Articles/Essays From Pagans
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Are You My Familiar ?
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?
June 15th. 2014 ...
Becoming Your Own Wise One
Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha
June 8th. 2014 ...
Moral Relativism and Wicca
Paganism in Cebu, Philippines
June 1st. 2014 ...
Rediscovering My Pagan Faith
13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah
May 25th. 2014 ...
Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)
How to Work With Your Muse
10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch
May 18th. 2014 ...
Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)
The Medea Within Us All
Visits from the Departed
May 11th. 2014 ...
Breaking the Law of Return
Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!
Karma and Sin
The Sin Concept
May 4th. 2014 ...
Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance
When to Let Go...When to Hold On
Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty
April 27th. 2014 ...
Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
Being Pagan, Being Bipolar
World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action
"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!
April 20th. 2014 ...
Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide
Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus
Morality and Controversy in the Craft
A Pagan Perspective on Easter
The Star Child
April 13th. 2014 ...
Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils
Being a Worrisome Witch
Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!
What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops
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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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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