I was minding my business at a sacred grove, which, by
chance (or not), happened to be near a church. I had my
correspondences laid out, and was within my circle, working
up a spell of insight. See, on that day, I was putting on
the final touches of a difficult translation, and while my
native attunement and insight has always been quite sharp
and fluid, there was one piece that wouldn't quite fall
And at this time a gentleman came out of the church and
walked over towards me, and I think he recognized me, me
being a well-known Wiccan in these parts.
And he said to me: "In this day and age, how can you possibly
believe all that Wiccan crap -- casting spells, magic
circles, crystal correspondences, and all".
I wasn't sure what to say. I certainly didn't want to
get into an argument with this guy, but it seemed to me
no harder to accept than virgin conception, rising from
death, etc. (not that I necessarily doubt these
ideas), and I politely expressed these thoughts. And
I added, "Wicca isn't so much a belief, but a way of life
anyway. Wiccans are happy to respect that others such as
yourself are entitled to your beliefs, and try to avoid
arguments such as this".
"But the miracles", he blustered, "are ancient, recorded
in the holiest books as the word of God. Wicca, on the
other hand, is just some new age crap invented by some
Brit in the '60s".
"Yes, the '60s. just when the precession of the equinoxes
brought us out of the age of the Fish and into the age of
Aquarius. But what's the difference, it all comes from
something older. As you know, they moved Christmas to base
it on Yule, Groundhog Day obviously rests on Imbolc, Easter
based on Ostara, and so on, 'round the Wheel. But it doesn't
matter, it all comes from something deeper, something that
the Man of Truth spends his days spinning 'round the Wheel
hoping to glimpse. As an interesting aside, dig up a book
called Hamlet's Mill if you can find it. Even
Shakespeare (or Bacon?) glimpsed it".
"This is absurd, spells, miracles, magic, the Age of
Aquarius, all of it. While the precession of the equinoxes
is obviously real and can be explained by science, so
can everything else. What we have here is a moron
debating a fool".
I turned to see where these words were coming from, and
saw a bearded, ill-dressed individual walking towards us.
It seemed odd that by chance someone else should stumble
to this out of the way place, but he explained to us
that this was the best place in these parts to think
thru the knotty problems in his research.
Just We 3, I thought. Now there's a number everyone can
agree on. One God, Second Law, Third Alternative.
"Well", I said, "can everything really be explained by
science? Can you tell me where insight comes from?
Certainly something, therefore explainable by
science, ne pas?"
"Insight comes from God thru the mind of Christ", the
Christian chimed in.
The Scientist paused for a minute, considering, I suppose,
how to explain such complicated concepts to a couple of
rubes. "Insight", he said, "is just a thought in your
conscience brain. A thought is just a feedback of words
that reuses audial neural circuitry, as if you're hearing
it from the outside, but you're just playing it back
on the same machinery from the inside. Its really quite
simple, and can all be (and has) been explained by
"So its a quale", I said. "The sounds of thoughts, as
well as the visions of those of us who think visually,
are qualia, don't you agree? That flash of insight is
also always experienced as qualia. That is, insight is
simply a stronger, more special experience of the normal
qualia of day to day life. We may reuse our audial or
visual neural circuitry to experience insight, but it
still comes as qualia".
"What are qualia?", asked the Christian.
"Yes, I suppose you are right", conceded the Scientist.
"Qualia", he explained, "are the actual experiences of
things like red, hunger, sound, etc. While the
perception of red can be explained by the instance of
photons of a certain wavelength hitting the retina and
being processed by a system of neurons and some other
neurons setting the 'red bit', as it were, the actual
phenomenon of the experience of redness has yet to be
explained by neurobiology or psychology. In fact, there
is no proof that my experience of red is the same as
yours. But its only a matter of time -- science will
get there eventually, but presently it is considered
a 'hard problem'."
"Will it?", I said. "Qualia are metaphysical. The
experience of red has no mass nor no energy, and
therefore is beyond science to explain. Qualia don't
exist on any instrument in the lab, yet we experience
"its becoming one with God", offered the Christian.
"We always have the richest experiences after we
"And what is your take?", asked the Scientist. "Surely
Wicca has no logical explanation for insight, qualia,
the problem of consciousness, and the like? All
Wicca seems to be about is wheels and circles,
grinding round and round forever -- death and
rebirth -- how is one ever supposed to get anywhere
or make any progress? Don't you get tired of being
on the Wheel?".
"First of all, I think we're looking at this the
wrong way. Its not that one of us has got it
right, and we shouldn't be arguing so about it,
to the disdain of the other. Its
more like blind man's zoo, where we've each seen
a piece of it. Three views of one trillium, as
"And you're right", I continued, "that modern Wicca
was invented in the '60s, but it is based on far
more ancient insights. Some of this work is obviously
lost in translation over the centuries. And yes, it
is about wheels, and even time itself moves as a circle,
despite arguments by some of your colleagues that time
is an arrow."
"With God at the center of the circle", interrupted
"Well, I guess that's one way to look at it", I said,
"but it is true that some of the ancient texts do talk
about what's at the center of the circle and getting
off the Wheel. Heresy by modern standards, or perhaps
you would say 'forbidden fruit', but its not my fault
that weaker minds have missed and lost in translation
some of the ancient ways. My personal journey is to
rediscover them, and get to the center of the circle,
where insight and all the rest of it comes from. So
I guess that's my answer. Wicca simply seems to be
the path with the least amount of baggage, and closest
to the original sources -- but granted, only an
approximation for many".
"So, what have you discovered?", they asked. "Not
that we'll change our ways -- as the old cliche goes,
there are many paths up the same mountain".
"Well, I have discovered an ancient spell, which seems
to be the basis for some of the Wheel lore. But I've
found more to it than that. I've just finished the
translation, but I think the point of this one is to
get you off the Wheel ..."
22 Nov 2005 -- Sir Braemoor