Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Blackberry Grove - A Pagan Parable
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Article ID: 11804
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 12th. 2007
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The students at the Summerland Valley were learning the secrets and ways of the Craft with their master and mistress.
One lazy student, in a fit of boredom, asked his master, “My Lord, I grow tired of practice. If the gods are so powerful, and if they are immanent as you say, then why must we work so hard to learn the knowledge they have provided to the elders of the Craft? Why are they secret at all? Why can’t we just be told the mysteries of our way like our Christian brethren?”
The Lord was not angered by the lazy student’s queries. In fact, he smiled as a father would for his child.
“Come with me.” the Lord replied.
He took the lazy student away from the others, through several fields and deep into the forests, until they arrived at a grove. This grove was thick with thorn bushes, save for a narrow path in between.
“Look at these bushes.” the Lord replied. The student did thus, and he discovered that the bushes were filled with blackberries.
“Go ahead, eat one.” the Lord said. The student eagerly ate a berry from a nearby bush, not bothering to see what he had picked. He quickly spat it out, realizing he had eaten a red one, one which was not yet ripe.
“The ripe ones are deeper in the bush.” the Lord said.
The student realized this, and spotting a ripe berry further within the bush. He immediately recoiled as the first thorn cut into his skin. He tried again and again, but each time he pulled back as the thorns scraped his hand and caught a hold of his robes. He started to pull away, to search for another, more convenient berry.
“No!” the Lord commanded. “You’ve been struggling to get that berry. Are you willing to lose to a bush?”
His pride irked, the lazy student thrust his hand into the bush and grabbed the berry. Yet to his dismay, the student’s hand was heavily cut, and the berry had been smashed in his hand.
“There there now, ” the Lord said as he healed the student’s hand. “Do not fret.”
The Lord then, with his infinite magic, made the thorns move away, until the bush exposed the ripest, most juicy berry it held. With great ease, the Lord plucked the berry from its branch, and then allowed the thorns to return to place.
The student looked expectantly at his master. “Master, may I please have that berry?”
The Lord replied, “Would you really deny me the pleasure of this sweet fruit? Are you so selfish that you would wish to reap from another’s work?”
The student, having felt ashamed of his request after what his master said, refused.
“I thought as much.” the Lord said, and then he ate the berry.
“My student, ” the Lord said, “do you understand why I have brought you here? This is the Blackberry Grove, where during the beginnings of summer, this thorny brush produces the sweetest blackberries. But you cannot just take them. The bushes demand more respect than that. Look at the berries on the outside of the bush. They are small, withered from the heat, and some are not even ripe. Yet if you look deep within the bush, you will see the prize berries, those that grow large and are never sour.
But the bushes won’t just let you take them. They want you to earn their treasures. If you can surpass their thorns, you will have the berry. But if you are weak, you will never reach them, and if you are too hasty, you will destroy the fragile berries and do a great disservice to yourself.”
“My son, these bushes are the gods, and their berries the mysteries, the secrets that they can reveal to you. There is the common knowledge that you can get from the surface of these gods, but if you really want knowledge and power beyond that of ordinary people, you must work with the gods, earn their trust, and be respectful of them, or they will never remove their thorns. Only those who have done the work that is necessary, only those who have entered a true relationship with the gods, can be granted this gift of knowledge.
It is also for this reason that you may never fully profit off another who has done the work. For once the knowledge is consumed, like the berry, it can never be completely released back into the world. The mystery of the Craft is something that must be experienced, not something that can be explained, just as nobody can perfectly explain the taste of the blackberry.”
The student understood. He remained in the grove the rest of the night, working to reach the sweetest berries. He worked hard to avoid the thorns and to not break the branches, and though he failed many times, he learned from his mistakes, and learned how to get the berries without being scratched.
The bushes, impressed by the student’s diligence and respect, soon began to recoil their thorns, so soon the student was able to access all of the ripest berries in the grove. He gathered what he did not eat, and returned the next morning to the other students and his master and mistress.
He offered the berries to his classmates, none of whom had eaten such fresh berries. When asked where he had gotten them, how he had gotten so badly scratched, or how to describe the taste of the berries, the student remained silent.
“You must discover that for yourself.” he would reply.
And for then on end, the student was no longer lazy, and would be forever known as The Diligent One.
**This is a story I wrote over a year ago, at my family's old farm. It was during the Louisiana summer, when the blackberries were fully ripe. As my mind pondered over these fruits, I felt a surge of inspiration. Whether it was the gods, spirits, or my own imagination which brought about this story, I was compelled to write. Take this story as you will, and I hope you enjoy.**
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