The Heretic's Corner

Buck Jump

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.

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 program.

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.

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 predictions 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.

The snow grows deeper up in the hills; old Yuler skis 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.

from RMPJ 12/86

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