“We’re making good time.” Brian said over the steering wheel breaking the silence “At this rate, we should be in
“Good” Ethan replied “I’m anxious to see our new house for myself and get settled in.”
Brian and Ethan had been driving for the better part of ten hours and now found themselves on the far side of
“I’m telling you, you’re going to love it baby. It has a great view of the ocean and the mountains in the distance, a huge fireplace, lots of space for me and all your voodoo….”
“Voodoo?” Ethan replied feeling slighted.
“You know that freaky deaky stuff you do.”
“Brian, that ‘freaky deaky’ stuff as you call it, saved your life.”
“I know” Brian said recalling the events of the previous year. As a Detective with the Shadow Falls Police Department he had been searching for an escaped inmate who had stumbled upon vast spiritual powers when he became bonded to a elemental. The inmate used his newfound powers to exact revenge on the man who had killed his lover. Ethan and Brian worked on the case, albeit separately, which put Brian’s life in danger before Ethan was able to save them both.
“I’m just screwing with you” Brian continued “Don’t get your broomstick up your butt, there won’t be any room left for me.”
“Brian” Ethan admonished him “I’m serious. When you married me you knew I was Wiccan. This is my religion. Would you make fun of me if I was Christian…or Buddhist?”
“Yeah, probably” Brian offered taking Ethan’s hand “but that’s our way, you know that.”
“I understand that we kid each other about a lot of things...” Ethan explained “…but when it comes to my beliefs I want you to be respectful.”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry baby” Brian begged “You forgive me?”
“Of course, Brian, I love you.” Ethan replied “But it wouldn’t kill you to open your mind a little…broaden your horizons.”
“Well, we’re on the road for three more days” Brian offered “why don’t you use this time to educate me a little.”
“Ok” Ethan replied “Where do you want to start?”
“Well as a detective, I’d say start at the beginning” Brian says
“Hmmm” Ethan composed his thoughts “Witchcraft has its origins in ancient times when the earliest humans had a much closer relationship with the Earth than we do today. Nature was sacred and early man believed that spirits dwelt in all things from trees, to rocks, to water, and even fire.”
“That’s called animism.” Brian chimed in “I remember that from that class I took for the force on occult crimes.”
“Right.” Ethan continued “Nature was the great provider which supplied all of man’s physical needs so he looked to nature for his spiritual ones as well. In many ways, nature and man were mirrors for one another. Since women were the bearers of children it was believed that the spirit of fertility was female.”
“And she became the Goddess?” Brian asked
“Where did God come in?”
“Well” Ethan began “in the winter months when hunting became necessary for survival, it was the men who went off in hunting parties to seek game for food and skins for warmth. Since hunting was so associated with men, the God of the Hunt was believed to be male. He also was given the horns of a stag to represent his virility and connection to nature. And since there were often many men who died on the hunt the Horned God of the Hunt also became associated with Death as well.”
“And there you have your God and Goddess.” Brian stated wanting to show that he was listening.
“For thousands of years humankind's view of the God and Goddess remained unchanged. Religion was based on the belief that Spirit took the image of male and female form, each having many images, and personalities...until the advent of Christianity.” Ethan explained.
“And we all know what happened during the Witch Hunts…” Brian said “The Witch craze ran across
“Yes” Ethan explained “But, it didn’t begin that way. Before about 1400 ACE the Church tried to bring Pagans into the fold through a process called syncretism…”
“Sin what?” Brian asked
“Syncretism” Ethan laughed “It’s the process of fusing two disparate belief systems together.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well the church tried to convert Pagans by taking elements of Pagan beliefs and absorbing them into Christian beliefs and practices.”
“Hmmm” Brian thought about what he had just heard.
“So that’s why everyone thinks that Witches worship the devil?”
“Anyway, when their attempts to convert Pagans to Christianity in this way didn’t get the results they desired the church began using fear, ignorance, and hate to promote a climate of paranoia.”
“Everyone thought the devil was around every corner” Brian added
“The church did very little to dissuade the public” Ethan began “at that time it was illegal to even NOT believe in witches! The church seized the land and holding of anyone convicted of being a witch, so witch-hunting became a very profitable business.”
“Yes, witch-hunters were paid hefty fees for each witch convicted. And neighbor turned against neighbor” Ethan continues “Accusing someone of witchcraft became a very reliable way off an enemy or exacting revenge for some supposed wrong doing.”
“Why is that?”
“Because the only way to prove your innocence was basically to die!”
“The tests were rigged” Ethan explained “Take the swimming the witch test for example. An accused individual was bound, gagged, and thrown into a body of water. If, for whatever reason, the accused floated then he or she was found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, if the accused sank he or she was declared innocence but invariably drowned.”
“That’s harsh” Brian said sympathetically “But wasn’t some of it true though? I mean, I’ve seen your book. Demons do exists, don’t they?
“Yes, but that’s another story entirely”
“Babe, we’ve got time.”
“Well there is this story in my Book of Shadows” Ethan said as he slipped out of his seat belt and got up on his knees facing the back seat “that speaks of the First Witch and her battle against demons….”
“What are you doing?” Brian asked
“Hold on a second.” Ethan said pulling his family Book of Shadows out of his suitcase and settling back in his seat.
“You brought your book with you?”
“You didn’t think I was gonna just throw it in a box and leave it with the movers did you? This book has been in my family for three generations.”
“I can see why you’d want to preserve it” Brian replied
“Here it is” Ethan said pointing to a page “Pandora the First Witch.”
“Pandora” Brian replied
“Ok, listen to this” Ethan began reading the entry
Long, long ago, the world belonged to demons and darkness crouched in every corner of the earth. Mankind in its infancy could scarcely increase his number in the face of such oppression. Then one day, the light appeared and drove the darkness into the confines of a book. The light charged mankind with the book's safety, adjuring him to never open the book, lest evil be unleashed upon the world again.
The light walked among men as Gods and a golden age followed. The book was passed down from parent to child with instructions that it was never to be opened. Over time, it was forgotten exactly why the book was to remain un-opened, but it became a matter of tradition to do so. After passing through a succession of keepers, the book fell into the hands of a young woman named Pandora. For the most part, Pandora took her duty seriously, but in a moment of weakness, she allowed her curiosity to overtake her and she opened the book!
Almost immediately, the world changed as the horror of Pandora's act set in. The people cried out in pain and pleaded for the Gods to intervene. However, they were powerless, since mankind opened the door for evil, he inherited the karmic debt for reconciling evil. The Gods, feeling the world's pain, left this plane for a dimension, where they could observe man and intercede on his behalf albeit indirectly, but still be insulated from his pain.
Before their departure, the Gods gave Pandora the gift of magick with which to oppose evil in all its shifting guises. As Pandora mastered her powers and slew demons, she wrote about her experiences in the book that once held evil, and which came to be called the Book of Shadows. Eventually, Pandora had children to whom she taught her craft, and they taught their children, and they taught their children. Today, all witches can trace their lineage back to Pandora, from whom they inherit their powers. However, along with the gift of magick, comes the bane of opposing evil in all its changing forms.
“So witches use their powers to fight demons” Brian said after a long pause “that’s so….Charmed?”
“Not just demons” Ethan interjected “but evil in all its forms, including demons. And don’t get me started on Charmed…..”
“I love you.” Brian giggled as he leaned into kiss Ethan.
“Brian look out!” Ethan called out
“Holy shit!” Brian exclaimed when he saw the deer standing in the road before him, but he was too late to react……