The Heretic's Corner

Buck Jump

Greetings my Pagan friends; may your Gods be well disposed to you. May the breeze of Autumn cool your sun-browned skin while the heat of summer past still warms your heart. May you find pinon nuts in plenty -don't forget to leave a few for our furry friends. May the cider of your apples be finer than the best champagne. May the sacred blue corn from your corn patch be enough to see you through the winter, enough to plant next spring, and still enough to make cornbread for all your friends when your next year's corn is as high as your knees.

The full moon of Libra rides now in the sky. The Blood moon, the Hunters' moon, time for such of us as are not vegetarians to go on the hunt. Now is the time to make proper apologies and then lay in the winter meat. The fine days of Autumn are upon us. Enjoy the beauty of the season even as you work like one bailing a leaking boat in the middle of a large lake, to prepare for the cold to come. These are fine days, these are hard days. Our Mother the Earth loves us, but she is a stern parent. It's work or die for us Her children. Be glad that this is so; if Mother only gave what a bunch of spoiled brats we would be. So dig your potatoes and while you dig remember the folks who held this land before us. Bless them for the potatoes and the sacred blue corn. Tread lightly on the ground -who knows whose graves we walk upon.

The other day a lady inquired of me as to where to get some clear quartz crystals. I referred her to a couple of rock shops that I have found to both reasonable and reliable. In the course of our talk she began to question me about the ghostly and magic qualities of crystals generally. I had to tell her that as to crystals, my knowledge was rather like my knowledge of electronics- purely academic. I know that both are useful in the hands of one knowledgeable about them, and I know that I am not so knowledgeable. I advised her to get some of the good books on the subject and to enroll in a class to study that discipline.

I wonder why it is that people assume that because I have some incomplete knowledge of magic sticks and enchanted rings that I would know about crystals. Some folks suppose that since I can play a mountain dulcimer I can also play an Indian flute - I can't. Do they also suppose that a stone mason knows the cabinet maker's trade? Most of the definitions of magic I have read were written by magicians, from within as it were. Here is one written by one not at all knowledgeable about magic, from without. It is this, "Magic is anything that I don't understand that works." It also has a corollary: "A magician can do anything." That's another good reason to soft-pedal your pagan beliefs. Besides the people who want to throw stones at you, you have to contend with a pack of nuts who expect you to turn their leaden lives into fine gold with no effort on anyone's part. I digress, but I feel this paragraph may be of use to you.

So back to my conversation with the crystal seeking lady. She next remarked that I probably had never had a lucky piece nor a lucky stone. Again, I surprised her. I told her that I had several such. That led to a discussion of lucky stones in general, and the difference in crystals, metals, and shapes that will work for any knowledgeable person, and special talismanic tokens that have power usable only by an individual or a small group of people.

A true lucky stone has a value, at least to its owner, that has nothing to do with its price. A natural crystal has a price fixed more or less in relation to its value. Such a stone is rather like any other tool or piece of equipment. Personal lucky stones are another matter - I know a good deal about them, learned by both study and experience. Any solid object may be a lucky piece. Usually it is a natural object, but it can be something manmade. There is extensive literature on the subject. If you are interested you can look up talismans, mazels, gluckensteinen, destiny stones, Indian medicine rocks, lucky stones, they are all the same thing, no matter the language. I personally prefer "lucky stone", the common American term, and why not? I am a common American. So much for nomenclature, how do they work and where can you get one?

As for the first question, life is too short to give a good positive answer. I have a private guess, but for anything definite you'll need to study cosmology, physics, metaphysics, geology, psychogeology and "energyology." If you should come up with a good positive answer, one that can be proved by demonstration, please let me know.

Now for where to obtain a lucky stone or lucky piece. First, you can't buy one - oh, you might buy the stone, but the seller loses the luck and the buyer don't get it. I guess it goes back to wherever it came from. Second, you can't steal it. True, a clever thief can lift any solid object, but the act of theft reverses the luck. If you doubt that, I refer you to the history of the Hope diamond. So, having forewarned you what not to do, I'll proceed to what you can do. You can obtain a lucky stone by gift. You can be given a lucky stone provided the gift is made in love, without fear nor hope of future favor. I have one such, which I got by inheritance. The best and cheapest way to acquire a lucky stone is to have it thrust upon you. A gift from the hands of the Gods, as it were. To put it another way, a lucky stone becomes a lucky stone at some moment in time when you and the stone come together in some, to you, great event. For example, bringing down a deer when you are really starving; being near-missed by a bolt of lightning; a truly monumental moment of love.

By way of illustration, here's how two of mine came to be lucky stones. The first is a sort of family lucky stone, the one I got by inheritance. One day in early June some sixty years ago a gang of relatives were putting up the hay crop on my grandfather's farm. Purely by chance, everyone there was a member of my mother's family. You may wonder what a boy not ten years old was doing there. In those days a kid to load the stacker pony was a regular part of most haying crews. Suddenly there was a flash of greenish light, a sonic boom, the earth shook and a thin wisp of smoke or steam rising from the meadow. One of my uncles took a shovel and ran over to investigate. A wisp of smoke was rising from a hole in the ground. He dug up a red hot meteorite, rare enough in its self, but this particular one is an isotropic form of copper. It is somewhat cylindrical in shape, about the size of a large salt shaker. That is the family lucky stone. It has been handed down in the family ever since. All I can say is, comparatively we have had better luck since then than most other families. The keeper or custodian of the piece has always been favored with unusual good fortune.

The other that I will describe is a piece of red and white Oregon beach agate. It is about the size of the first joint of my thumb, polished and shaped by the random tumbling of the waves and sand - it seems to have a sort of Salvador Dali eye on one side. What a certain lovely lady and I were doing in an Oregon beach cave at low tide I leave to your imagination; when we again returned to the world we usually live in I was gripping the stone in my hand. My own personal love charm.

I know a man who carries with him everywhere a watch, melted and fused into a worthless chunk of brass, but still recognizable as a watch. He found it smoking in his pocket as he hastily shed his pants after being knocked off his feet by a bolt of lightning. That is his lucky piece.

So it is with all lucky stones, they are souvenirs of a great occasion. Magic sticks are made, the result of human intention. Lucky stones are given or granted by power or powers outside the ken of man. If you are fortunate enough to get one, you will know it. We have an instinct about some things. If you have one, guard it well. Remember, the difference between worthless and priceless is in that inner wisdom that only a superior person possesses.

My question this time rises from this: In the regalia and equipage of Kings, the royal orb and scepter of royalty are second only to the crown itself in importance. Now what I'd like to know is this...In the old time of "the simple rule and antique plan - of him to take who has the power and him to keep who can", was the scepter the head man's shillelagh and the orb his lucky stone? Along the same line another related question. Would kings still rule as well as reign if the scepter were cut with appropriate ceremony from a living tree and the orb of power was a true lucky stone? I have noted in history that royal power began to wane about the time kings began to rely on courtiers and craftsmen for things they had better done them-selves.

It is well to have friends, it is well to be a part of a group, but when you inwardly begin to identify your self with some thing or person outside yourself, you begin to inwardly diminish. Yours should be a part of you while you have custody of it, otherwise it's only trading stock and capital.

So much for magic sticks, and lucky stones for history and kings, autumn is upon us. The wild hunt rides the night wind, the veil between the worlds grows thin, it's time to prepare for the cold to come. Now is the time when the long long thoughts rise in our minds unbidden.

May you have food and fire for the winter and thoughts to meditate upon when your paths are blocked with snow. May you be blessed, may neither boredom nor hard living trouble you, with which words I do now part from thee.

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