Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Covert Witchcraft Ops

I drive past a Catholic seminary every afternoon on my way home from work. The buildings are set back from the road and surrounded by a dense copse of trees, so when I pass by I get a glimpse of the life-sized statue of the Virgin Mary in the middle of their circular drive, framed by oak branches. Lately, I've been fighting the urge to sneak onto the campus and leave offerings at the statue's feet.

The Virgin Mary has always carried Pagan connotations. A lot of her titles (Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, Queen of the Stars) were co-opted from the Egyptian deity Isis, and most classical Mary sculptures and paintings were direct copies of ancient Isis images. Mary is often depicted standing on a crescent moon, and the cities famed for Mary apparitions -- Guadeloupe, Lourdes, etc. -- were all built upon sacred sites where Pagan worship took place long before the onset of Christianity.

To sum up, in many instances Mary = Goddess. But then, saints have always come in handy as disguises for Pagan gods. St. Brigit, St. Cornelius, St. Anne, St. Michael and St. Catherine come to mind, and of course Yoruba-descended religions like Vodoun and Santeria incorporated saints as representations of spirit powers. So if I went and communed with my friendly, neighborhood Mary statue, I'd just be carrying on another fine Pagan tradition.

Now, here's the rub: how do I not get caught? I could probably explain away any candles and incense as votaries, but the black-handled knife and the bottle of wine would require more tap-dancing than I can normally handle under duress. I could always wait until nightfall and do any necessary venerations on the outskirts of the seminary property, but then I'd be visible from the road, which is just asking for some vigilant driver to call the cops. Stupid cell phones.

Not to knock my upbringing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this would all be much easier to navigate had I not been raised Episcopalian.

1 comment:

annye said...

I think a trench coat with pockets full of pagan contraband would just about do the trick. Dash up, fling the coat open and libate.

By the way, is there an eclesiastical law against flashing the Holy Mother?

Call me if you need bail ...

((Laughter))