By Les

Q.J What led you to your Pagan Path?

A.G

I was raised as Church of England up to the age of 11. Then mum met Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious sect from America.

They were Fundamentalist Christians , but if you read the Bible, you see stuff that connects to older Religions in it .  There’s a reference to Lilith in the KJV , but the Bible doesn’t explain who Lilith was . I began reading the sort of books that the JWs didn’t like , and learned that there was older , secret knowledge buried in and sometimes hunted at in Scripture.

I did English at school , scored high marks in comprehension. But the Bible is written in English , not the original languages. So I studied these as well, in my 20s. This led me to the British Museum .  In 1968, the JWs announced that Jesus would return in 1975 , based upon their chronology of the Bible. I was skeptical. Not enough time, I said . Jesus said that nobody would know the day or hour of his return. He never said to people ” do the maths and work it out “. Before the end came , al, other religions would either collapse or be banned by the UN , according to JWs , and only they would survive Armageddon – the Final Battle .

 . Through books in the library and Fortune Magazine in WH Smith’s , I began to explore alternative spiritual systems. There were big Psychic Fairs at Battersea  Town Hall and I met people who were psychics , astrologers, Wiccans , Pagans and all sorts of others going there.  I found  books on sale there that were not in WH Smiths  or my library 🙂

I was 21 in 1977. There was a program called Nationwide on the BBC , a sort of News magazine program after the news. 1977 was a big year in history . The 2 sevens together had many pagans getting on TV and talking about it . I was working in a department store near a library in Aldershot . I got to read a lot about Ley lines and stuff as a result. From then I went to Psychic Fairs and met other Pagans , and also started writing to pen friends who were occultists.

The 1980s were marked by missiles at Greenham Common , and Pagans demonstrated against nukes there , where I met and talked to people who introduced me to other books and other people.  I left JWs formally in 1985.

Q.J What early influences do you recall (Books/People etc)

I got several books –  good, bad, and indifferent, from the local library library ,

But “Wisdom from Afar”- I forget the author’s name – that was influential.

I started to research the occult , and found Dione Fortune’s book ” the Mystical Caballa ” were also useful .

The New Commentary of the Holy Scriptures by Gough , Gould and Guillaime was also a key text for me. Written by 3 Christian scholars who took the view that we can still be Christian, but acknowledge that men wrote it and we see contradictions, and Jewish mysticism in the Bible if we look .

The Harlot at the Side of the Road was another book – written by a more sceptical scholar – that also shows the culture that the Bible came from . All these led me to abandon Christianity.

I also met famous authors on my travels  – I spoke to Marian Greene , Tony Willis , and Cassandra Easton in person on my travels . I studied Runic Lore by correspondence with Tony Willis, and joined the Green Circle, but Lily , not her real name , was an Astrologer I met at the British Astrological Society. She also did my chart, as did Mary , another lady that I met through Prediction magazine. From them both l learned a lot about many subjects . From Greenham common , I met pagans who showed me ” Dreaming the Dark ” a book by Starhawk , an American woman, who explained concepts like “power over” and “power from within” .

Q.J How do you practice/express yourself on your chosen Pagan Path?

A.G

I keep a low profile. I’m a retired supervisor who became manager , but business isn’t open to too much individuality . I don’t have to keep my bosses approval these days , but at first , I was keen to ” evangelise” for Paganism . Now I’ve grown to see that it’s something that one is called to . If they are not asking the right questions, people are not ready to walk the path .

I use herbs, crystals, astrology , and other things to seek harmony with the cosmos. I’m a feminist and an environmentalist , and I advocate such things because I’m a pagan , but don’t declare myself a pagan as most people bent get it .

I also like to visit Avebury and Glastonbury, as well as other pagan sites.

Q.J Do you remember what the Pagan Community was like when you first

began?

A. It was a loosely knit community that could be contacted through places like Mysteries in Covent Garden , and there were , and still are , a lot of different paths to follow.  In my chart , I have Chiron in my first house.

“Chiron moves between Saturn and Uranus ” Lily, the lady astrologer told me . ” so you may find yourself acting as a go between , introducing the mystical to the practical, and vice versa” . That’s been true so far .

Q.J What early influences do you recall (Books/People etc)

A .G. As well as books listed in my earlier answer , there was also

” the Secret Country ” ,  ” The View From Atlantis “

” The Pattern of the Past “

” The Old Straight Track ” .

Lily, my friend, introduced me to many books and also people .

But I met her through Mary , who’s also a member  of the a pagan federation.

Q.J Do you feel the addition of the internet has had a positive or

negative impact on the Pagan Community?

A.G. Definitely a positive impact , from my POV.

Facebook has a lot of Pagan communities in it . From there it’s much easier to meet online. Now that I’m retired , I have more time and meet pagan craftspeople, astrologers , and others and it’s easier to work anonymously and still meet others without the neighbours being aware of what’s going on .

Q.J Who, within the community has inspired you most?

A.G The Authors I’ve named and my personal friends .

Lily, and Mary – my first links .

Also the ” simple country pagans” from Reading in Berkshire , and Mrs Singer . Not her real name,  but she was a High Priestess of the Old School who still talks to me and explains a lot. She had many skills besides singing – and gifted me a tarot pack  which is the same as a deck I used to own but gave away once. There was a reason that I stopped using tarot , but when she found that I had one like hers, she gave me that deck from among her collection. She also gifted me with a chalice.

Q.J Please tell us about any unusual/paranormal/supernatural experiences

you have had?

A.G

Here’s a few:

It was a early on a warm summer evening, and the sun was not yet set. We, a group of under a dozen, sitting in a sitting room somewhere in suburbia. I’ve been out in the woods after dark – but this setting was probably the least ” spooky” location I can think of. Even so, here’s what happened.

A young lady was a guest in this house , and she said that she was going to ” channel” an entity called Ajon.  Now, she was quiet, unassuming and a bit nervous , to be honest . The garden outside was still basking in daylight. There was a camera set up to record Ajon speaking through her.

She bowed her head, went silent … and the door onto the Patio flew open, seemingly on its own.

Her eyes opened and she sprang to her feet, she’s addressed the room . I was either in the presence of a wonderful actress , or this character Ajon has taken her over . I watched silently, I’m a trained investigator who’s worked in many accidents and incidents , but this was like nothing I had ever seen. Not scarey, but strangely inexplicable. I decided to ask Ajon a few questions.  Ajon said that in Egypt, he was worshipped as Ptah …

Ok . I asked a few questions. Like ” which city was it that Ptah came from ?”

I also asked a technically difficult question on astrology.

Ptah , or Ajon , answered the questions perfectly . Whoever she was, she knew ancient Egypt pretty well and was an expert on astronomy .

The Speaker said that After Ajon , she would channel another being .

So when Ajon disappeared , and she briefly lost consciousness , I went straight to the door to check for any device to let it open. I saw nothing that would make it open by remote. I still can’t explain what happened, in fact.

I’ve also had premonitions in dreams . When I lost my job, once , my wife said that she dreamed this would happen on the previous night .

The weirdest thing was that I called the cops once, because I was aware that a local child was being abused by her alcoholic mother. I did call the cops, who spoke to the mother , but as the child sought refuge in my home, I was told that we had to hand the child over to the police , who would hand her back to her mother.

As the police took the child away, it was after dark . I had no want in my hand, I had cast no circle. I didn’t even speak or shout at the coppers.

I simply thought “damn you , damn you all!”  as the cops car rolled out of sight.

Lily, my astrological teacher and guide, phoned me next morning and demanded to know what had happened last night.  I had not contacted her , but her she was , asking me what happened. So I told her.

” Ah” she said ,  “my home was broken into last night , and I get that you are responsible ” she told me. She was calm, but insistent . What had I done?  I told her that I did wish harm on those cops – but had no idea how this was linked to her break in .

” My husband is a police officer ” she explained. ” If you send a curse off into the dark, it’s always going to take the shortest and easiest route. “

I decided that I was going to give everything up after that . I still left the JWs, but gave up my links to the occult , gave away my books and Tarot card , and became a civilian for many years .

I got back into things after the Pandemic. I went on Facebook and met a few lovely pagans and heathens whom I’m still in touch with .

Q.J Anything else you would like to impart.

A.G

Don’t expect something for nothing . You cannot win a fortune in the lottery by magic ,  because everything has an equal and opposite reaction.

If you don’t deserve it , or don’t now how to handle something, it’s going to spiral out of control with tragic results. Try to act with benevolent, don’t be taken in by those who talk about ” easy money ” or ” get rich quick ” schemes.

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