmade.   There is extensive literature on the  subject.  If you
     are  interested you can  look up talismans,  mazels, gluckenstinen, destiny
     stones, Indian medicine rocks,  lucky stones, they are all  the same thing,
     no  matter the  language.   I personally  prefer "lucky stone",  the common
     American  term, and  why  not?   I  am  a common  American.   So  much  for
     nomenclature, how do they work and where can you get one?

         As for the first question, life is too short to give a good positive
     answer.   I have a private guess, but for  anything definite you'll need to
     study   cosmology,  physics,   metaphysics,   geology,  psychogeology   and
     "energyology."  If you should come up with a good positive answer, one that
     can be proved by demonstration, please let me know.  

             Now for whereto obtain alucky stone or luckypiece.  First,you can't
     buy one - oh,  you might buy the stone,  but the seller loses the  luck and
     the  buyer don't get it.   I guess  it goes back to  wherever it came from.
     Second, you  can't steal  it.   True,  a clever  thief can  lift any  solid
     object, but the act of theft reverses the luck.  If you doubt that, I refer
     you to the history of the Hope diamond.  So, having forewarned you what not
     to do, I'll  proceed to what you can  do.  You can obtain a  lucky stone by
     gift.  You can  be given a lucky stone  provided the gift is made  in love,
     without  fear nor hope of  future favor.   I have one such,  which I got by
     inheritance.  The best and cheapest way to acquire a lucky stone is to have
     it thrust upon you.  A gift from the hands of the Gods, as it were.  To put
     it another way, a lucky stone becomes a lucky stone at some moment  in time
     when you  and the stone  come together in some,  to you, great  event.  For
     example,  bringing  down  a  deer  when  you  are  really  starving;  being
     near-missed by a bolt of lightning; a truly monumental moment of love.

             By wayof illustration, here'show two ofmine came tobe lucky stones.
     The first is a sort  of family lucky stone,  the one I got by  inheritance.
     One day in early June some sixty years ago a gang of relatives were putting
     up the hay crop on my grandfather's farm.  Purely by chance, everyone there
     was a  member of my  mother's family.   You may wonder  what a boy  not ten
     years old was doing  there.  In those days  a kid to load the  stacker pony
     was a regular  part of most haying  crews.  Suddenly  there was a flash  of
     greenish light,  a sonic boom, the earth shook and  a thin wisp of smoke or
     steam rising from the  meadow.  One of my uncles took a shovel and ran over
     to investigate.  A wisp of smoke was rising from a hole in the ground.   He
     dug up  a red hot meteorite, rare  enough in its self,  but this particular
     one is an isotropic form of  copper.  It is somewhat cylindrical in  shape,
     about the size of a large salt shaker.  That is the family lucky stone.  It
     has  been  handed down  in  the  family ever  since.   All  I  can  say is,
     comparatively we have had better luck  since then than most other families.
     The  keeper or custodian of the piece  has always been favored with unusual
     good fortune.


                                                                             895

         The other that I will describe is a piece of red and white Oregon beach
     agate.  It is about the size of the first joint of my thumb, polished and
     shaped by the random  tumbling of the waves and  sand - it seems to  have a
     sort of Salvador Dali  eye on one side.   What a certain lovely lady  and I
     were doing in an Oregon beach cave at low tide I leave to your imagination;
     when  we again returned to the world we  usually live in I was gripping the
     stone in my hand.  My own personal love charm.

             I know a manwho carries with himeverywhere a watch, meltedand fused
     into a  worthless chunk of  brass, but still  recognizable as a  watch.  He
     found it smoking  in his pocket as  he hastily shed  his pants after  being
     knocked off his feet by a bolt of lightning.  That is his lucky piece.


             Soit is withall lucky stones,they are souvenirsof a great occasion.
     Magic sticks  are made, the  result of human  intention.  Lucky  stones are
     given or  granted by power or  powers outside the ken  of man.   If you are
     fortunate enough to get one, you will  know it.  We have an instinct  about
     some things.  If you  have one,  guard it well.   Remember,  the difference
     between worthless  and  priceless  is in  that  inner wisdom  that  only  a
     superior person possesses.  

         My question this time rises from this: In the regalia and equipage of
     Kings,  the royal orb and  scepter of royalty are  second only to the crown
     itself in importance.  Now what I'd like to know is this... In the old time
     of "the simple rule and antique plan - of him to take who has the power and
     him to keep who can", was the scepter the head man's shillelagh and the orb
     his lucky  stone?   Along the  same line another  related question.   Would
     kings still rule as  well as reign if the scepter were cut with appropriate
     ceremony from a living tree and the orb of power was a true lucky stone?  I
     have noted in history  that royal power began to wane about  the time kings
     began to  rely on courtiers and  craftsmen for things they  had better done
     them-selves.  

             It is well to have friends, it is well to be a part of a group, but
     when you inwardly  begin to identify  your self with  some thing or  person
     outside yourself, you  begin to inwardly diminish.  Yours  should be a part
     of you while you have custody of it, otherwise it's  only trading stock and
     capital.

             So much  for magic sticks, and lucky  stones for history and kings,
     autumn  is upon us.  The  wild hunt rides the night  wind, the veil between
     the worlds grows  thin, it's time to prepare for the  cold to come.  Now is
     the time when the long long thoughts rise in our minds unbidden.  

         May you have food and fire for the winter and thoughts to meditate upon
     when  your paths are blocked  with snow.   May you be  blessed, may neither
     boredom nor hard living  trouble you, with which  words I do now  part from
     thee.
               ___ Buck Jump


                                                                             896

                           THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                           (c)1986, Buck Jump

          Greetings, my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you.  May your harvest be bounteous, may your winter meat be
     fat and easily gotten, and may the autumn sun warm you for the
     cold to come.

          Now is the time of the grand payoff when what we have worked
     for throughout the long summer is at last laid in the granary.  A
     little while to enjoy the sweet earth, the time between harvest
     and wood chopping. Our Mother is especially sweet just now - past
     bearing but not yet the wise old grandmother, our Earth is still
     warm with passion, a lover of pleasure without consequence. 
     Autumn is the year's reward.  May yours be rich and filled with
     ecstasy. 

          The black birds flock for the long trip south; the wild
     geese return from the arctic barrens.  The coyotes sing their
     wild song of life and love.  A night wind rustles the drying
     leaves under the Hunter's moon, and I hear the horn of the wild
     hunt rushing over the land.  The veil between the worlds grows
     thin and the past comes back into the present.

          There is a sweet nostalgia in the past.  Old loves still
     warm the cooling blood; old triumphs still make the heart beat
     faster; old mistakes still bring a blush to the cheek.  "Old
     mistakes", as the English sailor said in the Japanese bath house,
     "Aye, there's the rub."  
          I hope the wild hunt in passing your house, starts only such
     game as you will want to see.  I fear that old Herne has started
     a hare in my woods that I neither knew was there nor wanted to
     see.

          My Pagan friends, forgive me... I goofed.  Mea Culpa, and I
     should have known better.  At least I give thanks that I can
     acknowledge my goof before it goes farther, and thanks too that I
     haven't entirely dislocated my arm patting myself on the back.

          When last I wrote in these pages, I suggested that we all
     work some magic to put an end to senseless violence.  I thought I
     was being reasonable, I thought my idea would perhaps inspire an
     outpouring of spiritual power that might well improve our common
     environment.  It seemed like such a good idea.  I was proud of
     myself.  Well, pride goeth before a forced landing.


                                                                             897

          I have a friend with whom I've debated many an issue of
     moral philosophy over many a cup of coffee. He shall remain
     nameless here, but I can identify him as a Talmudic scholar who
     has taken a post graduate course in human nature in the "second-
     hand" business.  He is a master schooled in both theory and prac-
     tice.  As soon as the last issue of the R.M.P.J. came out, I
     rushed down to the coffee shop to gloat and play `one-up' with my
     friend.  I went in like a falcon and got shot down like a goose. 
     He read my prose carefully, and re-read parts of it.  He is a
     scholar and a gentleman.  The former kept him from agreeing, the
     latter kept him from being nasty about it.  Every philosopher
     should have such a friend, someone to keep our feet on the
     ground.

          "I agree with your position", he told me, "I think you have
     a noble idea, but your first premise is false.  There is no
     senseless violence -- all violence seems sensible to the one who
     does it.  Now you, I, and every well intentioned reasonably
     intelligent person must agree the examples you cite are
     senseless.  To us they are senseless, but to the people who did
     them they were sensible."

          Then he proceeded to show how, from the warped viewpoint of
     these violent people their actions were, to them, both sensible
     and justified.  He convinced me that I was making a moral and
     value judgement rather than a positive statement of natural fact. 
     In order to achieve what I wanted, I now realize, would require
     some drastic reshaping of a lot of minds, an overhaul of millions
     of psyches.  I didn't realize what I was asking.  Well, when I
     dream, I dream big....

          If all the moral philosophers, gurus, religious leaders,
     prophets and shamans who have tried and failed to re-shape
     humanity en masse were gathered together in a single place, it
     would take a Texas wheat field to hold them.  In order to stop
     senseless violence it will be necessary to get everyone to agree
     on what is senseless.  I know what is right, you know what is
     right, but that wierdo next door has some other idea.  Before we
     can feel safe around him we have to get him to agree with us. 
     I'm not too optimistic about a mass mind change even by magic. 
     It is worth a try, but recall - in the past, some real eternity
     class magicians have tried and failed.  Some of those old boys
     could control the weather, transmute metals, turn juice or water
     in to wine instantly and levitate, but they couldn't change the
     mind set of mankind.  It's easier to move a mountain than a mind. 
     To use force either real or implied, either physical or social,
     is only to replay the inquisition, and we've already had too many
     remakes and sequels to that.  Education seems to be the only
     method that works, and that's as slow as evolution.


                                                                             898

          Right and Justice are not to be had in job lots, even with
     magic.  Every case must be approached individually one by one. 
     To change minds in mass lots can be done magically; however
     people who are so changed are not really changed, but only
     suppressed -- what you get are a bunch of zombies.  So far as I
     know this sort of thing is only done by magicians on the dark
     side.  Adolph Hitler and Jim Jones are two examples that come
     readily to mind.  For all I know both of the named examples may
     well have started with the highest motives.  When you start
     superimposing your mind on the mind of another or others, things
     have a way of coming unglued.  History is full of examples of
     groups that acted with one mind for a while and then unravelled
     when the guru leader either died or ran out of gas.  No my
     friends, it won't work, even with the noblest of motives it just
     won't work.

          I knew all this from long ago, but I was misled as to what
     was going on.  I thought the senseless violence I saw around me
     was from some outside source.  A mad spirit, a virus or some sort
     of "dis-harmonic vibration".  If that were the case my idea would
     have been a good one.  On the off chance that something like that
     is now afoot in our world a general intention for reason and
     against violence can't hurt, and may well do some constructive
     good.  I'm all for anyone who tries to clean up our environment,
     seen or unseen.  Considering the sort of good folk who read the
     R.M.P.J. I'm not too worried that anyone who read my last little
     effort will be misled by it.  I fear that at worst, those of you
     who followed my suggestion may have wasted both time and effort -
     - I hope that at best, you may have done some good by promoting
     reason and discouraging confusion.  Cleaning the house won't stop
     a fire, but it will lessen the chances of spontaneous combustion,
     and make a fire easier to fight if it does break out.  As I see
     it, my mistake was in supposing we all have more or less the same
     values and in externalizing he source of senseless violence.

          Enough of apology and explanation.  Breast-beating and
     patting your back are both good exercises   .....in futility. 
     One good bray from the donkey, one good hoot from the owl, and
     then back to work.  We are still at risk from some angry fool
     armed and dangerous.  What can be done?  What should be done?

          I can think of several things to do.  First, learn to
     perceive the violent ones.  Some of us can see auras, some can
     pick up on "bad vibes", some can "smell" trouble --  however,
     whichever, my advice would be to use it.  An antelope don't long
     survive in the veldt without looking, listening, smelling and
     generally  keeping on the alert.  Second, surround yourself with
     protection.  Some walk in a sphere of protection, some are guided
     by some unseen force, I rely on my guardian spirit, guardian
     angel or however you call her.  In any case, whatever protection
     you have, use it.  Whatever ceremonies, prayers, incantations or
     deep meditations you use, don't neglect them.  That is about it. 
     We're back where we were when we wore fur bikinis and hunted with
     stone-tipped spears, but haven't we always been there?  Safety
     is, in this life, I fear only an illusion.


                                                                             899

          One thing more we can do, and should do -- we can teach. 
     Part of the debt we all owe to life is to clean the place.  Non
     only should we pick up the trash, but we should also clean up the
     vicious bull-shit wherever we find it.  Like it or not we are all
     teachers.      Whatever we do, whatever we say is part of the
     lesson we teach.

          Before all the Gods I wish I had some magic formula to give
     you that would clean up the world both seen and unseen, but I
     don't.  The life of mankind is a hard road to travel, that is why
     the ultimate designed a hard bunch to travel it.  My blessings on
     you one and all.  May you find enlightenment.  You are smart, may
     you find wisdom.  Let this subject now be closed between us.  If
     you have any ideas on this subject pass them on to our long-
     suffering editors.

          Now it may be that I can resume my clown suit and once more
     arm myself with my gadfly stinger and get back to the heretic
     business and leave metaphysics to those better equipped to deal
     with it.  A silversmith shoeing a horse rarely does a good job of
     it.

          In the spring the wild plums were a'blooming.  White
     blossoms on the bough, lace for the bride.  In the long summer
     the little green plums grew and changed to a lighter green color. 
     When the first frost was still up in the high country the plums
     grew sweet and turned a lovely purple-pink shade.  Then at the
     time of the autumnal equinox, they were picked and crushed.  Now
     the new wine works behind the air seals in the fermenter.  The
     promise of spring blossoms is redeemed in the good strong wine of
     winter.  What we learn in any one place we can use in another
     place.  The wild plums are a part of life; from them we can learn
     about other parts of life.  When the wine falls clear, a drink
     all around, a toast to life.  May we all go our separate ways
     bound for a common goal.  May the flowers bloom where we have
     passed.  Go in peace, well disposed to your fellows.  With these
     words I do now part from thee.____Buck Jump
     .......from RMPJ Oct '86


                                                                             900

                                 THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                                  (c)1986, Buck Jump

          Greetings, my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you.  May the rain fall gently on your rhubarb.  May the hail
     fall in a lake or on a parking lot.  May our little six-legged
     friends develop an allergy to your pickle patch.

          Now is the sweet season of our year.  Our Mother the Earth
     is pregnant with the harvest to come.  The days are long and the
     thoughts of the season are long, long thoughts.  In the soft
     afternoon sky the white thunderheads sail serenely on like ships
     of dream in dreamland seas.  Surely even such as I can be
     forgiven for dreaming a bit, for letting the fancy roam free.

          In dreams I see a world set free.  I see the human race
     living in peace, with each one going his own way but with
     courtesy to all who go another way.  I see us as one species,
     which we are, and all of us acknowledging that fact.  I see each
     walking in beauty, with dignity, and respecting the other
     person's dignity.  I see us loving one another, helping our
     fellow men along their way.  When I dream, I don't mess around -
     I rear back and dream up a doozy!

          So much for dreams; back to the world we live in, back to
     the life we know.  Before I spring my question for the day, a
     little background, a few facts:

          Every one of us must come to terms with his environment and
     his heredity.  We all live on one Earth.   That is the main part
     of our environment, or at least the location of it.

          We are all human beings, homo occasionally sapiens.  That is
     the basis of our heredity.  
     
          Anything that is done to one of us is done to all of us. 
     Anything that happens in one place on this planet has some effect
     on every place on the planet.

          We are, all of us, stuck with our whole species.  Here we
     are with a bunch of people we wouldn't willingly walk down a
     country road with.  Indeed, we are as ship- wrecked mariners in a
     lifeboat with a bunch we wouldn't sit down to eat a free meal
     with.  To jump out of the boat is to drown.  To try to toss those
     _______________s out is very apt to upset the boat and drown all
     of us.    These facts are self-evident, axiomatic.

          I have always held that we should all walk the path of life
     with our hands outstretched in fellowship with respect and love
     for all.  Of course, I have a caveat - keep a Bowie knife handy
     in case they haven't all heard the message.

          As the Ultimate is reported to have said when the mountains
     were made, "Now for the background".  The present situation is a
     mess.  Violence is everywhere.  Not even foolish violence, but
     violence without reason.  Surely a leopard is in our streets and
     a shark loose in our swimming pool.


                                                                             901

          An armed bandit shoots down an unarmed clerk who is
     cooperating.  A litigant in court shoots down an attorney.  A
     parent beats a child to death.  A driver gets cut off coming onto
     the freeway and guns down the chap in the pickup who did the
     off-cutting.  An otherwise reasonable young man is annoyed by the
     sounds of traffic on a mountain road and starts shooting at the
     cars passing.  Those are only a few examples culled from the news
     in recent months.  In truth, senseless violence is loose in the
     land.

          As it is with the individual, so with groups.  From the
     racist fringe movement on to great governments. Violence for the
     sake of violence is epidemic.  Each age of history has had a
     plague - the plague of this age is senseless violence.  I have
     friends of the "born again" persuasion who tell me that it is the
     Devil doing it.  I don't think so.  As far as I can determine,
     devils are a disorganized bunch.  Satan Mekatrig Lord of Chaos is
     a confusion in terms.  Seen another way, that's organized
     confusion.  As I see it, the flow of the power of the Universe is
     organized and rational.  So it seems to me that any force opposed
     to that flow must be disorganized and irrational.  That is to say
     nothing of the personal devils within us.  They must have a hand
     in at least some of this senseless violence.

          I have other friends who blame it on some as yet
     unidentified virus.  Could be, but it's a rare virus that has no
     fever, nor nausea accompanying its onset....

          Others hold that it is all explainable by Sigmund Freud and
     others of that ilk.  Again I say could be, but what mental
     discomboomeration comes on suddenly with no sign of
     disorientation nor disturbance until it suddenly manifests itself
     in the acute stage?

          For all I know, none of the above are correct.  The fact re-
     mains that a wild unreasoning violence is loose among us, a
     danger to us all.  The fact is, we are all in the same boat, and
     the boat is encountering some heavy weather.  Don't you think we
     should do something about it?  I personally can think of a whole
     lot of folks who I don;t really care to rescue, but being as we
     are all in the same boat, I am sure going to do my best for
     them....... But what?

          In case this is all some psychosis, maybe we should engage a
     firm of head shrinkers to drag in a trainload of couches and get
     everyone to undergo psychoanalysis.  I refuse to consider the
     logistics of this.  The idea by itself causes my mind to boggle.

          Or, suppose it is a virus.  In that case when the
     virologists and immunologists have a bit of spare time from their
     search for the cause and cure of AIDS, they could do the same for
     the senseless violence virus.  In view of the fact that we are
     all at greater risk from senseless violence than from AIDS, it
     might be a worthwhile task.

          Or, just in case the gnostics have some truth in their
     ideas, and it is Auld Clootie, maybe a mass general exorcism is
     in order.  Once again, my mind refuses to consider the logistics.


                                                                             902

          In view of the fact that the cause of senseless violence is
     still unknown, we might get a government grant to study the
     problem.  Considering the speed that such grants usually get
     results, I would expect a definite answer by the twenty-second
     century.  Of course, such a grant would have the added advantage
     of keeping a large number of researchers out of the pool halls
     and off the streets.

          Now I am going to go against my usual custom and make a
     suggestion; only a suggestion, mind, and not to be taken as a
     dictum, but only as an idea to be considered.  It has been my
     observation that there are only two occasions when magic is apt
     to work.  One is after all other methods have been tried and
     found ineffectual.  The other is when there is no other method. 
     Now I believe that I have explored the other methods and found
     them impractical if not impossible.  So I feel that I am safe in
     saying it's going to take magic to stop this purposeless killing.

          So how to go about it?  What spell, what charm, what
     ceremony shall we use?  What power shall we invoke?  What power
     evoke?  Magic works, the proper ceremony at the proper time, done
     for the proper reason, will work.  True for you, you may well
     say, but which ceremony?  When?  Why?

          I just told you.  The proper one.  The one that is proper
     for you is the one you yourself believe is proper.  This is not
     an essay on morals and ethics, so I refrain from putting in my
     two cents worth on what is in my estimation proper.  When you are
     fighting a grass fire is no time to discuss what sort of shovel
     to use.

          In my dream we were all walking each in his own way, each
     helping the others as much as possible.  So here let us not try
     to all walk in one path.  No point in the universe can be reached
     from only one direction.  Let us rather each from where it seems
     most right and comfortable, try by magic means to stop this
     senseless violence.  Not-ice I said senseless violence, not just
     violence.  Some who follow the old Norse way could hardly be ex-
     pected to endorse some anti-violent intention, but I know of none
     who do not deplore reasonless violence.  We have our differences,
     but surely no one objects to improving all our chances of kissing
     our grandchildren.

          So, what I propose is this.  Sometime in the next quarter
     year, whenever it seems most proper, let us in our various ways
     by whatever means one believes in, try by magic means to stop
     this epidemic of senseless violence.


                                                                             903

          I have noticed a few things about power on the unseen side. 
     For a ceremony to be more than a mere charade, everyone involved
     in it must believe in the ceremony and in whatever power is used
     in it.  Everyone must believe that the ceremony can and will
     work.  Everyone must want the ceremony to work.  If anyone
     involved in the ceremony does not so believe and want, that
     person will be a dead weight on the others that do.  When I say
     everyone, I mean everyone, all, each one with one belief and one
     resolve.  What can be done by a group acting in true spiritual
     harmony is indeed amazing, but first you must have that true
     spiritual harmony.

          That is why I suggest we go at this not as some sort of
     super- coven ecumenical pagan group.  I have seen a few of these
     "lets all get together" bunches back in the sixties, and they
     couldn't even get drunk.

          I personally am in favor of any religion that don't practice
     human sacrifice, interfere in the private lives of the
     nonbelievers, or use force in conversion.  I love 'em all, but
     I'm not fool enough to yoke the ass and the ox together.  So
     let's all go, but let's not try to make it a parade.

          That is my suggestion, and my question is why not?  I'd
     appreciate your ideas on this, I truly would.  If you have any
     ideas on the subject, please communicate them to the editors of
     the RMPJ.  Even if the ideas are along the lines of, "You're
     Nuts!!", just say why you think so.  I'd appreciate it.

          May your dreams come true; may the wind cool without
     chilling, and may you reap a harvest even richer than the seed
     catalogue said you would.  May your shadow fall long on the
     Earth.  Go in peace, remember your fellows, and with these words
     I do part now from thee.
            ________Buck Jump.       ....from RMPJ 8/86


                                                                             904

                                 THE HERETIC'S CORNER 
                                   by Buck Jump

          Greetings, my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed
     to you; may the bugs flee your patch as from a crow; may the
     gentle rain fall softly on your flower beds; and may your lovers
     be all you wish them to be.  Now at the season of long lovely
     days and short passionate nights, when our Mother the fair Earth
     is at her richest and most bountiful, it is hardly the season for
     deep thinking.

          When nature is at its very best and the season most
     enjoyable are we not all of us tempted to shut off the mental
     processes and enjoy life in a purely sensual mammalian way?  Of
     course we are, to do less would be an insult to creation.

          At this glad time, here comes that old pest, the heretic,
     like the ghost at Ceasar's feast.  Consider, dear friends, even
     as the screech owl is put into this world to scare goose bumps on
     our backs, the here-tic is put into the world to ask hard
     questions and discomboomerate the quiet mind.  The only place on
     this sweet earth where we can look for a quiet unchanging stay is
     a graveyard.  It is so with me, even as with you.

          The other day when I was minding my own business [a most ha-
     zardous occupation], a stranger came to me with a request.  He
     wanted me to magically restore to him a lost love.  It seems that
     he had, by his own actions, turned his lady's love if not to
     hate, at least to an active dislike.  He was sorry.  He knew it
     was all his own fault.  He agreed that she was justified in
     leaving him.  He beat his chest and cried `mea culpa', but he
     wanted her back, and he wanted me or someone to, as he put it,
     "push the right button", and change the situation.  Before he
     came to me he had been to a friend of mine.  The friend is a
     scholar and practical magician who is rather more daring than
     most- he had by magic means caused the lady to recall the best of
     the past.  With that, the lady consented to talk with her ex-
     inamorata, and dis-cuss, in a civilized fashion, her decision to
     be done with him.  At that, the magician bowed out.  He pointed
     out to the petitioner that from there on, it was up to him.  My
     friend the magician can be, when he has to be, a most impressive
     man, and I gather he dismissed the `lorn lover' with a definite
     dismissal.

          Then he came to me.  I pointed out that there ain't no free
     lunch in the universe and I had no intention of taking on a
     karmic debt of considerable proportion for his possible benefit.
     I told him that it is easier to move a mountain than to move a
     human mind if it will not be moved.  I told him that he was
     trying to find someone to do for him what could only be properly
     done by himself.  I pointed out to him that his situation was an
     effect of a cause, a cause that he was responsible for.  I told
     him that magic is fine as a last resort, but hardly to be
     considered as first aid.  I told him ......  I wasted my breath.
     Such a one hears only what he wants to hear.


                                                                             905

          The petitioner only said, "I just need someone to push the
     right button - she used to love me.  I am not asking much, I just
     want things to be like they were."

          I refrained from pointing out that Hitler could have said
     the same thing in the bunker.  Then he said, "I am willing to pay
     you.  Just tell me how much it's going to cost." Some things are
     an insult from a knowledgeable person, and a joke from a fool.  I
     laughed.  He was the sort who would ask "How much?", referring to
     one's head.

          Now I am, I think, a reasonable sort, patient, and in my own
     way polite, but enough is enough, and this chap was rapidly
     becoming too much.  I told him flatly, that I was not about to do
     any button pushing.  I gave him what I felt was good advice.
     That is, I told him that if he was determined to further his
     amours by magic means to learn to do it himself.  I referred him
     to a most knowledgeable teacher.  I was in that way certain that
     he would either learn what was involved in his request and give
     it up, or more likely abandon the whole thing as too slow and too
     difficult.  (The teacher informs me that he never bothered to
     even go around to see what the teacher had to offer.  A case of
     "Gimme my daily bread, I'm willing to wait with my mouth open".)

          Then he countered that if I wouldn't "push the button" could
     I refer him to someone who could, or would.  I inquired around.
     One col-league I know is willing to try just about anything.  He
     once did a weather spell out on the high plains in tornado season
     and another time worked a charm to rid a field of grasshoppers in
     hail season.  I add, both were successful in a disastrous way.
     When I contacted him with the case, his words were, "I'd like to
     but I'm going on a trip to South America."  Surprised, I asked
     about the trip, adding I hadn't known about it.  He replied, "I
     didn't know about it either, but if that dude shows up here, I'm
     going!"

          Failing to find a genuine scholar and practicing magician
     to attempt the matter, I tried a couple of unethical charlatans.
     In view of the fact that the petitioner was a large muscular sort
     who would expect instant results, they regretfully declined.


          I was beginning to feel like Sinbad the Sailor when he
     carried the old man of the sea piggyback around the island.  At
     wit's end (where I have lived for years), I suggested that he try
     religion.  I offered to introduce him to some nice Pagan folks,
     or even get him in touch with some T.V. type evangelists.  He
     refused on the grounds that they would be too slow and uncertain. 
     He wanted instant gratification.

          At last, thanks be to the power that watches over well-
     meaning fools like me, another lady hove into sight, and he took
     off in her direction with deep breath and flashing eyes.  This
     sad fellow is but one of many I've had the misfortune to meet.  I
     am sure most of you could recount similar sad tales.  We'll all
     have to get together and I'll haul out the portable wailing wall,
     and we can share a cup of tea and all sympathize with each other.


                                                                             906

          I wouldn't have bored you with this all too familiar tale
     except I have a question.  How does one deal with such people?
     Is there some way to tell a person with a real problem who can be
     helped from the person who has an endless amount of wants and no
     energy to help himself?  That is, some way, without finding out
     the hard way?  I can handle skeptics (I am one myself), I can
     handle cynics, I can handle atheists and deal with convinced true
     believers of all sorts, but how do I deal with a person who
     believes that I can work miracles?

          One question leads to another.  I have a few more on the
     same line.  How comes it that as soon as people, some of them at
     least, find that one is not part of some main line orthodox
     church, they straightway want you to work some magic?  Are Roman
     Catholic and Episcopal priests pestered by miracle seekers?  Are
     T.V.  evangelists?  If not, why not?  They deal in magic as much
     as any Pagan or free thinker.  Is the prevalence of lazy
     freeloaders the reason that Christianity for the last fifteen
     centuries or so has been down playing the magical basis of the
     early Church?  This is a topic worthy of our consideration.

          Another question comes to mind at this point.  A question
     about magic in general.  I am sure you know what magic is, just
     is I am sure I know what it is.  The definitions are many and
     varied, but they all basically state in one way or another, that
     magic is the practical side of religion, and the practice of
     magic is the art of causing changes in the tangible by intangible
     means.  Or, to put it another way, magic is a mental way of
     changing the physical by means of the spiritual.  That is what
     magic is, no question there.  The question is what does the
     uninitiated, uninformed layman think magic is?
          If you are going to make a living repairing televisions and
     radios, it is not enough that you know electronics.  You must
     also know what your customers believe about electronics.  The
     degree of success in the TV-Radio repair business is generally in
     direct proportion to the amount of customer knowledge the
     proprietor of the business has.  The rule is, if you deal with
     the run of humanity, you must understand the general run of
     humanity.  You must not know only what you know, but also what
     people ignorantly suppose you know.

          I pass this bit of wisdom on to you, for I think it has
     value to any serious student of matters intangible.  An old
     doctor of medicine told me this some forty years ago.  The
     occasion was a patient of his inquiring about an operation for a
     then inoperable condition.  I, only an army medic, was astounded
     at the fellow's ignorance and when the Doc and I were alone, said
     as much.  "Son," the old doctor said, "Here is something to
     remember  Anything that works that you don't understand is magic
      and a magician can do anything.  That's not the truth, but
     ninety per cent of the human race believe it is." That is how
     people who have never studied the arts of magic see it.  To them
     it is a power without cost and without limit.



                              A PLEA FOR INITIATION STANDARDS 

          I'm full of radical ideas.  I think the terms  "Priest, Priestess, 
          High Priest and High Priestess" are more than titles.  I think
          being a member of the Priesthood means more than status.  I think
          a coven is more than a study group, or a social gathering.  I think
          being a Witch is more than a protest against the patriarchy.
            
          I think receiving a First Degree should mean you have worked and 
          studied and grown and dedicated yourself to your path and your 
          Gods.  I think an initiation should mean something.
            
          I know of a young man who received a third degree after having 
          proved he could lead a ritual.  That's all he had to do, lead a 
          ritual.
             
          I know of a woman who claims third degrees in both the English and 
          American traditions of a well-known tradition.  She shows 
          absolutely none of the qualities by which one usually recognizes a 
          High Priest or High Priestess.
             
          I know of a woman who refused to accept the standards set by her 
          High Priestess, who threw a fit when she didn't get her First on 
          demand.  She went to another teacher, secretly received her First, 
          and a year later, her Second.  Considering her attitude toward her 
          first teacher, I have absolutely no faith that she did any work to 
          earn her second.  Yet she calls herself a High Priestess.
              
          When two members of Sothistar received their first degrees last 
          year, they had:  studied and worked with the five magical 
          elements, worked at developing personal relationships with the 
          Gods, studied astrology, symbology, qabala, Tarot (both as a 
          divinational and meditational tool), several forms of divination, 
          writing rituals, leading rituals, drawing down the Moon, basic 
          spell-casting and various methods,ethics, the Egyptian deities and 
          mythology, ritual etiquette, the laws of the coven, the use of 
          stones and crystals, meditation, conducting rituals, the meaning 
          and duties of the priesthood, and the use of chants and songs.  
          Both had chosen (or been chosen by) deities to whom they wished to 
          make a special dedication.  Both had proven their loyalty to the 
          coven and the Craft.  Both had served as vessels for both the God 
          and the Goddess, and both had led rituals.  After all of this, 
          they received First Degree.
               
          Am I saying that mine is the only way--that if your coven does not 
          study these subjects your initiations aren't valid?  Certainly 
          not!  I am saying that our tradition has standards for initiation.  
          Many other covens have standards--some more stringent and some 
          less demanding than mine.  What I am saying is that I wish 
          everyone had standards.
              
          Why?  Because when you have standards, the initiations you give 
          mean something.  







                                            908
          


          When we took the two mentioned above around to the four quarters and 
          pronounced them Priest/ess, they could not have been prouder of their
          achievement.  Nor could we.  We had no doubt they could serve as 
          competent dedicated Priest and Priestess in a ritual.  In the time 
          since, they've proved it over and over.  When they make Second 
          Degree, and Third, and eventually have a coven of their own, they'll 
          continue to make us proud.  When they represent the coven other 
          places, they do so in a manner that reflects well on the coven.  
          I've met many First Degrees of other covens who did not reflect well 
          on their teachers.  (I've also met many who have.)
            
          You ask again, Why?  I'll give you a personal reason--because it 
          irritates the hell out of me that the people mentioned at the 
          beginning of this article can put their noses in the air and claim 
          a higher status in the Craft than my two dedicated, hard-working, 
          sincere students.

          Once upon a time, a high school diploma meant something.  You 
          couldn't get a decent job without one.  These days, it means 
          nothing.  These days, a Bachelor's Degree doesn't mean much.  I 
          don't want that to happen to initiations!

          Perhaps I should discuss what I think initiation is.  A true 
          initiation is not a ritual, it is not entrance into a club, 
          it is not just a dedication.  An initiation is a spiritual step to 
          a higher stage in spiritual growth.  There are many such steps.  
          Such "initiations" are not given by High Priest/esses.  They are 
          given by the Gods.  An initiation ritual is an acknowledgment by a 
          coven leader that the Initiate has, in that leader's opinion, 
          reached a certain stage in spiritual growth.  
             
          Coven leaders are not omniscient.  Although I'm sure such leaders 
          strive to serve as worth representatives of the God and Goddess, 
          they (the coven leaders) are not the God and Goddess.  All of them 
          must find their own ways of determining whether their students 
          have achieved this growth.  They must also give what guidance they 
          can to those attempting to achieve it.  Our study program includes 
          many things not mentioned above, exercises and spiritual work 
          that, we hope will help our students reach that goal.  If our 
          students apply themselves to all they are given to do, it is 
          possible for them to reach that stage.  When we give a first 
          degree initiation, we are saying that the Initiate is *already* a 
          Priest/ess of the Goddess.
            
          I do not ask that all covens adopt our particular standards.  I do 
          plead with you to *have* standards beyond simple attendance at 
          ritual for a year and a day.  Insist that they work hard, that 
          they learn and grow, that they struggle, that they strive, that 
          they become, in your opinion, worthy servants of the Gods.

          Some months ago, I mentioned this to two leaders of a newly-formed 
          group north of here.  Their eyes lit up and they said "You can 
          help us.  We were just talking about setting standards!"  No true 
          standards had been set for their initiations, and they felt the 
          lack.  Oh, they had third degrees from their teacher, but they 
          wanted more meaning for those they gave than was given to their 
          own.  Bravo!  There's hope for the Craft yet!
                                                            Ellen Cannon Reed
            

                                            909


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