October 2nd, 2007

Our Brother Churchill

The room that used to be the Temple is now the rabbit room. Once we kept it spotless. Now it's ankle deep in straw. And why not? The gods like it better this way. 

But I didn't always think so.

Before there were rabbits there were cats. And we were very prissy about keeping them out of the temple- all that fluff, all that scrat-scrat-scratting. We'd been taught, see, that you honour the gods by keeping their space immaculate. The high priestess of our mother coven once threw a terrible hissy fit when sparks from the too enthusiastically fuelled cauldron leaped for freedom and burned holes in her lovely new temple carpet.  

And then along came Churchill- a very ancient cat who'd been knocked out of shape by a car and so-named because of his pug-faced resemblance to Sir Winston. We got him from a rescue centre. We were told they couldn't shift him because he was so ugly. Well, ugly is as ugly does. We preferred to think of him as characterful.  He had no teeth,  his tongue stuck out the front of his mouth, he was  blind in one eye and he walked with a lurch, a jerk and a teeter and it's a wonder he didn't fall over sideways more often. On one occasion some neighbours brought him to our front door wrapped in a blanket and said, "We're afraid your cat has been in an accident.". And we thanked them and took him back and looked him over and said, "Naah, he's always like that."

And Churchill was a witch's cat. We couldn't keep him out of the temple.  He insisted on being in the room with us when the coven met. And he knew the etiquette. He'd didn't think it was all about him.  He'd scrupulously limp round the room deosil while we danced the Witches Rune, brushing the wall with his shoulder. 

He was referred to as "our Brother Churchill" and regarded as an initiate. We were proud of him. Look what a clever cat our cat is. And we trusted him to behave in an appropriate and reverent manner. 

Oh, my God- look!

Churchill was squatting against the wall, all hunched up, regarding us severely.

A moment of horror. Oh my god, he's peeing on the carpet! 

Scrag him.

But look where he is. (He was in the western quarter, right under the shrine to Zephyrus). He's honouring the water elementals...

It's a Nature religion, dummies. So take what Nature gives.

"Whooping noises and general hilarity* 

I'm not really a cat person.  Rabbits are nicer. I look back on that time of my life as an aberration.  We had a whole bunch of cats and they came and they went and I don't really miss them- with one exception.

Ailz says she sees him sometimes- out of the corner of her eye.  

Three Wiccan Poems


                                    JAQUI’'S INITIATION


                                    Say it three times, "I am a Witch"

                                    And the gods will hear you and make it be so.

                                    Gaze in the mirror and watch it happen.


                                    No-one out on the street will know

                                    But the flowering may will be friends with you

                                    And the stars will shine for you, sisterlike.



                                    I will not be noticed.

                                    I will go where a mouse can go.

                                    I will come like lichen.

                                    I will leave like snow.

                                    And on holy days,

                                    Lower your priest-entrammeled eye;

                                    You may not see, you shall not see

                                    Us witches rabbiting through the sky.




                                    Hierarchs hard as hitching posts

                                    In a circle round the Lamb,

                                    Copes all stiff with English work

                                    Really?  I don't give a damn.


                                    Merrily, merrily ring the bells

                                    Out of the merry village spire.

                                    Lets go down to the bramble wood

                                    And look for faces in the fire.


                                    Jesus has a robe of purple,

                                    On his head a crown of thorns.

                                    All our master wears is winter,

                                    Nothing on his head but horns.


                                    Stars that clink at wrist and ankle

                                    That is how the midnight sounds.

                                    No-one here will get to bed

                                    Before the milkman starts his rounds.