The People of the Woods

Bide the Wiccan Law Ye Must,
in perfect Love, in perfect Trust,
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
An ye harm none, do as ye will.
What ye send out comes back to thee,
So ever mind the rule of three.
Follow this with mind and heart,
and Merry ye Meet, and Merry ye Part.

Echoes Of The Old Ones
A myth of our people.

My people and I, we used to dance through the high bright meadows in the moonlight, naked and unashamed. The Moon was sacred to us. Grandmother, we called her, Watcher of the Tides, Bearer of the Seed: luminous, fertile, aged, and wise. The meadow where we danced was sacred too. It was ringed with oaks, solid guardians of our dance. These oaks, they too were holy, respected. The wisest among us we called Druid, ''Knower: of the Oak." For we knew these mighty beings had much to share and much to tell of the inner workings of the world around us. They had stood for many hundreds of years. Their branches intertwined above our heads as we danced in a great circle, hand in hand, our feet floating lightly above the Earth. The flowers we knew by name, as they knew us, and with their permission we twined them through our hair, trailing behind us like living leaves.

Walk in the Woods
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We worshiped in the hills and deep within the caves down in the womb of our Mother Earth. We called her Gaia, and loved her as a child loves its mother - without reserve, without fear. And all that she gave us we accepted with gratitude. Her gifts were many and varied. Indeed, the very life in our limbs came from her. She and her Consort, the Old Man in the sky, formed a Divine Union, mirrored by every union on Earth, both human and animal. Even as we ourselves brought the male and female within us to union, we took part in that greatest Union in which we had our origin, our birth.

Life was full for us and time did not exist, just the gentle flowing of day into night into day. We embraced all the Life around us and were embraced in turn, until they came.

They said their religion did not allow dancing. They said their religion did not hold our Mother sacred. Their religion only respected the Father. but not that Old Man who sat with us at our council fire and illuminated our talk with calm, good nurtured wisdom. Theirs was a much fiercer and distant Father. one who demanded total obedience and punished those who went astray with hell fire and damnation. As if anything created by that Divine Intercourse could ever be damned. Their religion said we were not to be naked, that the human body was not sacred, but ugly and sinful. We turned away sadly, not knowing at that time what was meant by "sin. They said their religion was one of peace, yet when they came at night to break up our dances they did it with such anger and such hate we were shocked and amazed.

And, strangest of all, their religion was based on the teachings of a dead man, one that was murdered by his own people. They told us how be was killed, buried in a tomb, but rose again to walk among the living. They told us this thing in great booming voices; in expectation, we knew, that this would convince us of the superiority of their ways over ours. But does not every living thing on this earth die, we asked, only to be reborn as new life? Each spring, the Earth herself is born anew. We celebrated this with great feasting and many songs and dances of joy and gratitude to see the winter end, and life around us, which had withered and died that dark season, be reborn again. We had seen this happen many times and knew it to be true. And the lives of those beings we hunted for food, they too died in one form only to live anew in us. This was their great gift to the life force which sustains us all. And we knew that one day we too would leave these beloved bodies behind to take on new ones, finer and fairer than the ones we abide in now. All life dies and is reborn constantly all around us, we told them. But they did not care. They frowned upon us and thundered even louder, calling us pagans and devil worshipers.

Yet we loved the stories. they told us of their teacher, this Jesus of Nazareth. They spoke of how he loved those around him with a deep and selfless love, and how be helped those in need, those who were suffering, and those who were poor. We could understand these stories. We knew what it was like to be poor and to suffer. But we ourselves shared in all things already, and did not need their help. When we spoke to them, they again turned away and frowned.

They said their God was a god of love. But, where was the love when they went down into our sacred caves and desecrated them, destroying the statues of the gods and goddesses which we had placed there to remind us of all the varied forms the life force takes. Where was their love when they took the servants of the Great Mother, virgins young and pure of vision, and defiled them before the eyes of the Goddess, making their young blood flow over their sacred garments? Where was the love when they went into our sacred groves and chopped down the great oaks, and burnt them where they lay, those ancient beings gone forever? And, where was the love when they took our elders, calling them witches and wizards, and burning them at the stake, praying from their heavy black book while the screams filled the air? Where was the love, we asked.

And then, after all that, they took our beloved Pan, who led us in our mirthful revelries through the wood and field, and turned him into the devil. Pan, with cloven hoof and homed head, symbolized the union of all that is human and animal in the world, even within ourselves. Pan was the master flute player, whose enchanted music filled us with joy and rapture and enabled us to dance for hours with a grace and lightens known only to birds and the fairies. Pan was our link between all that was human and all that was not. They turned Pan, our beloved God, into Satan, evil incarnate, stealer of souls, the enemy of all that is good and holy.

We wept when we heard that Pan had left us. We wept when we saw the blackened stumps of our sacred oaks and the charred remains of our elders. We wept when we descended into our sacred caves for, solace and found only ruin and the mangled bodies of the Mother's servants. We wept when we saw that everything we believed in and held holy was gone, destroyed in the name of love. We ask again, what love is this. what love?

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Now we are few in number, hidden from sight, quiet in our celebrations, somber in our joy. But like the spring, we WILL return. Our elders taught, us that all life is cyclic. Cycle upon cycle, one rolling into and within another. That we know, we SHALL live again. The cycle we are in now will run its course. The lovers of hate, the destroyers of life in the name of God will one day be gone. They will die and be born again into something finer and wiser than before. This we know. We have been here on our Mother for a long, long time. We will always be here. Already you can hear our songs, faintly on the wind. Already you can hear our songs quietly, with a joy and rejoicing for all that is holy, and all that is life. We humans are not alone, for unseen spirits guide our way. In this way we share with each other, and with the other two footed. the four footed, and the winged ones on Earth, our Gaia, our Mother divine. Already our circle is forming in the shadows, just before the dawn, when spirits are alive and magic is afoot. For too long now we have met in secrecy and fear. Soon now our time will come. Listen, stand still in your own being and listen to your breath, and your own heart song. Open yourselves to the life around you. Join with us in love, in truth, in oneness. It is not too late, even now.

Written by Blue Star

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Revised Samhain 2016