Diary of an American Witch
On Mysteries and Avalon
In the olden days the mysteries of the earth, most of them
at least, were hardly mysteries at all. Everyone, even
those few who did not farm for a living, knew the best time
to plant, and harvest crops, knew the moon cycles, and how
they affected people, knew that some places were just more
powerful than others. Before light bulbs, before phones,
before tv, before mankind put a buffer between themselves
and the unexplainable, we had an instinct, we KNEW. We
still know, in our hearts, but we choose to deny, and
ignore because it scares us. Have you ever walked into a
room and just felt uncomfortable? Was it a person, or just
the room itself? Now Im not talking Ghosts, though they
are real enough, Im talking energy.
This world is polarized, it's a living, breathing animal,
not exactly sentient, not continuos, but made up of
continuos beings. Humans, animals, plants..... and like
everything living, it has veins. Some people call them
dragon lines, others, lay lines, it depends on who you ask,
but energy pulses through the earth like blood pulses
through us, and when two or more of theses lay lines meet,
you can feel it.
The hair on the back of your neck stands up, or you feel
jumpy, like there is carbonation in your veins, or like you
are wired to a 9000 volt battery. Your instinct tells you
that there is something there that isn't like other places,
normal places. You react with fear, or with wonder, but
you react. We still have instinct, I hope to the Goddess
we always will.
In the Celtic (keltic, if you are wondering) Pagan
religions, we are taught to use that instinct, to sharpen
it, to tell the difference between that, and simple
imagination. That skill is important beyond words, the
ability to break through what we have always been taught
and see the world with our hearts, instead of our minds, to
be able to admit to ourselves that maybe what we can't see,
is even more wondrous than what we can.
Why? Because the truth is not in our minds, it's in our
hearts, it's in our feelings. And the truth of life, the
truth beyond what science can explain, will strike you dumb
and motionless, and fill you with awe at the true wonder of
Science is not the truth. It is the truth as we try to see
it. It requires no faith, no love, no humanity, and it is
limited. In science, one can explain how something is done,
and knowledge is power, as they say. You can even tweak
it, change it, if you know about it, then it is yours, you
have some sort of power over it. And I think that is why
people have such a hard time accepting magic.
In magic, it is wonder, awe, love, and faith, but there is
no ownership, there is no ultimate control. All magical
energy(even the energy that flows through your own body)
belongs to the earth, to the Mother (the Goddess) and when
one works a spell, one is only borrowing that energy to use
towards one's own means, but it was never really theirs to
begin with. We can't examine it, we can't find out what
makes it tick, we can't understand it, not fully anyway,
and that frightens people to no end.
It's human nature to be scared of what we can't understand.
I think what frightens people the most when the hear of
witches, is not the fear that we are doing something evil,
but that we are doing something evil against THEM. They
feel threatened, because we can do things, we can MAKE
THINGS HAPPEN, and automatically, they fear that we will
make something happen to them. What most people don't
understand, is that we don't mess with people's lives. In
fact, we are forbidden to do so, unless asked, and then
only in certain situations. For example, a domestic
violence situation, we can bind the person from hitting
their spouse and or kids, and then ask, or pray, that this
person comes to their senses and understands how they are
hurting the people they love. But we won't make the abuser
drive off a cliff one night, or get into a bar fight and
get shot or something, do you see the difference?
The golden rule, as was given to me by my teacher, and is
said by all others is "harm none, do as thou wilt"
We don't control people, we don't curse people, we don't
ask for harm to come to someone, the most we can do is ask
that the wrongdoer's karma come swift and that in the
process, they understand what they did wrong, and how to
make it right again.
Sounds more like a prayer for someone's salvation than it
does for their damnation, don't you think?
Prayer. The words "spell" and "Prayer" are
interchangeable. A spell IS a prayer, only a bit more
Now, back to my original point. (as you can see, I have a
tendency to ramble) Lay lines, powerful places on the
One such place was Avalon.
Avalon is legendary, though really, for the wrong reasons.
In the Arthurian legends, Avalon was said to be the final
resting place of the king. Taken there after he fell in
battle, to remain for all time until the world needed him
again. What is not in the legends so much, is that Avalon
was a sacred isle, where women, (and some say men) were
trained in the achient magical ways.
Kind of like a Pagan convent.
Avalon vanished into the mists after the time of Arthur, to
this day, no one has been able to find it. We think it is
on an island called Glastonbury, which really isn't an
island anymore, but all the same, any Celtic pagan would
give their left arm to be able to go back there and train
with those women. Their secrets have been lost to us over
the years, but they practiced in the time of unpolluted
knowledge and faith, and on an island brimming with earthly
Did these women have power over the elements? No, no one
can control the elements, but most believe they
had...well...the know-how to command them, to ask them to
do something for them, and succeed. Could these women do
all the things in the old tales, like turn people into
frogs? Um, I don't think so. But they were wise. They
understood the mysteries of the earth, far better than we
ever could, and that is because they trusted their
instincts, they listened to them, they were not overtaken
with the idea that they were the ultimate beings on the
earth, they were open to the mystery.
If you would like to know more about Avalon, read "The
Mists of Avalon" by Marian Zimmer Bradley. It is a
fiction book, but it captures the spirit of Avalon more
than anything else you will find.
Well, that's it for me.