XXXII.  Hades She is walking along a path through the forest, wearing a white robe, tied with a black cord; from it hangs a sheathed dagger. On her head is a tiara with a crescent moon in front. She wears a necklace of large black and amber beads. There are bracelets on her arms, rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes. She looks about, with a puzzled expression. “There were flames.” Beside her a wolf, a lion, and… Read more

XXXI. North to Sonoma, 3 “Dotty sounds like a fascinating character,” I said, “but that is one of the most improbable biographies I’ve ever heard.” Andy frowned. “Take any thread in history and it will seem improbable. So many other things could have happened. And perhaps they did. Even physicists believe there could be alternative histories. There may be a universe in which the Nazis won World War Two. There may be one in which the Padres didn’t push north… Read more

XXX. Captivity We had our camps in the forest, under the trees, and in the even­ings Aradia would teach us, sometimes by words, sometimes by dan­cing, sometimes by singing, and sometimes by making love to us. She would almost always cast a circle about us, and tell us that the rules of the ordinary world did not matter in the circle, that the circle was between the worlds of men and of the Gods. In the circle she would anoint… Read more

XXIX. North to Sonoma II “That’s enough about me,” I said. “What kind of hereditary Witch are you?” She laughed. “It’s our family tradition. We believe we’ve always followed our own religion, not Christianity, though sometimes we had to pretend in order to survive. It was our enemies who labeled us Witches—that’s not what we called ourselves—but many communities have adopted the name used by their critics: Quakers, Mormons, Cathars, perhaps even the term Christian itself. Our tradition is carried… Read more

XXVIII. The Sermon to the Prostitutes  As Aradia was speaking, a young woman in the crowd, a prostitute named Diana, pushed her way forward, wearing only a linen cloth about her body. The other women tried to hold her back; but she left the linen cloth in their hands and came to Aradia naked. Aradia drew Diana to her side, and kissed and caressed her. They looked at each other, each saw that the other was fair, and they loved… Read more

XXVII.  North to Sonoma, 1 Curled up in the passenger seat, Andy asked, “So where are we going?” “To Avalon. It’s a commune I know up in the hills of Sonoma County. One thing I study is how new religions are formed.” “Why?” “The specific academic field I’ve ended up in is heresiology. I’ve always been curious about why some people are creative, but some people of equal intelligence, at least as measured by IQ tests, are not. My undergraduate… Read more

XXVI. The Beginning of the Book of the Generation of Aradia [From the Gospel of Diana, as translated by A. Verrazano and A. Peregrino] I am Diana, the daughter of Aradia.  Aradia was Queen of all the Witches and taught them magic in the school of her mother, the God­dess Diana. She named her daughter Diana, and I shall name my own daugh­ter Aradia. Aradia came to teach that our sexual ecstasy is the sacred mystery of the Goddess of… Read more

XXV. Ambushed He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence. William Blake Back from the Aquinas, I was sitting at my desk, wondering what to do next, when Andy appeared in my office door. “Hi, Eddie. Are you busy? Or can I kidnap you for an espresso?” I felt pleasantly surprised. “Hi, Andy. No, I’m not busy at all. An espresso sounds fitting. Maybe even some lunch.” “Good. Want to walk down to the Mediterranean?” “That’s the place.” . As… Read more

XXIV.  Mary Brings the Good News to Gaul [Excerpts from The Acts of Mary as translated by C.T. Edwards, A. Healy, L. Moresco, and S. Weiss] We were fortunate for several years in our teaching of the good news to Jews and Greeks alike. Then some of the House of Shammai who had escaped to the city also began to tell the Romans that we had caused the uprising in Jerusalem. They told the other Israelites that  we had caused… Read more

XXIII.  Aquinas  The mind of the world is Zeus, and all things are besoul’d and full of spirits. Thales The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses . . . Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of and enslav’d the vulgar . . . thus began Priesthood, choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had ordered such things. Thus men forgot that all deities reside in… Read more




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