Vertical Paganism

19 10 2014

Vertical Paganism

19 10 2014

There are four ways to control a population – a strong religion(s), a strong imposed moral code, a strong voluntary ethical code, and a strong police force – in practical terms, some combination of all of them. So the ruling elite always wants to control and shape religion into a branch of government. The many European pagan religions were a threat to the unification of the Roman empire, which created the vertical religion that became the Roman Catholic (“universal”) Church, which strangled thought and innovation for a millenium.

Historically (in any context) the Pagan religions (philosophies, practices) which we modern Pagans practice, have been modeled on the small and scattered groups of rural Europe, organized horizontally is small groups (circles, covens) of a dozen members, led by a Priestess. You know all this, but please bear with me —I’m just trying to remind you of the foundations of today’s witch theory. 

Modern sociology shows that fifteen is the largest number of persons that can remain cohesive in a group: over that number the group will fragment into two or more factions. Why is this? Because, analogous to Bucky Fuller’s “closest packing of spheres,” the largest number of spheres that can be simultaneously in contact with one sphere (the Priestess) is twelve. Even the most talented and dedicated Priestess has her limitations. When the number of members gets close to thirteen, some will “hive off” to form another coven, usually supervised to some degree by the parent coven.

When the ‘hived-off” group grows to thirteen, some of its members, will, in turn hive off to form a third coven, which will have no group memory of the first circle. Thus, back in the “Burning Times,” members of one coven, even if tortured, could not name many members of other covens. Today, touch wood, that’s less of a factor, and we trust that before a coven initiates a new Priest/Priestess, the new leadership team is well-educated for the job. While the first Priestess will continue to have some influence, that influence will decrease as the hiving process continues, and it also means that no one person can dictate to, or have too much power over, a 3d generation coven.

Most of us agree that today, we need stronger organization to negotiate with governments, other authorities and the media, but what form should that organization take? Look on the internet and you’ll find several groups vying for the job, like the Covenant of the Goddess and the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. Most of them have “ordains” saying what you must believe to belong. For example, the “small print” insisted on by many of the “umbrella” organizations (or “churches”) that claim to represent multiple or _*all*_ Pagan religions, often states that *all* the Deities are facets of One Deity, perhaps a God with feminine characteristics. Politically that may relate to the fact that “God” is mentioned in the first sentence of both the American and Canadian constitutions. The Aquarian Church, founded by members of the American military, is, as you might expect, a vertical organization where the clergy are considered officers, can have titles like “The Right Reverend,” and be knighted in the manner of some Masonic-modeled service clubs.

Maybe all Deities *are* One — some of us believe that and some of us don’t. An It Harm None, we have the right to believe what we believe. But to me the acceptance of large authoritarian structures suggests that we have fallen into the trap that Starhawk warned us about –that, in times of stress, we fall back on the patterns we grew up with — vertical, authoritative, political (rather than religious) structures, like Xian churches — whereas we might better be working to change the current culture rather than fall into step with it.

 I happen to believe that the Universe is Two- Spirited — one Feminine, one Masculine. They argue, they agree, they joust for power, they manouever(sp?) around each other, but eventually dance together and unite in love.  But, for at least the organizations I’ve considered joining, that’s not politically correct. I guess it’s important to read the small print, and, with all due respect, ask anyone, especially an ex-military, used to giving and following orders, if they really want to create, or be part of, that kind of Pagan organization.

What I think I believe (if you give a damn)

19 10 2014

What do I believe? Well, in the material world I question my senses and test them against logic. If logic doesn’t refute them, then I provisionally accept what they tell me.

Metaphysically I don’t believe anything. What seems most reasonable to me today is that the Hindus’ concept is fairly close to the truth – that the Universe is born and exists for a googolplex (wow! Dragon got it!) of years called a kalpa, and then collapses to be reborn again. If I understand correctly, it’s born anew, a baby starting all over again from zero. To me that doesn’t make sense. I can’t conceive of any such intelligence not having an archive of what it’s learned over a lifetime of a gazillion years. We have petroglyphs, clay tablets, papyrus, monks copying documents they didn’t understand, we have libraries, so that each generation can build on what previous generations have learned by exploration or accident.

When we discovered that the neutrino *did* have mass I lost my faith. Now the boson is described as massless, but my skepticism remains. We simply don’t know enough and (forgive me) simply dismissing it all by saying that God and/or the Goddess is infinite doesn’t move me. If there is an effect, there has to be a “mechanism.” Our recent understanding that particles can communicate over long distances might suggest a possible mechanism, but that presupposes that there is a pre-existing medium, perhaps space itself.

And of course, far-fetched though it may be, we can’t ignore the possibility that we, and I mean our universe, is just some kind of a computer program in which the galaxies and an assortment of lifeforms like ourselves are just bits of code.

There is a pagan concept “as above so below, so below and v.v.” It is not a universal truth, but it does appear often enough to make it useful. My own shamanic forays have given me some insights into what might or might not be truths. My current theology suggests that before the “big bang” or “rebirth” there was a primitive intelligence, a sort of metaphysical cell that chose to divide itself in two – an act of faith – which initiated creation. And since so much of what we experience contains elements of polarity, I speculate that there are two (2) spirits – I think of them as a Goddess and God – whose interplay keeps the whole process alive and growing. As Bucky Fuller put it, “Unity is plural, and at a minimum, two.”

Since I learned about the ability of photons to change form simultaneously even when separated, I accept the possibility that space may be a medium for the communication and storage of “information.” Which might just possibly conceivably be organized into some kind of a soul buffer to store mammals’ essential metaphysical aspects (if such there be) between the time of the mammal’s death and its reincarnation in another physical body. No I don’t believe that, Bill, but it might actually be possible. Maybe.

I believe that much of the Old Testament stuff is pure mythology or long-range action plans disguised as history. Historically the biblical plagues were centuries apart, and the Jews in Egypt were not slaves but, rather, talented and intelligent citizens occupying positions of power and trust as they exist in our own 21st century civilization. Their “escape from Egypt,” their 40 years in the desert and their conquering and slaughtering of the Canaanites was a metaphor, a blueprint for their current occupation of Palestine. Interesting that most of the people we know as Jews weren’t Hebrews, but Khazars, a nation sandwiched between the Christians on the West and the Muslims on their East, who converted to Judaism wholesale when ordered by their king. Smart move – and the intelligence and culture they’ve brought us at the cost of considerable psychological damage to themselves has benefitted the res of us greatly.

Realizing that the dream of re-creating a pre-Christian paganism to escape the misused Christianity began in the late 19th-century, through mystery cults like the Golden Dawn, the 1950’s birth of Wicca might never have happened in its current form were it not for Gerald Gardner and Aleister Crowley. They might even have met and discussed it. But the timing was right in that humanity’s misuse of the world’s resources created the need for a nature-based religion.

This is getting far more complicated than I intended, and I think I may have said it better in some of my lyrics and poems. If you’re interested you might want to look at *Genesis* and *Astra* which are on my Witchvox page.

And, please forgive me, I simply can’t believe, beautiful as the myth is, that any human can be crucified (it’s a nasty death by suffocation) and skewered with a spear, then come to life again after being buried for three days, especially in a tropical climate. Christians may say “that proves he wasn’t human,” but I can’t imagine you accepting that fallacious reasoning. As I understand it, the Gospels, commissioned by Constantine, were written by Roman ancestors of the presidents Bush with some help from Pliny the younger, as part of a process to use Christianity to control people. But that might be a myth, too – – –

Fashions Change

27 02 2013




 Fashions change, created for a season. There is no rhyme or rhythm:

Meteors will blow away as dust.

This year skirts are longer or the other way around.

Smack and crack are in, or is it smoke and alcohol?

My compass can’t recall what year it is — rollerblades or Rolling Stones

And Shakespeare’s not as young as he used to be

Or is it you? Or is it me?

But if you ask, I’ll tell you how it*s going to be next year —

What you’ll do and who you’ll love and what you’ll wash and wear.

But change and progress aren’t the same 

As Fashions Change.


Fashions Change, created for a season: There is no rhyme or reason.

Iceberg tips in sunlight melt to mist.

This year hair is longer or the other way around.

This year girls love boys,  or is it Love Each Other Week?

My Calendar won’t say what place this is — Renaissance or Babylon

And Jesus isn’t in the inn today

Or is it you, or is it me?                 

But if you ask, I’ll tell you what you’re going to do next year

How you’ll live and how you’ll love and how you’ll wear your hair.

But Change and Progress aren’t the same

As Fashions Change.


Fashions Change, created for a reason: There is no time or season:

Autumn leaves in splendour burn to ash.

This year legs are longer or the other way around.

Breeding is the answer. No, environment’s the key.

My watch just can’t reveal what day this is — Ecology, Astrology,

And Bucky Fuller came a different way

Or was it you? Or was it me?

But if you ask I’ll tell you the economy next year,

How you’ll survive and who you’ll screw and what’s your biggest fear

But change and progress aren’t the same

 As Fashions Change.


In a concert scored for radio, magazines and video

Recordings, news, the media are weaving an illusion

That things are really changing by calling everything a different name

Though everything is really just the same

In a circus chimed on neurotape, tetraphonic audioscape        

Internet in digital stroboscopic alpha wave

Multiscreen in binary modulated mantram hum

Neon mythic metronome —–


                                                                           ted macGillivray