Well, the Equinox is tomorrow, or Mabon, what ever you wish to call it. Weíre entering the final days of the harvest, and so are our politicians. Theyíre fighting frantically for your vote and mine, and the attacks and charges and all of it are really heating up to fever-pitch.


Itís funny how what goes around seems to come around. Early on, and actually continuing even now are those who attack Senator Obama for his association with a black minister who has a message that many white people donít like. I guess the Republicans have one of their own.


Thomas Muthee, who is a popular pastor in Kenya has been a fairly regular guest at the Wasilla Assembly of God over the years. In fact, on June 8, Sarah Palin praised this man who prayed over her during her bid for Governor of Alaska.


If weíre going to look to Rev. Wright, believing that a person should be judged by whom they choose to worship with, shouldnít we tale a look at Thomas Muthee?


Well, this is a popular pastor in Kenya. Some reports say that heís established hundreds of churches in that country. He is also a great spiritual warrior, but thatís where things get a little frightening.


Spiritual warfare can mean different things to different people. In the United States, many people are frightened by the word Jihad. There is though a personal spiritual battle, which helps us overcome our more base instincts. But spiritual warfare can also mean the battle against evil on a physical level; this is what happened in the inquisition.


Many might like to think that the inquisition is over, that people arenít persecuted or put to death because of pagan beliefs. To some though, witchcraft is an evil that needs to be combated. Thomas Muthee is one such. One of his more important works occurred in the town of Kiambu in Kenya. For whatever reason, Thomas Muthee wished to prove that one woman, known as Mamma Jane, who was a fortune-teller in that town was a witch. After investigation, he found that three automobile accidents happened near her shop. That was proof enough. Thomas Muthee had local police go to her shop and arrest her, guns apparently blazing as they killed one of her pet snakes.


Perhaps having a serpent as a pet might just be further proof that she was a witch and dealt with the devil Ö we might never know. In any case, she was simply told that she had to convert to Christianity, or leave the town. Iím not sure what would have happened if she didnít convert and stayed Ö she might have been jailed, she may have been killed, as was her pet, but she chose to flee.


The unfortunate thing is that there are people of this sort in the world today Ö those who would run you out on a rail for not believing as they choose, for accepting a particular religion. Itís also frightening that such as these are held in high esteem here in the United States. For me, itís terrifying, as a pagan, as a witch, to consider that some of the highest leaders in our country, those who make and uphold our laws, would hold such people up as examples of what is good and holy.


The McCain Palin office in Stratham did say that they believe that Senator McCain and Governor Palin value the constitutionally protected freedom of religion that we enjoy. While I hope they are correct as to what McCain and Palin believe, itís a little unnerving to find a modern-day inquisitor held up as an example of Christian faith by one who might some day be the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth.


Is it right to judge a person on whom they choose to associate with or listen to? Maybe, maybe not. Iíve associated with many unsavory sorts. The difference is that I recognize and distance myself from those beliefs which I find objectionable. Iíd feel a lot more comfortable to hear from Sarah Palin that she thought what Thomas Muthee did to Mama Jane was wrong. At this point Iím not sure Iíd believe it, but it would be nice to hear.


Weíve had our first frost, and the leaves on the trees are starting to change. Iím reminded of one of my favorite pieces of music, Forever Autumn. Iíll probably play a bit of that later on. Autumn, or fall, or what ever you might want to call it is really one of my favorite seasons. Justin Haywardís language in this song illustrates better than probably anyone else Iíve heard, the feelings that I get in this season. One verse says ďThrough autumnís golden gown we used to kick our wayĒ. I donít know about you, but that just fills my mind with the sound of the leaves, the feel of them against my feet, the earthy smell of the decaying leaves once again nourishing the Earth, the sight of leaves piled around various plants in my grandmotherís yard, and so much more.


Even though Iím a Pagan, holidays such as Thanksgiving mean a great deal to me. I suppose, it a basic sense, that thanksgiving isnít really a Christian holiday alone. Itís good to have a feast before the famine of winter. It helps encourage us to make it through what might be a tougher season.


The first things to grace the ground in my yard this year are walnuts. Iíd never smelled them before, the fresh ones, that is. Iím not sure what I think the magickal properties of the scent of wild black walnut might be, but itís a curious scent thatís not at all unpleasant. Iíll have to investigate it some. If youíre fortunate enough to have a black walnut tree in your area, give the nut a smell.


Iím also going to be trying to harvest some of the nuts this year. If you want to do that as well, be sure to check on the Internet and take some of the advice; itís not as easy as it might first seem. The first pitfall is in removing the flesh from the nuts; they contain an indelible dye that will stain your skin if you donít use gloves. If you leave the flesh on too long, it can affect the flavor of the nuts.


Wild foods are an excellent way to remain connected to the Earth around you, They are also a great way to save some money, or to experience something new. Our Eastern wild walnuts do not taste the same as English walnuts; they are much more flavorful. So, Iíll see what I can do with them this year. If itís successful, Iíll certainly let you know.


This week, weíll try to have a fall theme to the show. If there is something you want to hear, give us a shout. Ancient Soul is back with another Mystic Moment. Weíll be discussing the foundations of Magick on our Pagan Primer today. Iíll also take a look at a fairly recent book by Morven Westfield.


As always, all of the text of the program will be available on the web site. Iíll be placing the audio on there as well, and will have a link up. Iím working on the code for the podcast, and hope to have it available on Itunes soon, hopefully by next week.


So, things are really happening here.


© Deirdre Hebert, 2008