This article is excerpted from the Rocky Mountain Pagan Journal.
Each issue of the Rocky Mountain Pagan Journal is published by
High Plains Arts and Sciences; P.O. Box 620604, Littleton Co.,
80123, a Colorado Non-Profit Corporation, under a Public Domain
Copyright, which entitles any person or group of persons to
reproduce, in any form whatsoever, any material contained therein
without restriction, so long as articles are not condensed or
abbreviated in any fashion, and credit is given the original
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
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
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.
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
"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 justi-fied. 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.
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
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.
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-
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
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